Washington DC, 4 July 2018
You can read more about me on my other site: readingfeynman.org. I basically started a blog while I was working my way through Feynman’s historical Lectures series. The blog attracted a lot of followers, but so now I am finished with these Lectures and moving on.
I published two articles on a possible physical interpretation of the wavefunction on the (in)famous e-print archive of the Los Alamas Labs, and the questions I am getting made me realize I should, perhaps, try to summarize the key ideas in a format that is lighter to read. So that’s why I started this new blog. The intended audience is actually my own son, Vincent, who is currently trying to get through his first year of engineering studies. So… Well… Yes. While I want this blog to be much lighter to read, it will have some math too. 🙂
As for why I chose this particular site name (reading Einstein), the basic intuitions I’ll be exploring in this site do reflect some of Einstein’s more general thoughts on reality and Nature. One of these thoughts is the following:
“Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. In this way, the concept “empty space” loses its meaning.”
Brussels, 23 December 2018
My explorations have resulted in a coherent set of papers on the viXra.org site and, hence, I would strongly suggest interested readers go there and check it all out. Frankly, I have come to the conclusion that a lot of so-called quantum-mechanical models can be explained in terms of classical physics. I therefore launched a sort of call to arms: the (quantum-mechanical) Emperor may not have any clothes. This is what I posted a few days ago.
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:59 PM
To: All Rebels
Subject: A Manifesto for the Revolution?
Dear All – Thanks for the bilateral exchanges. Perhaps it is time to bring all spacetime rebels together here. 😊
I think we are all agreed on the fact that the Big Ship is not moving anymore. It feels like there has been a sort of academic brain freeze ever since Heisenberg imposed his Diktatur on how we should think about quantum mechanics. Orthodox quantum mechanics is broken beyond repair. Hence, we need to build our own spaceship to venture out to the New Universe. It should be small and nimble. The Seeds of the Revolution are the following:
1. The + or – sign in front of the argument of the wavefunction has a meaning. It’s a degree of freedom in the mathematical description that has not been exploited by physicists. If we want to give it a meaning, then it’s probably the spin direction. It is plain weird that we need the concept of spin in all of our discussions and models on quantum physics but that the Founding Fathers of QM chose to limit the power of Euler’s function to describe a spin-zero particle only.
Once we acknowledge that, all these weird symmetries (720-degree symmetry for spin-1/2) disappear, so there is no ‘excuse’ anymore to not think about a geometric/physical interpretation of the wavefunction. That should trigger a new burst of creative thinking. For starters, we’ll have a different interpretation of Schrödinger’s wave equation. In fact, I would dare to say that, for the first time, we will actually have a (geometric) interpretation of Schrödinger’s wave equation (and its solutions – the orbitals – of course).
2. The difference between the g-factor for spin versus orbital momentum (2 versus 1) can easily be explained by a form factor. If we think of the (free) electron as some disk-like structure (a two-dimensional oscillation, that is), then we’ll have a ½ factor in the formula for its angular momentum and the ‘mystery’ is solved. The anomalous magnetic moment is then not anomalous anymore: it’s just a coupling between the spin and orbital angular momentum that occurs because of the Larmor precession.
Schwinger’s α/2π factor says it all here: if the fine-structure constant is just a dimensional scaling factor explaining the disk-like shape of the (free) electron, then we would expect to see it pop up in some form in the final equations for the motion of real-life electron, which combines orbital motion, Larmor precession (just the effect of magnetism) and spin. I’ve re-written my paper on the anomalous magnetic moment in this sense (it’s on the Los Alamos site for rebels – yes, sorry, I don’t bother to even try to get stuff published in a proper journal) – but I need to do so more work on it. These motions are complicated and to get the coupling factor, we can – unfortunately – not just superpose motions: there is only one value for the magnetic field vector, and the magnetic moment/angular momentum of the whole thing (i.e. the real-life (disk-like) electron moving in this complicated orbital).
3. Interference and diffraction – stuff like the Mach-Zehner experiment – should be explained the way one would usually explain diffraction and interference: if we are going to force a wave through a slit or an aperture, the wave shape is going to change. We need to distinguish between linear and circular polarization ‘states’ – which become real states here! And we should think about how plane waves become spherical waves when they go through an aperture. I think a photon is a circularly polarized wave, but when it goes through the beam splitter, it might be broken up in two linearly polarized waves – each going in a different direction (to the top or, alternatively, to the bottom mirror). If one of them finds its way blocked, it will – somehow – rejoin the other direction (it might just bounce back, right?). Weak measurement shows there is something there. Weak measurement shows the idea of an amplitude is real. It’s not just a mathematical thing. We just need to do some hard thinking on wave shapes and form factors.
We’re not challenging any basic results of quantum mechanics here. We’re just challenging the standard Copenhagen interpretation, which is – basically – that we should not even try to understand what’s going on.
So… Well… On-on ! Check my papers and then think for yourself now. Let’s honor the Spirit of Ludwig Boltzmann: “Bring forth what is true. Write it so it’s clear. Defend it to your last breath.”
I would add: Please enjoy while doing so! 😊
PS: Comments on the site or on individual posts are to be posted publicly as comments, using the web form. Please don’t email me. 🙂 You can, of course, but you will have more of a chance of a decent reply when submitting a formal comment. 🙂