Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Further thought on 'electromagnetic' energy waves.

I'm not so sure about the "magnetic" in the term "electromagnetic wave". For sure an energy wave is interacting with something that maintains its oscillating path.

Bloody hell. I was just reading up on the use of the electron-volt scale (meV, keV, MeV, GeV, etc) and wondering why the same was used to describe the mass of quarks, when I came across this:
By mass-energy equivalence, the electron volt is also a unit of mass. It is common in particle physics, where mass and energy are often interchanged, to use eV/c2, where c is the speed of light in a vacuum (from E = mc2). Even more common is to use a system of natural units with c set to 1 (hence, E = m), and simply use eV as a unit of mass. 
"Electronvolt", Wikipedia.org, 2011-01-25
The speed of light (through a vacuum) is so constant that it would be convenient (and probably more practical) to just set it to 1. Was this just for convenience that this reduction was devised (see natural units),  or are some already persuaded that energy is mass? E=m has been my entire line of thought in this post and its predecessor. Still, E=m does not describe the gravitational properties of a fundamental element.

Getting back to energy waves, what intrigues me most there is their oscillation - there are obviously two opposing elements at work here, otherwise energy would travel in a straight line (or not travel at all). What also intrigues me is that, no matter the energy level of a wave, the force opposing it is always exactly that of the energy transmitted. Could the opposition/attraction in energy waves be the very source of gravity itself?

The notion of "perfect matter" has its uses here as well. Imagine it as an element that would need an enormous amount of energy to overcome/affect/transform; its first reaction against any force against it would be to push back with equal force (in order to regain its initial 'perfect' state). This would describe the 'magnetic' in the behaviour of electromagnetic waves quite nicely. But I digress - it is a bit hard for me to let go of that idea after entertaining it for so long.

In my present line of thinking, it doesn't really matter what form the 'push' force has (we need only retain the energy of the perfectly visible photon), it is only the 'push/pull' phenomenon itself. If I could apply the degree/frequency of an energy wave's oscillation to the laws of gravity, we see some similarities: lower-frequency waves are much longer and higher than higher-frequency ones, or in other words, the force of interaction (push/pull) is lower - think the gravitational effect two distant planets have on each other, the greater the distance (and smaller the mass), the lower the effect and the longer it takes for the other to react in any noticeable way.

Now, if the vertical push/pull of a wave really was gravity, we can imagine that the gravitational force (always across the axis of the path of travel) will be extremely low - but what happens when an energy wave increases in frequency/energy? An increasingly energetic push/pull occurs many more times along a shorter length of axis.

Yet all across the spectrum, the forward momentum of a wave remains the same - the speed of light, or c.  This brings me to my next question: what would happen if the frequency of an energy wave get so high that its lateral momentum nears/meets/exceeds its forward momentum? Could the cross-axis push/pull begin to affect/overcome an energy wave's forward momentum, making it slow, stop, or... begin to loop?