# Re: Afshar and "...the idea of a photon is dead"

From: Saibal Mitra <smitra.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 17:51:36 +0200

I agree. If the photon did behave in an erratic way you would be able to say
that the photon is behaving erratic and not the laws of physics that make
your instruments work. But in this hypothetical case you would use some
other way to relate time to space. This relation also has to involve a
constant with the dimensions of a speed. We could call it c. And then
someone else could claim that this c is changing as well!

Ultimately c is a conversion factor to convert meters into seconds. The TOE
doesn't have separate units to measure space, time mass, etc. These are all
human constructs. Because we measure time and space in our own units, it is
inevitable that dimensional conversion factors will appear in our formulas!

----- Oorspronkelijk bericht -----
Van: "Henry Sturman" <henry.domain.name.hidden>
Aan: <Fabric-of-Reality.domain.name.hidden>
Verzonden: Sunday, August 01, 2004 07:18 PM
Onderwerp: Re: Afshar and "...the idea of a photon is dead"

> You are right that there are no fundamental dimensional constants, i.e.
> those constants are determined by our choice of units. But that doesn't in
> itself imply that the speed of light can't change, although the speed of
> light might be unchangeable for other reasons. The fact that a pint is an
> arbitraty unit does not mean that a package of milk in the super market
> can't contain less milk today than yesterday. If the speed of light were
> something totally arbitrary, then there would be no point in ever
measuring
> it. If today I measure a speed of light x in whatever units and tomorrow I
> measure 0.5 x, then the speed of light has changed. Put in a constant-free
> wording: if today light travels x times the diameter of earth during one
> earth revolution, and tomorrow it travels 0.5 x times that distance during
> the same time, then the speed of light has changed. Well, at least
> something has changed, and if not the speed of light, then either time,
the
> diameter of the earth, or the rotational speed of the earth has changed.
> And Occam's razor implies we should assume the thing that has changed is
> that which we can change with the fewest number of associated changes
> required in our model of the universe and that would typically be the
speed
> of light.
>
> At 14:02 1-8-2004 +0200, you wrote:
> >Unfortunately, sensationalists articles that are completely baloney
appear
> >in most scientific journals from time to time.
> >
> >Nature published an article claiming that if the fine structure conswtant
is
> >changing, as suggested by some astronomical observations, then this
change
> >must be due to a change in the speed of light. Now, this must be
nonsense,
> >because the value of the speed of light, being a dimensional constant,
is
> >determined by our choice of units. In fact, that there are dimensional
> >constants at all, is an artefact of using inconsistent units at the same
> >time.
> >
> >
> >Michael Duff has explained this in the articles:
> >
> >http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0208093
> >
> >and:
> >
> >http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0110060
> >
> >
> >----- Oorspronkelijk bericht -----
> >Van: "Nicole Barberis" <nbarberis.domain.name.hidden>
> >Aan: <Fabric-of-Reality.domain.name.hidden>
> >Verzonden: Friday, July 30, 2004 06:15 PM
> >Onderwerp: Afshar and "...the idea of a photon is dead"
> >
> >
> > > I was stunned to read "Quantum Rebel" in July 24th's
> > > New Scientist. Shahriar Afshar, an American, comes to
> > > the conclusion that "we have no other choice but to
> > > declare the idea of Einstein's photon dead" (page 35).
> > > His work has been tested and is now being peer
> > > reviewed. How trustworthy is New Scientist as a news
> > > source? Is it prone to sensationalists articles. I'm
> > > a fairly new reader of this magazine, but it seemed to
> > > me to be a good source of science news until last
> > > week's rushed Hawking article and this week's
> > > no-such-thing-as-a-photon showcase article. Of
> > > course, if it is repeatedly proved true than I would
> > > welcome the new finding but for now I'm just a bit
> > > stunned by the news.
> > >
> > > -Nicole
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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Received on Mon Aug 02 2004 - 11:59:15 PDT

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