When I was in grade school my best friend and I used to come up with some pretty fanciful ideas. The one that I always remember was his idea to create a ‘flashdark’. I don’t recall why he needed one or what its intended use would be but I do remember how he came up with the idea that darkness wasn’t simply the absence of light but a particle all its own. His idea, assuming this were true, would be to create a device which would emit such particles much like a flashlight emits light.
Years later, I related the tale to two other friends who fancied themselves physicists. They laughed at the idea and at me for believing it possible. My naysayers likely mistook my assertion of the possible with that of the probable (and in this case highly probable). People are wont to do this. But possible is as far from probable as probable is from provable. They didn’t understand the distinction at the time and that I had stated possible, not probable. I assume they do now.
This discussion later fell under the umbrella of what some people who knew me termed ‘Newmanlogic’, which was a broad umbrella term used to dismiss anything I said as silly. The first time this term was used, I think, was when I shared with a group of people at a party that the original inhabitants of Japan were Caucasian and Asian settlers pushed them to the fringes of the islands over thousands of years so that they now live on reservations. When asked the name of these aboriginals and it was given as Ainu; there was loud scoffing (likely due to someone thinking the plural would be anus) and the first version of Newmanlogic was born. Months after this episode two friends discovered an encyclopaedia entry on the Ainu and made a pact never to tell any of the others about it.
The second version came years later when I realized that by that point many of the things I had said were either misunderstood, misinterpreted, possibility mistaken as probability, were now easily provable or I had gotten them wrong and so acknowledged that (mostly to myself). I decided that Newmanlogic would be the term I’d use for my own musing on the possible, the probable and the provable. So it was to become the name of my philosophy. Of course, since I know so very little about ‘how things are’ in comparison to all there is to know, I wouldn’t propose that Newmanlogic is to be definitive proof of anything but rather as musings on possibilities.
Getting back to the Darkness Particle (as I termed it) and my scoffing peers: at the time they wanted further information from me. I tried to explain that I didn’t know the answers to their questions – much like I didn’t know that Darkness Particles actually existed – but they insisted and I guessed. So how did I suppose that they worked? Well, starting from the assumption that they were the opposite of photons, I proposed that they would have negative qualities to light, be a mirror to them, so to speak.
That meant they had to have a negative mass, move at the same speed but do so backwards through time, would be emitted by black holes and somehow ‘make light go away’ since light would also be the absence of darkness. They were much amused by this, and again assumed that I thought I was speaking from authority.
A couple of years ago another friend told me to Google ‘Darkness Particles’ because, after a decade, there were now people in the scientific community researching and theorizing their possibility. Of course, looking for the term that I used means that you have to sift through a lot of nonsense or unrelated articles and the most common terms these days seem to be ‘Photon Hole’ and ‘Anti-Photon’ (or ‘Antiphoton’) for theorizing the existence of this particular antiparticle. But there is little agreement on their nature let alone their existence. What seems to be accepted today is that a photon is its own antiparticle. Some theorize that photons don’t exist or that at the very least the term should not be used.
What is odd is that when I’ve looked into it over the years, there are others out there who had theorized similar properties in regards to this particle that I had expressed as guesses off the top of my head. For instance, the idea of negative mass, reverse time, a relationship to Black Holes and the absorption or annihilation of photons.
These imagined Darkness Particles should not be confused with Dark Matter as the two may have no relation to each other. The universe still amazes me with its beauty, complexity, elegance and general weirdness.
Of course, at the time I originally thought of the Darkness Particle, I acknowledged to myself that it was equally possible and not possible (actually less possible and more not possible); thinking of this raises an interesting question in my mind: if something has a 50/50 chance of being possible, what is its probability? I don’t think that it would be 50/50 as well: in fact I think that something which is equally possible and not possible has a probability closer to zero and a provability of zero.
I think these days, I prefer questions to answers.
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