Light - What's the Science of Light?

Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 08:50 pm
This topic is based on LIGHT and the scientific nature of Light. Please keep the discussion in this thread to the above.

What is light? Philosphically and Scientifically.

Here is some information I found on Light!

Light sources

See also: List of light sources

There are many sources of light. The most common light sources are thermal: a body at a given temperature emits a characteristic spectrum of black body radiation. Examples include sunlight (the radiation emitted by the chromosphere of the Sun at around 6,000 K peaks in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum), incandescent light bulbs (which emit only around 10% of their energy as visible light and the remainder as infrared), and glowing solid particles in flames. The peak of the blackbody spectrum is in the infrared for relatively cool objects like human beings. As the temperature increases, the peak shifts to shorter wavelengths, producing first a red glow, then a white one, and finally a blue color as the peak moves out of the visible part of the spectrum and into the ultraviolet. These colors can be seen when metal is heated to "red hot" or "white hot". The blue color is most commonly seen in a gas flame or a welder's torch.
Atoms emit and absorb light at characteristic energies. This produces "emission lines" in the spectrum of each atom. Emission can be spontaneous, as in light-emitting diodes, gas discharge lamps (such as neon lamps and neon signs, mercury-vapor lamps, etc.), and flames (light from the hot gas itself-so, for example, sodium in a gas flame emits characteristic yellow light). Emission can also be stimulated, as in a laser or a microwave maser.
Acceleration of a free charged particle, such as an electron, can produce visible radiation: cyclotron radiation, synchrotron radiation, and bremsstrahlung radiation are all examples of this. Particles moving through a medium faster than the speed of light in that medium can produce visible Cherenkov radiation.
Certain chemicals produce visible radiation by chemoluminescence. In living things, this process is called bioluminescence. For example, fireflies produce light by this means, and boats moving through water can disturb plankton which produce a glowing wake.
Certain substances produce light when they are illuminated by more energetic radiation, a process known as fluorescence. This is used in fluorescent lights. Some substances emit light slowly after excitation by more energetic radiation. This is known as phosphorescence.
Phosphorescent materials can also be excited by bombarding them with subatomic particles. Cathodoluminescence is one example of this. This mechanism is used in cathode ray tube televisions.
Certain other mechanisms can produce light:Theories about light

Indian theories

In ancient India, the philosophical schools of Samkhya and Vaisheshika, from around the 6th-5th century BC, developed theories on light. According to the Samkhya school, light is one of the five fundamental "subtle" elements (tanmatra) out of which emerge the gross elements. The atomicity of these elements is not specifically mentioned and it appears that they were actually taken to be continuous.
On the other hand, the Vaisheshika school gives an atomic theory of the physical world on the non-atomic ground of ether, space and time. (See Indian atomism.) The basic atoms are those of earth (prthivı), water (apas), fire (tejas), and air (vayu), that should not be confused with the ordinary meaning of these terms. These atoms are taken to form binary molecules that combine further to form larger molecules. Motion is defined in terms of the movement of the physical atoms and it appears that it is taken to be non-instantaneous. Light rays are taken to be a stream of high velocity of tejas (fire) atoms. The particles of light can exhibit different characteristics depending on the speed and the arrangements of the tejas atoms.
Later in 499 AD, Aryabhata, who proposed a heliocentric solar system of gravitation in his Aryabhatiya, wrote that the planets and the Moon do not have their own light but reflect the light of the Sun.
The Indian Buddhists, such as Dignāga in the 5th century and Dharmakirti in the 7th century, developed a type of atomism that is a philosophy about reality being composed of atomic entities that are momentary flashes of light or energy. They viewed light as being an atomic entity equivalent to energy, similar to the modern concept of photons, though they also viewed all matter as being composed of these light/energy particles.

