My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Discussions on the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences.

My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby Tavroch on June 18th, 2011, 11:38 am 

Gentlemen,

A short introduction:
I am from The Netherlands.
For a living I program 5-axis milling machines to produce landing gear parts for military and civilian aircraft.
I have no science background other than some basic education and my own research.

I have a theory I would like to share and discuss.
I would like to know where I go wrong, if applicable.
I call it my Collapsing Field Theory.
In a nutshell:


My explanation of the Double Slit Experiment, AKA The Collapsing Fields Theory:


Standard setup of the double slit experiment using visible light, for the moment without the double slits in place.
So there's a light source and a detection surface.
What happens when a photon is detected by the detection surface?

Standard explanation of what happens:
A photon (a), emitted by the light source, has/is (particle/wave) a certain amount of energy (A).
This photon (a), after being emitted by the light source, travels to the detection surface.
This photon (a) then transfers its energy to an atom in the detection surface.
An electron of this atom in the detection surface absorbs the energy (A) of the photon (a).
In doing so the electron jumps to its next higher "orbit", or energy level.
This in turn causes the emission of another, secondary, photon (b), and that is our clue that photon (a) has hit the detection surface.
In this explanation the single photon, when travelling to the detection surface with the double slits in place, can only pass through one of the two slits.
Therefore, when emitting one photon at a time, no interference should be possible.

Now what really happens:
There are no such things as photons; there's just a field containing a certain amount of energy.
The light source emits such a field with a certain amount of energy.
When this field reaches the detection surface, the energy of this field is absorbed by an atom (or several atoms) in the detection surface, and the field collapses.
An atom, however, can only absorb energy in specific amounts, or packets, corresponding to the amount of energy needed to push one of it's electrons to its next higher level, or orbit.
When it does so, the atom emits a field of its own (one or more "photons", in the traditional explanation), again with a specific amount of energy.
This is our clue that a "photon" is detected by the detection surface.
If the original field emitted by the light source contains an amount of energy between that of one photon (A) and that of two photons (2A), we call such a field "one photon".
When such a one-photon-field is absorbed by an atom in the detection surface, the field collapses and the atom emits a secondary field.
The energy in such a single-photon-field is not sufficient to push more than one single electron to its next higher level, and this causes the illusion of a photon as a particle.
While in reality there is no such thing as a photon; there is just a field, and the fact that the energy of this field can only be absorbed in specific amounts, or packets, causes the illusion of "photons" as particles.

Now, when you slide the double slits in place, it's easy to see how an interference pattern can still be generated even when the "photons" are emitted one at a time.
The field is there, until it collapses, no matter the amount of energy it contains. (It's even there when the energy of the field is less than that of one photon (A) and nothing is detected!)
The illusion of "photons" is caused by the fact that the energy of the field can only be absorbed in specific amounts, or packets, corresponding to the energy needed to push an electron to its next higher level.
Tavroch
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby owleye on June 18th, 2011, 7:43 pm 

Quick response. It is my understanding that there's a trace left behind on the surface where what would have been a photon in the standard theory interacted with it that remains long after the interaction. How does your energy field cause this to occur? There are several other problems more germane to your theory, but I'll leave that to the experts.

James
owleye
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby Grinkle on June 18th, 2011, 8:03 pm 

Tavroch -

I am not understanding your reasoning. I don't mean I agree or disagree, I am not following it, is all I mean.

One thing occurs to me to respond with, but I can't be sure its relevant due to my above comment.

The interference pattern observed is created by photons.

I think you are saying the interference pattern is the residual wave that is 'spare change' left over or whatever is not enough to cause a photon emission from the detector.

But its all photons, even on the detector that is after the double slits.

Can you try to re-phrase your train of thought so I can take another stab at following it?
Grinkle
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby Tavroch on June 19th, 2011, 7:01 am 

Thank you for your reactions, James and Grinkle.
I see I over-explained. Let's see if I can remedy that by over-explaining a bit more.

@ James: my theory doesn't mean there can be no trace on the surface where the photon interacted with it.(?)
I don't suggest different things happen; the theory just describes them in a different way.

