Search FQXi

If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest

Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American

Previous Contests

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American


How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help


Thomas Ray: "(reposted in correct thread) Lorraine, Nah. That's nothing like my view...." in 2015 in Review: New...

Lorraine Ford: "Clearly “law-of-nature” relationships and associated numbers represent..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Information Channel. An example from Jon Barwise. At the workshop..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Please clarify. I just tried to put a simple model of an observer in the..." in Alternative Models of...

Lee Bloomquist: "Footnote...for the above post, the one with the equation existence =..." in Alternative Models of...

Thomas Ray: "In fact, symmetry is the most pervasive physical principle that exists. ..." in “Spookiness”...

Thomas Ray: "It's easy to get wound around the axle with black hole thermodynamics,..." in “Spookiness”...

Joe Fisher: "It seems to have escaped Wolpert’s somewhat limited attention that no two..." in Inferring the Limits on...

click titles to read articles

The Complexity Conundrum
Resolving the black hole firewall paradox—by calculating what a real astronaut would compute at the black hole's edge.

Quantum Dream Time
Defining a ‘quantum clock’ and a 'quantum ruler' could help those attempting to unify physics—and solve the mystery of vanishing time.

Our Place in the Multiverse
Calculating the odds that intelligent observers arise in parallel universes—and working out what they might see.

Sounding the Drums to Listen for Gravity’s Effect on Quantum Phenomena
A bench-top experiment could test the notion that gravity breaks delicate quantum superpositions.

Watching the Observers
Accounting for quantum fuzziness could help us measure space and time—and the cosmos—more accurately.

February 23, 2018

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Taking the Mechanics out of Space-Time and Putting it Back Into Quantum Mechanics by Randy Wayne [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Randy Wayne wrote on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 14:30 GMT
Essay Abstract

One of the basic postulates of fundamental physics that is ingrained in our thinking is that the photon is an elementary particle that can be represented as a mathematical point, with spin-1, but without radial extension. According to General Relativity, gravity influences the motion of light, not by acting on light itself, but by directly acting on a dynamic four-dimensional space-time continuum through which the point-like photon passively propagates. Here I present an alternative explanation of the effect of gravity on light based on the rotational as well as translational motions of the photon. By taking the mechanics out of the description of space-time, and putting it back into the quantum mechanics of light, I show that the deflection of starlight, the experimentum crucis in favor of General Relativity over Newtonian mechanics, can be explained using Newton’s Law of Gravitation, Euclidean space and Newtonian time. This treatment has the advantage over General Relativity in encompassing the dynamical properties of photons that were neither known to Newton nor employed by Einstein. This interpretation, which is also applicable to the understanding of gravitational lensing, the Global Positioning System, the gravitational red shift, and black holes, may lead to a deep or “ultimate” understanding of the nature of reality.

Author Bio

Randy Wayne earned a PhD in Plant Cell Biology at the University of Massachusetts. Wayne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at Cornell University. He is a biophysical plant cell biologist known for his work on membrane biology, cell motility, and how plant cells perceive and respond to light and gravity. More recently, he has been working on the physical nature of light and gravity from the unique perspective of a biophysical plant cell biologist. He is the author of "Light and Video Microscopy" and "Plant Cell Biology: From Astronomy to Zoology," both published by Elsevier.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share

Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 00:02 GMT
Dear Randy Wayne,

You've chosen a very significant topic, of obvious importance to both physics and biology. I agree with your insistence on finite size, non-zero momentum and ever-present spin that represents rotational motion.

I further agree with your equipartition of rotational and translational energy, and call your attention to the reduced equation [ curl C ~ p ] in my essay, The Nature of the Wave Function, where curl C is the rotational circulation of the C-field and p is the particle momentum. Observe that, as in your model, the rotational term on the left balances the translational term on the right. If I may suggest it, the photon 'particle' plus the local 'wave' component -- always present -- might be analogous to your 'composite' photon. I did not find an exact description of the composition of the photon and I hope you might consider the C-field as the second component in your model.

I am extremely impressed with your derivation of the 'double deflection' which appears to be unique. Congratulations.

I hope you will read my essay in the context of your own and will comment on my thread.

