Causing a Shift in Physics Perspectives

Developing new ways to visualize and interpret modern physics.

Master copy at John's Current site.

Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000  John K. N. Murphy, Kohimarama, Auckland, New Zealand.
Last revised 25th March 2000 - this copy local to

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The 20th century has seen the rise of two major developments in physics: Quantum mechanics and Relativity.

Despite the profound success of these theories, there are significant issues, in particular:

My contention is that this situation has resulted because we have constructed interpretations of these new discoveries from older classical paradigms of space and time derived through Euclid, Aristotle, Galileo and Newton.

That in effect, there is curently a classical "window" that is imposed over our view of those theories that restricts our understanding and limits new developments.

If this is so, then there is an interesting problem: How to break out of the very framework upon which we base our understanding.

I suggest that the best way to start is to admit that we don't particularly know how to do this and then allow ourselves the freedom to play with some new ideas and see where that takes us.

The approach I have chosen here is to examine the difference between observed relationships and our interpretations of those relationships in order to provide a clearing in which to develop and explore new approaches that are consistent with observation and not limited by classical interpretations.

My intention is to present a series of articles at this site. At present, I have prepared articles on the interpretation of quantum theory and a second on relativity and the structure of time. I am continually engaged in revising and extending the work. Nevertheless, I would appreciate your interest and feedback.


On Quantum Theory
The main object of my work in quantum theory is to show that certain observed quantum effects are able to be modelled without the need to assume the existence of non-local wave propagation effects as is conventionally accepted.

That instead, the effects are are able to be modelled by as a scattering process that is the result of local effects (i.e. not breaking relativistic constraints) that arise during particle interactions and are consistent with quantum electrodynamics.

This new approach requires giving up the assumption that quantum probability equations such as those in Schrödinger's "wave mechanics" have an equivalence with the wave propagation effects models based on Louis de Broglie's postulates. The latter being used to stitch the mathematical models inherent in quantum theory into the "Copenhagen Interpretation" that was developed by Neils Bohr.

The article explains how Schrödinger's mechanics can be used to exactly predict the far field outcome of the "twin slit" experiment without the requirement to model particles as propagating wave packets.

From feedback so far, I can see that many readers are left with the impression that my intention is to eliminate wave effects from quantum theory and replace all with "point" particles.

In one sense, that is true. I do repudiate the conventional interpretation of quantum effects wherein long range, non-local, wave propagation effects are seen as the only possible cause of the observed phenomena, my position being that (relativistically) localized interactions, together with a scattering model, can also reproduce those effects.

However, it is also clear that there is a form of dynamic oscillatory behaviour that characterizes particle interactions and that this behaviour does suggest to me that particles have a structure and an extent.

What kind of structure that is, remains an interesting mystery, and my intention is to open up that inquiry by throwing doubt on established interpretations.

The approach to relativity that is presented here is unconventional and results in an interesting interpretation in which the existence of particles is modelled as "occurring" at the speed of light and where action at a distance is modelled as the effect that the past "existence" of one particle has on the "present" of another.

The rationale for this approach came from what I perceive as a major roadblock in the application of relativity.  The roadblock results because conventional expressions of relativity are framed in a global geometric context that is based on classical fields and results in a model in which one cannot readily model matter, nor relate the distinct existence of one particle to another.

To date, there has been little cause to question the conventional approach because, despite inconsistencies, quantum theory has been taken to indicate that particles have a distributed, wave-like, existence and (because waves are a field phenomenon) it has seemed reasonable to seek a solution within a "field based" context. Hence the current interest in such areas as string theory and "spinor" and "twistor" fields.

From my work in quantum theory I can see that a local (i.e. within relativistic limits) model for quantum mechanics could be possible and felt that it would be unworkable to address particle states and interactions within the conventional geometric representation of relativity.

In saying this, I do not mean to invoke a universe of "point" particles. What I can see from quantum mechanics is that particles (with extent and structure) appear to adopt a kind of distinct existence with respect to one another.  Consequently, I'm interested in seeking an approach that separately allows for a distinct existence of one particle with respect to another (this exists in the domain of special relativity) and still provides for an integrated modelling of action at a distance (as per general relativity) and yet does not "collapse" both into a morass of abstraction.

To the best of my understanding, the interpretation that is presented in my article is fundamentally consistent with special and general relativity. It's different, and I'd appreciate your feedback.
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Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000 John K. N. Murphy, Kohimarama, Auckland, New Zealand.