Tag Archives: explaining double slit experiment

Double slit experiment- Electrons

To explain the interference pattern produced by photons, we have proposed the existence ‘photon Ether’ which is nothing but a sea of photons pervading this entire universe. But how do we explain the interference pattern produced by electrons? Do we need to propose now the existence of what may be called as ‘electron Ether’ in addition to the ‘photon Ether’ or ‘lumiferous Ether’ described above? Absolutely not. In fact, not only electrons but many other particles were observed to behave like waves in the double slit experiment and we can explain all of them by the same Ether model.

To understand how electrons and other particles produce the wave like interference pattern in double slit experiment, first we will have to understand the fundamental mechanism by which sensors recognise things and we need to learn about objects and waves from the perspective of the sensors.

1) Objects as energy patterns: We sense our surroundings and know about the existence of various things in this universe via our sense organs. And our sense organs sense things based upon the patterns of energy stimuli they receive from the environment. So it is only based upon the patterns of energy we receive from the environment that we are aware of the existence of various things in this universe. And apart from that specific patterns of energy stimuli, we really don’t have any clues or information about the objects which we presume as truly existing. In other words, as far as we know, objects are nothing but energy patterns. And that is not only the case with human sensors but is true with any sensor. A sensor obviously relies upon the patterns of signals (in other words patterns of energy stimuli) that it receives from the surroundings to sense any object whether it is an electron or a ball.

2) Waves as holograms: A wave is nothing but a true copy of the energy pattern of the object that generated it (vide infra). So, from the perspective of a sensor which judges things only by the energy patterns it receives, a wave and its object (source) are one and the same. And we will also learn soon that a wave is not just a true copy but is a holographic image of its source.

Objects as sensations and energy patterns

We will start this by answering one simple but most fundamental question i.e. how do we actually see and recognise different things in our environment? We know that we see different objects because our eyes (or to be more specific our retina, the photosensitive layer inside our eyes) receive light energy from each of them in different patterns. Ant what is light energy? It is nothing but photons. So it is ultimately photons which collide with and stimulate our retina and cause the various visual sensations that we experience. But if it is the same photon particles that hit our retina, how are we able to see different things? It is obviously by sensing the ‘patterns of hits’ that our sensors (retinas) receive that we (our brains) are able to recognise or see the different objects in our universe.

Similarly we hear different sounds because our ear drums receive different patterns of collisions from the same air particles. It is again recognition of patterns of collisions that help us recognise the different sounds that we hear in our everyday life. And we recognise different objects by touch and again that is because our skin receives specific patterns of impacts or collisions from the same particles that make up the various objects in this world. So it is ultimately recognition of different patterns of the same fundamental stimulus which makes us see/ hear/ feel the different objects in this universe.

We know that every object in this universe is nothing but a conglomeration of the same fundamental particles. So what basically happens when two objects collide or come in contact with each other? The fundamental particles of one object will collide with those of the other. Similarly when a sensor comes in contact with an object, the fundamental particles of the sensor (e.g. our hand) collide with those of the object (e.g. a ball). As all objects are made of the same fundamental particles, how does any sensor differentiate between different objects? Obviously it is only by recognising the patterns of collisions that it receives from each of them.

Going even deeper, what underlies every collision event? Or what basically happens when two particles collide? It is just energy exchange between the particles. And what is energy at the most fundamental level? As far as we know it is impact from a photon particle. So it is ultimately photon particles colliding in specific patterns, which gives us the perception of different things in this universe. That applies to particle detectors as well. A particle detector senses something as an electron because it receives a unique pattern of energy from that particle. Obviously a sensor or a detector doesn’t ‘see’ which particle is actually hitting it, what it feels is just the impact. And only based upon the intensity, pattern, duration, direction etc of the impacts, a sensor ‘identifies’ different particles and judges (‘sees’) its surroundings.

