There is a fundamental conflict between the currently accepted interpretation of Maxwell’s equations and the absence of an ether like medium.
Maxwell’s equations purport to show that a changing magnetic field induces an electric field and a changing electric field induces a magnetic field. Taken together these two coupled fields oscillate and the whole propagates at a velocity which Maxwell showed to be the speed of light. The problem with this idea is that it requires that an electric field can be sustained by a changing magnetic field and vice versa in the void of empty space. In order to do so it is necessary to endow empty space with those properties necessary to sustain such a relationship and that is effectively to reinvent the ether.
In Can electric charge exist in the absence of a charged particle? I argue that an electric field can only exist in the presence of a charged particle. The idea that an electric field and a magnetic field can exist in a mutually self-supporting oscillation would require that there are two separate and independent mechanisms by which an electric field can come about and nature simply does not work like that. We know that a constant electric field exists in the region of a charged particle and so it must be the existence of an oscillating electric field sustained by an oscillating magnetic one that has to be called into question.
If an electric field can only exist in the presence of a charged particle then the photon must contain one or more charged particles. The problem with the idea of a particulate photon has always been how to reconcile the fact that mass is a fundamental property of all particles with the fact that the photon would appear to have no mass at all.
If all substantial matter has mass and all real particles have substance and therefore mass, how can the photon be a real particle?
Modern physics fails completely to reconcile this seemingly intractable problem. Instead it obfuscates and circumvents the issue by asserting the photons (and indeed other particles) exist in some nether world as neither a particle nor a wave and only reveal themselves as one or the other when an observer is looking at them. This despite the fact that no wave can exist anywhere in the absence of a medium. It endows the wave/particle with seemingly almost quasi intelligent properties in that it somehow “knows” what properties are being sought by the observer and chooses to display just those properties. The wave particle duality could be described as a sort of “magic fairy dust” if it was not for the fact that the word dust implies that it is particulate in nature!
This idea of wave particle duality fails to explain how wave/particles retain their physical properties such as energy, momentum, frequency, wavelength etc. when all of these properties are deterministic, but rely on properties which are seen as being inherently uncertain. The wave particle duality is a cop out, a sort of intellectual complacency which attempts to describe what is going on, but fails to explain anything. Basically it says we can’t figure out how to construct a particulate photon which has wave like properties, so we will not even try, we will instead endow it with the properties of both waves and particles as abstract mathematical concepts and leave the rest to the imagination.
How then is it possible to construct or explain the nature of the photon, which appears by virtue of its absence of mass to be made out of nothing, to be constructed out of real substantial particles, which are by definition made out of something? How is it possible to make nothing out of something?
For a direct analog as to how to create nothing out of something, we need look no further than the photon itself. The photon has electrical properties but overall has zero charge. It is associated with an alternating electric field, which must itself be associated with the presence of charged particles, and yet it has zero overall electric charge. In the case of electric charge the answer has to be that there are not one, but two charged particles present in the photon, one positive and one negative. This would explain the absence of an overall electric charge and its electrical and therefore electromagnetic oscillations. The photon is electrically neutral, not because it has zero charge, but because it has equal numbers of positively and negatively charged particles. The oscillating electric field does not come about because of an oscillating magnetic field but because two particles of opposite charge are locked in mutual orbit. The oscillating magnetic field exists as a consequence of this oscillating electric field.
In effect our interpretation of Maxwell’s equations confuse cause and effect. The cause of the oscillations is a pair of particles locked in mutual orbit travelling at the speed of light. This results in a magnetic field of a particular field strength. From this it appears that these two fields are linked through properties such as permeability and permittivity, which appear therefore to be properties of space itself. They are not, they are instead the consequence of the electrodynamics of the photon and not the cause of them.
So how then is it possible for the photon to have zero mass?
The answer is simple and comes about by direct analogy with electrical charge. The photon has zero aggregate electric charge because one of its constituent particles has unit positive charge and the other unit negative charge. For the photon to be made of real substantive material the property that we describe as mass has to be bipolar in nature. There has to be a form of mass which is positive and a form of mass which is negative. This is the only way to explain the existence of the photon which is made up of real particles, the only way in fact to break away from the errant nonsense of the wave particle duality.
I explore these ideas in more detail in Shedding some light on the nature of the photon. In it I describe how mass is manifest in two distinct forms, gravitational mass and inertial mass. It is only the gravitational form of mass which is bipolar, which can have positive and negative forms. Negative gravitational mass is a property associated with antimatter, which is then symmetrically related to matter not just in relation to properties such as charge, but with respect to gravitational mass as well.
Inertial mass which is always associated with motion is shown to always be positive, that is it acts to resist the force trying to accelerate the body, irrespective of whether its gravitational mass is positive or negative.
The model for such a photon turns out to be mechanically rather simple. Two particles, or strictly one particle and its antiparticle equivalent, are locked in mutual orbit. They are held together by the electrical forces acting between their polar opposite charges. The model takes fully into account the effects of special relativity. When I first explored this model, I could not get it to work. The centrifugal force tending to throw the particles apart was always too big to be balanced by the electrical force holding them together. It was then I realized that this could be explained if it was the case that orbital velocity was itself affected by relativity. Orbital velocity is then considered as a hybrid being made up of an orbital path length foreshortened by the effects of relativity divided by an orbital period which is not. The result is that centrifugal force diminishes as the orbital velocity approaches the speed of light, leading to a photon in which the constituent particles are in a state of force balance.
This assumption is quite radical and so I wanted to verify whether it was reasonable to make such an assumption. In order to do so I tried applying these ideas to the structure of the hydrogen atom, which is another two body system in which a pair of charged particles are in mutual orbit.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did this model of the hydrogen atom work, but it overcame all of the deficiencies present in other models for the atom. Not only does it explain the dynamics of the atom; it fully explains the mechanism which underlies the quantization of energy levels within the atom, something which has never been done in the past, where all previous models have had to rely on an arbitrary assumption that angular momentum is quantized. Almost as an aside I found that I now had a simple mechanical explanation for the nature of the hitherto mysterious fine structure constant. The model which is closely related to the Sampling Theorem is fully described in Sampling the hydrogen atom.
The result is a consistent pair of models, one for the photon and one for the structure of the atom, which are mechanically simple, in which the particle is seen as being objectively real, in which energy is stored mechanically and which fully describe the mechanisms that underlie these particles. It is based on two simple assumptions: that gravitational mass is bipolar in nature with antimatter having negative gravitational mass and matter having positive gravitational mass and that orbital velocity is subject to the effects of relativity.
So how is it possible to make nothing out of something? The answer is simple: the way to make nothing out of something is to have equal quantities of opposites.