Misconceptions in particle physics

Physics is said to be the king of the sciences, and particle physics is said to be the most important branch of physics. As per the Wikipedia particle physics article, it’s the branch of physics that studies the nature of the particles that constitute matter and radiation. The article tells us that elementary particles are excitations of the quantum fields, and says this: “the currently dominant theory explaining these fundamental particles and fields, along with their dynamics, is called the Standard Model”. Glenn Starkman gives a potted history of the Standard Model in his 2018 Conversation article The Standard Model of particle physics: The absolutely amazing theory of almost everything.

The absolutely amazing theory of almost everything

Starkman tells us that by the 1960s, physicists had discovered a long list of particles, but with no organization and no guiding principles. He says “into this breach sidled the Standard Model”. He also says it wasn’t an overnight flash of brilliance, but instead a series of crucial insights by key individuals in the mid-1960s. He says this transformed a quagmire into a simple theory, which was followed by five decades of experimental verification and theoretical elaboration. Starkman talks about the quark model proposed by Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig in 1964, and about quantum chromodynamics. He says the latter is a vital piece of the Standard Model, “but mathematically difficult, even posing an unsolved problem of basic mathematics”. He goes on to say the other aspect of the Standard Model is electroweak theory initiated by Steven Weinberg with his 1967 paper a model of leptons. Starkman says electroweak theory incorporated the Higgs mechanism for giving mass to fundamental particles, and that “since then, the Standard Model has predicted the results of experiment after experiment, including the discovery of several varieties of quarks and of the W and Z bosons”. In addition Starkman tells us the Higgs boson was discovered in 2012, and finishes off by saying this: “After five decades, far from requiring an upgrade, the Standard Model is worthy of celebration as the Absolutely Amazing Theory of Almost Everything”.

Image from the Conversation article on the Standard Model, © LehdaRi see deviant art, misattributed to Varsha Y S

Only it isn’t. Starkman said the Standard Model answers the question what is everything made of, and how does it hold together? But it doesn’t. Because it “explains” things by referring to other things that are not explained at all. What exactly is a photon? According to the Standard Model, it’s an excitation of the photon field. So what’s the photon field? It’s the quantum field whose quanta are photons. That’s circular. Not only that, there are many such fields. Whilst Maxwell unified the electric field and the magnetic field into the electromagnetic field, the Standard Model introduces a whole plethora of fields. It isn’t pointing towards further unification, it’s pointing the other way.

The Standard Model doesn’t describe the photon

The Standard Model makes no attempt to explain what the photon is. It doesn’t even try. So if you want to know what a photon is, you have to go looking. Then you find The Nature of Light: What is a Photon? and realise that this is where it starts. This is the first foundation stone for quantum field theory, and it’s missing. It’s missing even though there’s ample evidence that tells you what the photon is. The photon is a wave in space. It doesn’t disperse, so it’s a soliton. It has a wavelength, hence E=hc/λ. Planck’s constant of action h has the dimensionality of momentum times distance, and it applies to all photons. As for what distance? take a look at some pictures of the electromagnetic spectrum. Note how the wave height is always the same regardless of wavelength? Photons have a shared characteristic that’s something like playing classical guitar with a constant amplitude of pluck. Also note that it’s the electromagnetic spectrum. See the Wikipedia electromagnetic radiation article: “the curl operator on one side of these equations results in first-order spatial derivatives of the wave solution, while the time-derivative on the other side of the equations, which gives the other field, is first order in time”. The orthogonal sinusoidal electric and magnetic waves in the depictions are misleading. The electric wave is the spatial derivative of the electromagnetic wave, the magnetic wave is the time derivative, and there’s only one wave there:

For an analogy, imagine you’re in a canoe at sea and 10m tsunami comes at you. As the wave approaches, your canoe tilts upward. The degree of tilt denotes E, whilst the rate of change of tilt denotes B. And as for what’s waving, google on electromagnetic geometry. Because when Maxwell talked about displacement current, he said “light consists of transverse undulations in the same medium that is the cause of electric and magnetic phenomena”. So think on this: when an ocean wave moves through the sea, the sea waves. When a seismic wave moves through the ground, the ground waves. So, what waves when a light wave moves through space? It’s got to be space. William Kingdon Clifford said it in his space theory of matter, but the Standard Model doesn’t.

The Standard Model doesn’t describe how pair production works

Nor does it say anything about gamma-gamma pair production. How does that work? How do two photons interact to turn into an electron and a positron? The Standard Model doesn’t say because the second foundation stone is missing, because there’s a hole in the heart of quantum electrodynamics. This is epitomized by the Wikipedia two-photon physics article, which is based on a UCL tutorial. It says this: From quantum electrodynamics it can be found that photons cannot couple directly to each other, since they carry no charge, but they can interact through higher-order processes: a photon can, within the bounds of the uncertainty principle, fluctuate into a virtual charged fermion–antifermion pair, to either of which the other photon can couple. That’s wrong. The uncertainty principle is merely a property of wave-like systems, and Pascual Jordan resolved wave-particle duality in 1925. A 511 keV photon does not magically morph into a 511 keV electron and a 511 keV positron. And pair production does not occur because pair production occurred. Instead photons interact with photons. There’s a photon-photon interaction, so gamma rays create matter just by plowing into laser light. When you know that space waves, you know that displacement current does what it says on the tin. When you know that a Möbius strip is said to be reminiscent of a spin ½ particle, then when you’ve seen a depiction of a spinor, you can work out how pair production works:

It helps if you’ve read page 26 of Schrödinger’s quantization as a problem of proper values, part II. Schrödinger said let us think of a wave group “which in some way gets into a small closed ‘path’, whose dimensions are of the order of the wave length”. Each 511 keV photon displaces the other photon into itself, then each ends up continually displacing itself, stuck in a double-loop spin ½ trivial-knot chiral closed path. Hence in atomic orbitals electrons “exist as standing waves”. Hence Frank Wilczek said “the proper quantum mechanical description of electrons involves wave functions, whose oscillation patterns are standing waves”And as Jeff Lundeen said, wavefunction is real. Standing wave, standing field. The electron’s field is what it is.

