Monday, August 28, 2006

What's the MATTER?

Author: Charles Douglas Wehner

Einstein has shown that energy can be converted into matter? That`s a nice trick!

Matter consists of the elements hydrogen, helium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, neon and on and on..... That is the periodic table of the elements, from Mendeleev, in which the components of matter are laid out in order of increasing weight, for ease of study.

So I invite you to take some energy and convert it into matter. I will then take that matter into the chemical laboratory, and tell you whether it was hydrogen, helium, beryllium or some other element that you have made for me.

If you do not accept the challenge, you will never know what you would have made. You might have transmuted base energy into GOLD - the 79th element of the Periodic Table. This has been the quest of alchemists throughout the ages. You cannot know what wonders you have missed.

Still not tempted? Then I will tell you a secret. Even nature cannot transmute energy into matter. Some might say that even God cannot.

But Einstein was a GENIUS. He could do things where Nature and God had failed. Or so we are given to believe.

So Einstein was wrong. How often I have heard this phrase. I was accosted on the streets for years by a young man who had heard that I was clever. He would routinely deliver his latest critique of Einstein. It was based - as is usual - upon semiscience, and eventually I knew why. Those who run the ""Einstein was wrong"" campaign have two things in common. Firstly, they are not scientists, and secondly they have a history of mental illness. Theirs is a campaign, by finding something deep and profound, to silence their own critics who say that they are mad.

Einstein was not wrong.

The problem is compounded by the disinformation campaign run by governments. Einstein had, with his famous equation, quantified the energy that might be obtained from a bomb. He had provided the mathematical basis for nuclear warfare, and the tyrants who deign to rule us were quite thrilled. They made Einstein into the greatest genius ever known, even though there have been several ""Zweisteins"". Madame Curie and Linus Pauling, for example, both got two Nobel prizes where Einstein got only one.

In 1955, Einstein started with Bertrand Russell the ""Ban the Bomb"" campaign. They jointly wrote the Russell-Einstein Manifesto. Einstein died - probably murdered - just before the American ""Ban the Bomb"" campaign was to start. The Manifesto was issued, and Russell soldiered on alone in England.

In his quest for peace, Einstein was not wrong either.

So the disinformation campaign takes many forms. Firstly, it spreads dirty rumours about the private lives of Russell and Einstein. Secondly, it plays down Einstein`s deep commitment to peace. Thirdly, it keeps the secrets of how to build the bomb secret, in case an enemy might discover them.

Science is simple. Fake scientists are bombastic. So, in the concealment of the few true facts that go into the making of the nuclear industries, a vast array of complicated and fanciful ""theories"" are generated, which lead to nothing useful. One of those myths is that energy turns into matter, and matter into energy. There is no such nuclear alchemy.

To understand what Einstein said, we must first consider physics. For our equations, we have only pounds, feet and seconds to work with. These might be converted into centimetres, grammes and seconds, or into metres, kilogrammes and seconds - or into something involving minutes or hours, but they remain for all time MASS, DISTANCE and TIME.

So mass, distance and time are the three physical ""elements"" - or physical ""dimensions"". They have nothing to do with chemistry.

Mass is not to be confused with weight. Consider what happens if you have a bag of apples, and take it into orbit. On Earth, it weighs a pound. In orbit it weighs nothing. We speak of the orbital condition as ""weightlessness"".

Now let us throw the apples against a wall. Let us do this twice, firstly at one foot per second and then at a thousand. On earth, the apples bounce off the wall after an impact of one foot per second. They are smashed to pulp at a speed of a thousand feet per second.

In orbit it is exactly the same. Weightlessness is not masslessness.

What causes the impact is momentum - the product of mass and speed. In the first case, we have a single pound-foot-per-second, in the second we have a thousand. The second momentum is a thousand times the first.

The energy needed is one half times the mass times the speed squared. In the first case we have half a foot-poundal, in the second half a million.

Scientists prefer to use other units, however. In the metre-kilogramme-second system (MKS), the energy will be JOULES. This is a convenient unit, because it is WATT SECONDS. It makes sense to the scientist, because he can visualise for how long a one-Watt torch would shine, and so get the ""feel"" of the energy.

Light travels at three hundred million metres per second. So one foot per second is about one third of a metre per second, or about a billionth of the speed of light.

According to Einstein`s equation, something travelling at a billionth of the speed of light will become half times a billionth times a billionth heavier.

So, the apples have a mass of 1.0000000000000000000000000 pounds. In motion, their mass becomes 1.0000000000000000000000005 pounds.

