Re: Evidence for "Big Bang Theory"

Bruce D. Scott (
28 Apr 1995 14:19:00 GMT

Dan Drake ( wrote:
: In message <3nl9fi$>
: (Bruce D. Scott) writes:

: >That reference merely places a lower "upper bound" on the photon mass than
: >previous experiments did. This is merely a reinforcement to the body of
: >data suggesting that the photon mass is zero within experimental tolerance.
: >
: >What would suggest a photon mass would be a nonzero _lower_ bound. This is
: >what is being tested in the neutrino research.

: This is interesting, and a refreshing change from the usual run of rants here.
: So what would be the implications if someone found such a lower bound for
: photons? Naturally people would keep measuring such things, just as they
: keep repeating the Eotvos experiment in the hope of just maybe overthrowing a
: large part of modern physics; but would it or wouldn't it require a
: re-write of relativity, as I presume a weird Eotvos result would?

Note first that the present upper-bound on the photon mass is so small that
we can already take it to be zero (ie, assume the inverse-square EM-field)
when doing computations, even ones involving the light from distant

I think that if the photon mass were definitely found to differ from zero,
it would impact particle physics and specifically the way symmetry-breaking
is supposed to work in the early universe. Photons are "gauge bosons"
(exchange particles for fields), and when these are massive it becomes
possible (or more possible) for the various forces to interact. (By
various forces is meant weak interaction, electromagnetism, etc.) This
would impact the way energy gets equipartitioned among the various
constituents of the very early universe.

What a difference it would make would depend on the actual numbers.
Remember we are talking about masses many, many orders of magnitude smaller
than what is postulated for the electron neutrino.

Dr Bruce Scott The deadliest bullshit is
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Plasmaphysik odorless and transparent -- W Gibson