I badly need light beams /light waves /photons to have rest-mass. Which all of respected and accepted science denies.
Maybe the conundrum is in the way we express ourselves. Since rejecting The Aether around 1900, science has determinedly talked of “empty-space” /the void /the space-time vacuum and made fabulously correct calculations on that assumption. But space is not empty. There is nowhere, no location large or small, in this or any other imagined universe that is not criss-crossed, cross-hatched with ever changing, legible electro-magnetic light radio waves. Every possible sphere, large or small, seethes with data-carrying, energetic, stable, permanent, visible and legible signals, broadcast by every phenomenon, large or small, from single electrons to brain-waves to colliding galaxies. It is these signals that enable us via our instruments to see the universe. I think these waves and photons have energy /mass and create the dynamic structures that create dynamic inertia. I think the Victorians were not wrong; I now call it The Aether-Matrix.
|COMING SOON – SUNJAMMER 2014
NASA’S SOLAR SAIL DRIVEN BY SUNLIGHT.
If “weightless” photons are the primary particles – they are not massless – they must have rest-mass. Many articles state that gravity has no effect on photons /Wavicles – but the famous observation of a solar eclipse, to prove Einstein’s theories, was of light from distant stars being curved by the gravity of the sun. Was that solar gravity tugging light beams or were they merely massless photons travelling through “curved space-time”?
But, the “weight” of sunlight has been demonstrated: (e.g. The difference between Lebedev’s contraption, called a Nichols Radiometer, and the failed Crookes’ set up was Lebedev’s panels twisted on their string even in a complete vacuum. When the other contraption was totally evacuated of air, the paddles stopped. In the absence of any other force on the paddles (including heat), Lebedev finally proved that it was light pushing the paddles around.)
Four years ago while attending physics classes, I thought I read on the internet (and made notes of it) that Mathematician Mitchell Figenbaum ascribed a rest mass to the photon of 10E-49 grams. I cannot now find the article I read – nor any mention of 10E-49 grams. Contrariwise, internet searches now tell me, a thousand times over, that photons have no rest mass. I might even start to believe it.
The solar wind does however have weight, often referred to as the pressure of sunlight. This “wind” that streams the tails of meteors and comets away from the sun does contain particles other than “massless” photons, such as neutrinos – and presumably hydrogen and helium atoms expelled from the sun. But it is mostly photons. NASA has announced the “2014 Sunjammer mission which will deploy a sail that measures approximately 38 metres along one side with a total surface area of around 1,200 square metres, or a third of an acre. That’s seven times larger than any solar sail tested in space to date.”
Citing, yet again, E=MC2each gram of photons must compress or empty or attract energy from the ever Hubble expanding, basic, all pervasive electromagnetic field; in today’s values (2013) clearing a volume of a sphere in “empty” space with a diameter of 500,000,000 meters or 500,000 kilometres (575,805,138.9118680 meters) and compacting the light to make a rest mass of 1 gram.
1 gram of photons at my imaginary rest mass represents ten-thousand-billion-billion-billion-billion photons. So a single photon needs to collect the energy from a sphere of 6E-38 metres diameter; at current 2013 values (as my universe is dynamic not static and changes with time) of the energy that “empty” space contains. That is a surprisingly small sphere – so I wonder if my arithmetic is awry?
The essential search here is for the mechanism that turns pure energy into matter – and confers a reliable life span on the matter and the things it builds – say three-score-years-and-ten on a not totally repellent, complex walking sack of saline solution, such as me, for example. We are searching for the magic that converts ephemeral, insubstantial straw into solid, long lasting gold. Every subatomic action in every passing micro-second in every one of my 100 trillion cells – and all of the cells’ interchanges and co-operations – and the signature signals from the whole (person) broadcasts into the field of the Aether-Matrix and thus informs and reforms the energy field.
If a photon is the product of intersecting light/ radio waves at a place or focus that compacts energy from the surrounding field, such entities subsist everywhere. Each photon draws and holds the energy of a measurable sphere which logically must for a time contain less free-energy – the existence of a photon attenuates the space around it – it exists in a partial vacuum. I envisage the particle as a spinning vortex, a whirlwind, winding in the light field, creating a surface, with compression within and relative vacuum without. The relative vacuums “attract” and the spinning surfaces “repel” – creating dynamic inertia.
