04 November, 2014

Empty Promises

The Failure of Idealist Physics
The propagation of Electromagnetic energy, across Space, will depend upon two indisputable things. First, it must be how it is produced, and second, how is it transported across that seemingly Empty Void?

The conception that pure, disembodied energy can cross totally Empty Space at a given speed is clearly impossible by any physical considerations, whatsoever, of its possible nature.

Even if you dispense with some kind of continuous medium or particulate carriers, you, somehow, have to deliver a pair of vectors with both magnitude and direction – one electrical and the other magnetic, actually also oscillating regularly (in absolutely Nothing) at a fixed frequency - and without having any material content themselves. What is actually oscillating, and thus containing energy must somehow move across empty space – But how?

To compound this felony we are asked to believe that such totally disembodied oscillations – “Pure Energy” was also, initially, the sole basis of absolutely everything in the Universe. It clearly isn’t true, is it?

Such a position is got away with, because those who now deal in these things are constrained, no longer, by Physical Reality: they have moved to more conducive climes, delivered by the World of Pure Form alone – or Ideality. For, there anything formally defined and self-consistent is always possible! 

Yet most scientists, and for several centuries, felt that they had to assume a space-filling continuous medium – The Ether, to make any sort of sense out of such phenomena. But, it was never detected, and physicists seemed to manage well enough on the formulae, which had been derived from real, extracted data. Maybe the Real World was actually driven by these Formal Imperatives?

Yet, the initial, suggested alternative was Newton’s Corpuscular Theory, so they then conceived of particulate gobbets of pure energy – Photons, as the actual individual bits of Radiation, acting somewhat like particles, but eventually being redefined as descrete gobbets of pure energy or Quanta.

The nature of such a pure, disembodied quantum of this energy is still physically unknown, though today’s physicists seem perfectly happy with an entirely formal equation-based description alone! Some tried to define wave-packets (myself included) but they certainly don’t fit the bill for many indisputable reasons. Interestingly, this “Pure Energy” can be described formally by mathematical forms, and this, to those who welcome an idealist stance upon Reality, was sufficient to “prove” their position was adequate.

But, what it actually does is to disprove such a stance as meaningless, not only by being in a pure form, but also by having absolutely no concrete substance too!

So, we are left with yet another impossible placeholder – the Photon.

It is somewhat remarkable because following a dissociation of material objects into pure electromagnetic energy, vast amounts of pure, disembodied energy have to be turned into Photons – what else? But, how many and how big will they be? They don’t have to be a single size, but each will consist of a single quantum, involving a single frequency, and a content of energy given by hν. (Where h is Planck’s Constant and ν is the frequency).

Something like this was confirmed by both Planck’s solution of the problem of Black Body radiation, and by Einstein’s explanation of the Photo Electric Effect, but exactly what the form of a Photon is, is still not known.

And, we must not forget interference!

It was easy to explain with extended waves (as in water and air), but how would descrete entities, like Photons, actually interfere? (Especially as ostensibly single Photons were being sent, one at a time, in the Double Slit experiments, act as if interference is happening!)

And, it seems, all the evidence is that such Photons can travel at the Speed of Light – impossible by any material object.

The fact that such ideas, plus appropriate equations, enable a great deal of useful things to be done, doesn’t make them the complete truth, of course, it merely means that there is enough Objective Content in these ideas to allow us to use them effectively in a set of conditions.

The Photon, as with every other concept that Mankind has “realised” and “released” from Reality, delivers only an analogistic model - containing more objective content than any other in this given area. And, as with every other man-devised concept, it will always have limits!

It will, as always happens, precipitate what Hegel saw as Dichotomous Pairs of contradictory conceptual products, associated with our inadequate, underlying assumptions of the nature of the Photon. It is unavoidable in the way that Man struggles to make sense of his world.

And, of course, we have already reached such a predicted impasse, once again, with Wave/Particle Duality – as clearly evidenced by the ill-famed Double Slit experiments.

The fact that “entities” can sometimes act like a particle, while in other circumstances acting like an extended wave, is a perfect example of this! These two ARE contradictory concepts, when applied to the same thing, and prove that the bases upon which we arrived at these ideas are essentially incorrect, and must be replaced!