Greek and Hellenistic theories

In the fifth century BC, Empedocles postulated that everything was composed of four elements; fire, air, earth and water. He believed that Aphrodite made the human eye out of the four elements and that she lit the fire in the eye which shone out from the eye making sight possible. If this were true, then one could see during the night just as well as during the day, so Empedocles postulated an interaction between rays from the eyes and rays from a source such as the sun.
In about 300 BC, Euclid wrote Optica, in which he studied the properties of light. Euclid postulated that light travelled in straight lines and he described the laws of reflection and studied them mathematically. He questioned that sight is the result of a beam from the eye, for he asks how one sees the stars immediately, if one closes ones eyes, then opens them at night. Of course if the beam from the eye travels infinitely fast this is not a problem.
In 55 BC, Lucretius, a Roman who carried on the ideas of earlier Greek atomists, wrote:
"The light and heat of the sun; these are composed of minute atoms which, when they are shoved off, lose no time in shooting right across the interspace of air in the direction imparted by the shove." - On the nature of the Universe
Despite being remarkably similar to how we think of light today, Lucretius's views were not generally accepted and light was still theorized as emanating from the eye.
Ptolemy (c. 2nd century CE) wrote about the refraction of light, and developed a theory of vision that objects are seen by rays of light emanating from the eyes.

Optical theory

The Persian scientist Alhazen Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham (c. 965-1040), also known as Alhazen, developed a broad theory that explained vision, using geometry and anatomy, which stated that each point on an illuminated area or object radiates light rays in every direction, but that only one ray from each point, which strikes the eye perpendicularly, can be seen. The other rays strike at different angles and are not seen. He used the example of the pinhole camera, which produces an inverted image, to support his argument. This contradicted Ptolemy's theory of vision that objects are seen by rays of light emanating from the eyes. Alhazen held light rays to be streams of minute particles that travelled at a finite speed. He improved Ptolemy's theory of the refraction of light, and went on to discover the laws of refraction.
He also carried out the first experiments on the dispersion of light into its constituent colors. His major work Kitab-at-Manazir was translated into Latin in the Middle Ages, as well his book dealing with the colors of sunset. He dealt at length with the theory of various physical phenomena like shadows, eclipses, the rainbow. He also attempted to explain binocular vision, and gave a correct explanation of the apparent increase in size of the sun and the moon when near the horizon. Through these extensive researches on optics, is considered as the father of modern optics.
Al-Haytham also correctly argued that we see objects because the sun's rays of light, which he believed to be streams of tiny particles travelling in straight lines, are reflected from objects into our eyes. He understood that light must travel at a large but finite velocity, and that refraction is caused by the velocity being different in different substances. He also studied spherical and parabolic mirrors, and understood how refraction by a lens will allow images to be focused and magnification to take place. He understood mathematically why a spherical mirror produces aberration.

The 'plenum'

(1596-1650) held that light was a disturbance of the plenum, the continuous substance of which the universe was composed. In 1637 he published a theory of the refraction of light that wrongly assumed that light travelled faster in a denser medium, by analogy with the behaviour of sound waves. Descartes' theory is often regarded as the forerunner of the wave theory of light.

Particle theory

Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), an atomist, proposed a particle theory of light which was published posthumously in the 1660s. Isaac Newton studied Gassendi's work at an early age, and preferred his view to Descartes' theory of the plenum. He stated in his Hypothesis of Light of 1675 that light was composed of corpuscles (particles of matter) which were emitted in all directions from a source. One of Newton's arguments against the wave nature of light was that waves were known to bend around obstacles, while light travelled only in straight lines. He did, however, explain the phenomenon of the diffraction of light (which had been observed by Francesco Grimaldi) by allowing that a light particle could create a localised wave in the aether.
Newton's theory could be used to predict the reflection of light, but could only explain refraction by incorrectly assuming that light accelerated upon entering a denser medium because the gravitational pull was greater. Newton published the final version of his theory in his Opticks of 1704. His reputation helped the particle theory of light to dominate physics during the 18th century.

