Are photons energy? What is energy, anyway?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by origin, Aug 19, 2019.

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  1. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Actually on reflection you are right:it is not off-topic.

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    But the idea that all energy is kinetic is ballocks all right.

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  3. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed.Wikipedia

    OK so that will answer the WHAT perhaps

    So does the photon fit the definition, in whatever form you choose to describe the photon?

    Has the photon quantitative property when considered as a nucleus or wave form or both (ie both forms have quantitative property)

    Currently it appears the Universe is heading for a heat death with the final form being lumps of stuff traveling at speed away, non convergence manner, from each other

    In this form the lumps of stuff would appear to have kinetic energy with no prospect of it ever producing work (no interaction with other stuff)

    The puzzle for me is the acceleration. Is this the Big Bang still in operation? (because stuff at the edge of the Universe has as never had any forward resistance, and gravity, rear holding back resistance, becomes weaker the longer expansion continues)

    The other idea put forward for the acceleration is dark energy. If this is considered does dark energy accelerate the edge of the Universe objects outwards while at the same moment push inwards (hence slow) stuff which is inward of (dark energies location) itself?

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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    The cosmological implications of Heisenberg's "energy formula", are that the vacuum is the true underlying quantum field.

    Every particle including the infamous Higgs boson, has a probability, as they say, of being generated. When the vacuum generates a real particle, it can be spread out over several light years, remember? Can the vacuum generate real or virtual photons that have a wavelength greater than the visible universe? Does, in some sense, such a quantum of energy give you a way to define a ground state, for this vacuum-field?
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I begin to suspect that he is trolling. He's completely off topic at this point in the thread.

    arfa brane:

    You tell me.

    Where did I insist that? Link please.

    What did you not understand about what I wrote? Break it down and show where you're having the problem.

    The SE does not, by the way, solve for the kinetic energy of anything. It solves for the total energy, like I said.

    Did you miss something in Quantum 101, too?

    What do you want? Do you want me to copy down some hydrogenic wavefunctions for your perusal? Why not look them up for yourself?

    Are you planning on discussing the thread topic any time soon, or do you concede the point about photons now?
  8. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    This started with you insisting that that quote is NOT saying an electron is a matter-field, right?
    And the other two posts say nothing of the sort either, according to you. So now we have you posting this:
    What I don't understand is your insistence that the field equations are for the atomic energy, when the nuclear energy is fixed, in the equations.

    It's located at the origin in a three-dimensional solution. The total energy of the hydrogen ATOM would include the kinetic energy of the nucleus surely. But you insist that saying, as I do, that the equations solve for the electron orbitals with the nucleus fixed, is wrong, and I just can't see what the hell you mean. Or is this just another one of your obsessions with "correcting" my mistakes? What mistakes?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  9. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    No need, I have some to hand thanks.

    As much as I enjoy our little chats, sometimes normal life intervenes, sometimes I'm actually stunned by some of the things you opine about physics, in general.
    It takes a while to figure out how to respond, but I'm seriously starting to get tired of trying to understand what you mean, a lot of the time.
    You say heat is a form of energy, but then say radiant heat isn't a form of energy. This is somewhat confusing; isn't heat just energy that increases temperature and isn't that what infrared radiation does? This is one of the reasons I doubt you really know anything much about any of this.
  10. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    One more try:
    --Alonso & Finn, Physics (Addison-Wesley)

    So what I think this is saying is, the photon is the gauge boson of the electromagnetic interaction; it's "associated with" the field because it's a small chunk of electric and magnetic fields, oscillating synchronously. Likewise electrons and positrons "associate with" a matter field as a small chunk of it.
    We can have electromagnetic radiation interacting with matter fields, that's all the quote says really. It isn't, though, what James R says. In his version, the particle has "field properties", and a particle is separate from its properties.

    He also insists on the existence of an underlying EM field, extending through space for photons to propagate in. This is mistaken, the photon is the EM field and the underlying field is the vacuum (it extends through all of space, right?).
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    arfa brane:

    Right. I also pointed out that if you think it is, you're mistaking the wave for the pond that it is in. You never could bring yourself to respond to that. Why not?

    When you solve the Schrodinger equation for hydrogen, there's a term in the equation for the electrical potential energy of the atom, right? Now, what goes into that term in the equation? I see the electron charge. But wait! There's a second charge in there. What's that? Could it possibly be the charge on the proton?

