Skip to comments.Why the long-supported quantum electrodynamics theory might need some rethinking
Posted on 12/21/2012 11:05:27 AM PST by null and void
Recent observations prove revisions might be necessary for long support theory
Data gathered by a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NSIT) suggest that certain aspects of the highly regarded quantum electrodynamics theory might require some revising.
Observations made with the NSITs electron beam ion trap have led to questions regarding the accuracy of the quantum electrodynamics theory.
What the group discovered, via the NSITs Electron Beam Ion Trap, is that ions with a strongly positive charge can display electrons that behave in ways inconsistent with what the theory suggests should happen.
About the quantum electrodynamics theory
The quantum electrodynamics theory is held in such high regard because it has a very long, very sound track record when it comes to describing electromagnetisms effects on matter.
Specifically, the theory explains the behavior of electrons. It can tell how an electron will react when it collides with a passing article [sic]; that is, itll get bumped up to a higher energy state for a moment, but quickly fall back to its original orbit. When this happens, it gives off a photon of light, and the quantum electrodynamics theory can tell what wavelength, or color, that photon will have.
Putting the theory to the test
While the quantum electrodynamics theory has been accepted as-is for years-on end, technology has obviously been improved over this time. And since the scientific and engineering communities consist of many curious folk, the theory has continually been tested using modern-day technologies that are more precise than yesterdays models.
So, with all of that being said, to test the quantum electrodynamics theory out, the NSIT used its Electron Beam Ion Trap to strip a heavy atom (titanium, iron, etc.) of nearly all of its electrons in order to observe how the remaining electrons would behave. If 20 of titaniums 22 electrons are removed, it becomes a highly charged ion that looks in many ways like a helium atom that has been shrunk to a tenth its original size, explains NIST physicist John Gillaspy, a member of the research team. Ironically, in this unusual state, the effects of QED are magnified, so we can explore them in more detail.
During observations, Gillaspy and his team found that the photons given off by these very unique, highly charged ions were noticeably different in color than what the quantum electrodynamics theory suggested. This marks the first time the theory has ever been proven incorrect.
The results are certainly fascinating, but fans of the quantum electrodynamics theory need not fear its immediate demise this is just the first of many more tests to come. In fact, Gillaspy hopes that his groups findings will inspire others to do similar tests and maybe even measure the emitted photons with greater accuracy.
What the NIST experiment found is interesting enough that it merits attention, says Jonathan Sapirstein, a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame. Independent calculations should be done to confirm the theory, and other experiments should also confirm the findings. However, if no errors are found in the theory and the NIST experiment is correct, some physics outside of QED must be present.
The groups paper, Testing three-body quantum electrodynamics with trapped Ti20+ ions: Evidence for a Z-dependent divergence between experiment and calculation, was published in Physical Review Letters. It is available to subscribers of the website. ■
So eventually they will demonstrate that QED is QED.
Thank you, I’ll be here all week...
Reminds me of a physics professor that opened the semester leaning heavily on a door sill and asking students to estimate the force of his pressing action?
Is their anyone here that knows the answer?
I'm guessing the author probably should have said "ions with a strongly positive charge can displace electrons in ways inconsistent..."
Anything that an "ion with a strongly positive charge" can "display" would be displayed with very few pixels indeed.
This is a trick or joke question right?
I’d hate for one of their favorite theories to be proven wrong cuz they would have to scrap that recent book about how the “universe pops in and out of existence.”
So eventually they will demonstrate that QED is QED.
But probably not PDQ.
Yes! That was another [sic] I was going to add, actually two of the three I missed, NSIT’s [sic], display [sic] and a second (NSIT) [sic]...
Haha, no. It will take decades and lots and lots of Federal grants.
Exactly equal to the force of the door sill pressing back?
It sounds almost like they have effectively built a single-atom cyclotron.
I will need some basic information before making my calculations .... first ... how fat was his ass ?
Reminds me of a physics professor that opened the semester leaning heavily on a door sill and asking students to estimate the force of his pressing action?Force = Mass x Acceleration
The Acceleration involved is about 9.8m/S (1g) The mass involved is a bit more complicated requiring knowledge of the mass of the professor and the angle of the lean. It's a pretty cute vector problem that is solvable with some thought.
Good point. High (near relativistic) electron velocity=higher mass=shift in emitted wavelength.
It would be nice to know if the emitted light was red shifted or blue shifted...
Just leaning against the frame, the only force in play would be the force of gravity pulling him down, redirected laterally by him using the doorframe for support. So, I think the force would be his weight (mass times the acceleration due to gravity), times the sin of the angle at which he is leaning.
Science is never wrong, it’s just evolving.
do we have a “Settled Science” ping list?
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