The Standard Model doesn’t describe the electron

That’s why it’s the wave nature of matter. That’s why we have the Davisson-Germer experiment and the Thomson and Reid diffraction experiment. And yet the Particle Data Group will tell you the electron is definitely smaller than 10-18 meters. It isn’t. That’s a myth that arose because people like Werner Heisenberg and Wolfgang Pauli saw Schrödinger and other realists as the enemy. Hence in 1926 they ignored Schrödinger’s quantization as a problem of proper values, part II. Then they ignored Charles Galton Darwin’s 1927 paper on the electron as a vector wave, which talked about a spherical harmonic for the two directions of spin. Instead they promoted Yakov Frenkel’s 1926 paper on the electrodynamics of rotating electrons, which said the electron will thus be treated as a point. This was despite the Einstein-de Haas effect which demonstrates that spin angular momentum is indeed of the same nature as the angular momentum of rotating bodies”. And the discovery of electron spin by Samuel Goudsmit and George Uhlenbeck. And the Stern-Gerlach experiment, which was in retrospect the first direct experimental evidence of electron spin. People still don’t realise just what the Copenhagen school did to quantum electrodynamics in the 1920s. They removed the third foundation stone, the one that describes the electron. Then in the 1930s they ignored Max Born and Leopold Infeld who were trying to put it back. They also ignored Robert Oppenheimer who said the theory was wrong because of the problem of infinities. Along with Lev Landau and Rudolf Peierls who talked of absurd results and said “it would be surprising if the formalism bore any resemblance to reality”. Then came the kludge called renormalization, which was concreted into place by Nobel prizes all round. So much so that physicists nowadays struggle to get their electron papers published:

Images by John Williamson and Martin van der Mark and by Qiu-Hong Hu

That’s because the Standard Model still says the electron is a point-particle, even though all the evidence says it has a wave nature. Even though there’s no evidence at all that it’s pointlikle. People say things like the observation of a single electron in a Penning trap shows the upper limit of the particle’s radius to be 10-22 meters”. But when you look at Hans Dehmelt’s Nobel lecture you read about an extrapolation from the measured g value, which relies upon “a plausible relation given by Brodsky and Drell (1980) for the simplest composite theoretical model of the electron”. Then when you actually read Brodsky and Drell’s paper on the anomalous magnetic moment and limits on fermion substructure, what you read is this: “If the electron or muon is in fact a composite system, it is very different from the familiar picture of a bound state formed of elementary constituents since it must be simultaneously light in mass and small in spatial extension”. But there’s no evidence that the electron is composite. So there’s no evidence that the electron is small.

The Standard Model doesn’t explain mass and charge

All the evidence points the other way, as do the historic papers. I mentioned Born and Infeld. In the 1930s they wrote a series of papers about the electron. They said the inner angular momentum had a real physical meaning, and the rest-mass depended on the rotation and internal motion of the parts of the system. They even talked about the Poynting vector, which Feynman thought was absurd. Hans Ohanian also talked about the electron in his 1984 paper what is spin? He said “the means for filling the gap have been at hand since 1939, when Belinfante established that the spin could be regarded as due to a circulating flow of energy”. Frederik Belinfante’s paper was on the spin angular momentum of mesons. When you understand all this, you appreciate that the standing-wave electron explains mass and charge, whilst the Standard Model doesn’t. Photon energy and momentum are measures of resistance to change-in-motion for a wave moving linearly at c. Electron mass is a measure of resistance to change-in-motion for a wave going around and around at c. It’s as simple as that. That’s why E=mc². That’s why the inertia of a body depends upon its energy-content. That’s why the mystery of mass is a myth. As for what charge is, it’s topological. When you wrap a sinusoidal electromagnetic field variation into a double-loop spin ½ trivial-knot chiral closed path, the minimum and maximum field variation combine, along with all points in between, to leave you with a phase-invariant all-round standing-field standing-wave spinor. Ditto if you wrap it with the opposite chirality to make a positron. Topological quantum field theory aka TQFT hints at this, but the Standard Model doesn’t.

The Standard Model doesn’t explain electron motion

The Standard Model doesn’t explain electron motion either. That’s the fourth foundation stone, and again it’s missing. When you understand the electron, you understand why it moves the way that it does. See the Wikipedia spinor article: “In the 1920s physicists discovered that spinors are essential to describe the intrinsic angular momentum, or ‘spin’, of the electron and other subatomic particles”. The electron is “spinor” because its intrinsic spin makes it what it is, just as the intrinsic spin of a tornado makes it what it is. That spin is real, and that’s why the electron goes round in circles in a uniform magnetic field. It’s subject to Larmor precession. The spin angular momentum of an electron precesses counter-clockwise about the direction of the magnetic field. The electron goes round in circles rather like a boomerang goes round in circles due to gyroscopic precession. Not because photons are flitting back and forth. See the MRI article by Allen D Elster: “two particles with positive and negative gyromagnetic ratios precess in opposite directions”. The positron goes round the other way, like a left-handed boomerang.

