At the encouragement of many regular attendees, I am presenting here - for the first time anywhere - my theory titled "The Speed of Dark" to serve as a topic of discussion at the gathering today.
Anyone who has studied semiconductor physics knows that there are two types of charge carriers, electrons and holes. While electrons are real, physical objects (whatever that means), holes are a fiction; a hole is the absence of an electron.
I assert that confusion and uncertainty surrounding wave/particle duality and interference, especially as regards the two-slit experiment can be eliminated by adopting a hole-like explanation for the propagation of light - er, dark.
Light as we know it is not the presence of photons, but actually the absence of particles of dark that I will call antiphotons. All of space is densely filled with antiphotons. Thus, space is dark. Unlike photons, antiphotons interact strongly with one another through a repulsive force. However, because they are everywhere, a force in every direction is the same as no force at all, and they swim in a sea, much as electrons do in a conduction band.
The event that we term the emission of a photon is actually the absorption of an antiphoton. When an antiphoton goes missing, the forces on neighboring antiphotons become unbalanced and they reposition to account for this. This force-deficit disturbance travels as a wave through the antiphoton sea. It is actually a longitudinal wave. How this gives rise to transverse electric and magnetic fields is left as an exercise for the reader. It is this wave that travels (at the speed of dark) through both slits in a two-slit experiment. This interpretation makes it easy to see how one emitted photon (absorbed antiphoton) can give rise to a wave that is in many locations at once. The portions of the wave that make it through the slits arrive at the screen behind, and interfere as waves do. The resulting pattern of antiphoton "suck" induces the screen to emit an antiphoton (absorb a photon), which makes up for the antiphoton deficit created at the other end of the experiment.
The probability of the screen to emit the antiphoton at any given point is proportional to the strength of the interference pattern. When a point on the screen does emit an antiphoton, this satisfies the local antiphoton deficit and removes the inducement for other parts of the screen to emit. However, notification that an antiphoton has been emitted travels outward from its origin at the speed of dark. Therefore, a latent inclination to emit exists on other parts of the screen until they receive notification. I believe an experiment can be devised to detect this latent inclination, and this can serve as experimental verification of the theory.
An immediate objection to the proposed theory is that the sea of antiphotons would serve as a kind of ether that was disproved by the Michelson-Morley experiment. I respond that experiments tend to find (or not find) only what they're looking for, and no one was looking for this. Past experiments should be carefully reinterpreted for evidence of antiphotons.
This speed of dark theory has the potential to explain many other existing physics mysteries:
Zero point energy: If space is filled with antiphotons, it is not just plausible, but inevitable, that occasionally they collide to give rise to short-lived particles.
Dark energy: It almost goes without saying - speed of dark, dark energy, ANTIPHOTONS!!!!
Dark matter: A corollary to this theory is that antiphotons exert gravitational force in proportion to the energy-mass equivalence. If photons are an illusion, then gravitational lensing of photons is actually anti-lensing of antiphotons. In other words, antiphotons are repelled by gravity. Observations that dark matter seems to form halos around massive galaxies confirms this.
Unification: If matter exerts a repulsive force on antiphotons, then the converse must also be true: antiphotons repel matter. If two massive objects are in proximity, the density of the antiphoton sea between them will be slightly less than elsewhere. Thus the antiphoton force surrounding the bodies is unbalanced. Each body feels a net force from surrounding antiphotons toward the other body: gravity.
Humbly submitted on this 7th day of March, 2007 -Clark Guest
Dr. Guest is with the School of Engineering at SDSU.