My dad has been sending me links to thought-provoking articles that approach topics in physics from unusual angles. I thought some here might enjoy the discussions and be able to comment on them, so I'm starting this thread to share some of the links.
In this short pdf, Carver Mead argues that photons are best viewed as near-instantaneous transactions between participating atoms, and that the notion that they are little billiard balls that traverse a length of space obscures important experimental details about them. Mead is a professor emeritus at Caltech and a one-time collaborator with Feynman.
"Mathematical elegance is important in a theory when it aids conceptual reasoning. It is destructive when it obscures otherwise accessible conceptual understanding."
"It is rare for theory to predict new physical phenomena. In most cases each new phenomenon is discovered/invented experimentally, and the current theory is quickly 'adjusted' so as to 'predict' the observed result."
"The successes in technological enterprise are attributable to conceptual reasoning. 'Fundamental' physical theory, as taught in universities and and propagated in the literature, has a long history of hindering conceptual reasoning, and therefore technological progress."