Best of luck in the contest,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Randy Wayne replied on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 16:11 GMT
Dear Edwin Eugene Klingman,

Thank you for your comment and I enjoyed your essay on the Nature of the Wave Function. I also wish you good luck in the essay contest.

The best published exposition of my model of the photon (mutatis mutandis) is in Appendix II (A Microscopist's Model of the Photon) of my book, "Light and Video Microscopy" (Elsevier, 2009), which you can preview for the most part using Google Books. Your model and my model of light describe a photon that has extension (a fundamental aspect of reality) and spin (a physical and real rotational motion).

We differ in that you describe the photon as an elementary particle (a one-body problem with its physical wave), and I describe the photon as a composite particle (spin 1 boson) composed of two conjugate particles (spin 1/2 fermions), one composed of matter and the other composed of antimatter. The two conjugate particles oscillate both longitudinally and rotationally.

Since I ascribe a positive mass to matter and a negative mass to antimatter, the total mass of the photon in free space is zero. In order for their angular momenta add up to h-bar, the two conjugate particles must rotate with opposite senses. Since a composite particle composed of conjugate particles of positive and negative mass would accelerate to an infinite velocity, I assign an equal and opposite charge to each conjugate particle to restrain the velocity of the midpoint of the congugate photon to the speed of light (thanks to the electrical permittivity and magnetic permeability of the vacuum).

The combination of charge and mass in the moving particles produces a linearly polarized electric field as well as a "circular" magnetic field (or circulation) as in your model. However, in my model of the complex photon, various combinations of mass and charge are allowed, the only restraint being that the combination must produce a mass-less and neutral composite photon. Thus the composite photon can be made out of conjugate particles with (+m+q) and (-m-q) or conjugate particles with (+m-q) and (-m+q). (Note that the positive signs in front of the mass and charge are not reproduced in this thread and are assumed). Consequently, my model of the photon allows for the possiblity of a composite photon with a right-handed magnetic field (circulation) or a left-handed magnetic field (circulation) whereas your model predicts exclusively a left handed circulation.

It would be wonderful to see your wave function applied to each of the conjugate particles as well as the sum of the two. The wave equation for the magnetic field (circulation) would have to take into consideration the the velocities (and accelerations) of the conjugate particles oscillating in three dimensions as well as the drift velocity of the particles. So far, this has been beyond my level of competence. Again, I wish you well with the essay contest.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 19:05 GMT
Hi Randy,

Thanks for your response. You note that I "describe the photon as an elementary particle (a one-body problem with its physical wave)". I'm not sure I would characterize it as a 'particle' so much as a 'localized energy density' that is represented by a Poynting vector. It is the momentum of the photon (however constituted) that sources the C-field circulation. This gravito-magnetic (C-field) circulation due to the photon momentum is *in addition to* the electro-magnetic circulation due to the charge.

Thanks for the additional details of your photon model. I intend to give some consideration to your model.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 19:13 GMT
In case it was not clear from my above comment, the left-handed C-field circulation is due to the photon momentum, and is independent of the electro-magnetic (B-field) circulation which in your model is induced by charges. I am uncertain how to handle your negative mass -- my first inclination would be to avoid negative momentum.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Hyoyoung Choi wrote on Sep. 7, 2012 @ 09:35 GMT
Dear Randy Wayne!

I am sorry. I apologize for my poor English.

Very interesting read your article.

In my article, I show that negative mass(energy) provides an explanation for dark matter and dark energy.

Article : Negative mass and negative energy

Computer simulation on negative mass

If you read my essay, I will be very happy^^*

Have a Nice day!

--- Hyoyoung Choi

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Hyoyoung Choi replied on Sep. 7, 2012 @ 10:03 GMT
For the observation or evidence of negative mass(energy)

In 1998, an observation by both the HSS team and SCP team obtained a negative mass density from inspected field equations over 70years.(field eq. has a Lamda=0)

SCP(Supernova Cosmology Project) team : If Lamda=0, Omega_M= - 0.4(±0.1) refer to 7P

HSS(The High-z Supernova Search) team : If Lamda=0, Omega_M = - 0.38(±0.22) refer to 14P

However, the two teams which judged that negative mass and negative energy level could not exist in our universe based on "the problem of the transition of the energy level of minus infinity" and they instead revised the field equation by inserting the cosmological constant.

