I am still reading John Gribbin's book "Schroedinger's Kittens." According to chapter 5 of this book, photon is everything. All what we experience involves photon. For example, when we see and recognize the letters displayed on the computer screen, it is because the photon is emitted from the display panel and the atoms in our eye receive it, and further our nervous system and our brain work via the successive chemical reactions in the synapses. The chemical reactions in the synapses, that is, the release of neural transmitter substance is based on chemical principle, that is, the interaction between the outermost electrons of the reactants, which in turn, can be interpreted by the theory of exchange of photons. The author John Gribbin explains even the chemistry in this way. Interestingly further, he writes that we cannot sense, feel, touch or smell directly the atoms that constitute the world around us. Instead we perceive this world by the exchange of photons. All of physical and chemical phenomena cannot but be viewed as the process of the exchange of photon. Thus photon is everything.
Do you agree with him, Sirs?
Are my understanding and wording correct and enough for you?
Thank you for reading
A reply to the photon is everything.
My first reaction is that the photon is not everything. Because, we receive information by other means, the most obvious of which are sound, touch, and smell. Within the body the transmission of the information is then chemically based as you indicate.
You and John Gribbon seem so sure of the unique role of the photon, that I am suspicious that I am missing something about your presentation.
With best regards,
Joe Atkinson, organic chemist.
Thank you very much for your frank response.
I am a humble amateur physicist. As I wrote in my other blog, I am still reading the same one book "Schroedinger's Kittens" repeatedly. I never pretend to have understood the whole content of the book. Some part of the book is easy to understand and acceptable for me, while other part is difficult to understand and not acceptable soon.
Thinking the world around us, the various phenomena might be classified into two categories, one being associated with chemical reaction, the other being not associated with chemical reaction.
The former category must be your main research subject, and you must, I presume, be well acquainted with. The author John Gribbin explains and describes the general chemical reaction as process of atomic displacement or atomic replacement or process of new formation of atomic bonding due to the interaction between the outermost electrons of the reactant atoms or molecules. The author is regarding the interaction between the outermost electrons which you chemists call the "valence elecgtrons", as essentially caused by the electromagnetism that is working in the microscopic world. The author is further considering the electromagnetic interaction between the valence electrons in terms of the concept of the exchange of photon. The book "Schroedinger's Kittens" also introduces us the famous physicist Richard P. Feynman as the originator of the theory of the process of the exchange of photon. I myself am a novice as to this theory, but the theory seems to be able to explain or at least seems to going to try to explain the electromagnetism quantum mechanically. Smelling some odor is in this category.
In the latter category,things do not change chemically. Things stay the same things. Think, for example, listening to a radio. The atoms on the surface of the conewafer of the speaker device is driven to vibrate to hit the nearby air molecules. The vibration of the conewafer of the speaker causes the density fluctuation wave or pressure fluctuation wave in the air. In this process, the atoms of the speaker and the air molecules do not bond together nor react with each other. Why not? Of course it is because the atoms in both sides are chemically inactive for each other. But what does the word "chemically inactive" mean? Here again appears the term "outermost electrons." The outermost electrons in the atoms of the speaker and the outermost electrons in the air molecules, of course, are forced to collide, but always fail to yield any chemical products. Only the acoustic energy is transfered from the speaker to the air. The important thing is that even if there occurs no chemical reaction, there are workings of the outermost electrons interacting with each other. This working is again mediated by the electromagnetism, and which is in turn explained by the theory of the exchange of photon. The propagation of sound in the air and hearing it and touching and feeling something are all in this category.
Thus whenever there is a process that is proceeding, there is always contact between atoms. Whenever there is atomic contact, there appear the outermost electrons. The interaction between the outermost electrons is explained by the theory of the exchange of photon in the framework of the quantum electrodynamics.
Conclusion: In either category, there is associated interactive working between the outermost electrons. This interactive working is after all mediated by the exchange of photon, says the book. Therefore for physicists this world can only be grasped and understood by the notion of photon.
Does this make sense as my answer for you?
If there are some mistakes in my understading of the nature or if you have any other opinion, please feel free to let me know it.
Amateur physicist Mitsuru Yamada