Bubble chamber picture from CERN

Unfortunately particle physicists don’t know about this. They don’t understand how electromagnetic field interactions result in linear electric force and/or rotational magnetic force. It’s because of the screw nature of electromagnetism, which is something which both Maxwell and Minkowski referred to. Maxwell’s 1862 paper was On Physical Lines of Force, but his subheading was the theory of molecular vortices. It was way ahead of its time, as was Sir William Thomson’s 1867 vortex atom. As was Peter Guthrie Tait’s knot table, and Thomson and Tait’s 1867 spherical harmonics. As was Gustav Mie’s 1913 Foundations of a theory of matter, which talked about four-potential embodying the state of the ether and knot singularities in the field. As was Oliver Heaviside’s gravitomagnetism. Because electrons and positrons have a spinor nature, and they move towards one another and around one another because they’re counter-rotating optical vortices in frame-dragged space:

CCASA positronium image by Manticorp, spinor motion image by me

Counter-rotating vortices attract, co-rotating vortices repel. It’s nothing to do with gauge theory, which as David Gross said, played no role in QED. The linear and rotational motion doesn’t occur because the electron and positron are throwing photons back and forth. Positronium atoms don’t twinkle. Despite what people say, virtual particles are virtual. They aren’t short-lived real particles that pop in and out of existence. They aren’t the same thing as vacuum fluctuations. Vacuum fluctuations are very weak, the Coulomb force is not. And see the peculiar notion of exchange forces part I and part II by Cathryn Carson. The exchange-particle idea worked its way into QED from the mid-1930s, even though Heisenberg used a neutron model that was later retracted. Now it’s stuck, so the Standard Model can’t tell you how a magnet works. Nor could Feynman. But when you understand the electron, understanding how a magnet works is easy. The linear electric forces cancel but the rotational magnetic forces don’t. But the resultant magnetic field isn’t uniform, so the rotational forces are asymmetrical, so there’s a net linear force. There’s also a net linear force in Compton scattering too. The frequency of the incident photon is reduced because the interaction effectively takes a slice off that photon and slaps it onto the electron, making it asymmetrical. As a result, the electron moves.

The Standard Model doesn’t describe the proton

The Standard Model doesn’t describe the proton, which is why Matt Strassler struggled with what’s a proton anyway? However once you understand the electron, you can understand the proton. It’s nothing to do with Yang Mills theory and the mass gap. Because like the electron, the proton is a spin ½ particle. It goes round in circles in a magnetic field too. And when you perform low energy proton-antiproton annihilation, what you see is gamma photons. Not quarks. You never see quarks. You might see pions, but not for long. Charged pions decay to muons and neutrinos, then muons decay to electrons and neutrinos. Neutral pions decay to gamma photons. You don’t see six quarks, and nor do you see a whole mess of quarks and gluons spilling out like beans from a bag. Which is no surprise, seeing as the gluons in ordinary hadrons are virtual. That’s virtual as in not real. The same applies to the so-called sea quarks. So it’s easy to work out what the proton is not. And once you know about Thomson and Tait and the knot table and tying light in knots, it’s easy to work out what the proton is. Especially when you know about TQFT. Especially when you know about the wave nature of matter. Hence like Martin van der Mark said in on the nature of stuff and the hierarchy of the forces, you can’t fit a longer-wavelength 2.3 MeV quark inside a smaller-wavelength 938.27 MeV proton. But you can take a look at the magnetic moments. The electron magnetic moment is −9284.764 × 10−27 J⋅T−1. The proton magnetic moment is a mere 14.10606 × 10−27 J⋅T−1. That tells us the spin is going the other way around a much smaller radius. Moreover the electron g-factor of -2.002 describes a Möbius-style spin ½ rotation of 720°, twice around a twisted loop. The proton g factor of 5.585 is nearly threefold. Now why might that be?

CCASA image by Arpad Horvath see Wikipedia    Public domain image by Jim Belk, see Wikipedia

See the picture of the trefoil knot above right. Imagine it’s elastic, like a fat rubber band. It’s elastic so if you throw rocks at it, the rocks bounce back right in your face. It’s elastic so if you could grab hold of two of the loops and try to pull them apart, it would be more and more difficult, like the bag model. Then for the cherry on top, you can trace around that trefoil anticlockwise from the bottom left calling out the crossing-over directions: up down up.

The Standard Model doesn’t describe the neutrino

The Standard Model doesn’t describe the neutrino either. But once you understand the electron, you come to appreciate something important about the neutrino: it’s more like the photon than the electron. Nobody has ever seen a neutrino travelling at any speed other than c. And because it travels at c, it can have no charge, and no mass either. Neutrino oscillations do not mean the neutrino has mass. That’s a non-sequitur. You know this when you understand mass and charge. They go hand in hand. If it’s got no charge it’s got no mass, end of story. And since we can make electrons and positrons out of photons, and because it’s the wave nature of matter as well as the wave nature of light, it’s clear that the neutrino has a wave nature too. But it clearly isn’t a transverse wave like the photon. The neutrino has spin. It’s a rotational wave. A spin wave in space. Like a travelling breather. If a photon is akin to plucking your guitar string, a neutrino is akin to twisting your guitar string with a pair of pliers, then letting go.

The Standard Model doesn’t describe the neutron

The Standard Model doesn’t describe the neutron in any satisfactory fashion. Two down quarks and an up quark just doesn’t cut it. Especially when you know something about the electron, the proton, and the neutrino, along with nuclear magnetic resonance. Particularly when you know that back in 1920 the great Ernie Rutherford thought of the neutron as a close-coupled proton-electron combination. I think the key fact is that a neutron can be created via electron capture, where a nucleus absorbs an inner electron. A neutrino is cast off to balance the spin. The opposite process is where the free neutron undergoes beta decay, resulting in a proton, an electron, and an antineutrino. There no sign of any other particles in these processes. That’s as you might expect, since the neutron mass-energy is 939.565 MeV, the proton mass-energy is 938.272 MeV, and the electron mass-energy is 0.511 MeV. The balance of 0.782 MeV is split between the electron kinetic energy and the antineutrino, which is all kinetic energy. It seems clear enough that in electron capture an electron get wound into the proton, like it was caught in a mangle, with the neutrino emission conserving angular momentum. The result is stable inside the nucleus, like a slip knot kept under tension. But not when the neutron is free. The neutrino is the twist in the tale, but I think Rutherford was essentially right, and beta decay is the jumping popper of particle physics.