We must to know that not the equation has disposed the value, but our thought disposed the value.

Moreover, we considered vacuum energy as the source of cosmological constant Lamda, but the current result of calculation shows 10120, which is unprecedented even in the history of Physics.

However, if "the problem of the transition of the energy level of minus infinity" does not occur, and thus negative and positive mass can coexist, what would happen?

It is well known that a cosmological constant can respond to the negative mass density.

peff = -Lamda/4piG

Lamda is positive, so peff is negative.

Please view to my article and simulation video

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Randy Wayne replied on Sep. 7, 2012 @ 14:53 GMT
Dear Hyoyoung Choi,

I think that your thoughts on negative mass are very reasonable and well presented in your essay. Good luck in the contest. Your graphics were also very illustrative. Physics requires that some quantities be positive and some be negative. It seems to me that having positive and negative mass, along with positive and negative charge, and north and south magnetism provides the more realistic and testable symmetry than asserting that mass can only be positive and introducing the negative sign in terms of time (e.g. Feynman's idea that antimatter is equivalent to matter going backwards in time). I have recently published a couple papers on negative mass in the Turkish Journal of Physics (Thermodynamics of Negative Mass and Thermodynamics of Positive Mass). In one paper (Negative Mass and Antimatter), I identify negative mass with antimatter.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Hyoyoung Choi replied on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 10:57 GMT
Dear Randy Wayne!

I am sorry. I apologize for my poor English.

Thank you very much!

I am glad to read your paper ("Symmetry and the order of events in time. A proposed identity of negative mass with antimatter")

I really happy because of read your paper!

I have a background paper on my essay.


We set up each model from the birth of universe to the present, and calculated gravitational potential energy using computer simulation in each level.

As a result, we could verify that "pair creation model of negative energy and positive energy" explains inflation of the early universe and decelerating expansion, and present accelerating expansion in time series.

This simulation is showing incredible results.

It not only explains the total energy of the universe, flatness, and the essence (Total zero energy, pair creation of negative energy and positive energy) of the process of birth of the universe, but it explains inflation, decelerating expansion in the early stage, accelerating expansion in the late stage, and dark matter through the only term, negative energy. Moreover, this negative energy is one that is essentially required by the law of energy conservation.

Paper : The change of Gravitational Potential Energy and Dark Energy in the Zero Energy Universe.


Have a nice day!

--- Hyoyoung Choi

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 15:20 GMT

Very interesting to see your essay.

Perhaps all of us are convinced that: the choice of yourself is right!That of course is reasonable.

So may be we should work together to let's the consider clearly defined for the basis foundations theoretical as the most challenging with intellectual of all of us.

Why we do not try to start with a real challenge is very close and are the focus of interest of the human science: it is a matter of mass and grain Higg boson of the standard model.

Knowledge and belief reasoning of you will to express an opinion on this matter:

You have think that: the Mass is the expression of the impact force to material - so no impact force, we do not feel the Higg boson - similar to the case of no weight outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Does there need to be a particle with mass for everything have volume? If so, then why the mass of everything change when moving from the Earth to the Moon? Higg boson is lighter by the Moon's gravity is weaker than of Earth?

The LHC particle accelerator used to "Smashed" until "Ejected" Higg boson, but why only when the "Smashed" can see it,and when off then not see it ?

Can be "locked" Higg particles? so when "released" if we do not force to it by any the Force, how to know that it is "out" or not?

You are should be boldly to give a definition of weight that you think is right for us to enjoy, or oppose my opinion.

Because in the process of research, the value of "failure" or "success" is the similar with science. The purpose of a correct theory be must is without any a wrong point ?

Glad to see from you comments soon,because still have too many of the same problems.

Regards !


August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 09:13 GMT
Dear Randy,

I do not understand why in your formula (8) there is not total kinetic energy but only 1/4 of it? In theory of gravitation in kinetic energy also rest energy is included which is absent in your calculation.

