Tom

Electron Motion

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Electron Motion Filmed

LUND, Sweden, Feb. 28, 2008 -- An electron's rapid motion has been filmed for the first time, with attosecond laser pulses showing how an electron rides a light wave after being separated from an atom.

Until now it has been impossible to photograph electrons, since their extremely high velocities result in blurry pictures. The movie of electron motion was created by scientists at Lund University in Sweden. Their method involved using a stroboscope and a laser that generates the extremely short light pulses needed to capture the movement of an electron once it is pulled away from an atom.

“It takes about 150 attoseconds for an electron to circle the nucleus of an atom. An attosecond is 10-18 seconds long, or, expressed in another way, an attosecond is related to a second as a second is related to the age of the universe,” said Johan Mauritsson, an assistant atomic physics professor in the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University. He and professor Anne L'Huillier lead the seven-member research team that developed the technology.

While it has been possible to create attosecond pulses for the past several years, it is only recently that researchers have been able to successfully use them to film electron movements, since the attosecond pulses by themselves are too weak to take clear pictures. Scientists have previously relied on indirect methods to study electron movement, such as by metering their spectrum, which only measures the result of the movement. Now researchers can observe the entire event.

The video can be seen on youtube.

What significance does this have?

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From here: "The filmed sequence shows the energy distribution of the electron and is therefore not a film in the usual sense."

Therefore, the film is not exactly about "an electron's rapid motion". As to the significance of this - it is not very straightforward. See here for an abstract.

Alex

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What significance does this have?

One significant point is that it helps to concretely demonstrate the fact that the electron is a real *entity*.

Not that that implies that the electron, to use a naive visualization, is a little ball with a smooth surface - I lean towards the view that all particles are soliton waves embedded in and moving through the "fabric" of space. e.g. see

and this. The solitons in this video can rightfully be dubbed entities, yet at the same time they are also waves and purely a result of a particular kind of disturbance in the water medium. I think that single physical perspective will eventually explain exactly how, for example, an electron and positron create two gamma rays (because two types of waves interact, mutually disturb their structure, then proceed to transform to different kind of waves - electromagnetic waves - in the same medium with the same energy, i.e. the physical structural explanation for the quantitative e=mc^2), why massive objective have inertia, why they create gravity (which is already the model implied by General Relativity), physically why waves of one type interact with waves of another (e.g. matter such an electron interacting with electromagnetic radiation), etc. etc. Basically the physics of the philosophic principle that the universe must be a true plenum, with all that logically implies.

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What significance does this have?

One significant point is that it helps to concretely demonstrate the fact that the electron is a real *entity*.

I did not know that there was some general doubt that electrons exists. By general, I mean commonsensically, rather than a general consensus of physicists who believe a thing can be one thing and/or another at the same time. How can one reasonably question to existence of electrons when one can perform electron momentum spectroscopy, or a variety of other surface chemistry methods? Did I understand you correctly?

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I did not know that there was some general doubt that electrons exists. By general, I mean commonsensically, rather than a general consensus of physicists who believe a thing can be one thing and/or another at the same time. How can one reasonably question to existence of electrons when one can perform electron momentum spectroscopy, or a variety of other surface chemistry methods? Did I understand you correctly?

Well, I've never doubted myself that electrons exist. :rolleyes: I was referring to the idea that they really don't have some discrete identity, as an entity in the philosophic sense.

I recall a brief conversation a long time ago with Nobel laureate (physics) Leon Lederman after he gave a talk at a local university (as I recall his primary goal was to pitch the Superconducting Supercollider project in Texas which was ultimately shelved due to the enormous cost), where I did ask him about the physical status of electrons vs. simply manipulating equations; he stated that he wasn't sure himself if electrons actually existed. That kind of shut me up.

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[...] I was referring to the idea that they really don't have some discrete identity, as an entity in the philosophic sense.