Wave theory

In the 1660s, Robert Hooke published a wave theory of light. Christian Huygens worked out his own wave theory of light in 1678, and published it in his Treatise on light in 1690. He proposed that light was emitted in all directions as a series of waves in a medium called the aether. As waves are not affected by gravity, it was assumed that they slowed down upon entering a denser medium.
The wave theory predicted that light waves could interfere with each other like sound waves (as noted in the 18th century by Thomas Young), and that light could be polarized. Young showed by means of a diffraction experiment that light behaved as waves. He also proposed that different colours were caused by different wavelengths of light, and explained color vision in terms of three-coloured receptors in the eye.
Another supporter of the wave theory was Euler. He argued in Nova theoria lucis et colorum (1746) that diffraction could more easily be explained by a wave theory.
Later, Fresnel independently worked out his own wave theory of light, and presented it to the in 1817. Simeon Denis Poisson added to Fresnel's mathematical work to produce a convincing argument in favour of the wave theory, helping to overturn Newton's corpuscular theory.
The weakness of the wave theory was that light waves, like sound waves, would need a medium for transmission. A hypothetical substance called the luminiferous aether was proposed, but its existence was cast into strong doubt by the Michelson-Morley experiment.
Newton's corpuscular theory implied that light would travel faster in a denser medium, while the wave theory of Huygens and others implied the opposite. At that time, the speed of light could not be measured accurately enough to decide which theory was correct. The first to make a sufficiently accurate measurement was , in 1850. His result supported the wave theory, and the classical particle theory was finally abandoned.

Electromagnetic theory

In 1845, Faraday discovered that the angle of polarization of a beam of light as it passed through a polarizing material could be altered by a magnetic field, an effect now known as Faraday rotation. This was the first evidence that light was related to electromagnetism. Faraday proposed in 1847 that light was a high-frequency electromagnetic vibration, which could propagate even in the absence of a medium such as the ether.
Faraday's work inspired James Clerk Maxwell to study electromagnetic radiation and light. Maxwell discovered that self-propagating electromagnetic waves would travel through space at a constant speed, which happened to be equal to the previously measured speed of light. From this, Maxwell concluded that light was a form of electromagnetic radiation: he first stated this result in 1862 in On Physical Lines of Force. In 1873, he published A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, which contained a full mathematical description of the behaviour of electric and magnetic fields, still known as Maxwell's equations. The technology of radio transmission was, and still is, based on this theory.
The constant speed of light predicted by Maxwell's equations contradicted the mechanical laws of motion that had been unchallenged since the time of Galileo, which stated that all speeds were relative to the speed of the observer. A solution to this contradiction would later be found by Albert Einstein.

Particle theory revisited

The wave theory was accepted until the late 19th century, when Einstein described the photoelectric effect, by which light striking a surface caused electrons to change their momentum, which indicated a particle-like nature of light. This clearly contradicted the wave theory, and for years physicists tried in vain to resolve this contradiction.

Quantum theory

In 1900, Max Planck described quantum theory, in which light is considered to be as a particle that could exist in discrete amounts of energy only. These packets were called quanta, and the particle of light was given the name photon, to correspond with other particles being described around this time, such as the electron and proton. A photon has an energy, E, proportional to its frequency, f, by
http://upload.wikimedia.org/math/5/2/c/52c2997300cd4a9b84aab1297a198613.png where h is Planck's constant, λ is the wavelength and c is the speed of light.
As it originally stood, this theory did not explain the simultaneous wave-like nature of light, though Planck would later work on theories that did. The Nobel Committee awarded Planck the Physics Prize in 1918 for his part in the founding of quantum theory.

Wave-particle duality

The modern theory that explains the nature of light is wave-particle duality, described by Albert Einstein in the early 1900s, based on his work on the photoelectric effect and Planck's results. Einstein determined that the energy of a photon is proportional to its frequency. More generally, the theory states that everything has both a particle nature and a wave nature, and various experiments can be done to bring out one or the other. The particle nature is more easily discerned if an object has a large mass, so it took until an experiment by Louis de Broglie in 1924 to realise that electrons also exhibited wave-particle duality. Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his work with the wave-particle duality on photons, and de Broglie followed in 1929 for his extension to other particles.

A light wave

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/30/Light-wave.png/180px-Light-wave.png http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/common/images/magnify-clip.png
This is a light wave frozen in time and shows the two components of light; an electric field and a magnetic field that oscillate perpendicular to each other and to the direction of motion (a transverse wave).

The electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to the direction of travel and to each other. This picture depicts a very special case, linearly polarized light. See Polarization for a description of the general case and an explanation of linear polarization.
While these relations of the electric and magnetic fields are always true, the subtle difference in the general case is that the direction and amplitude of the magnetic (or electric) field can vary, in one place, with time, or, in one instant, can vary along the direction of propagation.

  • M. Muller. Rig-Veda-Samhita together with the Commentary of Sayana, Oxford University Press, London, 1890.
  • B. K. Matilal. Nyaya-Vaisesika, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1977.
  • K. H. Potter, Indian Metaphysics and Epistemology, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1977.
  • G. J. Larson and R. S. Bhattacharya. Samkhya: A Dualist Tradition in Indian Philosophy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1987.
  • S. S. De. In Issues in Vedic Astronomy and Astrology, Motilal Banarsidass, 1992.
  • P. V. Vartak. Scientific Knowledge in the Vedas, Nag Publishers, 1995.
  • S. Kak. "The Speed of Light and Purāṇic Cosmology". In T. R. N. Rao and S. Kak, Computing Science in Ancient India, pages 80-90. USL Press, Lafayette, 1998. Available as e-print physics/9804020 on the arXiv.
See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: LightThis article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Light".

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Reply Thu 6 Jul, 2006 11:24 pm
Below is an article found on Philosophy.org written by Walter Russell in a book called Light.

Light cannot be seen, it can only be known. Light is still. The sense of sight cannot respond to stillness. That which the eyes "feel" and believe to be Light is but wave motion simulating the idea of Light. Like all things else in this electric wave universe the idea of Light cannot be produced. Electric waves simulate idea only. They do not become idea. When man sees the light of the sun he believes that he is actually seeing light when the nerves of his eyes are but "feeling" the intense, rapid, short- wave vibrations of the kind of wave motion which he senses as incandescence. The intensely vibrant electric current mirrored into the senses of the eyes fairly burns them. They cannot stand that high rate of vibration. The eyes would be destroyed by such a vibration but light would not be the cause of that destruction. Fast motion, simulating light, would be the cause. It would be like sending a high voltage electric current over a wire, so fine that the current would burn it out.
Man likewise cannot see darkness. The nerves of his eyes, which sense motion, slow down to a rate of vibration that he can no longer "feel." Man is so accustomed to the idea that he actually sees light in various intensities illuminating various substances to greater or lesser degree that it is difficult for him to realize that his own senses are but acting as mirrors to reflect various intensities of wave motion. But that is all that is happening.
Every electrically conditioned thing in Nature reflects the vibrations of every other thing, to fulfill its desire to synchronize its vibrations with every other thing. All matter is the motion of light. All motion is expressed in waves. All light waves are mirrors that reflect each other's condition unto the farthermost star.
This is an electrically conditioned wave universe. All wave conditions are forever seeking oneness. For this reason all sensation responds to all other sensation.

Is Light A Wave Or Corpuscle?

Much controversy has arisen as to whether light is corpuscular, as Newton claimed it to be, or waves. There is much evidence in favor of both theories. It is both. Light is expressed by motion. All motion is wave motion. All waves are expressed by fields of equal and opposite pressures of two-way motion. The entire volume within wave fields is filled with the two opposite expressions of motion-the positive expression that compresses light into solids, and the negative expression that expands it into space surrounding solids.
All space within wave fields is curved. Curvature ends at planes of zero curvature that bound all wave fields. These boundary planes of omnipresent magnetic Light act as mirrors to reflect all curvature into all other wave fields in the universe, and as fulcrums from which motion in one wave field is universally repeated.

All Matter Is Wave Motion

Together these constitute what we call matter and space. It has been difficult to conceive light as being purely corpuscular, for light is presumed to fill all space. Space is not empty. It is full of wave motion. Corpuscles of matter are one half of wave cycles of light. Space is the other half.
There need be no mystery as to whether light is corpuscular or wave, for waves of motion which simulate the light and darkness of space is all there is.
The light and motion of solid matter, and of gaseous matter of space, differs only in volume and condition. Water of earth is compressed into small volume while water of the heavens is expanded thou sands of time in volume. Each condition is the opposite half of the cycle of water.
Water vapor is water turned inside out. It again becomes water by turning outside in. Expansion- contraction sequences result from this process.