@ Grinkle: I do not suggest there is a "residual wave", although I see how I might have given you that idea. The interference pattern is caused by the field; my point being that there are no distinct photons, just the field.
I'll try to rephrase.

As I understand, what essentially happens when a photon is detected is that it causes an electron of an atom in the detection surface to jump to its next higher energy level, thereby producing a photon (or any other elementary particle, but as I understand, a photon is the basic unit of electromagnetic radiation, so let's keep it at that) of its own, and this new photon is the observer's clue that the original photon is detected.
This is probably a gross over-simplification; but I hope I am correct about this in essence. As I said: I have no scientific background to speak of.
I really hope I am correct here, because my theory hinges on the fact that this is essentially what happens whenever photons (or photon-fields in my theory) interact with anything else. Photon-fields (= photons) can only pass their energy in distinct packets, because at the particle-level this always involves putting something else in its next higher distinct energy level. The electron of the atom in the detection surface being the example at hand here.

My point is that there are no photons as separate entities; there's just a field with a certain amount of energy.
If the field contains the energy equivalent of one to two photons, we call this one photon.
(We can't tell how much energy it really contains, because it can only pass its energy in packets with the amount of energy equivalent to one photon.
If it contained the energy of one and a half photon, it would still only be able to pass a packet with one-photon's worth of energy; so for all practical purposes it is a one-photon-field, or one photon.)
There's several photons when the field has the energy of several photons (or anything in between).
The illusion of photons as separate entities is caused by the fact that the energy of the field can only be absorbed in packets, in steps of a certain amount of energy: the energy equivalent of one photon, or: the energy equivalent of one step up in energy level of, for example, the electron of an atom.

I can imagine there's all kinds of different things that can happen when a photon interacts, but my guess is on the particle-level they all involve passing energy in distinct packets, because they all involve putting some other particle level thingy in its next higher distinct energy level.
So the field can contain any amount of energy, but it can only pass it along in distinct packets and that is what causes the illusion of distinct particles like photons.

When proposing this theory for photons it follows that it should be valid for any other electromagnetic particle, but I would like to test it first with just photons in the double slit setting to keep things tidy.
If it survives that, we can look at how it fares when it is used to look at different electromagnetic phenomena.

This theory helps explaining what happens in the double slit experiment, because it shows it's the field itself that exhibits the interference pattern.
So the pattern would still be there, even if the field has less energy than that of one photon, because the field is there regardless. We would never be able to tell it's there, though, because we need the energy of at least one photon to be able to trigger the detection. But it's there, and that explains why there's an interference pattern even when only one photon is detected at a time.

So in my theory the word "photon" does not describe a thing; it represents the minimal amount of energy needed to cause one distinct minimal event on the particle-level.
I'm sorry if my lack of education prevents me from describing this in a way you guys are used to, and maybe I'm missing something or I might be completely wrong, but that is exactly why I post this here: so I can learn where I'm wrong.
Tavroch
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby owleye on June 19th, 2011, 9:57 am 

Are you really clarifying what goes on in the double slit experiment? It seems you are just restating the particle/wave duality of light in a language you think of as different than what you think the official position is. Light acts like a particle (because packets (i.e., light as particles) are the medium of exchange) and acts like waves (light as wave-like energy fields). How is this different than what you think the official position is?

Note my asking you about the trace left behind was more to prompt you to explain it, since you seemed to want to go to some length with examining how packets interact with the surface electrons in their orbitals, which didn't seem to allow that a trace could be left behind.

James
owleye
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby Tavroch on June 19th, 2011, 11:15 am 

James,

I am clarifying what goes on in the double slit experiment by restating the particle/wave duality in a way that takes away the riddle of why an interference pattern emerges even when firing one photon at a time.
As I said: I do not claim that anything else is going on than what actually is being observed; I merely present a way of looking at it that, to me, makes what is going on less surprising. I just want to know if the way of looking I present here is correct, and thus possibly useful in looking at, and understanding, other particle phenomena.
The classical way of looking at it, i.e. something is either a particle or a wave, doesn’t explain what happens in the double slit experiment.
The quantum way of looking at it does, but I do not understand the quantum way, since I lack the necessary background.
So I came up with an alternative way of looking at it that does seem to explain what goes on in a way I do understand.
I merely want to know if my theory is any good and, if not, where it goes wrong.
It may just be that my way of looking at it has things in common with the quantum way of looking at things. If so, this could be a good handle for me to start grasping the quantum way of looking at things. If not, I would like to know in what way my theory goes wrong.
Are there elements in the double slit experiment (for starters) that cannot be explained by looking at them in the way presented in my theory, i.e.: by looking at photons as (a) collapsible field(s).

