We have now reached a point where we can explain phenomena of optics in terms of our theory. The phenomena we will look into are reflection, polarization, refraction and diffraction:
In one of his crime novels, Henry Berg makes the observation that there is something profoundly strange about mirrors. How is it that a surface made up of atoms can perfectly reflect photons that are smaller than even an electron? From the perspective of a photon, an atom is like a mountain. The surface of a mirror is anything but flat. Yet, all photons striking the mirror will leave at an equal and opposite angle, with no energy lost.
Using the physics laid out in this book, the answer to this riddle is that photons never strike the mirror. The pilot wave that accompanies every photon acts like a cushion, and it is off of this cushion that the photon bounces.
While photons are tiny, the pilot waves surrounding photons are big relative to atoms. They can easily even out a tolerably smooth surface without upsetting their host particle. In this way, each photon sees a perfectly smooth cushion. It bounces off of this, unaffected by any underlying irregularity in the surface of the mirror.
The phenomenon of reflection can in this way be seen as supporting evidence for the existence of pilot waves.
Polarization through reflection
Light reflecting off a mirror at an angle will end up polarized. This means that every photon must have some sort of axis along which it is oriented. Otherwise, no polarization could be possible.
Combining this fact with what we have so far concluded about photons, we must further conclude that the pilot wave has the ability to orient photons when compressed against a reflecting surface.
The simplest possible explanation for this is that photons are like little sticks. When hit against the compressed cushions of their pilot waves, they end up aligning in parallel with the underlying surface.
Note that the orientation of the aligned photons is random when polarized in this way. On average, there are just as many photons oriented left to right as right to left.
This fits well with what we have thus far concluded about the photon, namely that it is an assembly corresponding to an electron and a positron. Assuming that the arrangement of particle quanta in electrons and positrons are directly reflected in photons, we end up with a two orb model of the photon, making them in essence tiny sticks, as illustrated above.
Henry Berg’s observations related to mirrors apply just as much to transparent media. Without the help of pilot waves to smooth things out, photons would crash into electrons and atomic nuclei on their way through glass and water. Even air would be impossible to navigate. Photons would scatter all over the place, and their energies would be absorbed. However, once we include pilot waves into our physics, things become a lot easier to explain.
The presence of a pilot wave around every photon helps smooth out minor irregularities that would otherwise lead to scatter. The pilot wave acts like a dynamic cushion around each photon, guiding them through the atomic lattice of the transparent medium.
This process greatly distort the shape of the pilot wave. It goes from being a fairly flat wave-front to an elongated sock-like shape. This process requires photons to have a minimum of energy. They have to be big enough to do this. Very small photons are too much affected by their pilot waves to assert this kind of control over them. As a result, low energy photons get reflected by glass.
On the other hand, high energy photons are so big that their pilot waves have too little control over them to get them through. High energy photons crash into atoms. They scatter, and their energies get absorbed.
This explains why glass is only transparent to photons in a certain range of energies. Glass is opaque to photons outside the visible spectrum, both to the high and low energy side.
Another thing to note is that the photons that are in the right energy interval for glass to let them through, all travel the same path. However, the smaller photons which are the most influenced by their pilot waves, travel in a more direct path than larger photons. Large photons veer off to the sides, they roll form side to side, almost smashing into things as they go. Small photons stay safely in the middle of their pilot wave cushion. They make small, neat rolls on their meandering way through the medium.
This is why small (red) photons get through transparent media in less time than large (blue) photons.
Finally, we should note that the path through the medium is in a different direction from the path through air. The density of atoms in the medium makes the overall path through it more acute than the path on entry and exit. This phenomenon is referred to as refraction, and the degree to which this happen is referred to as the refraction index.
To understand why a photon’s angle of entry into a sheet of plane glass is exactly equal to its angle of exit, we must once again consider the pilot wave. In simple terms, we can say that the process of exit is an exact opposite of entry. Instead of being compressed, the pilot wave expands. The various parts that were compressed on entry expand in a complementary manner on exit.
This is always the case for plane glass, where entry and exit surfaces are in parallel with each other. However, in the case of a prism, where the surface met by the photon on entry has a different angle from the one met on exit, we get diffraction at extreme angles. Photons don’t only change their direction, they do so to a lesser or greater degree depending on their energy.
When diffraction happens, red photons diffract less than blue photons. This is because red photons make smaller rolls into glass, and hence smaller rolls out of glass than blue photons. This is of no consequence when the roll into glass is equal and opposite to the roll out of glass, as is normally the case. However, when the roll into glass is anything but equal and opposite to the roll out of glass, we get a situation where we have to add the initial roll to the final roll. All photons end up redirected, but with big photons redirected more than small photons.
This does not only explain why prisms diffract white light into all its different colours at extreme angles while plane glass sheets don’t diffract light in any way. It also explains the curious fact that diffraction of light happens in its entirety at exit from a prism. There is no diffraction going on inside the prism.