Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Direction of Light - A 'New' Form of Light Discovered

Science seems to be getting closer to settling the debate first posited to us back when we were kids in elementary school (and to real scientists and mathematicians over millennia).

Sure, the question of whether light was a particle or a wave stumped our class - it was one of those unanswerable questions our teacher would ask in an effort to just get us to think. Some kids chose the 'particle' argument while most chose the 'wave' point of view. My small group chose the 'both' or 'neither' path. ('Then PROVE it.', our teacher would then say.) Our Fridays were spent on field trips, catching up (or getting ahead) with schoolwork, or just chillin'.
 Fridays were our free time. Like the Squaring the Cube bet or the later bet of trying to get just a mouthful of water through a one inch thick run of surgical tubing from a bucket on the ground to a kid standing on the second floor using just one's lungs - these challenges were just placed in order to get us kids to understand just how little we actually knew or understood.
 But back to the Direction of Light question...

 While staring at one of those spiral mobiles, ' Like THAT.', I said as though I was having an epiphany. We were surrounded by photos of the Galaxy, of spiral fractals, of spirals in plants - why wouldn't light travel in a spiral?
 Again, we were asked to PROVE our assertion. 'Man, I can't do that kind of math. Ask Seiji, Kio or Johnathan - someone who plays violin or the piano. You know, one of the smart kids.' I replied.
 But the teacher liked my idea.
He asked me to explain how the concept agreed with the theory that light traveled at a constant speed.
A few weeks later I told him that I thought that light DID travel at a constant speed but both forward and in it's spiral pattern. (I hadn't yet thought about light traveling backwards as well only in a spiral so tight that it appeared to be without light.)
I thought that dim light was just light at a lowered frequency in it's appearance at any given straight point. That while it's speed in it's ever expanding spiral remained constant both 'vertically' and 'horizontally' - that as the distance from the source became greater so did the distance it must travel in it's orbit until it would become so infrequent that it would be assumed to not exist at all.
No, I was never able to explain my theories to my teacher but I still got an 'A' in the class.
And no, the new discoveries led by the Trinity College of Dublin may not agree with my childhood theories but I think they are on the right track.

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