    James R must be mad. He's suggesting electrical potential energy is a shared property between the proton and the electron, not a property of the electron alone. Imagine that!

    The only other possibility is that arfa brane doesn't understand this stuff as well as he thinks he does. But that's crazy talk.

    Correct. That's why I explicitly pointed out that we are making the approximating that the nucleus is stationary. In that approximation, the kinetic energy of the proton (nucleus) is zero, so we don't need to include it. It's an approximation. If we want better accuracy, we have to take the motion of the proton into account as well, and if we do that the hydrogen atomic energies are (a little) different than the ones we get with the simplest-case approximation.

    But didn't they teach you this in Quantum 101?

    I read over that sentence several times, but it doesn't seem to parse. Want to try again?

    I'm not obsessed with this. I'm quite happy to leave you to your errors if you'd prefer that I quit now. Anyway, you apparently lost track of the topic of the thread some time ago, so now we're mostly discussing your misconceptions about quantum physics, which don't interest me that much.

    Then you'll know there are not oscillators there.

    It can come as a shock to find out that you've carried certain misconceptions for years. I understand.

    It doesn't look to me like you've tried very hard. In fact, it looks like you've given up on your argument that photons are energy. Hence your numerous digressions that attempt to distract attention away from that topic.

    Why not just admit you were in error and now you know better? That would be the more honest approach, rather than what you're dishing up now. I'm rapidly losing respect for you.

    No. I said photons are not a form of energy. Heat is not photons, radiant or otherwise.

    Heat is just energy, I agree.

    Energy doesn't increase temperature. Energy is a number, not stuff.

    Temperature, too, is just a number. Infrared radiation can certainly produce an increase in the temperature of a system.

    You consistently make the same mistake, over and over again. I could look back, but it's probably hundreds of posts ago that I first pointed it out to you - your reification of energy.

    Rather than trying to understand my argument, you have danced away on merry tangent after merry tangent, ignoring the central sticking point in our debate, such as it is. Why is that? A self-protection mechanism? You can't stand to admit you're wrong about something? It must be me who is wrong, because you are incapable of being wrong? It's quite bizarre, although not that uncommon on sciforums in my experience.

    I would much prefer it if people could show some balls and admit it when they are wrong, for a change, rather than trying for thread death by exhaustion of patience. After all, there's only so long that one can keep putting the same point and having it ignored, until one tires of the whole debacle. There's an interesting psychology thesis to be found in this feature of internet culture, I'm sure. The doubling down on the wrong. The refusal to actually take time to think about the other's point of view. The defensiveness and the silly put downs. This isn't how academic debate goes, but for some reason the internet is full of people who engage in this stuff.

    I have helpfully bolded relevant words for you.

    Okay. I have no problem with any of that.


    What version was that? Where is this version? Link please. I note that you failed to provide a link to the last place you misquoted me - because you couldn't, of course. I don't expect any better from you this time.

    Look, let me make it easier for you. Here's my statement: a particle like an electron or a photon is an excitation of a quantum field.

    Now, do you agree with that statement, or do you disagree? You can quote me on this statement, rather than making something of your own up and trying to attribute it to me.

    Yes. It's just me and all quantum field theorists who say that. But we're probably all wrong, and you're probably right, I guess.

    A photon is not a field. Nor is the vacuum.

    What's wrong with you? You started with the silly claim that a photon is energy. Now you say it's a field. Since you never retracted your initial claim, does this mean you think that energy is a field, too? And fields are energy? If so, you're hopelessly confused.
  12. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    No you insisted that instead of the equation being for electron orbitals, which is exactly what you expect when the nuclear energy is fixed and what I stated, the total energy of the atom was in the equation. Now you say that the nucleus is stationary.

    Then you admit the total energy should include the nuclear energy and this means the results are a bit different. But if what you're after, as Schrodinger was, is the orbitals of an electron, you can fix the nuclear energy like I said. Then the kinetic term in the equation is for the electron field.
    Well I think you're actually wrong, about what quantum field theorists say about fields. But you don't believe me and aren't prepared to even examine it. So that's obviously a big waste of time.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  13. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    A photon is a field, it's a quantised U(1) field, the vacuum is a quantum field, it's full of virtual quantum particles (or fields, in fact).

