I’ve found myself in an intellectual cul-de-sac after discovering the solar wind is comprised of protons and also electrons travelling in the same direction in the solar electric field. Either the space probes are simply picking up the presence of electrons in a non-vectorial fashion, meaning the sensor simply registers the presence of electrons, not their direction, and then there is therefore no problem, or the electron presence is sensed by a direction sensitive sensor, and then there is a big problem. The problem is thus in the ‘pending’ tray.
I recently purchased a text “What is the Electron” and discover that there are at least 9 different explanations, and perhaps more, for the electron. I also acquired an E-Text, Models of the Atomic Nucleus by Norman D. Cook (published by Springer) in which there are an even greater number of models for the nucleus than for the electron, none of which alone can explain all the observations of the nucleus.
To borrow from the late Fred Hoyle, we seem to be thinking with the wrong ideas, so I have decided to go back to the early days of physics, JJ Thomson’s time, for example. and discover how we ended up in this most peculiar situation. What startled me a little was Cook’s remark that scientists who study the electron form one category of research whose measurements of electron phenomena involve forces many times greater in magnitude than those measured for nuclides; the two camps, electron and proton, simply don’t meet, or they do at Xmas and then it’s a right-hand not understanding what the left-hand is doing.
I suspect the origin of the problem lies further back to Isaac Newton’s time when he formulated his laws of motion and gravitation, and what an object explicitly was in his understanding. It is a topic I have occasionally touched on indirectly, but I suspect much of the present confusion in physics lies in what is understood to be a Newtonian body. I also suspect that confusion has resulted from extrapolating Newton’s observations to the sub-atomic realm.
So future posts will focus on finding an exit from the cul-de-sac I’m in.