20190424

What is more fundamental, field or particles?

PSI Blog 20190424 What is more fundamental, field or particles?

Occasionally, we link to some intense debates among regressive physicists. Here is one submitted by Captain Bligh:


Astute readers, of course, will recognize this as a non sequitar. Fields, as anointed by Einstein and other positivists, are considered “immaterial.” That is, they contain nothing whatsoever—they are the empty space that was a consequence of his early ether denial. Nonetheless, these matterless “fields” still supposedly caused phenomena such as gravitation and magnetism just as the equations predicted. The matterless ideal perseveres. For instance, according to the popular press the shock wave measured in the LIGO experiment supposedly resulted in a “gravitational wave” that caused the compression and decompression of empty space or “spacetime.” They nevertheless regarded this ridiculous interpretation as yet another proof that “Einstein was always right.” There was not even a hint that it was yet another proof that a medium was necessary for the transmittance of the wave.

In some ways, the “fields vs. particles” debate is akin to the debate one might contrive over the two most fundamental phenomena in the universe: matter and motion. Of course, we reject participating in that debate by considering it a worthless endeavor best handled by the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion). Matter and the motion of matter are equally important. Period. Thus there is no possibility of “matterless motion,” which is what folks imply when they juxtapose “fields” and “particles.” The fields of Einstein and of quantum mechanics supposedly contain no particles that could produce the collisions necessary to accelerate anything. With such fields one even can imagine action at a distance, which was an anathema to Newton and anyone else with a clear head.

It is beyond me how anyone could imagine motion without something moving. Just because one cannot see what is causing the motion, does not mean that nothing is causing that motion. It is time we gave up the primitive idea that the wind in the willows is caused by immaterial spirits.



4 comments:

George Coyne said...

Here is what Wikipeida states regarding fields:“In the modern framework of the quantum theory of fields, even without referring to a test particle, a field occupies space, contains energy, and its presence precludes a classical "true vacuum." This has led physicists to consider electromagnetic fields to be a physical entity, making the field concept a supporting paradigm of the edifice of modern physics. "The fact that the electromagnetic field can possess momentum and energy makes it very real ... a particle makes a field, and a field acts on another particle, and the field has such familiar properties as energy content and momentum, just as particles can have.”
Could not the same could be said about aether?

Glenn Borchardt said...

George:

Thanks. Let me comment on your Wikipedia quote: "In the modern framework of the quantum theory of fields, even without referring to a test particle, a field occupies space [GB: i.e., there needs to be microcosms with xyz dimensions, that is, "aether" particles] contains energy [GB: this is the typical regressive usage of the term "energy", the field cannot "contain" energy. Contents are always microcosms in motion, things with xyz dimensions. Energy does not exist, it is a calculation describing the behavior of that matter in motion and the motion of that matter.] and its presence precludes a classical "true vacuum." [GB: This is a bow to the aether concept, which is theoretically required. Even Einstein admitted in 1920 there must be an aether, although he did not see it as theoretically required.] This has led physicists to consider electromagnetic fields to be a physical entity, making the field concept a supporting paradigm of the edifice of modern physics. "The fact that the electromagnetic field can possess momentum and energy [GB: Microcosms in motion can be described by the matter-motion terms, but they cannot "possess" momentum or energy.] makes it very real ... a particle makes a field, and a field acts on another particle, and the field has such familiar properties as energy content and momentum, just as particles can have.”
Could not the same be said about aether? GB: Yes, as amended above.]

George Coyne said...

I agree with everything you wrote in response to the Wikipedia quote.I had the same thoughts when I read that the field "contains" energy. Orthodox physicists consider energy to be substantial. Here is what wikipedia states:
"In physics, mass–energy equivalence states that anything having mass has an equivalent amount of energy and vice versa, with these fundamental quantities directly relating to one another by Albert Einstein's famous formula e=Mc2."

I am puzzled by physicists who believe that something can "possess" momentum. But as these are the same people who have no trouble accepting the absurd concept of motion without matter, I probably should not be surprised by anything orthodox physicists say.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Right. All the confusion about mass-energy equivalence disappears after you finally understand what Maxwell's E=mc2 equation means (see: Borchardt, Glenn, 2009, The physical meaning of E=mc2, Proceedings of the Natural Philosophy Alliance: Storrs, CN, v. 6, no. 1, p. 27-31 [10.13140/RG.2.1.2387.4643].) In essence, it describes the transfer of internal motion to the macrocosm, which must contain aether particles to receive that motion.