Electromagnetism and the Standard Model
Maxwell's equations consist of Gauss' law of electric field (an electric field version of the Coulomb force law), Faraday's law of induction (that a magnetic field whose strength varies with time causes a curling electric field, and vice-versa), Heaviside's law that there are no magnetic monopoles (divergence of magnetic field equals zero; so you have to have magnetic dipoles, not monopoles to create magnets), and Ampere's incomplete law that an electric current produces a curling magnetic field, and vice-versa). Maxwell's 'leap of genius' was adding an extra term to Ampere's electric current, a literally 'ethereal' current called 'displacement current'.
The reason was that you can charge up a capacitor with current flowing around a circuit, even if there is a vacuum in the gap between the capacitor plates. Obviously no real charge flows in the vacuum, so Maxwell (taking a clue doubtless from charging batteries or electrolytic capacitors with liquid dielectrics) suggested some kind of aethereal current flowed in the vacuum when the electric field varied in the capacitor.
Actually, electric current flows into the capacitor plate like current flowing into any other conductor, say a wire. The electric field goes at light speed, while the electrons drift at a net speed of only about 1 mm/s or so, therefore the electric field is forever overtaking the electrons and causing the electric current (at the front end of a logic pulse which enters a capacitor plate), where the voltage varies over a build-up time and space from 0 to v volts. Maxwell ignored the time and space variation of electric energy flowing at light speed in the capacitor plates, but the major error is his direct association of the variation in voltage with the 'displacement current'.
In fact, the voltage does not directly cause so-called 'displacement current'. All the voltage gradient across the front of the logic step does is to cause an electron drift current. This means it causes electrons in the conductor to accelerate from 0 to 1 mm/s or so. Any acceleration of charge causes the transverse (sideways) emission of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation is the reality behind the invented 'displacement current'. For full details click here.
At the front the voltage varies, but consider the part of the logic pulse behind the front, where the voltage is steady with time and distance. What causes electric current there? It can't be electric field, because the electric field has no gradient with distance in that portion of the wire. So it is the result of the magnetic field from the opposite wire.
What does this say for the Standard Model and fundamental force unification? The classical theory of electromagnetism (Maxwell's equations) has for a long time been known to conflict with quantum theory, although the conflict is traditionally 'resolved' by fascist physics community tactics such as shooting the bearer of 'heretical' news. (Other alleged anomalies and problems are dealt with in the same way.)
Our perception of the nature of the photon is changed by a change in understanding of 'displacement current'. Mathematically, was Maxwell's original equation right? No says Ivor Catt who shows that the exponential Maxwellian charging curve for a capacitor is replaced by a quantum curve, in which the charge increases in a lot of small steps.
Catt's analysis is superficial, but did point me in the right direction, namely towards investigating the physical mechanism behind Maxwell's equation for displacement current.
Catt's stepwise charging curve is not completely correct, since there is a slope at the front of a real logic step (for short rise times, the gradient is steep, but it isn't a true vertical). However, the Catt did identify a major problem in Maxwell's theory and made a vital step toward the right theory.
The problem imposed for physics by the change I'm talking about is this: classical electromagnetism can be corrected, and 'displacement current' turns out to be no other than electromagnetic radiation emitted by the charge accelerated due to the varying electric field.
Maxwell's model of a light wave, from Maxwell's equations, survives in the Standard Model as U(1) in the SU(2)xU(1) electroweak theory. Maxwell's entire unification of electricity and magnetism hinges on the correctness of 'displacement current' because the equation for 'displacement current' is used together with Faraday's law to predict the speed of light (see here and scroll down for a demonstration). One tiny-looking misinterpretation by Maxwell has made a lot of problems for modern physics. Of course anyone pointing out an error is deemed a heretic by the fascists, and anyone correcting the error constructively is deemed a crackpot, but that doesn't mean I have to keep quiet. I like Dr Peter Woit's comment below:
woit Says: March 9th, 2006 at 1:24 pm
... One problem with the increasing prevalence of pseudo-scientific stuff being done by smart, respectable people is that it makes it harder and harder to maintain some reasonable standards of what is legitimate science and what is crackpottery. When this happens, standards start to devolve from focusing on content, to focusing on the credentials of the people involved.
ArXiv.org say: ‘You should know the person that you endorse or you should see the paper that the person intends to submit. We don’t expect you to read the paper in detail, or verify that the work is correct, but you should check that the paper is appropriate for the subject area. You should not endorse the author … if the work is entirely disconnected with current [string theory] work in the area.’ (There are tough penalties for breaking these rules, for example, the endorser may lose the right to endorse.)
The above is the policy of the U.S. government endorsed physics preprint server on the internet: (1) you need a friend who is part of the orthodoxy, or (2) you need to write a paper that builds on the orthodoxy.
Translated still further: (1) nobody is allowed to put forward a radical idea unless they are powerful or are supported by someone else who is poweful as an endorser, (2) people are free only to discuss or build on existing mainstream ideas.
The initial impetuous for the electrons to accelerate is from the electric field causing the voltage to vary longitudinally (along the conductor). Two transverse mechanisms come into play to sustain the logic step current as guided by two conductors: electromagnetic radiation exchange due to net charge acceleration, and magnetic field energy exchange once the charges have a constant speed (where the voltage is steady 10 volts or whatever). The acceleration of electrons at the front of the logic step is due to the variation in the potential of the electric field from 0 to 10 volts. Once the front has passed the electron by at light speed, the magnetic field created by the motion of the electrons (i.e., the electric current) causes the motion of charge in the other conductor, and vice-versa. It is a glorious folly, an absurdity that the basic principle of how electricity works in all power line and computer logic step situations is a heresy!
‘Oh, my dear Kepler, how I wish that we could have one hearty laugh together! Here at Padua is the principal professor of philosophy [Professor Cremonini] whom I have repeatedly and urgently requested to look at the moon and planets through my glass, which he pertinaciously refuses to do. Why are you not here? What shouts of laughter we should have at this glorious folly! And to hear the professor of philosophy at Pisa [Professor Giulio Libri] labouring before the Grand Duke with logical arguments, as if with magical incantations, to charm the new planets out of the sky.’
– Letter from Galileo to Kepler, 1610 (Sir Oliver Lodge, Pioneers of Science, London, 1913, Chapter 4).