Waves, particles and Einstein ! 1

Waves are something that have no mass and move at the maximum speed, mass m = 0. speed c = 1. So whats their momentum? p = m.v = 0? Right?

No. For pure waves; momentum does not come from mass. It comes only from motion.

(pure wave; they do not have mass)

For matter waves, on the other hand, momentum comes in two ways, mass as well as motion.

(impure, now they have mass)

Albert Einstein recognized this fact and derived his relation; $latex E = \sqrt {(pc)^2+(mc^2)^2}$

This relation is called as Einstein’s relativistic equation, also Einstein’s mass-energy relation. But more appropriately mass-energy-momentum relation.

Let us consider E as the hypotenuse, p and m; as base or perpendicular as is your choice.

triangle_copyThen $latex E = \sqrt {(pc)^2+(mc^2)^2}$ is Pythagoras Theorem; when p is momentum and m is mass.

For pure waves such as photon … the quanta of light, m = 0.

Hence the Pythagorean Triangle is now one, where the mass side is arbitrary small. Thus E = p. More…

Cows moving rapidly and cows stuck. A comparison of their image.

What happens when cows move rapidly ! Reply

Cows not moving and moving fast. How does this difference impact the image in a modern digital camera?

Honestly I haven’t checked it with old day manual camera neither do I remember what impact motion brings into mages taken by such, eg does anyone remember when he/she took a picture of a friend standing in a platform and a train was coming, what happened to the image due to such motion?

Do you see where the fuzziness coming from, in the pictures, where the cows are moving?

Its coming from the relative motion between “objects being imaged” (cows and grass etc) and equipment of imaging (camera). This fuzziness is quite small when they are both still (the object and camera, wrt each other). More…

Why is the helicity for a mass-less particle Lorentz invariant? Reply

Result; now that photons are mass-less, their energy, momentum, speed, etc are no more variables, in the sense of arbitrariness. They are constants, taking only a few values, but constant in a given situation. But other particles have these properties; arbitrary. So electrons energy and momentum are not fixed, but arbitrary.

But as long as we are considering only elementary particles (that is, we are in a Quantum Zone) eg, electrons, protons, photons, and not nutmegs, soccer balls and airplanes and satellites there is another quantity that is of important consequence that is constant. Spin; whether a mass-less particle or not, spin has the same magnitude for them. that is spin is same for photon, its always 1. Spin for an electron is always 1/2. Spin for proton is always 1/2. Its for this reason photon is called a Boson**. Any thing with spin, 0, 1, 2, etc will be a Boson. Anything with spin 1/2, 3/2 etc will be called Fermion. More…

A particle that defies classical mechanics ! 1

A photon has no mass but energy and it has speed and it has momentum although it does not have mass. Thats impossible in Classical Mechanics. Because Classical Mechanics associates with every mass; momentum and kinetic and potential energy. All those would be zero if mass were to be zero.

Also the speed of the photon is constant while its energy and momentum are changing. This is unimaginable in classical mechanics. In CM first momentum can’t be defined from mass and speed if mass is zero, then while speed is not changing how is momentum changing? So both variables speed and mass fail to define a momentum for the photon, and not just the failure to have a mass. How then momentum is defined for this particle? Its not defined as long as photon is just a particle. Thats impossible. More…

Ideas that changed our notion about the Universe. Reply

1. Aristotle Fallacy; A notion that objects need force for their movement. It contradicts the idea of inertia. Newton corrected this by introducing the first law, things continue in their state of motion, a quality called as inertia, without requiring force and the motion changes due to application of force.

2. Earth is flat; that there is a boundary where you fall off its edge. [I am not going to explain or tell you how and when we found this was a horrendously hilarious and misleading notion we had. But it might have been used in the past by parents to discipline their teen-age kids. Don’t go out, you will fall off earth. That would have kept them in check.]

3. Rotational Dynamics; Earth is accelerating in a near circle in addition to about itself, so additional forces are acting that changes our observation about the world. Newton tried to understand this (not successful) in his last days, by rotating a bucket full of water, his laws could not explain the effects observed. His laws needed to be modified slightly. The same thing makes objects feel weightless by a given amount if they are accelerating towards a gravitational field (eg merry go round, satellites) This is the basis of many works of Einstein. First came Mach’s Principle which says observations made from objects that are accelerating in circular paths are to be corrected by fixing frames of references to stars that are so far away that the rotational motion is neglected. [if you shake your head while looking at stars and shake your head by looking at nearby objects such as a light post, evidently the light post shakes more and the stars less]. This helps in correcting observed phenomena from earth. Earth moves at 30 kms/second wrt sun … More…

Nature of photons. Reply

Also (without any direct theoretical connection, but correlation through reality of nature)
3. Photons are classical only in the sense that we perceive light only when photons are produced in large numbers. So large that the laws of the small do not incur large errors because they are in large numbers. Statistically the errors are well understood and eliminated. But when they are produced in very small numbers we can not deduce their laws a priori. [which is why Quantum Mechanics was discovered only in 1920s and not in Galileo’s time, In his time the macroscopic behavior were understood and microscopic laws can never be produced from the understanding of macro scope just like a particular individuals attribute can’t be found from a large number of individual’s group attribute] More…