Yet that still doesn’t happen because the principle driving imperatives are not to actually understand Reality, but merely to use a part of it to some required end. And, with such a standpoint, Man can live-with such Dichotomous Pairs, merely learning when to use one rather than the other.

But, of course, what totally ceases, with such a complete surrender, is the continuing development of our crucial Understanding! We just learn, instead, to juggle our imponderables in multiple ways, with the kind of qualities we value most – “Can we use it profitably?” But, there are still a few among us, to whom such a situation is intolerable.

To really make progress, we must understand more! We are aware of our limitations, but to give up and settle for contradictory variations upon what we know, will simply NOT do! The challenge, of a Dichotomous Pair, must be to transcend it by providing better assumptions, principles and bases.

This current crisis is NOT small!

For, the unresolved dilemmas have been continuing for almost a century, and the World is becoming ever more dangerous with such pragmatists in selfish charge! This situation will require new assumptions, and even a wholly new philosophical stance. We actually DO know what our problems are!

For, primarily, we believe in Plurality – the idealist notion that Reality is generated entirely from a collection of abstract, and eternal Natural Laws, which merely SUM in various, quantitatively-different mixes to deliver absolutely everything! But, this stance has a diametrically opposed alternative – termed Holism, which, in its materialist stance, rejects the idea of totally unchangeable Natural Laws, as well as such abstractions actually driving Reality.

We also know that the so-called Natural Laws are really just purely formal relations that can be encapsulated in mathematical equations. Clearly, this is also unacceptable as a basis for real understanding! For the belief that it is disembodied laws that are actually driving concrete Reality, is pure Idealism, as well as, being a contradictory factor in the long-assumed bases of Science. In fact, Materialism has effectively been abandoned in present-day Physics!

We actually know what is wrong, but as Zeno found out when he revealed crucial and similar Dichotomous Pairs – namely Continuity and Descreteness, some 2,500 years ago, to simply recognise and announce error is never enough! It actually took some 2,300 years for Zeno’s position to be taken further by Frederick Hegel, and yet another major step forward with Karl Marx’s transference of these gains, from Idealist Philosophy, into Materialism.

 To merely see the problem is never sufficient! Such contradictory concepts have to be irrefutably transcended, and that is a very different thing.

For, instead of addressing a one-off anomaly, it must involve a major transformation of the assumptions and premises involved. When this is achieved, it becomes immediately evident, for the revolution in the foundations of our Thinking then opens up new vistas and possibilities, previously hidden by our blinkered way of considering things.

And, there are places to start!

This researcher decided upon tackling the ill-famed Double Slit Experiments, and after a great deal of work upon the premises and assumptions involved, he did indeed find a better, materialist explanation, than what was universally proffered up to that point. The problem, though it had been involved from the very start of Science, came to its final impasse with the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory.

But, needless-to-say, no one turned a hair, when that suggested solution was published! More was necessary, and the Key Concept in the solution of the Double Slit anomalies was the inclusion of a substrate of particles – a 3D paving, of the whole of so-called Empty Space!

This certainly delivered a far superior analogistic model, but still did not cover absolutely everything. Clearly, the attention had to switch to delivering more on this proposed Paving of Space! The same sort of better explanation just had to be delivered that fully explained the Propagation of Electromagnetic Radiative Energy across Empty Space – not to mention the also amazing Action at a Distance too!

For, since Bohr and Heisenberg defeated Albert Einstein at the Solvay Conference in 1927, a whole Cosmology has been constructed based upon the Idealist Copenhagen stance. The problem of Empty Space certainly became the next battleground!

NOTE: Interestingly, even at this early stage, the consequences of a substrate throughout the Universe have proved to deliver many features very different to what is currently believed among present day cosmologists.

Everything from the Big Bang to the Red Shift and Inflation is called into question. An alternative Shell Universe concept has been suggested as a limit to electromagnetic propagation, keeping it only within a substrate-paved Universe, and a consequent Total Internal Reflection of radiation at the physical edge of the Universe, with all its consequences has also been investigated.

It would, indeed, transform all interpretations of what we see in the heavens!

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