Matter – Why Ken’s Wrong

Matter consists of protons, neutrons and electrons. Find out why this proven scientific fact distresses Ken Wheeler, leading him to concoct demonstrably false claims about fundamental science.

Scientists define matter as any substance that has mass and volume. Matter has three familiar states – solid, liquid and gas.

Although we don’t run across them in everyday life, matter also has other states, including plasma. Plasma is the state of matter inside stars, making it the most common matter state in the universe, despite our lack of contact with it here on Earth.

Atoms Contain Three Subatomic Particles

Matter consists of atoms. As most of us learned in high school, atoms contain three subatomic particles – protons, neutrons and electrons.

Remarkably, Ken Wheeler contradicts these established scientific facts. In his mind, electrons don’t exist, neutrons are a category of proton and protons are synonymous with atoms, which are not divisible.

These notions are all demonstrably false. J.J.Thompson proved the existence of electrons in 1897.

J.J. Thompson Proved the Existence of Electrons in 1897

Thompson was experimenting with cathode rays when he realized that they weren’t electromagnetic waves like light beams. Instead, he found that cathode rays consist of tiny coprpuscles emitted from within the cathode.

Interpreting these findings, Thompson concluded that these corpuscles came from the atoms making up the cathode’s metal. This was the groundbreaking evidence that, despite their name, atoms are divisible.

The scientific community eventually settled on the term electron for Thompson’s corpuscles. Thompson received the Nobel Prize in 1906 for discovering the electron.

Video Footage of Electron Motion Captured in 2008

Skipping ahead to 2008, the journal Physical Review Letters published video footage of electron motion captured by the Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden.

The researchers captured the video using short pulses of intense laser light. Here’s a frame from that video, which is conclusive proof that electrons exist.

Returning to the early 20th century, Ernest Rutherford, Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden discovered the nucleus of the atom in 1913. They were trying to understand what held Thompson’s negatively-charged electrons in place.

Rutherford Called Particles at the Atom’s Centre Protons

The researchers bombarded metal foils with the postively-charged, alpha particles from radioactive elements. Because many of the alpha particles were deflected by more than 90˚, Rutherford realized that the atom’s positive charge had to be highly concentrated in particles at the atom’s centre, which he called protons.

James Chadwick disovered the neutron in 1932. Building on earlier experiments with the element beryllium, he found that the radiation it emitted consisted of particles with neutral charges.

Chadwick named these particles neutrons. They explained why atoms of the same element can have different atomic weights. The weight of an atom includes its protons but also its neutrally-charged neutrons, which vary in number within the same element, explaining isotopes.

Proven Fact that Protons, Neutrons and Electrons Exist

So, it’s a proven scientific fact that protons, neutrons and electrons exist. They’re the building blocks of the atoms that make up matter.

The Angry Photographer insists that electrons don’t exist. Instead, he claims that the negatively charged wavelike properties of electrons are “ether perturbation modalities.”

As we explain in more detail under Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong, Michelson and Morley found that the ether doesn’t exist in 1887. The YouTuber Planarwalk also covers this in more detail here.

Can’t Explain Away Electrons Using the Ether

Since something that doesn’t exist can’t have perturbations or modalities, the Theoria Apophasis creator can’t explain away electrons using the ether. There’s no question that electrons are elementary particles with wavelike properties.

Within the nucleus, Ken Wheeler also maintains that neutrons are merely a category of protons. He bases this notion on the claim that free neutrons quickly decay into protons.

The Angry Photographer neglects to mention two things about this free neutron decay. First of all, he conceals the fact that when free neutrons decay into protons, they release electrons – the existence of which he denies.

Free Neutrons Emit Electrons, Which He Says Don’t Exist

Secondly, neutrons inside the nucleus are highly stable and they’re distinct from protons in two key ways. They’re neutrally charged and they have greater mass than protons.

So, neutrons and protons are two distinct particle types. A neutron is absolutely not merely a category of proton as the Theoria Apophasis creator tries to argue.

So, to borrow a word of which Ken Wheeler is intensely fond, the internal structure of the atom is “undeniable.” Atoms are divisible, they have a nucleus of protons and neutrons surrounded by a cloud of electrons, and these are all distinct types of subatomic particles.

Calls Matter High-Energy Light – False by Definition

Another claim the Angry Photographer puts forward about matter is that it’s simply high-energy light. Returning to our original definition of matter, this can’t be true.

Unlike matter, light occupies no space and has no mass. This is because, unlike subatomic particles, the photons that make up light are massless.

We can understand this intuitively from our own experience. When we enter a room and switch on the light, the light doesn’t use up any space within the room.

Light Doesn’t Qualify as Matter – It’s a Form of Energy

Further, if we were to weigh the room, it would have exactly the same mass, whether the light was turned on or off. So, light doesn’t meet the criteria to be matter. Instead, it’s a form of energy.

As evidence for his peculiar notion, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis mentions an experiment in which scientists created components of matter using laser beams.

Professor J. Adam et al conducted the experiment to which Kentucky Ken refers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2021. Again, he omits an important detail when citing this research.

