My “Fun Science Fact” Just Got Confusing

My “Fun Science Fact” for the day:   It can take a photon 40,000 YEARS to travel from the core of the Sun to the surface.

But, only 8 MINUTES to travel from the surface of the Sun to the Earth!

Wow! Pretty amazing stuff, huh?

Then I thought, well, maybe I should define photon.  You know, a particle of light. Nice and simple.  Right?

This is a sin wave.  It's not as innocent as it looks!

This is a sin wave. It’s not as innocent as it looks!

Really stupid idea – because it turns out people who talk about photons use terms such as, sinusoidal  – I had to look it up, it means a sin wave.  I’d been better off if sinusoidal had something to do with sinus, you know nasal passages – boogers and stuff!


And it turns out people who talk about photons also talk about Quantum Mechanics.  Yes, even on a hot, miserable, humid Texas day, you feel the cooling breeze, as the physics information zip zooms right through my empty head.


According to extremely intelligent scientists, who answer questions on the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Science, Argonne National Laboratory, photons are described as evasive, elements of conjecture and also very frustrating to explain .

There are rules, in place, for when they MIGHT show up, or where they are SUPPOSED to be, but that’s it.  No definitive answers! They exist in a kind an ethereal phased movement.

A good visual is The Twins, from the movie, The Matrix Reloaded.  The scientists from the Argonne National Laboratory recommended them, as an example, of how protons supposedly move.  Once you get past the advertisement (grrr) The Twins do their proton thing around the 20 second mark and then again around the 1:55 to 2 minute mark.

Personally, I’m more a fan of “Hattie” The Hatbox Ghost, from The Haunted Mansion. Sort of the same idea as the Matrix,  just more my speed!

Post navigation

  3 comments for “My “Fun Science Fact” Just Got Confusing

  1. September 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Einstein wondered what it would be like if he could sit on a beam of light – which is composed of zillions of photons that travel at the speed of light. What’s the diameter of the sun? How far does that poor photon have to travel through the earth’s core, so hot and all?? The photon is a particle, radiated out by the sun. Yet it acts like a wave too. That’s where the quantum explanation comes in, and that’s where I’ll be leaving. All the best.


    • September 21, 2014 at 11:02 am

      Hey Bumba,
      The diameter of the sun is 1,391,684 km. But, considering we are all just guessing where the photon is, at any given time, it’s hard to say if it’s really moving in the correct direction, from the center of the Sun towards the Earth, or if it is only perceived to be. Even with the speed of light being a constant, how does one plot or map the travels of the photon. As the photon bounces off all those other photons, causing more heat and light, one does wonder if it travels a linear path or while traveling the linear path, how high and/or low are the crests of it’s wave pattern. And, perhaps, even more important, what are the measurable distance between the full expression of a wave; if we can even believe the wave occurred as everything with the movement of photon’s and mass appears to be based somewhat on conjecture. And there you have it. My English Degree at work. AKA How I can write way too many words on a subject of which I am ignorant!!!! All I really remember from physics is that light moves as a wave and a particle, but back in the days of the dinosaurs, we just didn’t know why???? Take care Bumba 🙂 It was good to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

Oh, the twisted thoughts that spin round my head. Please share yours!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: