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Thread: Photons as Solitons?

  1. #1 Photons as Solitons? 
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    Simple question with a not so simple answer probably: Why can't photons be thought of as solitons? Assuming for a moment that there is some kind of a space-time medium, could a photon not be a soliton in such a setup? I have read something against it, which stated that there are no processes that could produce such a wave. For instance an electron giving up energy in the form of a photon does not oscillate in the right way or at all. Would such a solition produce the kind of effects one sees with the double slit experiment?


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  3. #2  
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    Why can't photons be thought of as solitons?
    Mainly because photons can undergo redshifting and blushifting because of the Doppler shift, while solitons, by definition, cannot. Further, a photon loses energy as it travels, causing it to reduce in frequency, while solitons, again by definition, cannot.

    I may be wrong, however; this is the first time I've heard of solitons, and I'm reading the Wikipedia article on it right now.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liongold
    Why can't photons be thought of as solitons?
    Mainly because photons can undergo redshifting and blushifting because of the Doppler shift, while solitons, by definition, cannot. Further, a photon loses energy as it travels, causing it to reduce in frequency, while solitons, again by definition, cannot.

    I may be wrong, however; this is the first time I've heard of solitons, and I'm reading the Wikipedia article on it right now.
    Not sure why you think they won't undergo Doppler shift? It would only mean that the soliton created would be of a different frequency than expected, I think.

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    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  5. #4  
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    Yeah, there's no reason a soliton couldn't be red shifted, at least using the means that light gets red shifted.

    The only thing that concerns me is that light, in terms of its wave properties, spreads out as it travels over distance, whereas a soliton does not, right? So, would you explain a light wave as a grouping of solitons all headed in slightly different directions?

    I sometimes want to try and visualize ordinary matter, large objects anyway, as being solitons. It's never occurred to me to try and think of a photon as a soliton.
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  6. #5  
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    So, would you explain a light wave as a grouping of solitons all headed in slightly different directions?
    Well, I don't want to delve into my hypothesis too deeply in this sub, but that is indeed what I was thinking.

    I would think that the idea of photons as solitons would be a straight forward idea to come up with, but I can't find anything relating to this idea on the internet. That makes we think that there is probably a pretty obvious reason that it fails. I am working from the premise that a space-time medium exists, but this is not the accepted model, so is this then the primary reason that it fails? Also, would a light beam made up of individual soliton-photons give the same result with the double slit experiment?

    EDIT: OOOH! It looks like it has been investigated before. Examples are HERE and HERE! They are both from ten or more years ago though, so how did they fail? The first one is just an abstract, but the second link is a more comprehensive treatment of the subject. Exciting!
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  7. #6  
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    So, would soliton properties explain the ability of a photon to interfere with itself in the double slit experiments? (Something that would be really nice for some theory to explain)
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