'What are light quanta?' - Åke Hedberg - ebook

'What are light quanta?' ebook

Åke Hedberg



In a few pages a new quantum theory is presented, against the shortcomings of the old. Actually, it is strange that no one has done this before, think the author. Everyone knows that new facts about our world, both in macro and micro cosmos, has rained over us the last few decades. Therefore, it is easy to find all the pieces today, which was not the case in Einstein's time. The author now calls on anyone interested in this subject to consider this proposal for a new physical synthesis on how light quanta, and quanta in general can work.

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The situation today

Natural philosophy

A few words about the new tools needed

The new tools needed

The concept of imaginary in mathematics.

What is a quantum jump?

And what are light quanta?

How a light photon which is neither a wave or a particle looks and functions

The quantum mechanism

The Quanta Laws

Our Universe and Anti-universe in a few figures

The entire world system is quantised

Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken. (Albert Einstein, 1955)



Åke Hedberg



aug. 2015

The situation today


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)1

I still do not believe that the statistical method of the Quantum Theory is the last word, but for the time being I am alone in my opinion. (Einstein)2

Quantum theory is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. Quantum theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the Old One. I, at any rate, am convinced that He (God) does not throw dice. (Einstein)3

It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how Nature is. Physics concerns what we say about Nature. /…/Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum physics cannot possibly have understood it.4

Quantum states are the key mathematical objects in quantum theory. It is therefore surprising that physicists have been unable to agree on what a quantum state truly represents. One possibility is that a pure quantum state corresponds directly to reality. However, there is a long history of suggestions that a quantum state (even a pure state) represents only knowledge or information about some aspect of reality. Here we show that any model in which a quantum state represents mere information about an underlying physical state of the system, and in which systems that are prepared independently have independent physical states, must make predictions which contradict those of quantum theory.5

I am convinced that quantum mechanics is not a final theory. I believe this because I have never encountered an interpretation of the present formulation of quantum mechanics that makes sense to me. I have studied most of them in depth and thought hard about them, and in the end I still can't make real sense of quantum theory as it stands. (Lee Smolin)6

In spite of much progress clarifying foundational issues in quantum mechanics, there remains persistent evidence that quantum mechanics is an approximation to a deeper theory. (Lee Smolin).7

Not even Einstein knew what light quanta was. Despite the fact that every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knew it. And despite the fact that a theory of quantum ought to be absolutely essential and crucial to quantum physics and quantum mechanics.

If you dear reader still think he knew it, (after all, he was winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921 in a related subject, you might say), you have therefore wrong. No other physicists also knew or know.

This fact also explains why Bohr writes that if they who “are not shocked” of the quantum mechanics, have not understood it. I myself am most shocked by the physicists did not listen more to what Einstein had to say. Though Bohr had a completely Institute behind…But maybe today, you say. Now in the 2000s?

It is possible now today that someone has defined and described what light quanta and all other electromagnetic quanta are. It is possible. And it would be really sad if no one has yet done it, let me know in that case. I have followed developments in the fields for many decades, but have not seen any of this. (Quotations from Smolin gives the evidence of this.)

Nevertheless, a clear theory about light quanta is fundamental for the whole of modern physics, which is called quantum physics and quantum mechanics. How is that possible? I will return to the issue only mention that one reason why not the good Einstein could explain what light quanta are, is that all the facts of the matter were not available at this time. It was missing important pieces. But today, lacking nothing. This is the situation today.


As we see from the quotes the old master Einstein were in many ways critical of the new physics theory, as in the early 1900s became known quantum mechanics or more generally mentioned quantum physics. Even to us more contemporary physicists Lee Smolin, Matthew F. Pusey, Jonathan Barrett, Terry Rudolph… Nor does Smolin thought quantum mechanics was the last word; it was not the real thing, there was something deeper…

In the 1920s it became scientific establishment with Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and others faced with the requirement to solve the mystery of light peculiar nature. For in the late 1800s had accurate measurements demonstrated that the speed of light (c) was constant, and in 1900 could Max Planck show that it was somehow quantised when light energy was proportional to his constant (h).

Albert Einstein than used Planck's relationship in 1905 to explain the results of the photoelectric effect which showed that the energy E of ejected electrons was dependent upon the frequency ƒ of incident light as described in the equation E=hƒ. It is ironic that in 1921 Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery, and then for more than thirty years later, frustrated ask his old friend what light quanta are, as we see from the quote.

The long-accepted view of the light to the undulating, soon came to naught when its sectional side was discovered through experiments.

Wave–particle duality is the concept that every elementary particle or quantic entity exhibits the properties of not only particles, but also waves. It addresses the inability of the classical concepts "particle" or "wave" to fully describe the behaviour of quantum-scale objects. As Einstein wrote: "It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do”. (Wikipedia).

In 1954 he wrote:

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 ƒ had to be treated as though it consisted of energy atoms (photons) of the individual energy hƒ, where h is Planck's universal constant.

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.8

And again in the end of his life we read:…the problem is still far from a satisfactory solution. Well, what's up today? Is there any possibility after so many years of research to get a sense of these problems. Can we get a more logical and clearer picture how this light and matter as both waves and particles actually works?

Let me start with a longer quote from a fairly recent article in the BBC's magazine FUTURE.9 This is to show some of the problems that quantum theory drawn with over the years and which increasingly come to crystallise. The title is: Will we ever… understand quantum theory?

Quantum mechanics must be one of the most successful theories in science. Developed at the start of the twentieth century, it has been used to calculate with incredible precision how light and matter behave — how electrical currents pass through silicon transistors in computer circuits, say, or the shapes of molecules and how they absorb light. Much of today’s information technology relies on quantum theory, as do some aspects of chemical processing, molecular biology, the discovery of new materials, and much more.

Yet the weird thing is that no one actually understands quantum theory. The quote popularly attributed to physicist Richard Feynman is probably apocryphal, but still true: if you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t. That point was proved by a poll among 33 leading thinkers at10 a conference in Austria in 2011. This group of physicists, mathematicians and philosophers was given 16 multiplechoice questions about the meaning of the theory, and their answers displayed little consensus.

Actually a scandal, the base of our technology is something that no one understands! Least of all do the cultural elite, I suppose. And how about the politicians who has control over the money to CERN and other research institutes?

Is that why we still are stuck with oil, coal, gas and nuclear power plants that threaten to poison and destroy our environment and the earth? Must we wait until sea level rises so much that millions and billions of people forced to flee to safer places? And how should we handle all these hundreds of nuclear power plants that are being overflow like Fukushima in Japan? Almost all are placed near an ocean. How should we handle a failed financial global system? The article in the BBC's magazine FUTURE continues:

That’s because quantum theory poses all sorts of strange questions that stretch the limits of our imagination — forcing us, for example, to conceive of objects like electrons that can, in different circumstances, be either waves or particles.

Not nowadays! Please see page → a picture of an electron which is neither a wave or a particle. The article in the BBC’s magazine continues: