Yes, on occasion.
There are individuals within the scientific community who can achieve a state of mental clarity, allowing them to drop their egos and basic assumptions. They are able to observe the world, and their experiments, without the use of an ideology. Often, these individuals have training in meditation, though some have achieved the same state of mind through other methods, such as intense concentration or ritual preparations. Striving for a state of mental clarity during experiments is not the norm, however.
In an effort to eliminate the influence of a researcher’s personal bias (officially known as observer bias), double blind experiments are used. Blinding is used to prevent beliefs and expectations from biasing the research. Experimenters devise blind analysis techniques, with the experimental result is hidden from the analysts until they’ve agreed on fixed techniques. This process eliminates individual observer bias, but strongly supports a collective bias by agreeing to use what is called ‘the Standard Model’. The questions used are specific to the Standard Model and screens out information considered irrelevant to the model, while seeking information which supports the model.
The Standard Model is essentially a particle theory model, and the legacy of Albert Einstein. Einstein has been elevated to the status of demi-god within the scientific community, and his works and theories, along with his assumptions made one hundred years ago, are generally considered to be unquestionable facts. This has had the effect of slowing the evolution of physics as it becomes mired in limited and unrealistic expectations. Consider describing photons (massless, chargeless particles which exist only while traveling at the speed of light) using the characteristics of frequency. Or assigning a gravity field to electrons, though there is no evidence of gravitational attraction. Faster-than-light travel is still taught as an impossibility, in spite of several repeatable experiments showing it is possible. (Search Cerenkov radiation and the Middle Tennessee State University’s experiments with ‘electric signals.)
Because the interpretation of evidence varies from individual to individual, science and physics were once a subdivision of philosophy. The earliest scientists were also philosophers. As mathematics, and its necessary restrictions, became more and more of a tool and language of science, physicists agreed to use the Standard Model as their foundation for the math. A faith-based belief in the Standard Model has evolved as a result. As a faith-based belief, the Standard Model is beyond review, and alternative models are simply ‘wrong’ and not worthy of review.
Many modern text books describe magnetic field lines and fields as illusions. Though the electromagnetic field has been dropped from research, EM wave concepts, such as frequency and polarization, have remained because they are simply too functional to discard. Particle theory has nothing to replace these concepts with, and is forced to piggy-back onto the more comprehensive EM wave model. The current particle theory model dismisses the electromagnetic field and treats electrons and positrons as equal, opposite charges which, mathematically, result in a zero charge when joined, and with their mass being converted into photons.
This model of electrical charge is based on fluid pressures, originally developed by du Vay in the 1700s to explain static electricity. The refinement of positive and negative charges were added by Benjamin Franklin in 1747. The resistance to movement and acceleration displayed by electrons and positrons is currently attributed solely to gravity, per Albert Einstein, after he dismissed the aether, and consequently the electromagnetic field, as unnecessary.
Christian Huygens developed the first wave-theory’ of light in 1690, based on experiments with crystals. In his Dissertation on Light’, he wrote: I call the spherically shaped surfaces waves’, because of their similarity with those which one can observe forming in water after throwing a stone into it.’ (Note, he is not describing transverse waves, but expanding concentric circles.)
The most recent model of EM waves describes a two-dimensional side-view of a transverse (up/down) wave, originally based on experiments using two tourmaline crystals. When the axes of the crystals are in parallel, light will pass through both. When the second crystal is rotated to a 90 degree angle, the light becomes blocked. The analogy of transverse waves passing through slits was used as an explanation. If the slits’ of both crystals were aligned, the wave passed through both. If the slits’ of the second crystal were placed at a right angle, the up-down wave was blocked.
Light as transverse waves seemed the only explanation for this phenomenon, but accepting it as part of the overall model created significant problems. Transverse waves travel through solids, but not through fluids. The electromagnetic field, better known at the time as the aether, was assigned the characteristics of a solid, and described as a grid work which normal matter passed through unaffected. The model of an electromagnetic field became dysfunctional when it incorporated the concept of transverse waves.
The characteristics of light are very similar to those displayed by sound waves. Both can be measured in terms of frequency, amplitude, and both display similar interference patterns. As with sound waves, higher frequency EM waves spread less than lower frequencies when traveling as a beam. But sound does not travel as transverse waves.
A new field theory model offers an alternative to the vision of light as transverse waves. Paul Dirac developed a model of pair production, originally published in 1928, which was very unpopular. It unintentionally supported an electromagnetic field model at a time when photons were the up and coming fashion statement. Dirac’s model was a theory explaining the creation of electrons, with an electron being knocked into reality by a photon, and leaving a hole in the fabric of space called an antielectron, or by its modern name, a positron. His model of pair creation was never completely accepted nor developed, due to its ultimate support of the aether, and light as waves. The new field theory suggests electrons and positrons join to create ultra-subatomic, coulombic black holes, called thermons, capable of transmitting electromagnetic compression waves. (Thermons are also Planck’s oscillators.) The compression created by the joined electron/positrons generates a magnetic field, with north south poles and capable of polarization. With the medium polarized, and the EM compression waves transporting the polarization characteristics, transverse waves are no longer necessary as an explanation for polarized light and the crystal/’slit’ experiments. (Thomas Ebbesen and Peter Wolff of the NEC Research Institute have performed experiments which casts significant doubts on the transverse wave model.)
In closing I would like to quote Louis de Broglie. “History clearly shows that the advances of science have always been frustrated by the tyrannical influences of certain preconceived notions which were turned into unassailable dogmas. For that reason alone, every scientist should periodically make a profound reexamination of his basic principals. Intelligent advice.