Yes, so was I. From my experience in explaining various procedures to people, scientist, specialist or not, I see people have the assumption that electrons do exist as entities, especially when they explain to me their understanding of what is going to happen to them in a diagnostic procedure. Is this not the case in the general American population?

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Yes, so was I. From my experience in explaining various procedures to people, scientist, specialist or not, I see people have the assumption that electrons do exist as entities, especially when they explain to me their understanding of what is going to happen to them in a diagnostic procedure. Is this not the case in the general American population?

I think it's the case with non-physicists, but as I related in my Lederman anecdote and other experiences/readings, I think there's the view of electron among some physicists and chemists as mysterious, contradictory non-entity, one more "weird" part of the quantum world, i.e. not realizing the difference between a poor epistemological interpretation of QM and inherently non-contradictory reality, i.e. "the electron can be in two places at once, for example when single electrons cumulatively form an interference pattern in the double slit experiment", "the electron tunnels through the energy barrier in zero time which could never happen with classical mechanics", "there is no electron, just a probability density", etc.

One irony to me is that an electron can still be a soliton-like wave (hypothetically) but that characteristic isn't really relevant to the formation of interference patterns in the double slit experiment if TEW is correct; that "wave interference" is due to a different effect, which would be the same whether the electron was a "point" or a soliton wave. (That leads to the question of whether solitons, which are still waves, would self-interact as they passed through a double-slit, changing direction after the interaction and leading to the observed interference pattern. Interesting... that gives me an idea...)

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What significance does this have?

Sorry I sidetracked. I intended to respond that for me personally, the foremost significance is being one step closer to observable experimentation of recognition in the human brain that two molecules with identical shape but with different vibrational frequencies are different entities. The impact is 1. a hypothetical explanation of the attributes of human memory fully integrated with epistemological hierarchies, including some observations of forgetting, informational recombinations in dreams and informational combination degeneration such as in Alzheimer's Disease and 2. a potential biophysical means of conceptual formation, retention and change. There is current indirect evidence which validity does not depend upon the recognition that electrons exist as entities in spacetime, but which experimental methods do require this implicit recognition (even if explicitly denied by the investigator à la PhilO's comments). PhilO, I would be interested in your idea, if you are able to disclose.

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What significance does this have?

One significant point is that it helps to concretely demonstrate the fact that the electron is a real *entity*.

Not that that implies that the electron, to use a naive visualization, is a little ball with a smooth surface - I lean towards the view that all particles are soliton waves embedded in and moving through the "fabric" of space. e.g. see

and this. The solitons in this video can rightfully be dubbed entities, yet at the same time they are also waves and purely a result of a particular kind of disturbance in the water medium. I think that single physical perspective will eventually explain exactly how, for example, an electron and positron create two gamma rays (because two types of waves interact, mutually disturb their structure, then proceed to transform to different kind of waves - electromagnetic waves - in the same medium with the same energy, i.e. the physical structural explanation for the quantitative e=mc^2), why massive objective have inertia, why they create gravity (which is already the model implied by General Relativity), physically why waves of one type interact with waves of another (e.g. matter such an electron interacting with electromagnetic radiation), etc. etc. Basically the physics of the philosophic principle that the universe must be a true plenum, with all that logically implies.

There is no fabric or medium of space, so how is this supposed to make sense? You're not trying to advocate an ether theory again on the forum are you? No offense, but none of what you wrote makes any sense at all.

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There is no fabric or medium of space, so how is this supposed to make sense?

I take it, then, that you deny that the universe is a plenum, and that you believe that "empty space" is a literal vacuum and nothingness, and energy and matter just sorta magically flit through it (whatever "it" means, on the premise of literal nothingness.) Never mind - for example - that General Relativity is an extremely successful physical theory and is predicated on spacetime as *something*, affected by mass/energy. The TEW theory certainly does not treat space as "empty", either:

http://physics.prodos.org/stephenspeicherexplains/index.html

1.14.02 [...] We

1.14.03 understand that there are elementary waves, which correspond to

1.14.04 all possible quantum states, that exist as real objects filling

1.14.05 the space around us.

