Sunday, August 26, 2007

Could one demonstrate the existence of large Planck constant photons using ordinary camera or even bare eyes?

If ordinary light sources generate also dark photons with same energy but with scaled up wavelength, this might have effects detectable with camera and even with bare eyes. In the following I consider in a rather light-hearted and speculative spirit two possible effects of this kind appearing in both visual perception and in photos. For crackpotters possibly present in the audience I want to make clear that I love to play with ideas to see whether they work or not, and that I am ready to accept some convincing mundane explanation of these effects and I would be happy to hear about this kind of explanations. I was not able to find any such explanation from Wikipedia using words like camera, digital camera, lense, aberrations....

Why light from an intense light source seems to decompose into rays?

If one also assumes that ordinary radiation fields decompose in TGD Universe into topological light rays ("massless extremals", MEs) even stronger predictions follow. If Planck constant equals to hbar= q×hbar0, q=na/nb, MEs should possess Zna as an exact discrete symmetry group acting as rotations along the direction of propagation for the induced gauge fields inside ME.

The structure of MEs should somewhat realize this symmetry and one possibility is that MEs has a wheel like structure decomposing into radial spokes with angular distance Δφ= 2π/na related by the symmetries in question. This brings strongly in mind phenomenon which everyone can observe anytime: the light from a bright source decomposes into radial rays as if one were seeing the profile of the light rays emitted in a plane orthogonal to the line connecting eye and the light source. The effect is especially strong if eyes are stirred.

Could this apparent decomposition to light rays reflect directly the structure of dark MEs and could one deduce the value of na by just counting the number of rays in camera picture, where the phenomenon turned to be also visible? Note that the size of these wheel like MEs would be macroscopic and diffractive effects do not seem to be involved. The simplest assumption is that most of photons giving rise to the wheel like appearance are transformed to ordinary photons before their detection.

The discussions about this led to a little experimentation with camera at the summer cottage of my friend Samppa Pentikäinen, quite a magician in technical affairs. When I mentioned the decomposition of light from an intense light source to rays at the level of visual percept and wondered whether the same occurs also in camera, Samppa decided to take photos with a digi camera directed to Sun. The effect occurred also in this case and might correspond to decomposition to MEs with various values of na but with same quantization axis so that the effect is not smoothed out.

What was interesting was the presence of some stronger almost vertical "rays" located symmetrically near the vertical axis of the camera. The shutter mechanism determining the exposure time is based on the opening of the first shutter followed by closing a second shutter after the exposure time so that every point of sensor receives input for equally long time. The area of the region determining input is bounded by a vertical line. If macroscopic MEs are involved, the contribution of vertical rays is either nothing or all unlike that of other rays and this might somehow explain why their contribution is enhanced.

Addition: I learned from Samppa that the shutter mechanism is un-necessary in digi cameras since the time for the reset of sensors is what matters. Something in the geometry of the camera or in the reset mechanism must select vertical direction in a preferred position. For instance, the outer "aperture" of the camera had the geometry of a flattened square.

Anomalous diffraction of dark photons

Second prediction is the possibility of diffractive effects in length scales where they should not occur. A good example is the diffraction of light coming from a small aperature of radius d. The diffraction pattern is determined by the Bessel function

J1(x), x=kdsin(θ), k= 2π/λ.

There is a strong light spot in the center and light rings around whose radii increase in size as the distance of the screen from the aperture increases. Dark rings correspond to the zeros of J1(x) at x=xn and the following scaling law for the nodes holds true

sin(θn)= xnλ/2πd.

For very small wavelengths the central spot is almost pointlike and contains most light intensity.

If photons of visible light correspond to large Planck constant hbar= q× hbar0 transformed to ordinary photons in the detector (say camera film or eye), their wavelength is scaled by q and one has

sin(θn)→ q× sin(θn)

The size of the diffraction pattern for visible light is scaled up by q.

This effect might make it possible to detect dark photons with energies of visible photons and possibly present in the ordinary light.

  1. What is needed is an intense light source and Sun is an excellent candidate in this respect. Dark photon beam is also needed and n dark photons with a given visible wavelength λ could result when dark photon with hbar= n×q×hbar0 decays to n dark photons with same wavelength but smaller Planck constant hbar= q×hbar0. If this beam enters the camera or eye one has a beam of n dark photons which forms a diffraction pattern producing camera picture in the decoherence to ordinary photons.

  2. In the case of an aperture with a geometry of a circular hole, the first dark ring for ordinary visible photons would be at sin(θ)≈ (π/36)λ/d. For a distance of r=2 cm between the sensor plane ("film") and effective circular hole this would mean radius of R ≈ rsin(θ)≈ 1.7 micrometers for micron wavelegnth. The actual size of spots is of order R≈ 1 mm so that the value of q would be around 1000: q=210 and q=211 belong to the favored values for q.

  3. One can imagine also an alternative situation. If photons responsible for the spot arrive along single ME, the transversal thickness R of ME is smaller than the radius of hole, say of of order of wavelength, ME itself effectively defines the hole with radius R and the value of sin(θn) does not depend on the value of d for d>R. Even ordinary photons arriving along MEs of this kind could give rise to an anomalous diffraction pattern. Note that the transversal thickness of ME need not be fixed however. It however seems that MEs are now macroscopic.

  4. A similar effect results as one looks at an intense light source: bright spots appear in the visual field as one closes the eyes. If there is some more mundane explanation (I do not doubt this!), it must apply in both cases and explain also why the spots have precisely defined color rather than being white.

  5. The only mention about effects of diffractive aberration effects are colored rings around say disk like objects analogous to colors around shadow of say disk like object. The radii of these diffraction rings in this case scale like wavelengths and distance from the object.

  6. Wikipedia contains an article from which one learns that the effect in question is known as lens flares. The article states that flares typically manifest as several starbursts, circles, and rings across the picture and result in internal reflection and scattering from material inhomogenities in lens (such as multiple surfaces). The shape of the flares also depends on the shape of aperture. These features conform at least qualitatively with what one would expect from a diffraction if Planck constant is large enough for photons with energy of visible photon.

    Second article defines flares in a more restrictive manner: lense flares result when non-image forming light enters the lens and subsequently hits the camera's film or digital sensor and produces typically polygonal shape with sides which depend on the shape of lense diaphgram. The identification as a flare applies also to the apparent decomposition to rays and this dependence indeed fits with the observations.

The experimentation of Samppa using digi camera demonstrated the appearance of colored spots in the pictures. If I have understood correctly, the sensors defining the pixels of the picture are in the focal plane and the diffraction for large Planck constant might explain the phenomenon. Since I did not have the idea about diffractive mechanism in mind, I did not check whether fainter colored rings might surround the bright spot.

  1. In any case, the readily testable prediction is that zooming to bright light source by reducing the size of the aperture should increase the size and number of the colored spots. As a matter fact, experimentation demonstrated that focusing brought in large number of these spots but we did not check whether the size was increased.

  2. Standard explanation predicts that the bright spots are present also with weaker illumination but with so weak intensity that they are not detected by eye. The positions of spots should also depend only on the illumination and camera. The explanation in terms of beams of large Planck constant photons predicts this if the flux of dark photons from any light source is constant.

For background see the chapter Dark Nuclear Physics and Condensed Matter of "p-Adic Length Scale Hypothesis and Dark Matter Hierarchy".

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