By combining thermodynamics with mechanics, I have been able to show that there are no inertial frames at temperatures above absolute zero and to describe how mass traveling at a given velocity converts the surrounding radiation field into friction.
According to Newton's First Law, inertial frames exist and, in an inertial frame, in the absence of a force, a particle travels at constant velocity. Since I show that inertial frames only exist at absolute zero, this project will interest anyone who is interested in mechanics at any temperature above 0° K.
A molecule traveling at constant velocity at absolute zero experiences no friction. Consider a spatially homogeneous radiation field at T > 0 with a black body distribution. A molecule at rest from the field's frame of reference (FOR) absorbs and emits photons symmetrically. Since the photons that comprise the radiation field carry momentum, a molecule at rest from the fields FOR undergoes Brownian motion. Consider a molecule that is traveling at velocity v, from the fields FOR. From the molecules FOR, the molecule is at rest. As a consequence of the Doppler effect, the radiation field is blue-shifted in front and red-shifted behind. Since the momentum is inversely proportional to wavelength, the blue-shifted radiation has greater momentum than the red-shifted radiation. Thus absorption of momentum is direction-dependent, but it is emitted symmetrically. Thus the molecule randomizes the momentum of radiation in space. This is the ultimate irreversible process and the foundation of entropy.
From the molecule's FOR, it reduces the radiation asymmetry to zero and catalyzes the attainment of thermal equilibrium between the particle and the field. From the radiation's FOR, there is an initial asymmetry in the motion of the molecule, and the field sees a conversion of unidirectional motion into Brownian motion. Friction is the force that causes the reduction in unidirectional motion. From this perspective, radiation asymmetry and unidirectional motion are related.
Multidisciplinary work opens new fields. As a biologist, I have tried to understand cell function by finding the underlying causes of various effects. I am trying to apply my biological perspective to understanding the cause and effect relationships between fundamental physical processes.
- Private (e.g., commodity groups, foundations, companies)
- General Knowledge
- I speak to Tom Owens in my department and many people in the Physics Department.
- Randy Wayne, Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University