The Standard Model doesn’t describe the weak interaction

However it is said that when a 939.565 MeV free neutron decays, it’s because a W boson, which is said to have a mass-energy of 80.379 GeV, pops out of a down quark with a mass-energy of circa 4.8 MeV, converting it into an up quark with a mass-energy of circa 2.3 MeV. Then this W boson decays into an electron and an antineutrino with a combined mass-energy of circa 1 MeV. So quickly that you can’t actually see the W boson. Just like you’ve never seen a quark. Or the angels on the head of a pin. It just doesn’t fly. When you have an understanding of the electron, the proton, the neutrino, and the neutron, you know that the Standard Model doesn’t describe the weak interaction. Especially when you know that virtual particles are virtual, and that there are no messenger particles flying around inside a hydrogen atom. So why should there be any in a uranium nucleus? Or when a neutron flies apart? Especially when Fermi based his intuition on electromagnetism. Yes, if you also know about the weak interaction and electroweak theory you’ll know about Steven Weinberg’s famous 1967 paper a model of leptons. However if you know about the electron you’ll know that this three page paper is nothing of the sort. And that Weinberg fell at the first hurdle by saying “Leptons interact only with photons, and with the intermediate bosons that presumably mediate weak interactions.

Fair use excerpt from Steven Weinberg’s A Model of Leptons

It isn’t true. Electrons also interact with electrons, and with positrons and protons and neutrinos too. Don’t forget that Fermi’s interaction “posits four fermions directly interacting with one another”. Furthermore, there’s a huge presumption that intermediate vector bosons mediate weak interactions in the same way that photons mediate electromagnetic interactions. Only photons don’t mediate electromagnetic interactions. That’s a myth that grew out of the point-particle electron. So when Weinberg said “What could be more natural than to unite these spin-one bosons into a multiplet of gauge fields”, the answer is understanding what you’re dealing with. Understand mass and charge and the electron and the proton and the neutrino and the neutron. Then you won’t feel the need to indulge in mathematical handwaving and wallow in fiction such as Goldstone bosons, isospin, and hypercharge. Or tout symmetry as a great virtue. Then introduce a kludge because your short-range force demands massive gauge bosons, which means it’s not a gauge theory. Then claim they get their mass from a broken symmetry, then tout broken symmetry as a great virtue. This was Weinberg’s toilet. In his Nobel lecture he said many thought what had been done was “to sweep the real problems under the rug”. Quite. In Weinberg’s model, the mass of the Z-boson is not a measure of its energy-content. Instead it gets its mass from “the spontaneous breaking of the symmetry”. Weinberg trashed E=mc² and paved the way for the fabulous Higgs boson, because he didn’t understand mass. Or the neutron. Or electromagnetism. So he didn’t understand beta decay. He didn’t understand the nuclear force either.

The Standard Model still doesn’t explain the nuclear force

Nor did anybody else. Hence the early attempts to model it ended with disaster. This was the nuclear disaster. The Standard Model still doesn’t explain the nuclear force. That’s the force that keeps the protons and the neutrons together in the nucleus. People often say the nuclear force is due to a pion exchange as proposed by Hideki Yukawa in 1935. However when you know that electrons and positrons don’t exchange photons, you know that protons and neutrons don’t exchange pions. When you read the Yukawa interaction paper on the interaction of elementary particles you can tell it lacks foundation. Yukawa said this: “the transition of a heavy particle from neutron state to proton state is not always accompanied by the emission of light particles, i.e. a neutrino and an electron, but the energy liberated by the transition is taken up sometimes by another heavy particle, which in turn will be transformed from proton state into neutron state”. There’s no understanding of the neutron here. Or the electron or the proton or the neutrino. Yukawa was clutching at straws in 1935, and nothing has changed since. Even though the nuclear force plot matches the neutron charge distribution:

Nuclear force plot from Dux college HSC physics course, neutron charge distribution image by Dru Renner inverted by me

Even though the neutron magnetic moment says there’s a Poynting vector wherein energy is circulating around and around. Even though as per the Wikipedia neutron article, the neutron magnetic moment “can be reconciled classically with a neutral neutron composed of a charge distribution in which the negative sub-parts of the neutron have a larger average radius of distribution”. The neutron has more negative charge on the outside, and more positive charge on the inside. Opposite charges attract and like charges repel because charged particles are spinors. It’s like the way counter-rotating vortices attract and co-rotating vortices repel. If you were a proton and you were close to that neutron, you’d feel an attraction towards it. If however you got too close to the more-positive core, you’d feel a repulsion. Alternatively if you were to move away, the neutron’s positive and negative charges would tend to cancel and you wouldn’t feel anything. The force would therefore be short range. It’s crystal clear the nuclear force is electromagnetic. But the Standard Model doesn’t include it.

The Standard Model doesn’t explain how gravity works

The Standard Model doesn’t include gravity either, even though it’s straightforward. A gravitational field is a place where a concentration of energy in the guise of a massive star conditions the surrounding space, this effect diminishing with distance. As a result the speed of light is spatially variable, so light waves curve downwards like sonar waves curve downwards in the sea. When you then apply the wave nature of matter and electron spin, you can think of an electron as light going around and around. The horizontal component curves downwards, so the electron is displaced downwards. It falls down. That’s how gravity works. Gravity is that simple. It’s so simple it’s low-hanging fruit. Like the photon, pair production, the electron, electron motion, and all those other things including the nuclear force. As to why all this low-hanging fruit isn’t already part of contemporary physics, well, that’s another story. It’s a fairy story, and a horror story, all rolled into one.

Julius Diez image from The Brothers Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty


This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Pavel Kudan

    My congratulations to you, John.

    You really found the most important error of Physics. A lack of understanding of photon leads to severe problems to understanding of electron. It not possible to go further without that. Fairy tales, not scientific knowledge, for 80 years.

    Forcing the idea of point electron rotating around nucleus was also great error. Standing waves are more physical idea.

    Comparing to problem I told you – error of Chadwick with interpretation if neutron as elementary particle similar to proton – and misunderstanding of nucleus and role of negative pion in nucleus as partner of proton instead of neutron (the Rutherford-Kudan model) – the bug you have found is much much greater.