Similarly, as already described, we the human sensors feel different objects (e.g. a book or a toy or a particle) in our environment only by the specific patterns of energy we receive from the environment. For example, we may believe that there exists a book in our room because we may have ‘seen’ that with our eyes, or ‘heard’ the sound of the pages turning or may have ‘felt’ it with our hands. But all these signals are nothing but energy patterns we receive from the environment and which our brain interprets as a book. So from our perspective, things in this universe are nothing but energy patterns. So in theory we must be able to describe every object and phenomenon in terms of collisions of photon particles or vibrations of Ether medium.

To conclude, every object we feel is nothing but a sensation and every sensation comes from a specific pattern of energy i.e. specific pattern of collisions from the particles that make up Ether. (May be also that we experience time and space because of the sensations that our brains get from the environment and hence may also be ultimately explained in terms of specific patterns of energy input. But let’s not dive into such deeper issues now.)

A wave as a hologram

We have seen above that objects are nothing but energy patterns. We will now learn that waves are also energy patterns and so from a sensor’s point of view, both waves and objects are one and the same. But there is one important difference between them i.e. while objects behave like ordinary photographs, waves behave like holographs. For those who aren’t familiar, a holograph may be described as a special photograph. The speciality about the photograph is that every part of it will have the data or information about the entire photograph. For example if we take a holographic image of a tree and cut into a number of pieces, each piece will show a miniature image of the whole tree unlike the case with our usual photographs. How is this possible?

When an ordinary picture is cut into pieces, we know that each piece will show only a part of the original picture

When an ordinary picture is cut into pieces, we know that each piece will show only a part of the original picture

When a holographic image is cut into pieces, each piece will show a miniatured version of the entire image.

When a holographic image is cut into pieces, each piece will show a miniature version of the entire image.

Holographic pictures are prepared by making use of the interference property of light waves which means that holography is one of the phenomena of wave motion. So let’s dig into the ‘micro-physiology’ of waves and understand the fundamental basis of holograms in clear terms.

A brief recap on the basics of wave mechanics before we attempt to understand the phenomenon of holography:– In our traditional teaching, a wave is represented as a series of peaks and troughs but this is not correct because this actually represents the cross section of a number of waves and not just one wave. A better understanding of waves can be gained by observing the tides in a sea or ripples in a water tank. Imagine that we have stroked the water surface with a paddle and produced a number of ripples in a large tank of still water. Each ripple in the tank represents a wave. Each wave has nothing to do with the one in front or the one behind. They just happened to be in series simply because the paddle stroked the water surface repeatedly. The attributes of each wave e.g. amplitude, wave length etc depend upon how the paddle strikes the water surface each time and, as just been mentioned, each wave has nothing to do with the one in front or the one behind. Same is the case with sound waves. Each oscillation of a tuning fork produces a wave of compression which travels in the medium independent of the waves produced before or afterwards. So, describing the wave length of a wave as the distance between two consecutive peaks or compressions makes no sense though it often ‘works’. And so is defining the frequency of a wave. Frequency actually applies to the source but not to the wave as such. An individual wave can’t have frequency. Instead of frequency, a better attribute for a wave would be ‘impact time’ or ‘contact time’.

The next important thing to recollect is that though we describe two types of waves traditionally i.e. transverse and longitudinal, in reality all waves are longitudinal waves and there is nothing called a transverse wave. And unlike what we have been taught in physics classes, the particles in a medium always vibrate parallel to the direction of propagation of the wave and never in the ‘transverse’ direction , though they ‘vibrate’ in a spiral fashion near the surface of the medium for reasons explained elsewhere.

By moving a paddle to and fro deep inside a pond, we actually produce longitudinal waves under the water surface. The same thing happens when a tuning fork vibrates under water. As these waves get conducted to water surface, they appear as transverse waves. So what we observe as transverse waves is only a surface manifestation of the underlying longitudinal waves.

trans & longi waves trans & longi waves2

So the ripples or the so called water waves that we observe on the surface of a pond or a sea do not actually represent a complete wave. A wave is better described as a propagating 3 dimensional phenomenon in a medium. A spherical point source produces a wave that looks something like a convex mirror at the beginning. As the wave propagates/ expands, it elongates more along its axis and becomes more like a conical mirror. And on the receding side, the mirror tries to close on itself.

