Dave,David Talbott wrote:I don't know of any instance in which the primary electrical theorists either claim or unwittingly imply that classical physics is "wrong". If you've found some suggestion to this effect, could you direct me to the discussion?Nereid wrote:Oh, and let's keep in mind that all this modelling is based on classical physics, with the exception of small additions of atomic theory to parts of plasma physics. How you choose to understand this, knowing that classical physics is 'wrong' in some important ways - how you relate models to reality perhaps - goes way beyond what's in this thread (so far).
The most obvious case - that I can think of off the top of my head - is the acceptance of Arp's intrinsic redshift idea. Implicitly - whether 'unwittingly imply' applies, I cannot say - there's rather a lot; for example, thermodynamics, in the Electric Sun hypothesis (however discussion of all those will be in other threads than this).
More generally, in this forum, there seems to be an (uncritical?) acceptance (by mods/admins, not primary electrical theorists of course) of a great many alternative physics ideas that are manifestly inconsistent with classical physics.
I don't think so. The concept of 'photon' is so intricately tied to quantum mechanics that I doubt much investigation could be done without having to address some of the mind-twisting aspects of QM.jjohnson wrote:Question 1: is it "legal" (useful?) to posit a reference frame which is not moving relative to a photon. in order to examine, describe or otherwise investigate that photon?
They're very good questions Jim (as usual)! But, as you say, rather a long way from this thread.Question 2: If a hydrogen atom is very cold and therefore must radiate at a very long wavelength, and its electron is in its lowest energy orbital, what happens to the electron each time it emits one more photon? The atom loses some angular momentum? A lower orbital becomes possible and necessary? How long can this keep up? Or does the rate of photon emission just get slower and slower? SInce this is subatomic stuff, my intuition says learn QM and figure it out for yourself, but an electron does not have an inexhaustible supply of enough internal or orbital energy to keep radiating forever. It may not be correct to think of an atom as a blackbody - in fact, it seems unlikely to me that it could be one, as a blackbody requires sufficient electrons to emit smoothly and continuously over a wide frequency range.
On the topic of the source of observed photons, there are some which arise from nuclei, rather than electrons. For example, INTEGRAL has detected a nuclear transition line, from the decay of aluminium-26 in the interstellar medium.
To return to what started this thread, and to recap ... similar like-charged plasma filaments in galaxies attract each other at 1/r more strongly than gravity 1/r^2.
This is, ultimately, a question about theories. For example, "plasma filaments" - what are these but constructs of human minds, built on theoretical concepts like 'charge'? The 'function of r' behaviour of the forces we've been considering are derivable from, ultimately, the postulates (or assumptions) that the theories are founded on; such derivations are almost entirely mathematical in form. The connection of these theories to 'realilty' is via observations (treating experimental results as observations, if only because we cannot - yet - arbitrarily change the charge of the electron, or its mass, say). For 'galaxies' the connection is remote; we can only connect our observations to some distant 'reality' via quantitative models - of varying degrees of complexity - which seek to transform quantitative data from various instruments into 4D functions (two of 'space' - the sky coordinates - one of wavelength/frequency/energy, and one of time; adding polarisation makes them 5D or 6D functions); Solar's post provides an excellent example of this.
Interestingly, all of us - including electrical theorists - make use of theories of physics other than those called classical physics. For example, line emission (and absorption) is, today, universally understood in terms of transitions between energy states in atoms (or ions, or molecules; occasionally nuclei), which in turn is founded on quantum mechanics (and special relativity).