All Matter Is Simulated Light

Water of the heavens still is water, and it still is light waves. No change whatsoever has taken place between the waters of earth and those of the heavens except a change of its condition from positive to negative preponderance. This change is due solely to a change of its direction in respect to its center of gravity.
All dense cold matter, such as iron, stone, wood, and all growing or decaying things, are light. We do not think of them as light but all are waves of motion, and all waves of motion are light.
Light is all there is in the spiritual universe of knowing, and simulation of that light in opposite extensions is all there is in the electric wave universe of sensing. The simulation of light in matter is not light. There is no light in matter.
Perhaps the confusion which attends this idea would be lessened if we classify everything concerning the spiritual universe, such as life, intelligence, truth, power, knowledge and balance as being the One Light of Knowing, and everything concerning matter and motion as being the two simulated lights of thinking.
Thinking expresses knowing in matter but matter does not think, nor does it know.
Thinking also expresses life, truth, idea, power and balance by recording the ideas of those qualities in the two lights of matter in motion, but matter does not live, nor is it truth, balance or idea, even though it simulates those spiritual qualities.
Man's confusion concerning this differentiation lies in his, long assumption of the reality of matter. His assumption that his body is his Self, that his knowledge is in his brain, and that he lives and dies because his body integrates and disintegrates, has been so fundamental a part of his thinking that it is difficult for him to reverse his thinking to the fact that matter is but motion and has no reality beyond simulating reality.
The light which we think we see is but motion. We do not see light. We feel the wave vibrations set up by the motion that simulates light, but the motion of electric waves that simulate light is not that which it simulates.

Confusion Concerning Light Corpuscles

There is much confusion concerning the many kinds of particles of matter such as electrons, protons, photons, neutrons and others. These many particles are supposedly different because of the belief that some are negatively charged, some are positively charged and some are so equally charged that one supposedly neutralizes the other.
There is no such condition in nature as negative charge, nor are there negatively charged particles. Charge and discharge are opposite conditions, as filling and emptying, or compressing and expanding are opposite conditions.
Compressing bodies are charging into higher potential conditions. Conversely, expanding bodies are discharging into lower potential conditions. To describe an electron as a negatively charged body is equivalent to saying that it is an expanding-contracting body.
Contracting and expanding bodies move in opposite directions. Contracting bodies move radially inward toward mass centers, and expanding bodies move radially outward toward space that surrounds masses. In this two-way universe, light which is inwardly directed toward gravity charges mass and discharges space. When directed toward space it charges space and discharges mass. All direction of force in Nature is spiral.
The charging condition is positive. It multiplies speed of motion into density of substance. The principle of multiplication of motion because of decrease of volume is the cause of the acceleration of gravity. The discharging condition is negative. It divides speed of motion into tenuity of substance. The principle of the division of motion because of expansion of volume is the cause of the deceleration of radiation.
One can better comprehend this principle by knowing that what we call substance is purely motion. Motion simulates substance by its variation of pressures, its speed and its gyroscopic relation to its wave axis.
Particles are variously conditioned as to pressure but there are no different kinds of particles. All are light waves wound up into particles that are doubly charged. Their position at any one point in their wave causes them to have the electric condition appropriate for that point.
Light particles are forever moving in their octave waves. All are either heading toward their cathode or their anode, which means toward vacuity or gravity. They are all moving either inward or outward, spirally.

All Light Particles Are Alike

All light particles are either expressing the mother- light principle or the father-light principle. For example, if a particle is on the amplitude of the wave, it would be a true sphere, and as a true sphere it would be neither positive nor negative. It might then appropriately be called a neutron. A particle which is spirally heading inward toward the apex of a vortex in the process of becoming a sphere might appropriately be called a proton, because of its expressing the father-light principle.
Again, if it is moving spirally outward, it could appropriately be called an electron because it would then be discharging in excess of its charge or expanding in excess of its contraction.
Light rays, for example, leaving the sun, are discharging the sun. They are also discharging themselves because they are expanding into greater volume. They are also lowering their own potential by multiplying their volume. They reverse their charge when radially converging upon the earth. They are then charging the earth and themselves by contracting into smaller volume and are simultaneously multiplying their own potential by thus contracting.