    Really, it is a shame to not understand what photon is and what charge and mass forcing fantasies and calling them ‘standard’. And it not possible to have real physics without that.

    I also agree with you that SU(3) symmetry obviosly does not mean quarks nesseserely. Moreover. If we cannot see separate quarks not for love not for money, it probably means that we just have some objects in 3d space. Entire, as one can not separate dimensions, of course. Confiment is fake.

    Special thanks to you for beatiful picture of 3 color knot as symbol for that 🙂

  2. John Duffield

    Many thanks Pavel. Yes, it’s been fairy tales for 80 years. Longer. The Copenhagen school adopted Frenkel’s point particle electron in 1927. That’s 92 years ago. People still say the electron is a point-particle even to this day. Even though all the evidence says it’s the wave nature of matter, not the point-particle nature of matter. Even though people know about standing waves. After that, it was downhill all the way, because the foundations just aren’t there. Unfortunately particle physicists were too quick to trumpet “discoveries” which have resulted in Nobel prizes. Those Nobel prizes then resulted in the acceptance of bad science as scientific fact. Isn’t it ironic that Alfred Nobel’s prizes have caused more harm than dynamite? Now particle physics has dug itself into a hole. It can’t get out, and it won’t stop digging. The situation is not good.

  3. Pavel Kudan

    That is natural for physicists to think about particles as points, I think, John.

    Probably, that is because Newton showed that center of mass works great for inertia/gravitation. Points instead of bodies. That is extremelly successful and really convinient, but for potentials different, that trick would not work, of course.

    Single electron is half a problem. It may be a matter of model to think about free electron as point in some applications.

    But, your notice on atoms and molecules is very interesting – if orbital is really constructed from field (like being ‘woolen’ instead of solid ball quickly rotating), where is should not use point model of electron anymore.

    Copenhagen was destructive in that sence. Like blind religious sect. Some kind of ideology instead of scientific proof, I think, agree with you.

    1. The physics detective

      Yes, point particles make for easier mathematics. But they lead to misunderstanding, thence to fantasy physics. And yes, the Copenhagen school was destructive. They knew the electron had a wave nature, but they adopted the point-particle electron to spite Schrödinger. Physicists don’t know how destructive the Copenhagen school was. But they will.

  4. Pavel Kudan

    Another error like thinking of particles close to level where energy is converted to matter is thinking of particles as equally elementary.
    That is simple – elementary points. But that is dangerous error.
    Imagine if chemists would think all as equally elementary. That’s alchemy. They would never know about “elementary composition” of substances – they could not distinguish between chemical elements and compounds. Alchemy failed.
    That is several levels of matter organization up from electron, but still.
    The question if electron is composite also much harder that it looks.
    Right answer is – we do not know.
    After 90 years of errors where 80 years was time of direct speculation, we really do not know on which level we are.
    Are electron on level where there is nothing but conversion of energy to matter? We do not know. It may also consist of other particles yet.
    To know we should investigate. For that we should not assume electron nor pointless neighter elementary before it will be proved.
    Moreover – chemists should not be repelled from study of nucleus.
    Particle Zoo. Feynman and others hated reactions of particles and particle diversity. They say that they should be biologists to classify that. Lie. One should be chemist to understand reactions and particle families and particle elementary compositions. As that is similar to chemistry.

  5. Pavel Kudan

    But problem is not in the fathers which made mistakes. The problem in parroting followers. Fathers thought and argued. They really tried to find true. Not fathers stoped development and made a sect.

    1. The physics detective

      I don’t think it’s just parroting followers, Pavel. Yes, they exist, but in addition people and institutions have staked their reputations on a theory that is largely incorrect. Now they can’t admit that it’s wrong in any way.

      1. Pavel Kudan

        Yes, that so.

        I think, that for that reason, that is even good that quark model became dominant. As chromodynamics is most absurd alchemy idea. Most irritating. And this all is checkable. Now this is direct target for critics. After all, we should know how nucleus is constructed in reality, nuclear technology is too important for us.

        If only that, we may expect scientific revolution according to “The structure of scientific revolutions”. Comletely new paradigm.

        But look – that non-realists goes further. And gives false alternative – string theory ))) Even more fantastic ))) And they are ready to support that as it were science ))) But not ready to search the truth ))) Are not parrots looking in small mirror at themselves? )))

        I wonder if it will centuries to get out of that modern quark alchemy overloaded with calibrating parameters, as it took centuries to get rid of alchemical mystic ideas and go to chemical way of investigation, or we are a bit smarter? )))

        First question – what consist of what should be strongly answered. Than it will be possible to investigate how exactly is constructed that final ‘elements’ by Physics.

        Organizations which attract and spend huge money with fairy tales especially funny phenomenon ))))

      2. Pavel Kudan

        But if independent investigators like us are free of their diseases? )

        Like them we are trying to explain all (badly) instead of explaining something one (good and correct).

        One of possible keys to problem may be comprehencive compairizon of properties of proton to ones of electron. They are so similar (charge, spin), but so different (particle reactions, interactions).

        Without all this Copenhagen beliefs. Without any beliefs. From the very beginning. But with modern knowledge on particle reactions.

        Another way – full comparison of properties of protons to ones of neutron. They are similar (spin, both may be emitted from nucleus), but so different (proton is stable simplest nucleus, neutron not, proton charged, neutron not).

        Without all beliefs about proton-neutron model of nucleus and all that imaginary neutron stars and neutron mattery. From the very beginning, but with modern knowledge on Particle Zoo.

