Scientists interested in micromanipulation predict that certain micron-sized particles experience a backward force from a forward propagating light beam. Such a prediction is inexplicable on the photon model of light. The Chinese group’s paper uses the Lorentz-Mie expansion of the electromagnetic (Maxwell) equations. This offers another way of distinguishing between the wave and particle models of light and, if the prediction is confirmed, would be another blow against the ‘standard model’ of physics – as it contradicts the basic concept of unified field theory and ‘string theory’ that the four fundamental forces can be represented by particles.
Their prediction parallels modern studies of optical micromanipulation and negative refractive index media and is consistent with the finding that the pressure of a converging laser beam on free atoms depends on the maxwellian fields, not the averaged ‘photon’ scattering. Likewise, the maxwellian theory of non-linear media gives different results from photon theory, and has an impressive triumph in predicting supra-laser emissions (parametric up-conversion – SPUC) from a laser-pumped BBO crystal, in the presence of plankian zero-point field fluctuations.