The concepts of point particles and discrete linear waves are a bad problem–but also a badly posed one if all one can do is try to negate their negations. So many of our concepts–like “virus” or “particle”–are projections of our flawed form of identity and our tendency to think in terms of fundamental things or identities with discrete properties. This reflects our distorted view of our self, and traps us in sefl-reflections we cannot escape, even with dialectics.
Dialectic reasoning can expose the limitations of identities and can develop good ideas to their conclusion, but what is often needed is a “Difference”, a new or different way of looking at something. Opposing or mutually exclusive descriptions do not yield novel perspectives, only an exposure of their mutual limits. Complementary descriptions are only truly so if they converge on a more extensive plane of consistency, capable of transductive operations across connected fields and problems.
In the case of light, light is best understood not starting from analogies to discrete material objects or motions like particles and waves; yet if we understand light, we can better understand these more mundane phenomenon, as they all derive their meaning and apparent motion with reference to the phenomenon we call light. No light is not any “thing” at all, but if you want a decent description in physics terms, one could call it a “coaxial circuit” with two axes of induction and a longitudinal/radial point of apparent propagation. But one must remember that the dimensions of this mutually inductive circuit are what make motion, which is a ratio of space to time, they are not some “thing” moving, they are not waves moving in an empty space and time. Waves are never really well understood as a substantive thing, since they are a pattern of change in something or substance.The soliton metaphor, much like Bohm’s pilot wave concept, captures something of the deeper nature of the wave aspect, but most mainstream physicists miss the longitudinal component which Tesla studied and which gets interpreted in terms of the “particle” aspect of light. It is helpful to think of all changes in energy not as ex nihilo photon creation, but more like a rock falling into water, causing a radial drop and a wave pattern around like this:
“Difference”, that is, any real difference that makes a difference, does not come out of nowhere. But I does not arise immanently out of contradiction and opposition, for that would be precisely something from nothing, a positive from a negative. Dialog is sometimes helpful because new perspectives can emerge from an interplay of differences, but not because of mutual opposition, but because, despite of it, we may learn something new. But it is learning—through openness to new ideas, to new lines of development—that is always the source of important differences. One can rub the particle and wave models up against each other for a century and no new perspective will emerge.
That is precisely what has happened.The particle and wave concept, like any seeming contradictory pair of concepts, seem opposed only because they have been taken out of the contexts in which they arose and applied in ways that are incoherent. Physics does this so often because they have prioritized mathematics over conceptual and theoretical coherence. But I have noticed that I am finding more physics videos on youtube from mainstream physics educators emphasizing the same important analogy for understanding the essential paradox of physics which I have found through alternative research.
I discuss the analogy in my essay from a few years ago “It Could Have Been Otherwise” in greater detail and scope, but essentially it is just the fact that the uncertainty principle really isn’t about uncertainty, but is just another example of Fourier pairs—trade-offs that fall right out of the concept of a wave, and ultimately, of motion itself, which is a reciprocal relation between space and time. And as I point out in the paper, it is a version of the same trade-off that goes right to the heart of logic and representation itself.
Here is one of those good videos on the uncertainty principle: