Radiation Physics / Electromagnetic Spectrum / Electromagnetic Waves
Micheal Faraday - I cannot conceive curved lines of force without the conditions of a physical existence in that intermediate space.(James Clerk Maxwell, 1876)  In speaking of the Energy of the field, however, I wish to be understood literally. All energy is the same as mechanical energy, whether it exists in the form of motion or in that of elasticity, or in any other form. The energy in electromagnetic phenomena is mechanical energy.(Albert Einstein, 1928, Leiden) According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time.Dr Milo Wolf - The Wave Structure of Matter

Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) Explains Electromagnetic Wave Spectrum.
Electromagnetic Radiation is a Continuous Approximation of
Many Discrete Standing Wave Interactions

'I cannot conceive curved lines of force without the conditions of a physical existence in that intermediate Space.'
(Michael Faraday, 1836)

In speaking of the Energy of the field, however, I wish to be understood literally. All energy is the same as mechanical energy, whether it exists in the form of motion or in that of elasticity, or in any other form. The energy in electromagnetic phenomena is mechanical energy.
(James Clerk Maxwell, 1876)

The greatest change in the axiomatic basis of physics - in other words, of our conception of the structure of reality - since Newton laid the foundation of theoretical physics was brought about by Faraday's and Maxwell's work on electromagnetic field phenomena.
Faraday
must have grasped with unerring instinct the artificial nature of all attempts to refer electromagnetic phenomena to actions-at-a-distance between electric particles reacting on each other. How was each single iron filing among a lot scattered on a piece of paper to know of the single electric particles running round in a nearby conductor? All these electric particles together seemed to create in the surrounding space a condition which in turn produced a certain order in the filings. These spatial states, today called fields, would, he was convinced, furnish the clue to the mysterious electromagnetic interactions. He conceived these fields as states of mechanical stress in an elastically distended body (ether). (Albert Einstein, 1954)

Navigation: Please click Anchor Links to go to Page Headings (then scroll down Contents).

Intro: Electromagnetic Waves - Wolff on Waves - Maxwell's Equations - Light Quanta - E/M Radiation Spectrum - Waves Links - Top of Page

Introduction to Physics: Electromagnetic Waves
Light Quanta 'Photons' Vs Radiation / Electromagnetic Waves / Real Waves

The evolution of our knowledge of light has been both interesting and remarkable. In the late 1600s we had Newton's theory of light 'particles' and Huygens' wave theory of light. In 1801, Young's famous two slit experiment (which showed interference effects of waves from both slits) decided in favour of light being a continuous wave. Further discoveries by Faraday (electric and magnetic force fields) and Maxwell (Maxwell's equations which deduced the correct velocity for light by assuming an electromagnetic wave) seemed to confirm the wave theory of light as electromagnetic radiation.

Then at the turn of the 20th century it was discovered that light was emitted and received in discrete amounts (Planck, 1900; Einstein,1905), completely destroying the idea of light as a continuous wave. This was then followed with Schrodinger's wave equations (1928) and the realisation that matter (atoms / molecules) only existed in discrete energy states (which could be defined using wave equations and resonance arguments) and that light was emitted / absorbed as electrons moved from one discrete energy state to another (wave functions rather than orbits). The end result of this is our present physics (Quantum Theory) and the confusion of the particle wave duality of light (it behaves as a wave or a particle depending on the experiment).

One purpose of this web page is to describe this history of light in a little more detail (with some nice quotes from some very fine physicists) and to also provide some general information on the electromagnetic spectrum and the different frequencies of radiation and their uses (and misuse).

The most important function of this website though, is to explain there is a simple solution. We can solve the problem of the particle wave duality of light, and thus actually understand what we mean when we talk about electromagnetic radiation vs photons of light.
It requires discarding the concepts of particles which create spherical fields in space-time, and replace them with matter existing as spherical standing waves in Space. You will then find that light is a wave, but it is caused by standing wave interactions of matter which only occur at discrete frequencies, like notes on the string of a guitar. Thus the Spherical Standing Wave Structure of Matter predicts that light will be emitted and absorbed in discrete amounts due to the discrete standing wave states of matter in atoms and molecules.

We greatly appreciate any comments on how we can improve this website and its content. So please feel free to write to us.