    Yes, a field can have energy, so each of the four fundamental fields is in fact a "form of" energy. What do you think the word "form" is supposed to mean?
    Why do you still think infrared radiation shouldn't be called infrared heat? Is everyone doing that making a fundamental error? What error?

    Your explanations for the reason that infrared isn't heat just don't parse: heat increases temperature when it flows from a hot "body" to a colder one, so what's the kicker that puts infrared in the "this isn't a form of energy transport" basket?

    What I actually first said is that light is a form of energy. I'll expand that a little and say light is a form of electromagnetic field energy. So, the idea is, electrons and positrons are also quantised forms of field energy, but the field (of each quantum) is a matter field with SU(2) symmetry.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  14. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    This kind of sums up the problem.
    1) Heat is a form of energy (not "energy" as such, but what's the difference, do you know?).
    2) But then, energy doesn't increase temperature. But heat, when it flows into a cold body, does increase temperature.
    3) So, now heat is not a form of energy, even though it is . . .
    Infrared can increase temperature; how does it do that if it isn't a form of heat, and heat is a number, not "stuff". It just doesn't follow, sorry. It's just wrong.
    That's apart from the things you get wrong about field theories.
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I suspect it may be time to close this by now pointless thread.
  16. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    At this point I cannot tell if arf is trolling or just not too sharp. Of course paddo found out he was wrong after posting a bunch of insults, so he just disappeared with out admitting his error.

    This has been rather sad, but not unusual. I think I will move on.
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  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    arfa brane:

    I honestly don't think you're equipped to have this discussion. You can't even manage to follow what I'm saying, despite my careful, repeated clarifications and explanations. You constantly attribute to me opinions that I have never held, let alone written down anywhere in this thread.

    Moreover, you're acting like a troll. You ignore important parts of my posts, mangle other parts beyond recognition, and fail to respond to the thread topic. I'm starting to lose patience with you.

    I was quite clear. Not once, but twice I told you that the stationary nucleus approximation is just that.

    I do indeed insist that, even in that approximation, the Schrodinger equation is not an "equation for electron orbitals". The wavefunction you get when you solve the equation for hydrogen is the wavefunction for the atom. The energy values that fall out are energies of the atom, not the electron on its own. If you pretend the proton isn't there, you can't even get the result, because you're no longer describing an atom but instead describing an electron on its own.

    I told you that if you want a more accurate answer, then you will need to take the nuclear motion into account. This is not me "admitting" to something. This is me attempting (again) to educate you about stuff you pretend you already understand but clearly do not.

    Yes. And so? What is the relevance of any of this stuff about the hydrogen atom? It's completely off topic, except insofar is it is yet another illumination of your misunderstandings about energy.

    I'm quite prepared to examine it. You bring it; I'll examine it.

    You've managed to misinterpret just about every quote you've posted in this thread from competent physicists, so far, so I won't be at all surprised if you start presenting more stuff in the mistaken belief that it somehow refutes what I've been telling you all along.

    But we'll see whether you can put your money where your mouth is.

    No. Excitation. Mistaking the wave for the pond. I walked you through this in my last post. Why did you ignore it?

    Maybe you aren't prepared to examine it.

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    A field can have energy, you say. Don't you see any problem with then saying in the next breath that a field is energy?

    I mean, it's been almost 400 posts now. Aren't you getting even an inkling of a notion of where you're going wrong, over and over again? Is it really possible you're as stupid about this as you make out, or is this just you trying to get a rise out of me?

    I walked you through "forms of energy" in an earlier post. Have you forgotten? Of course, you didn't acknowledge any of that at the time. You skipped over it, probably because it was something you preferred not to see.

    Go back and read it. If you still have problems with the concept, let me know where your issue lies, in relation to what I posted, and we can discuss. Otherwise, stop wasting my time.

    Because heat, being energy, is not stuff. Radiation is stuff. I've only told you this about a hundred times. You should, at the very least, know what my position on this is by now, even if for some reason known only to yourself you can't bring yourself to accept the obvious.

    They are confusing the energy associated with the radiation with the radiation itself. They are doing what you've been doing all the time - reifying energy.

    You give no indication that you've seriously attempted to parse them.

