- as immaterial electromagnetic wave
- as transfer of heat energy between material bodies.
måndag 24 oktober 2011
In politics it is necessary to use words with multiple meaning to allow different people to make different interpretations of words like "equality", "liberty" and "justice". The society of Orwell's 1984 can only exist with doublespeak.
Doublespeak is also used in science, although in principle scientific terms are supposed to be well defined. An example of a term with double meaning is "radiation" which is used in two different ways:
In a wave model it is possible to make a distinction between 1. an electromagnetic wave as an immaterial carrier or medium for the 2. transfer of heat energy between material bodies. An essential scientific question the concerns the interaction of emission and absorption between the immaterial wave and the material body as the heat energy is transferred.
It is possible to allow the waves to be two-way, while the transfer of heat energy is one-way from warm to cold, as shown in Computational Blackbody Radiation and Mathematical Physics of Blackbody Radiation.
This distinction is however not possible if a particle model is used, if radiation is viewed as a stream of "energy quanta" or photon particles, since then the carrier is the same as the carried energy (in analogy with Marshall Macluhans "the medium is the message").
In a particle model the processes of emission and absorption are viewed as as a "spitting out" and "swallowing" of photons or "packets of heat energy" or "quanta", in a primitive line of thought. The transfer of heat energy like particle motion becomes two-way, with the body spitting the most winning a game of heat transfer.
The confusion in the debate on DLR/backradiation as the basis of the greenhouse effect of CO2 alarmism, comes from the doublespeak of radiation as both 1. and 2. This makes it possible to speak about "radiation from the colder atmosphere to the warmer Earth surface" as "Downwelling Longwave Radiation" even if such a transfer would violate the 2nd law.
The particle model of light introduced by Newton was replaced by Maxwell's wave model in the late 19th century, but was then surprisingly reintroduced by the early Einstein and Planck while the late Einstein did not accept that idea of light as a stream of particle quanta.
A particle model of light is indeed very primitive and lacks in particular for IR or microwaves, all rationale because the wave length is millions of times larger than the atomic dimensions.
A primitive particle model allows doublespeak flipping back and forth between 1. and 2.
and this is cleverly used by CO2 alarmists to meet critique that DLR/backradiation
violates the 2nd law. But this is primitive and is no longer possible if a less primitive wave model is used.
Note that Planck in the Faustian deal of previous post made in the preface to his Theory of Heat Radiation, struggles to explain why he has given up a wave model of radiation, in order to give the impression that he is not using doublespeak of both particle and wave.
But Planck did not save modern physics from doublespeak, with the wave-particle duality as
the ultimate expression of doublespeak, elevated to virtue in modern physics.
Notice that an electromagnetic wave cannot store energy, while a material body can store energy as heat: As soon as the light emission form a material body is turned off, the light goes off, and there is no light to be absorbed. This shows that the electromagnetic wave is a carrier of energy without capacity to store energy itself. An electrical circuit with capacitor and inductor can store energy, but not a light wave.
In a particle model the stream of particles as energy quanta represent stored energy, and again the distinction between the immaterial transmitter of energy and and material energy becomes muddled.