Laser Beams Collide Producing Electrons and Positrons

In Professor Adam’s experiment, very energetic photons in laser beams collide, emitting electrons and their anti-matter equivalent, positrons.

This results from the Breit-Wheeler Process predicted by Gregory Breit and John A. Wheeler (absolutely no relation to Ken). Yet, Ken Wheeler cites this experiment while denying the existence of any of the photons and electrons on which the researchers based their findings.

Even more ironically, the experiment proves Einstein’s famous equation E=Mc2. Ken Wheeler dismisses Einsten as a “wooly-haired crackpot” and rejects all of his theories as “nonsense.”

Scientists Haven’t Created Hydrogen Out of Light

So, contrary to the Angry Photographer’s claims, scientists haven’t created hydrogen atoms out of high-energy light. The experiment caused colliding photons to emit electrons, disproving Kentucky Ken’s baseless hypothesis.

Light consists of photons, so it’s not a kind of matter. Matter consists of atoms, so it’s not a form of light, high-energy or otherwise.

Ken Wheeler tries to talk his way around this by co-opting the mathematical term spherical harmonic. A spherical harmonic is a mathematical technique.

Talks Around This, Co-Opting Term Spherical Harmonics

It’s a way mathematicians can apply formulas intended for a flat plane to the curved surface of a sphere. Although the calculations are analogous to the relationship between harmony and frequency in acoustics, spherical harmonics are unrelated to electromagnetic frequencies.

Despite this, the Angry Photographer claims that when the frequencies in the ether reach a certain threshold, they generate spherical harmonics, creating particles of matter.

The problem with this explanation is that the researchers in Professor Adams’ experiment used the Relativistic Heavy Iron Collider (RHIC). It measures the distribution of particles after they collide based on Einstein’s Special Relativity.

If There’s No Electrons, Particle Collider Can’t Detect Them

If there were no electrons, as Kentucky Ken insists, the particle collider couldn’t have detected them. If Einstein’s theories were nonsense, the scientists couldn’t have measured their distribution.

Getting back to hydrogen, the Theoria Apophasis host makes another extraodinary and demonstrably false claim. He insists that all chemical elements are compounded hydrogen.

Hydrogen is the very simplest of all the elements. It consists of a single proton and a single electron.

Lighter Elements Formed During Big Bang

All the other elements are more complex, containing larger numbers of protons and electrons. The lighter elements formed during the Big Bang when “our whole universe was in a hot, dense state.”

Those high temperatures enabled lighter elements like helium, lithium and beryllium to form through nuclear fusion. This is an issue for Ken Wheeler.

The Angry Photographer denies that the Big Bang ever took place. His reason for this is that it contradicts the teachings of Plato.

Heavier Elements Formed Through Fusion in Massive Stars

Many of the heavier elements like carbon, oxygen, silicon and iron formed later through fusion in massive stars. The heaviest elements of all came from supernova explosions.

These massive blasts cause neutron capture reactions. These are the processes that produce the elements that are even heavier than iron.

The key point in all of this is that elements don’t form by compounding hydrogen. All elements form either through fusion of the protons in the atoms’ nuclei or by neutron capture.

Elements Don’t Form By Compounding Hydrogen

Elements can’t be compounded by definition. Conversely, compounds must consist of multiple elements.

It’s a contradiction in terms to claim that all elements are compounds of hydrogen or of any other element. Elements are elements and compounds are compounds.

Why does Ken Wheeler attempt to deny these proven scientific concepts? Oddly, it has to do with his spiritual beliefs.

Plato Taught We Have an Immortal Soul

The Angry Photographer identifies as a platonist and Plato taught that we have an immortal soul. Surviving bodily death seems to be the Theoria Apophasis creator’s most cherished personal desire.

In Ancient Greece, Plato and most of his students tended to believe in the ether. They were also inclined to accept the idea of the afterlife, usually through reincarnation.

On the other hand, some of Plato’s rivals, like Democritus and Epicurus, believed matter consisted of atoms. Conincidentally, they also tended to argue that death was the end of human consciousness.

What Does This Have to Do with Matter? Nothing

What does any of this have to do with our modern, scientific understanding of the nature of matter? Nothing whatsoever.

Yet, on this basis, Kentucky Ken has convinced himself that atomism = materialism = atheism = nihilism = evil. That’s why he struggles against the proven scientific facts about the composition of matter tooth and nail.

If Ken Wheeler didn’t have a substantial subscriber base, his motivated reasoning wouldn’t be an issue. Regrettably, anyone who takes his odd notions about matter to heart will have to unlearn and relearn the fundamentals of basic science because of his disinformation.

If it weren’t for that issue, Kentucky Ken’s odd notions on these matters would hardly matter at all. After all, none of them contain a particle of truth.

Ken’s Evidence

Tesla and Walter Russell Define Matter
Matter (physics)
Scientists Generate Matter Directly from Light



Published by David Morton Rintoul

I'm a freelance writer and commercial blogger delivering content services to selective business to business marketing clients. I have extensive experience in content creation, technical writing and training, working as a consultant and later in management roles with many of Canada's most successful organizations. Specialties: Content Marketing, Social Media, Technical Writing, Training and Development

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