Wouldn’t it be nice to find a way of explaining things like the double slit experiment in such a way it can be understood by people without the background necessary to understand the mathematics behind quantum physics?

Saying my theory is just restating the particle/wave duality is stating the obvious. Of course it does; if it didn’t it would be wrong, wouldn’t it?
The difference is: I can understand my theory, I can’t understand quantum physics.

Kind regards,
Tavroch
Tavroch
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby Tavroch on June 19th, 2011, 11:29 am 

Oh and a trace could certainly be left, because the energy of the photon fired may be enough to trigger more than one event in the detection surface. Depending on the energy level of the photon fired and the energy needed to push one or more electrons in the detection surface into higher orbits (or whatever else may be triggered in the detection surface).
(I hope I am correct in assuming there can be photons of different energy levels, as there is light of different frequencies and thus different energy levels.)
Tavroch
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby owleye on June 20th, 2011, 12:55 pm 

Tavroch wrote:Oh and a trace could certainly be left, because the energy of the photon fired may be enough to trigger more than one event in the detection surface. Depending on the energy level of the photon fired and the energy needed to push one or more electrons in the detection surface into higher orbits (or whatever else may be triggered in the detection surface).
(I hope I am correct in assuming there can be photons of different energy levels, as there is light of different frequencies and thus different energy levels.)


If you're happy with it, I suppose that's all that matters. I don't see how your account differs much from what I believe the standard account is, except, of course, that the standard account is much more detailed. You see, without quantum theory, all of what you say about it can't be described. Light yet remains dual in nature. We can tell it acts as a wave because of the pattern left behind at the site where the photons left their mark when the two slits are in their path. The pattern is evidence of its wave nature, the individual spots of that pattern are evidence of its particle nature. Light is a form of energy that exists in quantities that are the product of its frequency and Planck's constant. Such quantities are called photons, a quantum of energy. Photons have frequencies indicating they are waves. Photons are particles indicating they are quanta of energy. Note the same is true of an electron; it's just that electrons also have properties of mass, charge and spin as well.

Puzzles remain, however. In the dual slit experiment, why does the packet get exchanged at the particular site where it is detected? Since the energy of each photon flows through both slits, inducing it to interfere with itself, a pattern of possible locations is established by that interference. There will be a specific probability distribution of those locations unique to quantum theory that describes it. However, the pattern isn't exhibited by a single photon. All of the energy of the light is collapsed to that particular location where it is detected. Each photon then acts like a random variable subject to a the interference pattern that constrains it, leaving it (the energy) with freedom to locate itself by collapsing anywhere equally within the confines of that pattern. Such randomness is disquieting to those who seek explanations. For example the toss of a die on a craps table randomly obeys the constraint of a pattern of it landing on one of its faces equally. We would seek an explanation in the initial conditions and the various forces of nature that act on the die in the course of its travels, noting that it could be explained were we to have knowledge of all this. It is our lack of knowledge of what's going on that gives it the randomness. In that case we would say it is only apparently random. In the case of quantum theory, however, no experiment has shown that the randomness exhibited is not truly random. I.e., no explanation of such randomness has been forthcoming. A pattern constrains the energy in space and time without at the same time being anything that could be a constraint. It is this observation that is puzzling about its dual nature. Of course if you're a believer in Plato's Forms, this might not trouble you.

James
owleye
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby xcthulhu on June 20th, 2011, 9:15 pm 

@Tavroch: There some errors in your standard account (which I assume is the Copenhagen interpretation).

Namely, a photon does not in general have definite energy prior to hitting a detector - typically, it will be in a superposition of a countably infinite number of states, each with an associated probability.

Moreover, electrons form interference patterns in double slit experiments just like light does.

Image
(google for "electron double slit" and you'll get this photo immediately)

Why does your argument refute the particle nature of light, but supports the particle nature of electrons, when they exhibit the similar behavior?
xcthulhu
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby Tavroch on June 21st, 2011, 7:32 am 

Thank you for your reaction xcthulhu.

xcthulhu wrote:@Tavroch: There some errors in your standard account (which I assume is the Copenhagen interpretation).

Namely, a photon does not in general have definite energy prior to hitting a detector - typically, it will be in a superposition of a countably infinite number of states, each with an associated probability.

Moreover, electrons form interference patterns in double slit experiments just like light does.

Why does your argument refute the particle nature of light, but supports the particle nature of electrons, when they exhibit the similar behavior?


Where exactly in my ramblings do you see me supporting the particle nature of electrons while refuting the particle nature of light? Because that was not my intention.

I am aware of the fact electrons behave in a similar way that photons do in the double slit experiment.

I am merely using photons as an example:
"When proposing this theory for photons it follows that it should be valid for any other electromagnetic particle, but I would like to test it first with just photons in the double slit setting to keep things tidy.
If it survives that, we can look at how it fares when it is used to look at different electromagnetic phenomena."

I was hoping that one of the merits of my theory is exactly this: that it shows that the exact energy that is passed on by the field is determined by the detection itself.
That indeed the exact energy of the field can only be known by detecting, and thus draining, it.
And thus demonstrating what is implied by quantum theory, and by doing so demonstrating in an intuitive way that which is supposed to be counterintuitive.
And, before you jump on this, I think I know what the immediate reaction to this will be: I'm trying to do what countless people, far more intelligent that me, have tried before.
I know, I know, but is there a reason why it is by definition impossible to come up with a way of looking at the phenomena as they occur, and as they are described by the math of quantum physics, that makes it possible to intuitively understand them without having to resort to the math of quantum physics?

As I see it, intuition is by no means absolute. I mean: lots of things that are intuitive to us now were far from intuitive for anyone living in the Middle Ages for example.
Apparently intuition can be trained, can be honed, by incorporating new knowledge.

Again: is it by definition impossible to devise a theory, a way of looking at things, that makes what is described by the math of quantum physics intuitive to us, to our minds?
Is it by definition hopeless to try to train our minds to incorporate the findings of quantum physics in our understanding of the natural world?

I will acknowledge that it will not be possible for us to make our minds familiar with all the intricacies of quantum physics for generations, if at all ever, but maybe we can devise ways to look at things that incorporate at least some of the basic implications of quantum physics already?
We have done so in the past for a lot of previously completely incomprehensible phenomena.
I know every explanation will always be nothing more than half the story, and no explanation can describe the whole truth, but there are always deeper, more exact, levels possible, each of which brings us a little closer to understanding what is really going on.

So my main question is: can it be proved that it is impossible to devise a theory, a way of looking at things, that makes what is described by the math of quantum physics intuitive to us, to our minds?

And you can move this post to the philosophy section now if you want.


Kind regards,
Tavroch
Tavroch
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby owleye on June 21st, 2011, 10:24 am 

From your reply to xcthulhu....
Tavroch wrote:I was hoping that one of the merits of my theory is exactly this: that it shows that the exact energy that is passed on by the field is determined by the detection itself.
That indeed the exact energy of the field can only be known by detecting, and thus draining, it.
And thus demonstrating what is implied by quantum theory, and by doing so demonstrating in an intuitive way that which is supposed to be counterintuitive.


What do you mean by "demonstrating?" Basically what you are doing is hand-waving some sort of argument, and it isn't even clear what that argument is (see below). What makes it a demonstration?

Tavroch wrote:And, before you jump on this, I think I know what the immediate reaction to this will be: I'm trying to do what countless people, far more intelligent that me, have tried before.
I know, I know, but is there a reason why it is by definition impossible to come up with a way of looking at the phenomena as they occur, and as they are described by the math of quantum physics, that makes it possible to intuitively understand them without having to resort to the math of quantum physics?


This seems to me to be a straw-man. What makes you think that the mathematics of quantum theory is the issue that is constraining us from understanding what's going on? The mathematics of quantum theory describes what's going on in what appears to be perfect detail. It isn't intended as an explanation. There are lots of interesting accounts of what's going on, all of which are consistent with what quantum theory describes, each of which has been shown to be consistent. (Consider David Bohm's implicate/explicate model, for example.)