There is very little difference, and Einstein`s modification to the laws of motion barely disturb calculations that are based on Newton.

At a thousand feet per second, however, the mass is 1.0000000000000000005 pounds.

The increment in mass has grown by a million, although it is still trivial.

It is useful at this time to divide the number into two parts. We will call the 1 the ""rest mass"" and the .0000000000000000005 the ""relativistic mass"". Nothing has happened to the apples other than their motion and their change in mass. A bag of five apples does not become a bag of six apples for me to take into the chemical laboratory and discover the added carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and other elements. In short, there is no chemical change.

As the mass increases with increasing speed, we find that for the next relativistic calculation we must calculate the relativistic increment of the 1, and also the relativistic increase in the 0.0000000000000000005. Thus, the relativistic mass grows by compound interest - not by simple interest. There comes a time when the apples are becoming infinitely heavy.

When the apples are almost infinitely heavy, we need almost infinite energy to accelerate them at all. So close to the speed of light, they become impossible to shift.

It seems that nothing can reach the speed of light, for if it did it would contain infinite energy.

But what of light itself?

How did light reach the speed of light? It didn`t. It was BORN THERE.

What happens when you slow light down to rest? What is its rest mass?

If you slowed light down, it would not be light. All light travels at the speed of light.

If you could slow it down, it would have zero rest mass - because it is not matter.

All things, like bagsful of apples, require energy to move them. The apples have their own intrinsic mass - the ""rest mass"" - and the energy has its own mass - the ""relativistic mass"".

Light requires no energy to move it because it is born on the move. It consists purely of energy, and has ""relativistic mass"" without having ""rest mass"".

Regarding chemistry, we can consider hydrogen. It consists of an electron held by its negative charge to a proton, which is positive. However, the electric charge only works up to a point. It takes enormous force to drive the electron into the proton because the short-range forces repel it.

If we persevere, we can indeed crush hydrogen together - and the electric charges cancel. We have created a neutron.

In the SI system of physical units (MKS), the electron weights 9.10956 times ten to the power MINUS THIRTY-ONE kilogrammes. It would take about 1.1 MILLION MILLION MILLION MILLION MILLION (that is, million to the power five) to make a kilogramme of electrons, which are about 2.2 pounds. A million to the power five therefore weigh about two pounds.

Similarly, the proton weighs 1.67261 times ten to the power minus 27 kilogrammes, and the neutron weighs 1.67492 times ten to the minus 27 kilos.

We can see that when we force an electron and a proton together, the neutron weighs as much as 2.536 electrons plus one proton.

Here, the rest mass within the neutron is the sum of the rest masses of the electron and of the proton, whilst the surplus 1.536 electron masses is the relativistic mass due to something moving inside the neutron. We don`t know what it is.

We might conjecture that the electron has been shifted from its outer orbit into some kind of internal orbit within the proton. By whizzing about inside the proton, the electron is everywhere at once, and effectively cancels the positive charge of the proton in all places.

So the neutron is a hydrogen atom with stored energy - as if the electron within it were some kind of flywheel having energy-storage due to its spin.

If we throw the neutron with enough speed at an atom of uranium 238, it forms uranium 239. After a variable period which averages a microsecond, the electron flies out of the uranium. The neutron inside the uranium 239 has turned back into a proton, and the uranium is now plutonium 239. However, the plutonium with the ejected electron have the same mass as uranium 238 plus an electron plus a proton. The only difference is the binding energy, by which the proton is held in the plutonium. This binding energy has relativistic mass.

What has happened to the surplus 1.536 electron masses? They have turned back into the energy that we used to crush the hydrogen at the beginning of the experiment. A gamma ray - high-energy light (an X-ray) - has also been emitted, and light is not matter.

So everything has been accounted for. The matter has always stayed as matter and the energy has always stayed as energy. It is true that we could not see the energy inside the neutron, but we conjectured at some flywheel motion we cannot see - and we could detect its relativistic mass.

When people say that ""Einstein was wrong"", they mean that those REPORTERS who report Einstein are wrong. Bad reporters confuse MATTER with MASS.

Einstein said that energy can transmute into relativistic mass, and relativistic mass can transmute into energy.

In short, energy has mass, and takes it everywhere it goes.

The laws of the conservation of matter, and of the conservation of energy, have been preserved.

Charles Douglas Wehner

About the author: Charles Douglas Wehner, born 1944 in the Isle of Man, was a technical author in nucleonics and radar as well as a design engineer and factory manager in photoelectrics and other electronics and a computer programmer. He has a website devoted to special science.


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