Geoff Haselhurst, Karene Howie, Email


Intro: Electromagnetic Waves - Wolff on Waves - Maxwell's Equations - Light Quanta - E/M Radiation Spectrum - Waves Links - Top of Page

Dr Milo Wolff on the Wave Structure of Matter
Standing Wave Interactions (Resonant Coupling) can only occur at Discrete Frequencies and explain the Discrete Energy Exchanges of Light Quanta (Photons)

Wolf - Wave Structure  of Matter (Wolff, 1990)
The Wave Structure of fundamental 'Particles' evolved over five years. It began with a simple speculation that waves in Space could explain the de Broglie wavelength. It continued to agree with more laws and observations than I first expected and I was amazed. The 'Particle' is two identical spherical waves traveling radially in opposite directions so that together they form a spherical standing wave. The wave which travels inward towards the center is called an In-Wave, and the wave traveling outward is an Out-Wave. The nominal location of the ‘Particle’ is the Wave-Center, but as must be true for any charged Particle, it has presence everywhere in Space because the charge forces extend throughout the Universe.

How do Solid Bodies form from Waves?

The solid crystal array is a matrix of atoms held rigidly in space. How are the atoms suspended in space? We must conclude that the crystal’s rigidity derives from fixed standing waves propagating in a rigid wave medium. Calculations for diamonds and nuclear structure yields an enormous rigidity. This is really a separate argument about the rigidity of space, which is one of its properties.

What is a Light 'Photon'?

Two Spherical Standing Waves (SSW) oscillators exchange energy much like classical coupled oscillators, such as electric circuits or joined pendulums. The coupling provided by the non-linear centers of the resonances (high mass-energy density of space Wave-Centers) allows them to shift frequency patterned by the modulation of each other's In and Out-Waves. Since significant coupling can only occur between two oscillators which possess the same resonant elements, the frequency (energy) changes are equal and opposite. This we observe as the law of conservation of energy. When opposite changes of frequency (energy ) take place between two resonances, energy seems to be transported from the center of one resonance to another. We observe a loss of energy where frequency decreases and added energy where it increases. The exchange appears to travel with the speed of the In-Waves of the receiving resonance which is c, the velocity of light. When large numbers of changes occur together, we can sample part of it and see a beam of light (which causes the continuous electromagnetic waves of Modern Physics). When single exchanges occur we see 'photons' as discrete Standing Wave interactions. Thus the transitory modulated waves traveling between two resonances create the illusion of the 'photon particle'.


Intro: Electromagnetic Waves - Wolff on Waves - Maxwell's Equations - Light Quanta - E/M Radiation Spectrum - Waves Links - Top of Page

Maxwell's Wave Equations & the Finite Velocity of Light Waves (1876)

When Maxwell (1876) used this field theory to assume that light was an Electromagnetic Wave, and then correctly deduced the finite velocity of light, it was a powerful logical argument for the existence of the electromagnetic force field, and that light was a wave like change in the field (electromagnetic radiation) that propagated with the velocity of light c through the ether.
In fact Maxwell was simply confirming that all Wave-Center to Wave-Center (particle) interactions are not instantaneous as Newton assumed, but are limited by the velocity of the In-Waves which is the Velocity of Light c.
So while Maxwell misunderstood the true nature of the waves (which are physical waves in Space rather than mathematical vector e-m waves), he is largely correct. This new knowledge was significant as it established the importance of the finite velocity of light c and further enhanced the field theory, thus rejecting Newton's theory of particles and instant action-at-a-distance.

The precise formulation of the time space laws of those fields was the work of Maxwell (1870s). Imagine his feelings when the differential equations he had formulated proved to him that the electromagnetic fields spread in the form of polarized waves and with the speed of light! To few men in the world has such an experience been vouchsafed.
Only after Hertz (1888) had demonstrated experimentally the existence of Maxwell's electromagnetic waves did resistance to the new theory break down. And what was true for electrical action could not be denied for gravitation. Everywhere Newton's (instant) actions-at-a-distance gave way to fields spreading with finite velocity.
At that thrilling moment he surely never guessed that the riddling nature of light, apparently so completely solved, would continue to baffle succeeding generations. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

And this is true. Because they were using a mathematical construction of a continuous e-m wave, rather than the true Spherical Standing Wave, they were in for a rather disturbing discovery not long thereafter. For standing wave interactions only occur at discrete frequencies, like notes on the string of a guitar, thus while the true Spherical Standing Wave Structure of Matter predicts that wave interactions will be discrete, the continuous e-m wave does not anticipate this.
Thus when Max Planck (1900) discovered that there are only certain allowed discrete energy states for electrons in molecules and atoms, and that light is only ever emitted and absorbed by electrons in discrete amounts or 'quanta', contrary to Maxwell's formulation that light is a continuous electromagnetic wave, then this caused a fundamental problem for the field theory that was never resolved.
It is only now, with knowledge of the true foundations of physics and reality, that we can understand, and thus anticipate and correct the errors of contemporary modern physics. (This is explained in more detail in Quantum Theory)


Intro: Electromagnetic Waves - Wolff on Waves - Maxwell's Equations - Light Quanta - E/M Radiation Spectrum - Waves Links - Top of Page

Light Quanta
Max Planck's Discovery of the Particle (Quantum) Properties of Light (1900)

In 1900 Max Planck made a profound discovery. He showed (from purely formal / mathematical foundations) that light must be emitted and absorbed in discrete amounts if it was to correctly describe observed phenomena (i.e. Blackbody radiation).
Prior to then light had been considered as a continuous electromagnetic wave, thus the discrete nature of light was completely unexpected, as Albert Einstein explains;

About fifteen years ago [1899] nobody had yet doubted that a correct account of the electrical, optical, and thermal properties of matter was possible on the basis of Galileo-Newtonian mechanics applied to molecular motion and of Maxwell's theory of the electromagnetic field. (Albert Einstein, 1915)

Then Planck showed that in order to establish a law of heat radiation (Infra red light waves) consonant with experience, it was necessary to employ a method of calculation whose incompatibility with the principles of classical physics became clearer and clearer. For with this method of calculation, Planck introduced into physics the quantum hypothesis, which has since received brilliant confirmation. (Albert Einstein, 1914)

In the year nineteen hundred, in the course of purely theoretical (mathematical) investigation, Max Planck made a very remarkable discovery: the law of radiation of bodies as a function of temperature could not be derived solely from the Laws of Maxwellian electrodynamics. To arrive at results consistent with the relevant experiments, radiation of a given frequency f had to be treated as though it consisted of energy atoms (photons) of the individual energy hf, where h is Planck's universal constant.
During the years following, it was shown that light was everywhere produced and absorbed in such energy quanta. In particular, Niels Bohr was able to largely understand the structure of the atom, on the assumption that the atoms can only have discrete energy values, and that the discontinuous transitions between them are connected with the emission or absorption of energy quantum. This threw some light on the fact that in their gaseous state elements and their compounds radiate and absorb only light of certain sharply defined frequencies. (Albert Einstein, 1940)

Even the Greeks had already conceived the atomistic nature of matter and the concept was raised to a high degree of probability by the scientists of the nineteenth century. But it was Planck's law of radiation that yielded the first exact determination - independent of other assumptions - of the absolute magnitudes of atoms. More than that, he showed convincingly that in addition to the atomistic structure of matter there is a kind of atomistic structure to energy, governed by the universal constant h, which was introduced by Planck.
This discovery became the basis of all twentieth-century research in physics and has almost entirely conditioned its development ever since. Without this discovery it would not have been possible to establish a workable theory of molecules and atoms and the energy processes that govern their transformations. Moreover, it has shattered the whole framework of classical mechanics and electrodynamics and set science a fresh task: that of finding a new conceptual basis for all physics. Despite remarkable partial gains, the problem is still far from a satisfactory solution. (Albert Einstein, 1950)

Albert Einstein (1905) used Planck's relationship to explain the results of the photoelectric effect which showed that the energy E of ejected electrons was wholly dependent upon the frequency f of incident light as described in the equation E=hf.
It is ironic that in 1921 Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery, though he never believed in particles and acknowledged that he did not know the cause of the discrete energy transfers (photons) which were contradictory to his continuous field theory of matter!

In 1954 Albert Einstein wrote to his friend Michael Besso expressing his frustration;

All these fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no nearer to the answer to the question, 'What are light quanta?' Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

Most importantly, Albert Einstein also suspected that Matter could not be described by a continuous spherical force field;

I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

Albert Einstein's suspicions were well justified, for he had spent a lifetime trying (and failing) to create a unified field theory of matter that explained both Quantum Theory / Light and Relativity / Gravity.
In fact Matter, as a Spherical Standing Wave which causes the 'Field' effect, interacts with other matter in discrete standing wave patterns, not with continuous force fields as he had imagined, thus his task was ultimately impossible, as he sadly came to realise towards the end of his life.