Tavroch wrote:Again: is it by definition impossible to devise a theory, a way of looking at things, that makes what is described by the math of quantum physics intuitive to us, to our minds?
Is it by definition hopeless to try to train our minds to incorporate the findings of quantum physics in our understanding of the natural world?


I think if this is your limited project, then what is it that you think you have accomplished that has confounded others? If the issue has to do with wave/particle duality, for example, what is it that your new-found intuition unblocks and clarifies that was previously cluttering our mind? What do you think was so puzzling before that your intuitive account now resolves? Does your idea clarify what the dual nature is that is different than how others have thought of it? Or are you rejecting the dual nature outright? Einstein in (around?) 1905, among his incredible accomplishments determined the particle nature of light somewhat like the terms you seem to be saying you think is a brand new idea? Who is what I'm alleging to be a straw-man?

James
owleye
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby xcthulhu on June 21st, 2011, 1:45 pm 

Tavroch wrote:Where exactly in my ramblings do you see me supporting the particle nature of electrons while refuting the particle nature of light? Because that was not my intention.


My mistake. I assumed you considered electrons to be particles. If electrons are not particles, how do you explain the results of Millikan's oil drop experiment?

Likewise, interference experiments have been conducted using atoms since the early 90s. Here's an example (I might just download this for you if you ask me, btw): http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v66/i21/p2689_1

Yet, it does appear that despite their wave nature, atoms behave like particles, in fact basically exactly as chemists would predict. A little bit of evidence is this picture of some small chains of benzene rings taken by an atomic force microscope developed by IBM 2 years or so ago:
Image

Can you explain this, or how crystallography works, given that atoms are apparently not particles?

Tavroch wrote:I was hoping that one of the merits of my theory is exactly this: that it shows that the exact energy that is passed on by the field is determined by the detection itself.


Well, the (textbook) story is more complicated than you are making it. When a photon (note: please excuse me for referring to elementary particles, even though you don't seem to accept their existence) hits a detector, its wave function collapses and it "chooses" one exact energy.

But there are constraints on the detectors we can make. For instance, if you made a detector that told you with 100% certainty exactly the energy of the photon that it detects, then you would be 100% uncertain about the time of arrival. This is because energy and time are quantum duals, and complete knowledge of both is forbidden by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

But why? Well... I'm afraid the simplest explanation of the uncertainty principle I've seen is as a consequence of the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality and some other basic theorems of Fourier analysis (Bracewell gives an exposition of this and applications to radio engineering in his book The Fourier Transform and Its Applications, Chapter 8, pgs 177-184). The uncertainty principle is much more general than the basic result from Fourier analysis, however. For a proper explanation of the "generalized" uncertainty principle, including why energy and time are duals, you will need to resort to a proper textbook on quantum mechanics (you might try Griffith's).

Tavroch wrote:That indeed the exact energy of the field can only be known by detecting, and thus draining, it.
And thus demonstrating what is implied by quantum theory, and by doing so demonstrating in an intuitive way that which is supposed to be counterintuitive.
And, before you jump on this, I think I know what the immediate reaction to this will be: I'm trying to do what countless people, far more intelligent that me, have tried before.
I know, I know, but is there a reason why it is by definition impossible to come up with a way of looking at the phenomena as they occur, and as they are described by the math of quantum physics, that makes it possible to intuitively understand them without having to resort to the math of quantum physics?


You might try reading Feynman's book QED, which is an attempt by a Nobel-laureate/inventor of a branch of quantum mechanics to explain his work without mathematics.

But Feynman was three things: a genius at mathematics, a genius at connecting mathematics to physical reality, and a genius at giving entertaining/accessible presentations of the previous two things. If you read his other work it's clear that he valued the mathematics very highly, and didn't really think one could have deep knowledge of quantum mechanics without it.

Tavroch wrote:As I see it, intuition is by no means absolute. I mean: lots of things that are intuitive to us now were far from intuitive for anyone living in the Middle Ages for example.
Apparently intuition can be trained, can be honed, by incorporating new knowledge.