  6. Pavel Kudan

    Also we need understanding of “chemistry” of particle reactions and particles.
    On which level we are with electron, for example?
    If electron in fact composite particle consisting of other particles or it is directly constructed from the field?
    That question is not so easy, as we have 2 similar particles – proton and electron. What is the difference between them? One is elementary (constructed from field) and other is composite (combined from particles, which on some sublevel consist of field) or some other possible variant is true? Both are constructed directly from field? Both are composite?
    Fathers were fools where repelled the chemists from the subject of Particle Zoo and nucleus. As chemists are specialists in understanding of such things. What consists of what – that question should be answered correctly prior to phisical study.
    With neutron – the same thing. Is neutron really like proton? Or consist of proton and other particle? That all is subject to “chemical” investigation.
    For physicists natural to think particles as ‘ponts’, as well as ‘equally elementary’ ‘points’. That is simple, but not correct. That is not natural for physicists to think about what consists of what, as that is chemical approach. Both these simplifications are errors. Not point-like. And not equally elementary. Need to be study.

    1. The physics detective

      No, the electron isn’t a composite particle. It’s just a self-trapped photon in a trivial-knot closed path. See . The trivial knot is also called the unknot. The proton is the next knot in the knot table: the trefoil knot. It isn’t composite either. Meanwhile most of the particle zoo is ephemera. The only stable particles with mass are electrons and protons along with their antiparticles. Which have the opposite chirality. Chirality applies to knots. You can tie your shoelaces left over right or right over left. The neutron consists of a proton plus an electron with a neutrino twist. Electron capture isn’t called electron capture for nothing.

      PS: One of your comments went into the spam folder. Sorry about that. I moved it out. If it’s now a duplicate let me know and I’ll delete it.

  7. Pavel Kudan

    Good idea, John. Different types of knots for electron and proton.
    Stability is not elementarity.
    Stable is particle or composite of particles which is in minimum of energy. We cannot say if stable particle is elementary (consist of field directly) or composite (consist of some other particles). The reactions of particles correctly understood can be a key to that problem. Investigation is needed to know for sure.
    For example, if we suggest that neutrino is spin wave and corresponding twist in the particles is possible, not only neutron may consist of proton and electron + twist, but also electron may consist of negative pion + twist.
    Or, in the model which suggest neutrino as particle, not only neutron may consist of proton, electron and neutrino, but also electron may consist of negative pion and neutrino (the Egon Marx model).
    The electron capture is just one of particle reactions. It is called so because one electron from electronic orbital is participating in reaction. Proton and electron gives neutron and neutrino. We cannot say if electron or proton is elementary based on electron capture reaction only.
    For example, first scenario. Electron is considered elementary, neutron is considered composite of proton, electron and twist (or antineutrino) – your model, John. That explains electron capture and beta-decay, that is OK.
    But, second scenario. Electron is considered composite of negative pion and neutrino (the Egon Marx model) and neutron is considered composite of proton and negative pion (the Rutherford-Kudan model). That also explains electron capture and beta decay, that is also OK.
    The result – we still do not know for sure which particles are elementary. Some chemical approaches needed to state which particles are ‘elements’ and which are ‘compounds’ for sure. Then physical methods must be applied to only elementary particles. But to be stable and to be elementary is different.

  8. Pavel Kudan

    More simple – very correct physical ideas – for example – twists – must be applied to elementary particles only. But for that strong knowledge is needed which particles are composite and which are elementary.
    Bridge is stable. Big stone too. But bridge is composite of smaller parts (‘composite’). And big stone is monolithic (‘elementary’). To understand bridge we should know about it’s parts, which are ‘elementary’. Even if this difficult.

  9. Pavel Kudan

    Chirality is very well phenomenon in chemistry. For approximately a century. For that reason, there are good terms in chemistry for chiral isomers.
    For example – enantiomers and diastereomers.
    Enantiomers is mirror isomers. Like electron/positron pair or proton/antiproton pair, for example, if we consider field twists. They have same properties.
    Diastereomers differs in mirror. At least, 2 chiral nodes needed to give such combination. In some model, proton and electron might be considered as diastereomers. For example, if charge is considered twist and spin is considered as another twist, that would give 4 particles – electron/positron and proton/antiproton. Stereochemistry is the name of that branch of chemistry.

  10. Pavel Kudan

    Unfortunatelly, chirality itself also cannot answer a question which particles are composite (consist of particles) and which are elementary (constructed directly from field).
    As well, spinor. Yes, we may use spinor functions to describe fermions. But that is also not proof for elementarity of electron or proton, just a model for reducing complexity, simplification.

    Fermions may be elementary or composite as well.

    The only thing we know is that we are very close to level, where energy transforms to particles. That is due to pair productions and waves properties of particles. But to be close to door does not mean to have a key to enter the door )

    1. John Duffield

      That’s right. Stability is not elementarity. I only used the word “elementary” when I quoted people. I don’t see the electron as elementary. We can make electrons. And positrons. And protons and antiprotons. Out of light. When we annihilate them we end up with photons. And neutrinos, which like photons are massless and chargeless and move at c. If anything is elementary, it’s photons and neutrinos. I think we’ve had enough investigation to know that the proton isn’t composite, but the neutron is. We never see the proton break up into three quarks, and we always see a free neutron undergo beta decay. I don’t see how an electron can consist of a negative pion + twist. A negative pion is just too massive.
      I think the elementary parts are just waves in space. That’s why it’s the wave nature of matter.
      I view particles and antiparticles as enantiomers. See the mystery of the missing antimatter. I just don’t see how the proton and electron might be considered as diastereomers. Charge isn’t really twist, it’s what you get when you wrap a field variation up such that the minima and maxima combine to give you an all-round standing field. Spin is the rotary motion of the wave energy around the closed path.
      No, chirality can’t answer the question as to whether particles are composite or elementary. However I think understanding can. The trouble with physics is that the Standard Model doesn’t offer any understanding at all. Knowing that is the key to the first door.