However, his work on the photoelectric effect confirmed that light energy was only emitted and absorbed by electrons in discrete amounts or quanta. This quanta of light energy soon became known as the 'photon' (i.e. discrete like a particle) and led to the paradox that light behaved both as a continuous e-m wave (Maxwell, Albert Einstein) as well as a discrete particle/photon (Planck, Albert Einstein).
So we see that Albert Einstein was partly responsible for the discovery of the particle/photon concept of light, though he completely rejected the notion of discrete particles. He writes;

Since the theory of general relativity implies the representation of physical reality by a continuous field, the concept of particles or material points cannot play a fundamental part, nor can the concept of motion. (Albert Einstein)

Albert Einstein is correct that there are no discrete particles, and that The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the energy density are particularly high. But it is the high Wave-Amplitude of the Wave-Center of a Spherical Standing Wave in Space (not of a continuous spherical field) that causes the particle effect. Thus of three concepts, particles, fields, and motion, it finally turns out that Motion, as the spherical wave motion of space, is the correct concept, as it then explains both particles and fields. (For further explanation see Article on Relativity)

It is most important to realise though that Albert Einstein was correct in imagining matter as being spatially extended, as he explains;

I wished to show that space time is not necessarily something to which one can ascribe to a separate existence, independently of the actual objects of physical reality. Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. In this way the concept empty space loses its meaning. (Albert Einstein)

It is certainly true that the particle and its forces are very useful mathematical concepts, unfortunately, they also cause many problems and paradoxes because they are approximations to reality and do not physically exist.
We can now finally solve these problems by understanding the reason for these discrete energy states, which are due to the fact that standing waves only exist at discrete frequencies. Thus while the Spherical Standing Wave Structure of Matter predicts that energy exchanges will be discrete (as observed) the continuous e-m wave does not anticipate this. Thus the Spherical Standing Wave Structure of Matter explains Max Planck's (1900) discovery that there are only certain allowed discrete energy states for electrons in molecules and atoms, and further, that light is only ever emitted and absorbed by electrons in discrete or 'quantum' amounts ('photons'), as the electrons move from one stable standing wave pattern to another.

See below for further articles which explain light / electromagnetic radiation / quantum theory in more detail (also see links to articles at the top of this page which explain a lot of other problems as well).

Quantum Theory: Particle Wave Duality - The particle-wave duality of Matter is obviously explained by the WSM. Spherical Standing Waves (Scalar Quantum Waves not Electromagnetic Vector Waves) cause the Particle effect at their Wave-Center.

Quantum Theory: Light Quanta (Photons) - Likewise the particle-wave duality of Light is also explained by the WSM. Light is a wave phenomena, but Standing Wave Interactions (Resonant Coupling) only occur at discrete frequencies which explains Schrodinger's wave equations and the discrete energy exchanges of Light Quanta (Photons).


Intro: Electromagnetic Waves - Wolff on Waves - Maxwell's Equations - Light Quanta - E/M Radiation Spectrum - Waves Links - Top of Page

Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum

To be completed ...

 

 


Intro: Electromagnetic Waves - Wolff on Waves - Maxwell's Equations - Light Quanta - E/M Radiation Spectrum - Waves Links - Top of Page

Related Links
On Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation / Spectrum

Electromagnetic Radiation - 'These waves are also called 'electromagnetic radiation' because they radiate from the electrically charged particles.'
http://www.lbl.gov/MicroWorlds/ALSTool/EMSpec/EMSpec.html

Electromagnetic Waves - What are electromagnetic waves ? Light, microwaves, x-rays, and TV and radio transmissions are all kinds of electromagnetic waves.
http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/waves_particles/

The Electromagnetic Radiation Health Threat - Dangers to health from exposure to electromagnetic radiation, the evidence for the risks involved, and protection measures are discussed by New Zealand Scientists.
http://www.nzine.co.nz/features/neilcherry.html

The Electromagnetic Spectrum - The electromagnetic spectrum is something that is more familiar than one might think. An overview from NASA of the different types of electromagnetic waves.
http://imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ems/ems.html





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Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

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