Well, prior to the scientific revolution, intuition about nature in the middle ages was guided by Aristotle.

The story we teach to children is that Galileo was the first to combine mathematics with experiment, testing and ultimately refuting Aristotle (well, perhaps Christiaan Huygens plays this role in the Netherlands, you tell me ;-).

The scientific revolution taught humanity a cardinal lesson: "knowledge" derived purely from intuition, without the scaffolding of mathematics and experiment, leaves society in the dark ages forever. It is through these things that our faulty intuition is corrected. I don't see why you want to get rid of them...

Tavroch wrote:Again: is it by definition impossible to devise a theory, a way of looking at things, that makes what is described by the math of quantum physics intuitive to us, to our minds? Is it by definition hopeless to try to train our minds to incorporate the findings of quantum physics in our understanding of the natural world?

...

I will acknowledge that it will not be possible for us to make our minds familiar with all the intricacies of quantum physics for generations, if at all ever, but maybe we can devise ways to look at things that incorporate at least some of the basic implications of quantum physics already?

...

So my main question is: can it be proved that it is impossible to devise a theory, a way of looking at things, that makes what is described by the math of quantum physics intuitive to us, to our minds?


No, I don't think it's impossible. Maybe in 500 years we'll be teaching this stuff to primary school children. Maybe there's a school somewhere where they are already doing this.

I for one have trouble seeing how anyone can really understand QM without understanding the basics of complex analysis, differential equations, linear algebra, functional analysis, statistics, and basic mechanics - but you can learn these things by studying quantum mechanics itself, which is how universities teach the subject (except basic mechanics - it's usually a pre-requisite). I mean I read Feynman's book QED in high school and I now look back and recognize how much I didn't understand very well (and still don't).

But maybe the subject can be trivialized, like we trivialize biology, "earth science", and so on in the US. These give american students a bare bones, qualitative understanding of science that makes them lag behind the rest of the world. But I don't see this happening any time soon, since QM isn't as important as these other things (at least in the states).
xcthulhu
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby Tavroch on June 23rd, 2011, 4:05 am 

Thank you very much for your lecture xcthulhu.
I'm afraid I cannot spend nearly enough time on this as I would like to.
Thanks especially for all the pointers.
I'll have to check on Millikan's oil drop experiment, crystallography, etc.
I understand they even made buckyballs perform the double slit trick!
Although with this kind of claims I would suggest a lot of repeating of the experiments and attention to circumstances in which this seems to work.
The "Under conditions of total isolation, you can do the two-slit experiment with asteroids." claims are already all over the place.
There's still no cold fusion in my fridge yet either.
Need to read a lot more of Feynman also; I think he is an especially likeable chap.
If you can point me to other accessible descriptions of what goes on in the double slit experiment without resorting to too much math, I'd be much obliged.
I'm not a total stranger to it; I use simple math on a daily basis in my work and my father was a pre-university math teacher for 40 years.
I certainly wouldn't propose to get rid of mathematics and experiment.
But developing an intuitive feeling for mathematical problems on a decent level takes quite some time and effort.
Descriptions of the nature of things will be more useful to more people when not leaning on a math background too much.
I think that should be possible without trivialising real knowledge too much.
Although also here in the Netherlands there certainly seems to be a tendency to trivialise essential basic stuff like arithmetic and correct use of language.
By neglecting these things it is becoming more and more apparent that science educations are suffering the consequences.
I mean, if universities need to make crash courses on basic math and language mandatory for students coming from pre-university education, because apparently only a few of them can cope with the university standards, there's something seriously wrong with your pre-university education I should think.
Thanks so far. I think it will do me more good to spend my spare time reading, instead of trying to follow the discussions on forums like this.
Although that too can be very interesting.
And then there's fencing, and badminton, and Iaido, and Nihonto, and SF, and movies, and my children, and the wife, etc, etc.
I want an extra life!

Kind regards,
Tavroch
Tavroch
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby Jilan on September 4th, 2012, 4:16 pm 

OK, for our schools, something to consider without the hard maths: imagine an electromagnetic ( eg light ) source emitting at a very low level. Classical theory would suggest a weak EM field which is emitted in all directions. If then a photon is detected in a particular direction which means it cannot be detected in any other (as the source is so weak) the field effectively instantaneously collapses in all the other directions. Now this doesn't seem physically likely does it, considering that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light? A more likely interpretation is that the field represents a probability amplitude of finding a photon rather than a physical entity. In the same way the probability amplitudes associated with the motion of particles (eg electrons) are not a physical thing, but a mathematical probability of it being there.

The intellectual leap required to reconcile this view with the double slit experiment an the interference effects is to appreciate that actually the photon is emitted in all possible directions in some version of reality and that we don't know which version we are in until detect it. Secondly it is necessary to grasp that these different realities (paths) can converge again an constructively or destructively interfere. The more ways you can arrive at the final path the more likely you are to find it. I would recommend the book Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals by Feynman and Hibbs which clarified this for me (mathematically if not philosophically) .

Last thought, I don't think you need to subscribe to the many worlds version of QM for this to apply, perhaps just other space dimensions that we don't experience.
Jilan
 


Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby Tavroch on December 26th, 2013, 10:08 am 

Thanks, Jilian, for your reply.

And this is exactly my problem: these "mathematical probability" and "probability amplitude" descriptions/explanations clarify nothing as I see it.
These are more like rephrasings of the situation in statistical terms that clarify nothing, but instead rather mistify things even more.
The "some version of reality" and the "many worlds" theories aren't very helpful either, other than the outcome of trying to forcibly come up with some "real world" implications of the statistical way of looking at this.

The "emission" of an EM-field, as you put it, does not imply a "physical" presence at all.
I guess you could say: that's just the point.
Therefore, the limitation of the speed of light is not applicable here.
Such an EM-field exists on the next higher level (in the next higher dimension) only, until it interacts with something (we detect it) in our dimension.
The "explanation" of describing these fenomena by statistical functions boils down to a description of the presence of the EM-field in the next higher dimension.
Neither explanation is the "better" one. They are both attempts to describe something that cannot be described in "our world" terms.

"The intellectual leap required to reconcile this view with the double slit experiment an the interference effects is to appreciate that actually the photon is emitted in all possible directions in some version of reality and that we don't know which version we are in until detect it. Secondly it is necessary to grasp that these different realities (paths) can converge again an constructively or destructively interfere."
[The intellectual leap required to reconcile this view with the double slit experiment and the interference effects is to appreciate that actually the photon is emitted as an unfolded field in the next higher dimension and that we don't know how exactly it will manifest itself in our dimension until we detect it. Secondly it is necessary to grasp that these unfolded fields that exist in another dimension, can collapse again and constructively or destructively interfere with other collapsed fields in our dimension.]

"Last thought, I don't think you need to subscribe to the many worlds version of QM for this to apply, perhaps just other space dimensions that we don't experience."
[Isn't that exactly what I am proposing?]

Bear with me please, as I am going to try to describe some insights that are hard for me to describe, but that help me in understanding things like this.

How about you look at it this way: that physical matter/solid objects is/are just collapsed fields and "space" is "opened up", "unfolded", fields... to us. As in fact everything is just collapsed fields (or unfolded fields, depending on the observer's location) "objectively" and we just happen to reside in one of the multiple layers of the onion, so to speak.
Our dimension is just one level of the many.
We just happen to live in one of these layers, so to us every level "below" ours looks like matter/physical particles, and all "above" our layer/level looks like space/EM-fields.
I hope you can understand what I am trying to convey here. This way of looking at things explains a lot to me. It shows things about how we percieve (the speed of) light.
It shows why this "Big Bang Theory" is an illusion. It shows where stuff that dissapears in a black hole ends up: everywhere. What we see as the big bang is just the event horizon we see if we look further and further into space and into the past, as in fact we are looking into a black hole (= all black holes; as one is the same as any and every black hole). Stuff that dissappeares in a singularity ends up being spread out across all of space. And this explains why in "dead" space, a vacuum, matter does "pop into and out of existence" constantly, as modern science claims.
So all matter ultimately ends up in a singularity, and matter constantly originates literally everywhere. It's an endless cycle (to us at least). There's no beginning and no end. The big bang is an illusion and the "age" of our universe is just an indication of the "size" of our layer in the onion.
Background radiation then is caused by the matter that is constantly generated everywhere at once by singularities all over the universe constantly swallowing matter.