Though ripples (‘transverse waves’) in a water tank don’t actually represent the waves proper, as long as we keep in mind the above discussion, we can use them to understand wave mechanics and to explain the various phenomena associated with wave motion. With this back ground, we will now move on to the holography.

When we throw an object into a tank of still water, we see it generate a water wave or ripple in the tank. But what actually happens at a more fundamental level is that the particles on the surface of the object collide with those of the water. And each particle on the object acting as a point source generates a wave front of its own. All these individual wave fronts interfere with each other and produce the water wave that we observe. So the ‘water wave as a whole’ represents the sum total of all the individual wave fronts generated by all the point sources on the object. Because each wave front represents the energy of the point source which created it, the energy pattern of all the wave fronts put together (i.e. the water wave) represents the energy pattern of all the point sources put together (i.e. the object as a whole). In other words the ‘water wave as a whole’ represents energy pattern of the ‘object as a whole’. We have discussed above that sensors detect objects only by the energy patterns they receive. So from the perspective of a sensor, both, the object and the wave, are one and the same and without additional clues, it can’t differentiate between the two.

Point no.1: A wave carries the same energy pattern as that of its source. In other words a wave is a true copy its source.

But how do we explain the holography phenomenon? i.e. how every small segment of the wave can possess the energy pattern of the entire source? To understand this, imagine an object as shown below and which is made up of just 3 point particles. When we throw this ‘3-particle’ object onto a sensor, the sensor receives 3 distinct hits and thus recognises the impact as a ‘3-point’ object. Now imagine that we threw this 3-particle body into a pond of still water and placed sensors at multiple locations in the pond. Obviously the 3-particle body generates a water wave which spreads throughout the pond and as it spreads, different portions of the wave hit different sensors. Thus each sensor receives impact from only a small segment of the entire wave. How would the sensor interpret this impact? If the wave is a holographic copy of the 3-particle object, then every small segment of the wave should contain a miniatured copy of the energy pattern of the 3-particle object. So each sensor should feel that it is being hit directly by a 3-particle body though in ‘reality’ it is being hit only by a small portion of the wave generated by that 3-particle body.

Let’s analyse the pattern of impact that each sensor receives in the above scenario.

When we throw the 3-particle object into the pond, what we observe at a ‘macroscopic’ level is that the object generates a water wave which spreads throughout and hits all the sensors as one single wave. But what actually happens at a microscopic level is that each particle of the object strikes the water surface and generates a wave front of its own. So there are going to be 3 wave fronts. These three wave fronts ‘cross’ each other (i.e. interfere with each other) and form specific patterns as they grow bigger and bigger. And though these wave fronts appear to travel as one single unit or one single wave ‘macroscopically’, if we look closely, they remain as separate entities within the wave. For analogy, one may imagine a bundle of curved fibres ‘arranged’ in a regular pattern, while each fibre in the bundle represents a wave front, the bundle as a whole represents the wave. Thus each wave front, despite being part of the wave bundle (or wave as a whole), is actually on its own, and spreads and hits each sensor independently. Thus every sensor receives 3 distinct hits (one from each wave front) at three different points, and this is exactly how our first sensor felt when hit directly by the 3-particle object. So the pattern of the signal received by a sensor will remain the same whether it is hit by an object or by a wave generated by that object.

Point no.2: Every small portion of the wave contains the energy pattern of the entire source. In other words, a wave behaves like a holographic image of its source.

Each particle acts as a point source and produces a wave front that goes and hits each sensor separately. Thus all the sensors receive 3 distinct hits and feel the impact of the 3 point object.

Each particle acts as a point source and produces a wave front that goes and hits each sensor separately. Thus all the sensors receive 3 distinct hits and feel the impact of the 3 point object.

Of course there are going to be some ‘minor’ differences in the energy patterns received by each sensor. For example, while sensor ‘A’ receives the impacts in the order x, y, and z; sensor ‘B’ feels the same impacts in the reverse order. And sensor ‘C’ receives the impact ‘y’ first and then receives the impacts x and z at the same time. Despite these differences, all sensors feel the 3-point energy pattern. In fact, it is these variations that help the sensors ‘know’ the direction of the energy source.