You're not trying to advocate an ether theory again on the forum are you?

Um, what makes you think that you're an arbiter of what can be discussed here? Leaving aside the fact that I am not discussing an "ether theory", unless one assumes that any theory which recognizes the fact that none of the universe is literally "empty" is an "ether theory".

No offense, but none of what you wrote makes any sense at all.

You should add: to you.

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There is no fabric or medium of space, so how is this supposed to make sense?

Space is a relationship between entities, but there is something everywhere -- whatever it is it is not non-existence.

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There is no fabric or medium of space, so how is this supposed to make sense?

I take it, then, that you deny that the universe is a plenum, and that you believe that "empty space" is a literal vacuum and nothingness, and energy and matter just sorta magically flit through it (whatever "it" means, on the premise of literal nothingness.) Never mind - for example - that General Relativity is an extremely successful physical theory and is predicated on spacetime as *something*, affected by mass/energy. The TEW theory certainly does not treat space as "empty", either:

http://physics.prodos.org/stephenspeicherexplains/index.html

1.14.02 [...] We

1.14.03 understand that there are elementary waves, which correspond to

1.14.04 all possible quantum states, that exist as real objects filling

1.14.05 the space around us.

Wait, are we talking about TEW, or a view of space being some kind of literal fabric that can be distorted like how Gen Rel. is popularly interpreted? I haven't read much at all of TEW, but I do know that the elementary waves may fill space, but they are not ripples in space itself. And no, you shouldn't "take it", I don't believe that space is a void of nothingness.
You're not trying to advocate an ether theory again on the forum are you?

Um, what makes you think that you're an arbiter of what can be discussed here? Leaving aside the fact that I am not discussing an "ether theory", unless one assumes that any theory which recognizes the fact that none of the universe is literally "empty" is an "ether theory".

No, I'm not an arbiter. All I'm saying is that this sounded like an ether theory (stating that space has some fabric or medium of which it is composed, and the medium can be distorted), and last time you advocated something similar to an ether theory Stephen argued against it.

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There is no fabric or medium of space, so how is this supposed to make sense?

Space is a relationship between entities, but there is something everywhere -- whatever it is it is not non-existence.

Right, but is it a fabric that gets distorted? Is it a medium that fluctuates as waves pass through it? These are the two things I was saying no to.

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There is no fabric or medium of space, so how is this supposed to make sense?

I take it, then, that you deny that the universe is a plenum, and that you believe that "empty space" is a literal vacuum and nothingness, and energy and matter just sorta magically flit through it (whatever "it" means, on the premise of literal nothingness.) Never mind - for example - that General Relativity is an extremely successful physical theory and is predicated on spacetime as *something*, affected by mass/energy. The TEW theory certainly does not treat space as "empty", either:

http://physics.prodos.org/stephenspeicherexplains/index.html

1.14.02 [...] We

1.14.03 understand that there are elementary waves, which correspond to

1.14.04 all possible quantum states, that exist as real objects filling

1.14.05 the space around us.

Wait, are we talking about TEW, or a view of space being some kind of literal fabric that can be distorted like how Gen Rel. is popularly interpreted? I haven't read much at all of TEW, but I do know that the elementary waves may fill space, but they are not ripples in space itself. And no, you shouldn't "take it", I don't believe that space is a void of nothingness.

Are you going to clarify your position? Did you mean to say that electrons are ripples in the elementary waves that fill space, or are you stating that electrons are ripples in the fabric of space itself? Because these are two completely different things, and it isn't good to confuse them.

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One significant point is that it helps to concretely demonstrate the fact that the electron is a real *entity*.

Only to those who regard observation as proof of existence. I'm sure it won't convince the other crowd.

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