    You're still as wrong as you were at the start of this discussion. Why don't you directly grapple with the reasons I have given you as to why you are wrong, rather than ignoring them?


    Wrongy wrong wrong wrong, with sugar on top!

    This is ridiculous.

    What do you think the difference is between "energy" and a "form of energy"? The only difference I can see is that one is a subcategory of the other.

    Let me try once again to save you from yourself.

    If the internal energy of an object increases, there is usually an associated temperature increase. One way to increase the internal energy of an object is to add heat (i.e. more energy) to it.

    Of course, it's not the energy that causes the temperature to increase. For temperature to increase, the average kinetic energy of the molecules or atoms in the object must increase, which means those molecules must, in some sense, be moving faster than before. No mathematical abstraction can cause molecules to move faster. Only interactions between those molecules and other "stuff" can do that.

    Heat is a form of energy, and forms of energy are ... energy. What's the problem? This, I thought, was something we actually agree on.

    I'm guessing you're confused because you think heat, like energy, is a sort of substance. It isn't.

    The infrared radiation interacts with the "stuff" that it is heating, causing the temperature increase. Stuff interacts with stuff. The numbers you call "heat" and "energy" don't cause anything.

    You're hopelessly, and I fear irretrievably, lost when it comes to this stuff. Part of the problem is that you refuse to engage with the actual arguments being put to you. Instead, you construct straw men and pretend those are my arguments. That's when you can bring yourself to do anything more than ignore what you find inconvenient.
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    20 questions for arfa brane. Most of these only require a "yes/no" answer, or a choice between two alternatives. Two or three of them require longer answers. Shouldn't take too long.

    1. Is a water wave in a pond the same as the pond?
    2. Is a water wave a "form of energy", or is it water?
    3. Does a water wave have energy, or would you say that a water wave is energy?
    4. If a water wave has energy, does that mean that it can't be energy?
    5. Does light have energy, or would you say that light is energy?
    6. If light has energy, does that mean it can't be energy?
    7. Does heat have energy, or would you say that heat is energy?
    8. If heat has energy, does that mean it can't be energy?
    9. Does energy have any sub-properties? (Note: this is not a question asking you to list "forms of energy".)
    10. If you answered "yes" to question 9, please list the sub-properties of energy.
    11. If water waves are energy, does that mean that light is water waves?
    12. If water waves are energy, does that mean that heat is water waves?
    13. If heat is energy, does that mean that light is energy?
    14. If light is energy, does that mean that light is heat?
    15. If a water wave has energy, does that mean that a water wave has heat?
    16. If a water wave has energy, does that mean that a water wave has light?
    17. Can a number cause a physical system to move?
    18. Is energy a number?
    19. If energy is not a number, what is it?
    20. Did you answer all of the questions?
  19. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Everything above absolute zero has heat

    Absolute zero has no movement hence reads zero on a temperature recorder

    Temperature is a measurement (a comparison measurement) of how much energy a item has (in the form of the activity of its constituent atoms)

    So as stated in the first sentence everything above absolute zero has heat as a property due to the movement (excitation) of its atoms

    This holds true up to

    the highest possible known temperature is 142 nonillion kelvins (1032 K.). This is the highest temperature that we know of according to the standard model of particle physics, which is the physics that underlies and governs our universe. Beyond this, physics starts to breakdown. This is known as Planck Temperature %1$s&ampshare=
    It appears it is impossible to go above due to the excitation of the atoms causing stuff to shake itself apart leaving nothing left to measure any temperature

    So between Absolute Zero and Planck Temperature everything has HEAT the form of the excitation of its atoms and the excitation of its atoms can also be called ENERGY (because they can produce work ie heat up something cooler than themselves)

    How about that, one condition a comparison reading, TEMPERATURE, measuring the HEAT of something can also measure its ENERGY because it turns out they are one and the same

    Is this
    • helpful or
    • bullshit or
    • something which needs adjustment to be correct?

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  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    The third.

    But not in this thread. This one is NTBR.

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  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Yes, you're quite right.
  22. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    I see. So by fixing the nucleus so it doesn't contribute anything to the atom except potential (which I guess must be some kind of ideal situation which I can't understand because I'm not as smart as you), you get the wavefunction for the atom. Gee those scientists, huh?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  23. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    This is according to you. Mr smart guy.
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