The failed experiment that changed the world
Ethan Siegel
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Scientists tend to pick the things they want from a “failed” experiment. As somebody has said already, the MMX didn’t fail, it proved one theory (aether) wrong and paved the way for the development of others.

One thing Ethan said about the aether will be said about SR, GR, and QM in the fullness of time: “it had all the hallmarks of a great scientific idea, because it not only built upon the science that had been established previously, but this idea made new predictions that were testable!”

I’m glad Ethan diagressed into the wave theory of light because, if you look at the light and dark bands of the interference pattern, they cannot really be explained by the wave theory. The light bands are described as ‘where the amplitudes add up’; and the dark bands as ‘where the amplitudes cancel out’. This means that when the amplitudes add up, energy is created; and when amplitudes cancel out, energy is being destroyed. Both assertions violate energy conservation laws.

However, if you add up the intensities over all the interference area, you’ll find that it equals the input intensity i.e. energy is conserved. This means that the energy that was destined to be in the dark bands has somehow been diverted to the light bands. This also means that the extra energy in the light bands is actually taken from the dark bands. This is the behaviour of particles. Diversion can only take place with the use of forces — waves don’t have forces but electromagnetic fields do.

In the same way that the null result of the MMX paved the way for new science, the interference pattern of the double-slit experiment (DSX) should’ve paved the way for new science as well. Instead, it was used to accept one theory over another with the inclusion of a concept that was later laid to rest by the MMX. However, the wave theory (the one that was accepted over the ‘corpuscular’ theory) may prove to be wrong after over 200 years of science.

I postulate that photons are particles that have mass. This is supported by Einstein’s assertion that energy has mass that can warp spacetime. He later proved that energy is quantised into packets of energy called photons with his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Hence, photons have mass.

I also postulate that photons are made of oppositely charged particles where the electric charge of the particles gives rise to the electric field component of the electromagnetic field and their movement generates the magnetic field component. The particles are spinning about a mean position causing the fields to vary in intensity.

So, the light and dark bands of the interference pattern of the DSX can be better explained using particles of light with not only their electromagnetic fields but also the electric and magnetic forces contained there in. Although I can explain how the particles came to be arranged that way (just not here); the important thing to note is that the photons are arranged in such a way that some photons repel each other from certain positions and, at the same time, attracted to other position. So, where they’re repelled from becomes dark; and where they’re are attracted to becomes light. The intensity of each band varies from a minimum to a maximum in a cyclic fashion.

The conclusion is that you shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss one theory over another. Although I don’t believe in the wave nature of light, it had improved the understanding of science but that science needs to be explained in terms of particles. It’s said that Einstein has overturned Newton on gravity; but he seemed to have vindicated Newton’s definition of mass: mass is the measure of the quantity of matter in a substance. Now, if energy has mass, then energy is made of matter. That’s what I’m depending on for my description of the photon as being made of oppositely charged particles.

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