Skeptical Meter Alert! Alert! Alert!

Uh, that meter had been pretty quiet through most of these thoughts as I tried to be as rigorous as possible with this material–pushing the boundaries of irresponsible speculation but trying to stay close to known reality–a balancing act that allows a chance that I may see something that an academically trained physicist might not cover. But it went off big time when I posted the experiment.

A powerful tool I try to use in my thinking is the realization that there’s 8 billion people on this planet, of which maybe .1% think extensively about science and physics, and maybe 1% of those are physics professors, scientists, etc, and maybe 10% of those are actively knowledgeable about particle physics and quantum behavior of electrons. That’s around 800 people at any given moment who are far better and smarter and experienced experts than I am would have thought of every conceivable theoretical and experimental approach related to the size question of the electron–and because there are some paradoxes with the electron being a point source (Heisenberg uncertainty, capture of low energy photons, wave energy points to Compton radius, etc), there’s a good chance that number is actually an order or two magnitude bigger.

This realization is a powerful discriminating tool because very often when I think of an idea, I look at it through the filter of “it’s already been thought of/done”. If the idea is too obvious, I can assume that it’s just about certain that it’s already been considered and pursued. There’s been 20-30 years of approximate stasis in the electron kernel situation, time enough for a very large number of people to think about, perform experiments, analyze, and draw conclusions.

This experiment is far too simple not to have been done a zillion times. Orient a sample of electrons in a magnetic field, hit it with photons, see if the absorption rate varies with incidence angle. I can use my “It’s been done” filter (I’ll call it the IBD filter, which handily could also mean “I Be Dumb” filter) to say–this has been done–and better yet, I can say, with near certainty, that no orientation dependent absorption factor has been found–because if there were, that would be common knowledge by now. The IBD filter is a great tool–I don’t have to have a lot of knowledge myself if I can leverage off of the knowledge of a lot of people. Used to an extreme, of course, this tool says there’s no point in my thinking or doing any experiments, so there’s a balancing act to do here. But when something comes up that is within the realm of the obviously been done, it’s a battle not worth fighting to try to think that a special outcome may result that no one has seen.

Nevertheless, I still think the experiment should be able to determine if there’s a finite radius to the electron if the twist loop is valid. So–if it’s been done, and I assume that no orientation dependent orientation has been found, there’s only a few outcomes: my assumptions about a detectable absorption change in a twist loop are invalid (possible), the experiment hasn’t been done (very unlikely), or–the twist loop model is wrong (unfortunately, quite likely).

I’ll have to think about this some more. If I have integrity as a thinker, I have to be able to take all the thinking and exciting conclusions about twist rings, and throw it down the drain. Then again, I could be jumping to a false conclusion too quickly. Right now, the right thing to do is to think about this for a bit.


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