Egads! Negative Mass and Light Corpuscles

Einstein’s corpuscular theory of light still produces contradictions galore. Thanks to Rick for this article he found in the New Scientist, which is ever on the lookout for the mysterious contradictions promulgated by regressive physics. It seems that treating light as a particle instead of motion within a medium has falsified Newton’s Third Law of Motion, while producing a new kind of beast: negative mass (Figure 1). The reporter, Michael Slezak[1], explains “But if one of the billiard balls had a negative mass, then when the two balls collide they will accelerate in the same direction. This effect could be useful in a diametric drive, a speculative "engine" in which negative and positive mass interact to accelerate forever.” Of course, in neomechanics, we deny that light is a particle. In no way would the billiard ball analogy apply to light, which is simply wave motion within the aether. Other words hint at the bogosity of this claim: “accelerate forever.” It is nice that Slezak mentions that even quantum mechanics disallows negative mass and that even the misnamed “anti-matter” (with opposite charge and spin) still has positive mass. No wonder NASA dropped the project—even the Patent Office will not patent a perpetual motion machine.

Slezak writes: “…Ulf Peschel at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany and his colleagues have made a diametric drive using "effective mass". As photons travel at the speed of light they have no rest mass. But if you shine pulses of light into some layered materials, such as crystals, some of the photons can be reflected backwards by one layer and then reflected forwards again by another. That delays part of the pulse, causing it to interfere with the rest of the pulse as it propagates more slowly through the material.”

Folks who have understood my recent discussion of the “Shapiro Delay” will see a parallel here. Light entering a region containing baryonic matter is refracted, with its velocity being reduced in direct proportion to the degree of refraction. Thus, light passing through an atmosphere or crystal must slow down, with its wavelength decreasing in proportion to the degree of slowing. Light velocity then increases and waves become longer when the light exits the baryonic region—simply because the medium controls its velocity. That would surely produce the delay and resulting interference mentioned by Slezak, although it would not cause light to propagate “more slowly through the material.” Pulses having two different velocities outside a particular medium will have the same velocity within it. For instance, light having traveled through diamond (124,018 km/s) and light having traveled through air (300,000 km/s) will travel at 225,000 km/s when those two beams travel through water. All the Peschel experiment did was to produce a delay due, instead, to differing path lengths (Figure 1).

According to the party line: “As photons travel at the speed of light they have no rest mass.” The implication is that if these mysterious beasts ever slow down even slightly, they miraculously will have rest mass. As Slezak wrote: “When a material slows the speed of the pulse proportional to its energy, it is behaving as if it has mass – called effective mass. Depending on the shape of the light waves and the structure of the crystal, light pulses can have a negative effective mass.” Oh what webs we weave when light is considered to be matter instead of motion…

Then: “After a few round trips, the pulses develop an interference pattern that gives them effective mass.” Sorry, but an interference pattern cannot give motion (light) an effective mass. All an interference pattern indicates is that two sources of light are out of phase. This happens all the time when the two sources are not the same distance from the observer. It doesn’t convert motion into a particle, despite the erroneous theory and mathematics that makes such a silly claim.

Again: “The team created pulses with positive and negative effective mass. When the opposing pulses interacted in the loops, they accelerated in the same direction, moving past the detectors a little bit sooner on each round trip.” This finds the underlying cause of the absurdity. Once you make the ridiculous assumption that interference can produce mass, then anything goes. In my opinion, the creation of “pulses with positive and negative mass” is nothing more than a calculation involving the degree of constructive or destructive interference produced by varying the path length. The pulses appear to “accelerate” in the same direction simply because only constructive interference prevails.  

Figure 1. How to mistakenly create “negative mass” (from Slezak, 2013).

[1] Slezak, Michael, 2013, Light can break Newton's third law – by cheating: New Scientist, v. 22, no. 11.

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