Sergey Fedosin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Randy Wayne replied on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 11:43 GMT
Dear Sergey,

The orbital energy is only composed of the total kinetic energy and the total gravitational binding energy when the orbiting body is a translating corpuscle (or cannonball or planet) whose translational kinetic energy is equal to (or approximated by) its total kinetic energy. This is true of a Newtonian light corpuscle and using the total kinetic energy in this formula would give a "single deflection."

When some of the total kinetic energy (like in a rotating photon or a bullet) is involved in rotational motion, then the rotational kinetic energy component must be subtracted from the photon's or the bullet's total kinetic energy when determining the orbital energy.

In the case of a photon whose total energy is known and that has a spinning motion, we only use the translational part of the total kinetic energy when we calculate the orbital energy. If we assume that the total kinetic energy is equipartioned between the translational energy and the rotational energy, only one half of the total kinetic energy should be used to calculate the orbital energy. This results in a "double deflection." The fact that Eddington observed a "double deflection" can be interpreted to mean that the photon is not just a spin-1 geometrical point, but a real entity with extension and rotational motion. This is consistent with the interpretation of the selection rules of atomic spectra proposed by Arnold Sommerfeld.

By assuming that the photon has mechanical properties like translational motion and rotational motion, there is no need to look at space and time as a four-dimensional spacetime continuum which has the property of being able to be warped by matter.

Thanks for your question and I hope that this explanation helps.



Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 11:05 GMT
After studying about 250 essays in this contest, I realize now, how can I assess the level of each submitted work. Accordingly, I rated some essays, including yours.

Cood luck.

Sergey Fedosin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 06:42 GMT
If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings in the contest are calculated in the next way. Suppose your rating is
was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have
of points. After it anyone give you
of points so you have
of points and
is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have
of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be:
In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points
then the participant`s rating
was at the moment you rated him. From here it is seen that in the contest are special rules for ratings. And from here there are misunderstanding of some participants what is happened with their ratings. Moreover since community ratings are hided some participants do not sure how increase ratings of others and gives them maximum 10 points. But in the case the scale from 1 to 10 of points do not work, and some essays are overestimated and some essays are drop down. In my opinion it is a bad problem with this Contest rating process. I hope the FQXI community will change the rating process.

Sergey Fedosin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Ke Xiao wrote on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 04:40 GMT
Dear Randy Wayne,

A very impressive essay. Thank you for contributing it.

I hope you can read my essay "Rethink the Double Slit Experiment," which also discuss the scattering of particle with space time.


Ke Xiao

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 20:48 GMT
Dear Randy Wayne,

I have read your essay and I am surprised that it is languishing relatively low down in the ratings with few comments. Perhaps because of your biologist biography. Or maybe because you are questioning the curvature of space-time from the outset. It was very readable until the maths (which I'll admit I skimmed over, -my loss.)

You are making a very important point that curved space-time is not necessary to account for the observations that have been made.I don't feel sufficiently knowledgeable to evaluate the model you put forward. However I'm thinking that though it might account for the observation of gravity I don't really understand how it could also give rise to the experienced force of gravity, but maybe that is a different consideration.

I also say that curvature of space-time is not foundational in my essay. My suggestion is that apparent curvature is due to an affect upon the 'pre-space-time' environment, due to unaccounted for motion of the masses (not the nature of individual photons alone).Though my very brief mention of Joy Christian's recent work and Roger Penrose' quaternion description of the light Cone was indicating that the way in which light propagates through the 'pre-space' time environment has a very important part to play in what space-time reality is observed where and when.

It was interesting to read your point of view. Regards Georgina

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Randy Wayne replied on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 21:00 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Thank you very much for your surprise that I am sitting in the back of the "science bus"...perhaps as a result of my biologist biography.



Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Georgina Parry replied on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 04:09 GMT
It might also have just been chance. As there are so many entries this year. I wonder what is most influential on potential readers choice?...Title, abstract, biography, topic, appearance eg. size of text or number of formulae, prior acquaintance with author, or similar ideas, public profile, participation, reciprocation, current ranking, other's comments?It could be useful information! (Some competitors have complained about perceived social influences upon an essay's ranking.) Whatever the reason its a pity you didn't get more feedback : )

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.