Paying the Piper

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In answer to the previous post’s question, Preston Harold once again quotes Sir Arthur Eddington at length…

Attempts to account for this phenomenon follow two main devices which we may describe as the ‘Collection-box” theory and the “sweepstake” theory, respectively. Making no effort to translate them into scientific language, they amount to this: in the first the atom holds a collection-box into which each arriving group of waves pays a very small contribution; when the amount in the box reaches a whole quantum, it enters the atom. In the second [theory] the atom uses the small fraction of a quantum offered to it to buy a ticket in a sweepstake in which the prizes are whole quanta; some of the atoms will win whole quanta which they can absorb, and it is these winning atoms in our retina which tell us of the existence of Sirius…

A phenomenon which seems directly opposed to any kind of collection-box explanation is the photoelectric effect. When light shines on metallic films…free electrons are discharged from the film. They fly away at high speed, and it is possible to measure experimentally their speed or energy. Undoubtedly it is the incident light which provides the energy of these explosions, but the phenomenon is goverened by a remarkable rule. Firstly, the speed of the electrons is not increased by using more powerful light. Concentration of the light produces more explosions but not more powerful explosions. Secondly, the speed is increased by using bluer light, i.e. light of shorter period….

Every electron flying out of the metal has picked up just one quantum from the incident light. Since the h-rule associates the greater energy with the shorter vibration period, bluer light gives the more intense energy. Experiments show that (after deducing a constant “threshold” energy used up in extricating the electron from the film) each electron comes out with a kinetic energy equal to the quantum of incident light.

The film can be prepared in the dark; but on exposure to feeble light electrons immediately begin to fly out before any of the collection-boxes could have been filled by fair means. Nor can we appeal to any trigger action of the light releasing an electron already loaded up with energy for its journey; it is the nature of the light which settles the amount of the load. The light calls the tune, therefore the light must pay the piper.

Harold then comments:

An ancient could convey all of this only by making a symbol of himself to show it. Jesus “radiated” His realization to speed the expansion of consciousness in a brief, intense effort – as symbol of light, “bluer, of shorter period.” As light’s symbol, having settled the amount of the load on the elect-ones, He, Himself, paid the piper. But there is more to the story of h and to the parallel that Jesus’ drama presents.

We will continue to explore this continuing saga in our next installment. Until then, peace.

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