Whether a sensor interprets some impact as a tiny particle or a large ball depends upon the pattern of the impact it receives from the wave

Whether a sensor interprets some impact as a tiny particle or a large ball depends upon the pattern of the impact it receives from the wave

Of course in reality it is not as simple as that depicted above even for a 3 particle source. Just like how every particle on the leading surface of an object acts as a point source and generates a wave front, every particle on every wave front also acts as a point source and generates a wave front.  So each of the primary wave fronts will generate a huge number of secondary wave fronts and each of the secondary wave fronts will generate a huge number of tertiary wave fronts and so on. Thus, even though our 3 particle object generates only 3 wave fronts to start with, there are going to be ‘infinite’ number of wave fronts in no time. But despite that, the sensors still recognise the original ‘3-point energy pattern’ of our object. The reason is that these secondary and tertiary wave fronts will only cause ‘overtones’ in the three primary wave fronts and so do not alter the source’s primary energy pattern altogether.

While every particle on an object will act as a point source and produce a primary wave front, every particle on each of the primary wave fronts can also acts as a point source and generate a wave front. Thus every primary wave front will lead to a number of secondary wave fronts and every secondary wave front will lead to a number of tertiary wave fronts and so on. But the primary energy pattern will never disappear completely though it gets attenuated as the wave propagates.

While every particle on an object will act as a point source and produce a primary wave front, every particle on each of the primary wave fronts can also acts as a point source and generate a wave front. Thus every primary wave front will lead to a number of secondary wave fronts and every secondary wave front will lead to a number of tertiary wave fronts and so on. But the primary energy pattern will never disappear completely though it gets attenuated as the wave propagates.

So the primary energy pattern of the source never completely disappears, though it gets attenuated as the wave propagates in the medium. And because of this attenuation, a far away located sensor may fail to sense the source’s energy pattern. Obviously sensors can vary in their ‘sensitivity’ or ability to pick up the energy pattern of the source – A highly sensitive detector may sense a source’s energy pattern even after the wave has travelled for miles while a less sensitive detector may fail to do so even when directly hit by the source. (We can discuss a lot more on how sensors sense various aspects like direction of impact, strength of impact, depth and relation between different objects, the phenomenon of motion etc. But we will restrain ourselves to what is relevant to our present task i.e. explain the double slit experiment).

So far we have talked about water waves and explained how a water wave behaves like a holographic image of its source. But in reality water is not the best medium for transfer of images or energy patterns, the reason being that water is much more ‘granular’ compared with the most fundamental energy medium i.e. Ether. So images transferred by water are coarser (due to ‘large pixels’- it is like making a casting of a man using sticky foot-balls rather than fine gravel or mud). Even worse is air medium because energy images transferred by air (eg. sound waves) are not only coarser but will have poor resolution due to less number of pixels (i.e. air particles) per unit area.

As Ether is the most fundamental medium, energy patterns (or ‘energy castings’) of objects get transmitted much better in Ether medium than in any other medium. And for the same reason holographic phenomenon is better experienced with light waves rather than with water waves or air waves. In fact, it is because of the ‘holographic behaviour’ of light waves that all of us are able to see the various things in our world. Let me explain how.

As discussed before, we are able to see and recognise different objects because our sensors (retina) receive specific patterns of energy from each of them. And conversely, for objects to be seen or to be sensed, they must release energy i.e. they must emit photons in specific patterns. (Foot note: If an object doesn’t release any energy at all, we really can’t see that or it may be ‘seen’ as a ‘black spot’ in the background). Every object releases energy by two mechanisms i.e. reflection and radiation. When a beam of light is shone upon a body, part of that gets absorbed and part of that gets reflected by the body. And it is because of this reflected light that we are able to see most objects in our everyday life. Even in the absence of external light beam, energy (i.e. light photons) does get emitted from every object (radiant energy), but in most cases this radiant energy is not strong enough to be sensed by human retina. (Those objects which emit strong enough radiation to be seen by human eyes are considered as self-luminescent but in reality self-luminescence is a relative phenomenon). Whether it is by radiation or reflection, each photon that gets emitted from every point of an object initiates a wave front in the Ether medium. Thus from every object, numerous wave fronts get generated at any instant and because each wave front represents the energy of a point source on the body, all the wave fronts together represent the energy of all the point sources on the body, in other words the energy of the body as a whole. So, just like how the water wave carried the energy pattern of its source; the light wave or pulse which represents the sum of all the wave fronts from an object carries the energy pattern of its source. We have discussed previously that a sensor judges its surroundings only from the patterns of energy it receives from the surroundings. Because a light impulse from an object carries the same energy pattern as that of the object, a sensor would feel the same impact whether it is hit by the light impulse or the object.

