Is Light Massless

Is Light Massless

If a photon has no mass why is it attracted to gravity? Light is made up of individual particles called photons. A photon of light is too small to be detected on its own. However Einstein believed that photons are massless. After 100 years of research and experimentation can we still say light is massless? Research gives a tiny mass for photons but in math equations most people still use zero as the mass of a photon. Can you blame scientists for this light error?

All the light in stars are created by electrons. The light sabers create light by electrons also.

Where does light come from

All light that we see is created by electrons. The most common light is sunlight from our star where the light is created in nuclear fusion reactions inside the sun. These reactions happen with electrons that create photons of all wavelengths of light.

Light doesn’t exist on its own, it must be created by electrons. All the light in the universe was created by electrons.

How does the Electron create light

An electron is a point like fundamental particle with a mass of 9.1 x 10^-31 kg and a spin of one half. A video taken of an electron shows that it has an energy field orbiting the inner particle.

The electron has an electric charge of one and as it spins it creates a magnetic field from the electric field. The big aha moment is that the energy field of an electron is like a photon.

This energy field can stretch outwards if a force acts upon it. Then immediately the field collapses and releases a photon. Photons are released at the speed of light because that is the speed of the rotating field around the electron.

The photon resembles a miniature electron! Don’t forget that during the big bang photons created electrons. Now electrons create photons, kind of like mini electrons...

The photon carries the electromagnetic field from the electron. This field is the wave aspect of light. That photon was part of the electron’s energy field so it is also a physical particle or a dual wave-particle. However, all particles have a wave characteristic.

The Mass of a Photon

The photon is a physical particle and it carries the electromagnetic field from the electron. All particles that have an electromagnetic field must have mass. The amount of mass is in the range of less than 7 x 10^-17 eV. That’s a very small amount.

Planck’s Constant is the value of the energy of a photon related to its frequency. It would be too complex if each photon had a different mass. My unexplained idea is that each photon has the same mass. The only difference is the amount of energy.

Proof that a Photon has Mass

Photons are never at rest, they are always moving. That makes it almost impossible to measure the rest mass of a photon, right? But such an experiment has been done.

The Supercooled Rubidium experiment.

Researchers pumped rubidium atoms into a vacuum tube and chilled them down almost to absolute zero. Then they fired weak laser pulses to send photons into the cloud of cold atoms.

While passing through the cloud of rubidium the photons slowed down. When two photons were fired at the same time, they exited together, like a molecule.

That’s not all. When 3 photons  stuck together resembling an atom they measured a small mass. Another experiment actually stopped light for one entire minute.

This is proof that light has mass! A“massless” wave particle stopped, combined with another wave and then it had mass.  Remember there is no momentum or kinetic energy present.

How can Particles Travel at Light Speed

General Relativity says that a particle must have a rest mass to be a particle. That is why Einstein said the photon must be massless because it’s never at rest. But, the quantum world is different.

The new quantum understanding of matter is that all particles are vibrating and are never at rest. All matter is made up of dual particle - wave characteristics.

If photons have mass how are they able to travel at light speed. General Relativity says that any object traveling close to the speed of light gains mass. The more you try to accelerate it the more massive it gets.

The answer is two fold. First the photon is already going at light speed inside an electron. Second, a photon has no internal structure such as quarks or gluons that could increase in mass.

Another example of a particle traveling at light speed exists. The neutrino has been proven to have a small mass and it travels at light speed. As a matter of fact, neutrinos can travel through the Earth and not slow down.

This is more proof that photons have a rest mass. We already knew that photons have momentum and a type of relativistic mass. This changes everything, that we have learned about Special Relativity.

Photons make up the entire spectrum of electromagnetism. The frequency controls the type of photon and the color of visible light.

So What if Photons have Mass

If photons have mass then that means Einstein’s theory of gravity distorting space is false.

Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity was his way of explaining why photons are attracted to gravity. The theory says mass distorts space and then space tells objects where to move.

A fabric of spacetime? Really? Invisible space and invisible time curves non physical things so that massless photons know where to move. You must be kidding me?

Why would massless photons obey physical laws unless they have mass.

Why would light decide to follow a curved gravity field unless light is a physical thing that has mass? Einstein’s theory is proving that light has mass? What?

His theory works not because space is curved but because light has mass. I suspect he knew that it wouldn’t change the math either way?

In conclusion it means that light and all photons have passive gravitational mass. Therefore, photons will be attracted to gravity but not to other photons or electrons.

A Few More Ideas to Ponder

The universe is a physical state of energy. Inside this universe all things are physical or are they? Consider that light is a physical particle that has mass.

Can you think of anything that is non physical? What about imagination, dreams, feelings, love etc. I agree they are real and non physical but, they are used by our physical mind.

What about time? It seems that time is a non physical thing. We can’t see it with our senses and although we can measure time it doesn't tell us what time is.

What about space? Is space a thing? Does it have mass, density or volume? Our visible 3rd dimension seems to have volume and density, A space that has everything we can imagine.

Consider that time arrived during the big bang along with light. The speed of light is about 3 x 10^8 meters per second. Light can’t exist without time and time governs all the laws of the universe.

So, even time which seems non physical on its own is used by all matter. I can’t think of anything that is non physical except consciousness.

Yes, we have consciousness and we use consciousness. But it’s not a part of our physical mind the same way that dreams and love are. It has been said that the universe seems more like a thought than a thing. What do you think?

Key Takeaways

  1. Electrons create all the light in the Universe by emitting photons

  2. Electrons create the electromagnetic force

  3. The electron orbital consists of a photon

  4. When this field absorbs energy it releases it as photons

  5. The electron gives the photon its speed and wave properties

  6. Photons have mass and energy

  7. Photons have passive gravitational mass that is attracted to gravity

  8. Einstein’s fabric of spacetime is false

  9. Consciousness is the only part of the universe that isn’t physical

If you resonate with this new information I want you to be on my tribe of followers. I would like to encourage your dreams and confirm your thoughts that science of light will show us the Ultimate Truth. I care about you and hope you will join this journey into understanding science and light.

Your influence is greater than you can imagine!

Join my list of subscribers and get my latest post in your email.

Thanks for being here. As always, be well.


About the Author Erik Lovin

Erik has a BSc degree and is a retired professional photographer who is now a published Author of many books. His passion is understanding how life and the universe works. He is currently blogging about the science of the Big Bang and the science of cosmology. Erik is helping his tribe with questions about the universe. His goal is to help find a theory of everything (TOE). In order to do that, he is trying to prove light has mass and that the fabric of spacetime is a false theory. We are welcoming questions and answers that you might have about the universe.

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