Hypothesis Disproved

A linear polarizer which I had ordered on-line recently arrived, and I did a promised experiment today, to test a hypothesis.

Hypothesis:

In This earlier posting and This earlier posting, I had proposed what amounts to two hypotheses combined:

  1. That photons may be circularly-polarized as one of their fundamental states, specifically left-handedly or right-handedly, so that other states of light can emerge from those states, eventually also due to a superposition of these two, intrinsic states.
  2. That quantum superposition can generally be collapsed, after which it will not resume as such, but after which witnessing of the resulting state may still take place.

The second hypothesis was meant as a synonym, for stating that:

  • Quantum-Mechanics is to take a form, in which certain states of particles are primary, while others are secondary, so that the secondary states can only form from the superposition of the primary states, while the reverse does not follow. This paraphrasing of the second hypothesis was further meant as a motivation to test, whether the particle-nature of matter and energy are in fact primary – hence, the circularly-polarized photons – and not the wave-nature.

Equipment used in the experiment:

A circular polarizer: A complex component, which has the logical operations of filtering light first, so that only light whose wave-function is plane-polarized along one axis is transmitted, and then secondly, to circularly-polarize the resulting light, so that its wave-functions along any two axes will be phase-shifted 90⁰ with respect to time. This was meant as a source for a primary state of light, polarized in an unknown direction out of two possible directions, since the retail store that sold me this circular polarizer, also did not label, whether it would produce left-handed or right-handed light. It’s to serve as a sufficiently-reliable source of circularly-polarized light.

A linear polarizer: A technically simpler component, which simply transmits light whose wave-function is plane-polarized along one axis, while absorbing light, whose wave-function is perpendicular to the plane transmitted. This was meant as an alternative, secondary state of light, formed as the superposition of left-handed and right-handed, circularly-polarized light.

A light-source: To consist of a mundane room-lighting fixture, which is assumed to generate randomly-polarized light.

Comments:

  1. The matter will be regarded as trivial, that when stating ‘the wave function’, I am referring to ‘the electrostatic wave-function’, which is assumed to be perpendicular to the magnetic wave-function, while also being in-phase with it at all times.
  2. The question will be ignored, whether the circular polarizer itself physically consists of two distinct layers, that perform its logical operations one-by-one, or whether it is of some other design, that accomplishes the same logical operations in some other way.

Procedure:

Control:

Light from the light-source will first be passed through the linear polarizer, and then through the circular polarizer, to confirm that two axes of plane-polarized light, when perpendicular, will lead to near-zero overall transmission, while when they are parallel, will lead to maximum transmission, which will also be used as the notional reference, corresponding to ‘50% transmission’.

Test-Case:

Light from the light-source will first be passed through the circular polarizer, the output of which is somehow to correspond to photons polarized in one circular direction, after which it will be passed to the linear polarizer.

Expected Result:

Because according to the hypotheses, the circularly-polarized light corresponds to an intrinsic state, which will no longer become superposed with the opposite state, the second component, the linear polarizer in the test-case, should not be able to output linearly- or plane-polarized light, because to do so should require the availability of both left- and right-handed photons. But, the linear polarizer will only receive a full amplitude of one or the other.

Real results:

Control:

The control case performed as expected.

Test-Case:

In the test-case, regardless of what orientation was chosen between the two polarizers, light emerged from the last, with constant brightness corresponding to ‘50% transmission’.

Conclusion:

While the principal is to be upheld, that circularly-polarized light may be one system for stating polarization, out of which plane-polarized light can emerge, eventually through quantum superposition, the reverse also seems to be possible.

However, this does not seem to favor an intrinsic state, as belonging to classical concepts of a particle, because the wave-function can be manipulated, regardless of the eventual existence of particles. And so this result further seems to suggest that wave-particle duality is plausible.

(Further Observations as of 02/21/2018 : )

Continue reading Hypothesis Disproved

Quantum Superposition, Quantum Entanglement

There is some ambiguity, with how I see other sources defining “quantum superposition”. From what I can extract, If there is a quantity of particles, whose combined wave-function is of a mixed nature between two other wave-functions, and if single particles are thought to emerge from that quantity, it can happen that the state of each particle is unknown, with a probability function between the two, mixed states. In that case, the particle can be superposed, as if having properties belonging to both states.

I think that some public writing fails to distinguish between the quantum superposition, and a possible, simple mixing of the properties of particles, whose states may be distinct.

(Edited 02/21/2018 :

In any case, if a particle is superposed, then one category of phenomena which may follow, is that its state may be “witnessed”, at which point it is no longer superposed. But while its state is superposed, without collapsing this superposition, its superposed states can have an effect on whether it can be witnessed or not. Specifically, if the wave-functions of the two states cancel out, then the presence of the particle cannot be detected, and therefore, its state can also not be witnessed. )

(As of 02/21/2018 :

As a result of a recent experiment, I’m learning to modify my vocabulary to some extent. As I now have it, the collapse of superposition of states is not always possible. But, a state can nevertheless be witnessed as belonging to one out of two entangled photons, in which case it will either be equal or opposite, depending on the case, to the corresponding state of the other particle, of that entangled pair of particles.

Whether this state is defined by the superposition of a separate pair of states, may not be relevant, to whether it can be witnessed.

My experiment did not involve entanglement. But, I’m inferring ideas from it anyway, and this would be a hypothetical example:

  1. A type of entanglement is possible, that affects linear polarization.
  2. A type of entanglement is possible, that affects circular polarization.

Example (1) should lead to matching, while example (2) should lead to opposite states. More specifically, Example (1) should lead to an inversion along an arbitrary axis.

I should add a detail which most people already know:

  • When a particle is witnessed as having a defined state, that state also changes.

End of Edit, 02/21/2018. )

I think that some experiments with entangled particles have as their basis, to use such cancellation, to reduce the rate at which some particles are witnessed in one beam, in an attempt to communicate this event to a second beam, whose particles should be entangled with the particles of the first beam.

The only part of this that really interests me for the moment, is the fact that light could be plane-polarized, and that at the same time, its photons could be in some superposed state. If a Polarizing Mirror next tries to extract light from that beam, which is polarized perpendicularly to the original direction, then the wave-function of this sought direction would be zero – even if this is due to cancellation. And then, not only would the amplitude of the derived beam be zero, but the state of the particles in the original beam, would also not be witnessed.

This would be, because a polarizing mirror actually ‘does something’, when a photon has the selected combination of properties. In contrast, if the linear polarizer is a Gel-Block, it ‘does something’, when photons have the opposite of the selected combination of properties – it absorbs them. Thus, for a gel-block not to witness the particles, it needs to be oriented parallel to the direction of polarization of the original beam.

Dirk

 

How Magnetic Fields Can Bend Space

According to classical concepts in Physics, Gravitational Fields can bend space, while Magnetic Fields are orthogonal to them, and as long as that model does not break, no intensity of Magnetic Field, will do what a Gravitation Field does.

But there are many ways in which the classical theories of Physics have been replaced by more-controversial ones, based on Quantum Mechanics.

(Revised 10/19/2016)

One subject which Quantum-Mechanics describes, is that of Virtual Particles. And this is my best stab at explaining ‘how they work':

The ‘normal state’ of matter, is to have positive energy, which is really just a confusing way to say that matter has positive mass, since mass and energy are equivalent, and since photons, that are generally perceived as only consisting of energy, can collide with nuclei, and cause matter-antimatter particle-pairs to be created, the combined mass of which must not exceed the energy of the incident gamma-ray photon.

This concept of matter possibly having positive energy can be misread, because the particle in question could be an electron, the electrical charge of which is defined as negative. This negative electrical charge does not prevent the electron from being positive matter, in the sense that its electrical properties are orthogonal to its mass, as a property.

But there was a famous Physicist named Dirac, who discovered quite by accident, that in correspondence with the positive-energy / mass -state of a particle, a negative-energy state is also ‘possible’, because that negative state by itself does not lead to contradictions.

The ‘inverse electron’ is positively charged, and opposite the regular electron in every way, including that the inverse one has positive charge, (and negative mass and energy). If the electron was left-handed, the positron will be right-handed.

Quite by accident, Dirac had discovered antimatter.

(Edit 05/25/2017 : It should be pointed out that this initial theory of Antimatter stands in contradiction with the modern, observed fact, that antimatter has positive mass, even though in some ways, it’s supposed to exist in opposition to ‘regular matter’. Hence, the paradox has already been commented on in depth, that while in the laboratory, Scientists are only able to convert energy into matter and antimatter simultaneously, the observed Universe consists almost entirely of matter.

Scientists cannot explain why this inconsistency takes place; they can only measure that it does.

It’s assumed that the reader is already familiar with this, and this posting is designed to have a liberal look at the subject, which could open up ways to rethink it. Trying to rethink a subject, while clinging to every assumption we may make about it, will usually not lead to any new insights. )

But under normal circumstances, the properties of empty space are defined such, that the energy-state of the electrons equals zero, which simply means that they do not exist. Yet, there is some small probability, that both a negative a positive-energy electron exist simultaneously, yet temporarily. Over slightly longer distances, relative to their distances of uncertainty, their properties cancel out. “Virtual Particle Phenomena” arise, when these particle-properties fail to cancel out completely. This usually requires some catalyst to happen, that catalyst having to consist of positive energy.

An extremely strong magnetic field – which would have to be stronger, even, than the magnetic field of a regular neutron star – is capable of evoking an asymmetry, in the paired, virtual particles of empty space. And then, if the magnetic field becomes as strong as that observed belonging to a type of start called a ‘magnetar’, a gamma-ray photon that crosses it, can cause a particle-antiparticle pair to be formed, which consume the photon, and which promptly annihilate, thus leaving behind two or more photons, that are less-energetic than the original photon was.

And so by distorting the relationship between a particle and its inverse, as belonging to a virtual-particle pair, a magnetic field can in fact have an effect on empty space. I do not know whether this meets the criteria of distorting space adequately.

Dirk

I have a piece of personal speculation to add. It might be that Dirac had an incorrect way of working with this subject.

Continue reading How Magnetic Fields Can Bend Space