Semi-cyclic Alteration

In an electric current there is a constant interchange between anode and cathode or positive and negative poles. A light particle expands as it leaves the cathode in an outward radial direction and contracts as it radially approaches the anode. This light particle has been the same light particle at all times in all parts of its journey. Its variation of charge and discharge, its direction of motion and the condition of wave pressure in which it finds itself at all times are the sole reasons for its changing from one condition to another. The light particles are all the same light particles, all being different only in pressure condition.
This is also true of the elements of matter. Whether they be iron, carbon, silicon, bismuth or radium, all are composed of the same kind of light particles.
They all seem to have different qualities and attributes, but those qualities and attributes are likewise given to them purely by the positions they occupy in their waves.

All Things Simulate Light

A particle of light which belongs to an atomic system of sodium has in it all of the entire range of the elements, besides all of every other creating thing in the universe. It acts to carry out the purposefulness of the idea of sodium simply because it is in the pressure condition of sodium, and is a part of the unfolding pattern of the seed of inert gas of the octave from which it has unfolded.
If that same particle unfolded from the seed of the oak, it would be part of the wood fiber of its trunk, or leaf, or of the chlorophyll which colored its leaves, but it would be the same kind of particle while fulfilling the purpose of cellulose as while fulfilling the purpose of sodium.
All matter in this universe is but differently conditioned motion simulating light, and all differences in condition are pressure differences.

Light Does Not Travel

The speed with which light presumably travels is 186,400 miles per second. The distance between stars is so great that the speed of light is computed as light years, for the distance computed by lesser units of time would yield figures so great that they would be meaningless.
Light only seems to travel. It is but one more of the countless illusions caused by wave motion. Waves of the ocean seem to traverse the ocean but they only appear to do so, for waves are pistons in the universal engines, and pistons operate up and down. Wave pistons of light, or of the ocean, operate radially and spirally inward and outward, toward and away from gravity.
Waves of light do not travel. They reproduce each other from wave field to wave field of space. The planes of zero curvature, which bound all wave fields, act as mirrors to reflect light from one field into another. This sets up an appearance of light as traveling, which is pure illusion.
The sunlight we feel upon our bodies is not actual light from the sun. What actually is happening is that the sun is reproducing its own condition on the earth by extending the reproductions out through cold space into ever enlarging wave fields until those reproductions begin to converge again toward our center of gravity into ever smaller wave fields. The heat we feel and the light we see is dependent entirely upon the ability of the wave fields to reproduce the light and heat, and that ability is conditioned upon the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.
If there were no moisture in the atmosphere, our bodies would carbonize from the heat thus reproduced. One cannot consistently think of that heat as direct rays of the sun, for that same sunlight was intensely cold during its reproduced journey through the immensely expanded wave fields of space between the sun and earth.
The light and heat that appear to come from the star or sun have never left the star or sun.
That which man sees as light and feels as heat is the reproduced counterpart of the light and heat that is its cause.
The rate of vibration in a wave field depends upon its volume. Vibration in a wave field means the pulse of interchange between its compressed core and the space surrounding that core. A slow vibration in a large wave field would cool one's body, or even freeze it, while fast pulsing interchange in extremely small wave fields could burn one's body.
A lens that multiplies light and heat toward a focal point which sets paper on fire merely compresses larger wave fields into smaller ones. The rate of vibration increases for the same reason that the planets nearest the sun move much faster in their small orbits than those that are far away from the sun. Kepler's law covering the speeds of planets will apply to rates of vibration in wave fields as appropriately as with the movements in the solar system.
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de Silentio
Reply Fri 7 Jul, 2006 11:56 am
"I feel there is but one source which can be found in every organic and inorganic matter which is light"

This is a quote from the other discussion. Can you explain what you mean by it? I could read the quote that you got from somewhere else, but I would much rather hear your take on it.
Reply Tue 11 Jul, 2006 08:50 pm
@de Silentio,
First off, I apologize for keeping you on the hook. I want to explore this much more thoroughly as time permits.

What I meant in saying that light is found in all matter, organic or inorganic is simply saying that I feel that light is in all things.