  11. Pavel Kudan

    I think, John, that desappearing of meaning of terms ‘elementary’ / ‘composite’ for the physicists is the greatest harm from that aggressive fairy tales of the quark model and its embedded concept of ‘nuclear democracy’.
    That leads to complete mixing of ‘briges’ and ‘stones’ – single-part particles and multi-part particles get mixed and that is a hell for brain trying to solve problem.
    But that is very well conception, and we need it. It showed it’s power in chemistry, where elemens/compounds, molecules/atoms were understood. For that reason, it is needed to reconstruct that conception.
    We are on level where energy is converted to matter. We may consider ‘elementary’ as last level of matter – futher only energy. And ‘composite’ as consisting of other particles. Which are ‘elementary’. That definition is close to term ‘fundamental’.
    But that system is more flexible than chemistry.
    Pair production cannot help to understand which are ‘elementary’. As pairs of ‘composite’ may be generated too. It’s not matter of ‘elementarity’, it is a matter of mass/energy.
    I think you are right that inertia mass is a result of energy included to particle. And particle is standing wave of field. I may not complitely understand idea of twist.
    But look what I mean when I say about diastereomers. Charged bosons like negative/positive pion is very important node to understand it.
    Look. We see several types of particles/waves pairs.
    1. Neutrino/antineutrino – spin 1/2 charge 0
    2. Negative/positive pion – spin 0 charge +/- 1
    3. Proton/antiproton – spin 1/2 charge +/- 1
    4. Electron/positron – spin 1/2 charge +/- 1

    First two showed us that spin and charge are separate. You can have not only spin and charge together, but separatly too. It must be explained.
    I called it two types of twist. Meaning that one for charge and one for spin. Some chiral knots of some fields, according to yoor ideas. Lets use symbols Cc Ss for them. Where C is charge twist and c is its enantiomer – mirror reflextion.
    We may get something like that:
    S – neutrino
    s – antineutrino
    C – positive pion
    c – negative pion
    That enantiomers
    SC – proton
    sc – antiproton
    Sc – positron
    sC – electron
    That diastereomers
    SC (proton) may differ by physical properties from Sc (positron) as any diastereomers differs in chemistry.
    That is development of your ideas. No matter correct your ideas or nature thinks differently.

    High mass of negative pion usual reason for physicist to ignore that particle. But that is error. Probably, critical, as it possible, that nucleus consist of protons and negative pions (the Rutherford-Kudan model).

    Look. If negative pion meets electronic neutrino and there is a way to release energy, then electron will be a result and energy. Surprize? Not. Just different side of known picture.

    As we know, negative pion alone will throw electronic antineutrino and energy and gives electron.

    As well with muon / muonic neutrino.

    If we consider neutrino as particle – than we may describe that as following:
    electron is composite of negative pion and electronic neutrino, very energetically profitable (the Egon Marx model). That difference between electron mass and mass of negative pion is just energy of binding between two particles.

    If we consider electronic neutrino as free spin wave and consider twists exist as a form of spin locked inside particles, than we can describe it as negative pion+twist.

    Exuse, John, if my explanations are not so clear as I would like, I’m trying to improve my English, but it will take some time 🙂

    It is very important that charge and 1/2 spin seems to be not two sides of one coin.

    1. The physics detective

      Whoa, Pavel! I can’t keep up with all your comments. Why don’t you email me?
      I think the greatest harm comes from HEP physicists digging themselves into a hole with the Standard Model. Now they can’t admit that any of it is wrong, so other physicists can’t get their papers published, and the result is an impasse. The Standard Model is standing in the way of scientific progress. I don’t think mixing single-part particles and multi-part particles is the problem. Wilful ignorance is the problem. What is a photon? Don’t know. How does pair production work? Don’t know. Et cetera.
      You do understand the idea of twist. Just cut a strip of paper into a sinusoidal shape, then make a Mobius strip. Do it. See it. The twist is what you need to turn the field-variation into a standing field. You also need another orthogonal rotation. Then the maxima and minima of the field variation combine, and the result is an all-round standing field. It’s the same all round. See?
      Yes, spin and charge are separate. The electron has two components of spin. Your Mobius strip has two orthogonal rotations. A neutrino is like a strip of paper that’s twisted, but where the ends remain separated. But there aren’t two types of twist. They’re just orthogonal rotations, that’s all.
      Sorry Pavel, but I’m really not keen on pions. They are ephemera. Start from the bottom. With photons and neutrinos. Then electrons and positrons. Then ask yourself what other stable particles exist. Examine them before you hang your hat on the pion.
      There’s no problem with your English. The problem is you’re too attached to your pions!
      Sure, spin ½ is not what charge is. Charge is the standing field that results from applying two orthogonal rotations to a field variation. The two rotations mean the energy goes round twice before it returns to the original position and orientation. We call it spin ½, but it’s more like spin x 2 + orthogonal spin x 1.
      Sorry, I have to go now. I’ll reply to your other comments another time. I have to go to work tomorrow, and I usually have a drink on a Friday night, so apologies if I don’t get to them before the weekend.

      1. Pavel Kudan

        Ephemera is all this tales about virtual neutral pions.
        Ephemera is stating that neutral pion is the same as negative/positive pion.
        Alchemist called mercury (Hg) ‘quick silver’. But mercury is not silver, John. Different elements. Absolutely. The same error. Naming different with one name.
        And real is not virtual also.
        It is a pity, that 80 years of errors destroyed understanding both difference between real/virtual and understanding that naming is less important that nature of particle.
        Thank you very much for your considerations, John, they really of great help. As for e-mail, probably, there is some technical issue, as in one moment our conversations droped suddenly.

  12. Pavel Kudan

    More congradulations to you, John, for pointing attention on another misconception of modern physics which consist in mixing of waves propagating in space and particles (local field constructions). This misconception also is more critical than mixing elementary and composite particles.
    Really, that strange to consider as particle the electromagnetic wave propagating in space (thanks to Einstein for photon ‘particle’ idea), as well strange to consider as particle the spin wave propagating in space (thanks to Pauli for ‘discovery’ of neutrino ‘particle’).
    Both ‘discoveries’ was supported by Nobel fond. One for photoeffect explanation, another for new particle discovery. Nobel would rotate inside his grave happily, if knew 🙂
    Now we have to throw a lot of garbage from our brains if we would like some day to state the true.
    But question became actual – while light is manifestation of EM field, of which field neutrino wave is manifestation? Also EM?
    And also on EM field I did not yet understand your idea on unity of E field and M field. I wonder, if they should be just two projections on single object?

