This is Essay CXIII of Mr. Stolyarov’s series, “A Rational Cosmology,” which seeks to present objective, absolute, rationally grounded views of terms such as universe, matter, volume, space, time, motion, sound, light, forces, fields, and even the higher-order concepts of life, consciousness, and volition. See the index of all the essays in “A Rational Cosmology” here.
The knowledge that the relationship of light takes time to initiate often misleads many to believe that, during this time, light must necessarily travel from the source to the target. This is a common non sequitur. On The Autonomist Forum, Reginald Firehammer asked me:
“My question is, when a light source (say a laser burst) occurs, there is some time before that light ‘reaches’ its destination. In the time between when light is (transmitted?) and the time when it is (received?) what is going on?”
This question can indeed be readily answered using the insights of rational cosmology. In the time between light’s transmission and its reception, the source is acting on the target in order to make the relationship of light happen. No action is instantaneous; all action takes time to perform. The source’s action on the target takes time to perform, as well; the farther away the target is, the more time is needed before the consequences of the action manifest themselves.
However, this should not be taken to imply that light can at all “travel.” The source acts directly on the target at a distance, and the source directly but gradually alters the target’s quality of luminosity — similar to the way entities constituting a force-pair gradually alter each other’s spatial qualities.
During the time between light’s transmission and reception, the source is acting on the target in that way, which is necessary for the target to be illuminated thereafter. While no light appears on the target, the source is preparing to carry out the relationship of illumination. When this preparation stage, needed to carry out the relationship, is over, the relationship manifests itself. There is no “in-between” stage for light — light cannot be found anywhere except the source or the target. I wrote in “Measuring Light’s Transmission”:
“If there is no entity 1.5*108 meters away from a source, there will be no light there, even if a half-second had passed from the moment of emission of light. As earlier explained, the very occurrence of ‘beams’ of light in particulate media is explained by the effects of the source on the many closely grouped molecules comprising the media.”
Even if it is true — as Max Planck suggested — that light is transferred in discrete quantities, it takes time to transfer each such quantity. It might be that this quantity of luminosity transferred is the “threshold” required for the target entity to begin manifesting illumination. Prior to reaching that threshold, the target entity simply does not have enough luminosity to manifest visible signs of light.
Read other parts of “A Rational Cosmology” by clicking here.