The orientations of such transitional phenomena, as they combine, may account for magnetic dipoles and monopoles.
Light does not “travel”. Light does not “speed”. Light propagates. The energetic event we observe as light is an event that passes energy from light wave to light wave – at 300,000 KPS which is (so far) a basic quantum of our universe. This is the medium that propagates light, in wave formations that we do intuitively understand (because we are made from this stuff) and see in water, gases and all materials – even in rock. As the energy travels or spherically broadcasts it stimulates in-situ photons that we can then see – whatever the carrier wavelength. Thus the photons, in spheres surrounding an energetic event, might appear to be travelling faster than C 300,000 kilometres per second.
As the spinning entities we name as photons combine, they make other particles, a myriad of particles to which we ascribe a myriad of new names and properties. And the photons disappear into the transformation.
That’s it for now; I have written down part of what was in my head – until I realise how wrong this article is and revisit to correct it.
Massless particles 
Massless particles have zero rest mass. Their relativistic mass is simply their relativistic energy, divided by c2, or m(relativistic) = E/c2. The energy for photons is E = hfwhere h is Planck’s constant and f is the photon frequency. This frequency and thus the relativistic energy are frame-dependent.
If an observer runs away from a photon in the direction it travels from a source, having it catch up with the observer, then when the photon catches up it will be seen as having less energy than it had at the source. The faster the observer is traveling with regard to the source when the photon catches up, the less energy the photon will have. As an observer approaches the speed of light with regard to the source, the photon looks redder and redder, by relativistic Doppler effect (the Doppler shift is the relativistic formula), and the energy of a very long-wavelength photon approaches zero. This is why a photon is massless; this means that the rest mass of a photon is zero.
Massless particles contribute rest mass and invariant mass to systems 
Two photons moving in different directions cannot both be made to have arbitrarily small total energy by changing frames, or by moving toward or away from them. The reason is that in a two-photon system, the energy of one photon is decreased by chasing after it, but the energy of the other will increase with the same shift in observer motion. Two photons not moving in the same direction will exhibit an inertial frame where the combined energy is smallest, but not zero. This is called the center of mass frame or the center of momentumframe; these terms are almost synonyms (the center of mass frame is the special case of a center of momentum frame where the center of mass is put at the origin). The most that chasing a pair of photons can accomplish to decrease their energy is to put the observer in frame where the photons have equal energy and are moving directly away from each other. In this frame, the observer is now moving in the same direction and speed as the center of mass of the two photons. The total momentum of the photons is now zero, since their momentums are equal and opposite. In this frame the two photons, as a system, have a mass equal to their total energy divided by c2. This mass is called the invariant massof the pair of photons together. It is the smallest mass and energy the system may be seen to have, by any observer. It is only the invariant mass of a two-photon system that can be used to make a single particle with the same rest mass.
Since sunlight has energy, it also has a mass associated with it as indicated by Einstein’s famous equation E = mc^2 or m = E/(c^2).
An elementary textbook says the sun converts 4.2 x 10^9 kg of mass to energy every second. Using this number, we can estimate the amount of energy (mass) from the sun hitting the earth by calculating the fraction of the entire solid angle the earth intercepts as seen by the sun. Since the diameter of the earth is about 1.3 x 10^7 m and it is 1.5 x 10^11 m from the sun, it subtends an angle of about 8.7 x 10^-5 radians. If we square this angle and divide by 4 pi = 12.6, we get the solid angle fraction subtended by the earth, which I calculate to be about 6 x 10^-10 of the entire solid angle. Multiplying this by the 4.2 x 10^9 kg burned by the sun every second and we obtain 2.5 kg/s as the mass of the photons (light) from the sun striking the earth every second.
There is another way to guesstimate this number using the rough estimate of 1 kW/m^2 as the energy of the sunlight striking the earth. Multiplying this by the area of a disk with the area of the cross section of the earth (pi x R^2 = 1.3 x 10^14 m^2) gives 1.3 x 10^17 J/s. Dividing this by the velocity of light squared (c^2 = 9 x 10^16) gives 1.4 kg/s. I consider this to be in excellent agreement with the figure of 2.5 kg/s obtained above.
Please let me know if you find this less than clear or would like more information or explanation.
Best, Dick Plano, Professor of Physics emeritus, Rutgers University