  13. Pavel Kudan

    Also, topologically, usual Mobius (with single twist) looks as great image for electron/positron with spin 1/2.
    Also we have negative pion – the charge is, but no spin. We may imagine it as nonmobious strip (no twist).
    But topologically, threeknot for proton is not single twist Mobius. That is close to triple twist Mobius – may be converted from it. We may expect spin 3/2 in this case. That is like plus delta baryon – most heavy version of proton with spin 3/2.
    Probably, the number of twists for proton should be equal to one for electron, should not?

  14. The physics detective

    Short-lived particles are ephemera. Virtual particles aren’t even ephemera. They don’t exist. Yes, it is a pity that 80 years of errors destroyed understanding. I hope that will end soon. As for email, there’s no technical issue. Your last email got buried, and I forgot to answer it. Sorry. I am sometimes very busy.
    Thank you for the congratulations. But much of what I’ve learned is in the old papers written by people like Schrodinger, Charles Galton Darwin, Gustav Mie, and Max Born and Leopold Infeld. And in modern papers that you don’t get to hear about.
    Nobel would rotate inside his grave unhappily if he knew that his prizes had caused more harm than his dynamite.
    Don’t think of light as a manifestation of the electromagnetic field. It’s just a wave in space. Remember that Einstein said a field is a state of space. A gravitational field is inhomogeneous space, and an electromagnetic field is twisted space. See the photon depiction:
    See the lower half of the picture? Note how the grid lines are twisted? The twist here is symmetrical around the centre. The grid lines that are twisted point along the direction of motion. For a neutrino, the twist is orthogonal to the direction of motion. Make a fist, push it forward, and rotate it. See?
    The unity of the E field and M field is simple. Read about the canoe analogy here: https://physicsdetective.com/the-photon/. Yes, they’re two projections on single object. E is the spatial derivative of four=potential, M is the time derivative.
    The negative pion is like a figure of 8. There’s two equal and opposite spins. Play with strips of paper. The proton is like a trefoil knot with a twist like the Mobius strip. Yes, the number of twists for the proton should be equal to the number of twists for the electron. And yes, twist exists apart from charge. Like I said, the neutrino has spin, but no charge.

  15. Pavel Kudan

    Not exactly so on short lived particles.
    For example, if negative pion had no channel to be quickly transformed to electron or muon with emitting of neutrino, it would be stable as well.
    But stabilized with interaction with protons inside neutron it lives longer. Is neutron stable enough for you, John?
    In different proportion with proton, negative pion may live forever. For example, deuterium nucleus is stable.
    Stability is not some special intrinsic property, John. That is just balance between possibilities. To more energetically efficient.
    Free negative pion is quicly converted to electron. The channel is possible.
    Binded to 1 proton (neutron) is not so quickly
    Binded to 2 protons (deuteron) – never beta decay. That is just became not energetically profitable. Yea, you can force it to decay by photodissociation – to give energy for it to decay. But never will it decay without energy consumption.
    On the contrast, more heavy proton never decay to positron even if free, not binded. It would be very energetically profitable. But that channel does not exist. Forbidden, for some reason.
    That is all difference between proton and negative pion.
    Again – considering only final results of interactions between particles (stable) without considering of parent particles (not stable) is one of misconceptions of modern physics.
    You talk about beef conserved in iron (stable). I talk about fresh beef (not stable, spoils quickly). Both are real. Beef concerved are made from beef fresh. It is not possible to understand where conserved beef is from, ignoring fresh beef for its ‘instability’.
    You may not trust in reality of negative pion, John, but it is highly likely still, that you consist of them, for several per cent of your weight 🙂 Protons, negative pions, electrons – minus huge energy binding them together 🙂

  16. Greg R. Leslie

    John, I just read about about the three physicists who were awarded three million dollars for a Break Thru discovery concerning their theories on super duper gravity. What are your thoughts? Super duper ones I assume?

  17. The physics detective

    My thoughts are dark thoughts, Greg. To be blunt. I find this sort of thing appalling. This is how psuedoscience trash is given legitimacy. The people who invented this supergravity nonsense don’t understand how gravity works, or the electron. They don’t know why the electron and the positron move the way that they do. So this is Emperor’s New Clothes. Yuri Milner’s prize has been captured and corrupted by the quacks and charlatans who’ve being ruining fundamental physics. Grrrrrr.
    Anyhow, here’s a write up from Scientific American, who really ought to know better:

  18. Greg R. Leslie

    Thanks, I will start reading the link, very soon. A lot of the blogs that serendipitously pops up on my Google news feed are mostly very dissapointing (except for when yours first appeared!).
    Several sentences into the first paragraph the words ” virtual computer simulations ” appear and I immediately stop reading. Same response when ” startling new theories ” are the selling point . I totally agree with you that modern physics is a Cargo Cult,and that many of the big named rockstar scientists are more concerned with marketing themselves than progressing science. Even though you taught me that time doesn’t fly, I sense a unbalance in the local quantum gravity field and a sudden shift in quark flavors at my local event horizon which is leaking obscene amounts of Hawking radiation,gotta go check it out before I end up in the 17th. dimension of string cheese theories. Looking forward as always to your next educational lecture.

  19. The Physics Hermit

    Now you’ve done it. Militant Parrot Aleksandar Milinković will be furious.

    Here is a question. Explain why Sabine Hossenfelder can’t get a real job despite having all the correct maths in her head. Instead, she’s gone from Physics gypsy to internet circus clown.

    1. The physics detective

      It’s because she’s been rocking the boat. I remember a physicist telling me this little saying: “don’t rock the boat or you’ll never make full professor”. It’s as if challenging the experts in the field and the important institutions means you’re challenging the guys who hold the purse strings and harming your career prospects. But I don’t know how true this is.

Leave a Reply