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Photon Models

October 14, 2011

We’ve seen how the photon solution in QM produces unrealistic values and behavior for a classical em wave. Both are tied to the requirement that the entire energy of the photon is dumped on the electron. There have been many attempts to produce a physical model for the photon-electron interaction, including:

1. A photon is a “particle” of em energy that travels through space. There are several problems with this approach. How can a particle have a frequency? That requires a spatial extent. In addition, how would a particle interfere with itself in a two-slit experiment?

2. A photon is some sort of em wave “packet” that’s limited in space. Constructing a reasonable packet will always fail because em waves obey superposition, so there’s no way to keep it together over long distances. You would have to go nonlinear with the em wave equations, which implies some sort of medium interaction. And just like #1, how do you explain the two-slit experiment? Finally, you still need to have the unrealistically high electric field in the em wave.

3. A photon isn’t a “thing” but rather a classical em wave. Space is filled with very strong classical em waves, presumably produced by all the other particles in the universe, that mimic a vacuum background energy spectrum. The photon’s classical em wave, with its 1/r dependency, forces the electron into a motion that interacts with the “seething vacuum”, resulting in a net transfer of a photon’s worth of energy. This is the Stochastic model. While this approach has some merit and is the least fanciful, it still relies on very strong em waves (the unrealistic “seething vacuum”).

Model #1 seems to be the favored approach right now. Unfortunately, it’s the least physical and drags in statistics, with all its voodoo, as a fundamental part of physics. A recipe for disaster. Fundamental physics should always be determinate. The statistical part comes in at a higher level; when dealing with large numbers of imprecisely defined determinate systems.

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