It has been argued that light is a wave and then other times a particle. Light is both. Light provides growth and life. Every form of matter whether it be organic or inorganic is either motion in oposition or motion in inertia.

Motion in opposition can be described as what we call matter. For man, there is no life without form. Motion in opposition is under either electric or magnetic domination. Motion in inertia is both electric and magnetic.. a state of motion where pressure is equalized without a dominating force. Our concept of life belongs to motion in opposition and our concept of death belongs to motion in intertia.

The one substance in all creation is Light. This of course contradicts the separation of mind and matter... which leads to yet another discussion.

Have you ever thought about the fact that maybe there is only one substance in all creation which is light?

This can be broken down further as this discussion continues on light.

Let's continue to explore Light and what it is.
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de Silentio
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2006 07:32 pm
In Aristotle's four causes, he maintains that once something is absorbed and changed, it becomes the essence of the thing that absorbed it. I am not a fan of Aristotle, so I can't exactly remember the argument.

I do, however, remember the example. When an apple is broken down by my body, and integrated into it, it no longer is an apple, it is now a part of me. It no longer has the material cause of an apple.

This can be applied to your argument of light, once light is absorbed and used by the plants, it is no longer light, it becomes a part of the plant.
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Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 08:39 am
Justin wrote:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/30/Light-wave.png/180px-Light-wave.png http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/common/images/magnify-clip.png
This is a light wave frozen in time and shows the two components of light; an electric field and a magnetic field that oscillate perpendicular to each other and to the direction of motion (a transverse wave).
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Reply Sat 4 Nov, 2006 01:35 pm
Light travels at its peak speed, 186,000miles a second through a void. It however only travels 37miles an hour through sodium cloride when frozen to -80'c. Interesting.
Reply Sun 12 Nov, 2006 01:46 am
pilgrimshost wrote:
Light travels at its peak speed, 186,000miles a second through a void. It however only travels 37miles an hour through sodium cloride when frozen to -80'c. Interesting.

That somehow fits well in with Russell's statement that the true speed of light is zero. That which we measure as the speed of light is just some wave phenomena with a certain speed, relative to the environment.

The speed of light in sodium chloride is just another such wave phenomena, where the wave speed is relative to that particular environment.

It doesn't make any sense either that an absolute (which the speed of light has been considered as, at least in the past) has a certain speed. Speed is always relative (to zero speed) and therefore cannot be absolute.

Reply Sun 12 Nov, 2006 06:10 am
rado wrote:

It doesn't make any sense either that an absolute (which the speed of light has been considered as, at least in the past) has a certain speed. Speed is always relative (to zero speed) and therefore cannot be absolute.

Absolute zero, or some other sort of zero?

I don't see how to work out the point.

If zero is nothing, then there is nothing thus to relate to.

This is the paradox of perception, that it is only possible to perceive to the extent that we already know, that there is a known pattern to recognise, but then again, this is only possible to the extent that the pattern changes, that we do not therefore know it.

-- RH.
Reply Sun 12 Nov, 2006 09:43 am
perplexity wrote:
Absolute zero, or some other sort of zero?

I don't see how to work out the point.

If zero is nothing, then there is nothing thus to relate to.
-- RH.

Any chosen reference point in time/space.

perplexity wrote:

This is the paradox of perception, that it is only possible to perceive to the extent that we already know, that there is a known pattern to recognise, but then again, this is only possible to the extent that the pattern changes, that we do not therefore know it.
-- RH.

Are you saying that as soon as we know the pattern "circle" we no longer can recognise a circle until it's no longer a circle?

Reply Sun 12 Nov, 2006 10:46 am
rado wrote:

Are you saying that as soon as we know the pattern "circle" we no longer can recognise a circle until it's no longer a circle?

It would be more a case of not knowing if it is a circle or an oval, until it moves, or until you move, without the frame of reference.

The theme is also well illustrated by this practical example:

the Big_Spanish_Castle

In the scientific sense as much as in the philosophical sense, the more you look at perception, the more illusory the process turns out to be. Advanced science is actually confirming what the ancient mystics had always told us anyway: it is all in the mind.

-- RH.
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