As mentioned earlier our visual world is merely a manifestation of the holographic phenomenon. For example, imagine that a ball is lying on a table in front of a group of students (we may also join them for better experience) and imagine that 3 red dots are marked on the ball as shown in the picture.

ball 3 dots

Obviously each student in the group will be able to see the 3 dot pattern on the ball and that is because the retina (the sensor) of each eye receives three distinct hits. And we can explain this by the same holographic mechanism discussed above. We know that each dot emits energy in the form of photons and each photon (or shower of photons) that gets emitted generates a wave front in the Ether medium which pervades this entire Universe. Each wave front then spreads (or gets scattered) in all directions and hits all the sensors (retinas). Thus each retina gets three separate hits and recognises the 3 dot pattern on the ball. Of course not only our retinas but every inch of our skin also receives the same 3 dot energy pattern. And interestingly this is the same energy pattern that our skin receives when hit by a 3-point object. So logically speaking, we must all feel being bombarded by 3-point objects whenever we stand in the vicinity of a 3-dot object. But why isn’t that we experience this odd phenomenon? The reason is that our skin is not sensitive enough to pick up these subtle light energy patterns unlike our retina.

So our brain recognises the 3-dot pattern on the ball because our retina receives 3 distinct impacts from the 3 dots on the ball. But how does our brain recognise the ball as a whole? Obviously that must be because our retina receives distinct hits from all the points on the ball. Thus all of us receive specific patterns of impacts from all the objects around us. But, only our eyes are sensitive enough to sense these patterns while our skin is not. Only when ‘objects’ are in ‘direct contact’, that our skin will receive strong enough energy inputs and will be able to sense the energy patterns of the objects. Even if our skin is sensitive enough to feel the impact of the light waves from an object, this ‘indirect impact’ from the object will be millions of times weaker than the direct impact received from the object, so our skin will only feel some ill defined heat sensation and not the object as such.

In summary, we can describe a wave as a propagating holographic image of its source (or the source’s energy pattern, to be more accurate). And just like how every small portion of a holographic picture contains a miniatured image of the original picture, each portion of the wave also contains the energy pattern of the source and behaves like a miniatured copy of the source.

Now coming to the double slit experiment- Imagine that we throw a tiny stone into a large tank of still water. As the stone impinges upon the water surface, it transmits its energy pattern to the water molecules and generates a wave in the water tank. From the discussion above, we can consider the water wave as a growing holographic image of the stone’s energy pattern. Sensors placed at different locations in the tank will be able feel the impact of the stone as the ‘stone wave’ goes and hits the sensors. We have noted above that sensors recognise things only by the pattern of impacts they receive from the environment. Each of the sensors receives the same kind of impact and hence interprets the signal as if they were hit by the stone itself. (The only difference is in the intensity – sensors that are situated far away receive a weaker impact than the ones ahead of them. And, depending upon their relative position, some sensors receive ‘head on’ impacts while others receive ‘side’ impacts). Of course it is ‘actually’ a group of water molecules which impinge upon the sensors and not the stone itself but still the sensors may identify the impact as that of a stone. As long as the sensor receives the same pattern of impact, the sensor doesn’t know whether it is hit by a stone or by a mass of water molecules.

Similarly when an electron is fired, it initiates a wave in the Ether medium and its energy pattern dissipates throughout the space. Detectors placed at different locations in space sense the wave as if they were hit by a ‘real’ electron and register the impact as that from an electron. So it is the energy pattern of the electron which travels in space in all directions simultaneously but not the electron itself.

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