Seeing everything as collapsed or unfolded fields opens a lot more insights.
Definately more than seeing things as statistcal functions.

Kind regards,
Tavroch
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Re: Collapse of what?

Postby Faradave on December 26th, 2013, 1:10 pm 

Glad you're still around Tavroch. As I received my first ban from Physics Forums for a thread entitled "Who Needs Photons", I clearly sympathize with your position.

I need to reread this thread in detail, as I had not been here when it originated. You raise good points in a coherent fashion. The responses are reflective of current theory and must be accommodated by any replacement.

"Field collapse" requires specification of the field. I don't think you mean that the emitting electron's electromagnetic or gravitational fields collapse when a quantum of energy is transmitted. If they did, the emitting electron would cease to be an electron.

Since this is not the case, it has given rise to the notion of a probability field, which is much less intuitive. It can lead to a discussion of which is more fundamentally "real" randomness or ignorance of a determined future. That discussion would drown your theory and so should have its own thread.

But we are left with the need to ascribe the probability of a particle-like trajectory to apparently continuous fields. So far, the trend has been to "quantize" the field (i.e. make it discontinuous) by seeing it in terms of virtual particles. I find that unacceptably complicated and it raises as many questions as it answers.

Nevertheless, it seems the "continuity" of the electromagnetic field at least, must be resolved into some type of component in order to have an element with which to attribute probability.

A marble circling a roulette wheel has a 1/38 probability of landing in a given slot. If the marble had infinite speed it would not be a marble. It would instead be a continuous ring (field) of some average density around the wheel. The ring could not itself fit in any one slot. The marble (like light) in actuality has a finite velocity which permits the marble to be localized to a size capable of landing in a slot and sustaining a probability of doing so. The continuous wave associated with light, is also attributed a particle aspect so that it may fit one of many probable trajectories.

Like you, I'm unsatisfied with the way this has been done, but I admire the effort and labor to build a superior model.
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Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby FrowningBuddha on March 4th, 2014, 8:50 am 

Dave wrote:The light source emits such a field with a certain amount of energy.
When this field reaches the detection surface, the energy of this field is absorbed by an atom (or several atoms) in the detection surface, and the field collapses.


I see you do not understand what a field is. So light is a field and not a wave packet? Huh? The source of light is an electron. The electron is a particle of the electron field.

Dave wrote:An atom, however, can only absorb energy in specific amounts, or packets, corresponding to the amount of energy needed to push one of it's electrons to its next higher level, or orbit.
When it does so, the atom emits a field of its own (one or more "photons", in the traditional explanation), again with a specific amount of energy.


False. An electron cloud can absorb packets without changing orbit, note red light does not eject atoms but stronger wave packets do.



False...If an atom emitted a field it would have to cover the universe as fields are everywhere at once. The photon is the force carrier of the electron field.

Dave wrote:This is our clue that a "photon" is detected by the detection surface.
If the original field emitted by the light source contains an amount of energy between that of one photon (A) and that of two photons (2A), we call such a field "one photon".
When such a one-photon-field is absorbed by an atom in the detection surface, the field collapses and the atom emits a secondary field.




False, since a field is everywhere, light would be everywhere if the photon is a field.

Dave wrote:When such a one-photon-field is absorbed by an atom in the detection surface, the field collapses and the atom emits a secondary field.



The absorber emits a field now? You all wrong Spanky.

Dave wrote:The energy in such a single-photon-field is not sufficient to push more than one single electron to its next higher level, and this causes the illusion of a photon as a particle."


False. A single photon can have any amount of energy.


Dave wrote: While in reality there is no such thing as a photon; there is just a field, and the fact that the energy of this field can only be absorbed in specific amounts, or packets, causes the illusion of "photons" as particles."


False. If photons were fields then all would be lighted. Field are not absorbed they are everywhere.


Dave wrote:Now, when you slide the double slits in place, it's easy to see how an interference pattern can still be generated even when the "photons" are emitted one at a time.
The field is there, until it collapses, no matter the amount of energy it contains. (It's even there when the energy of the field is less than that of one photon (A) and nothing is detected!)
The illusion of "photons" is caused by the fact that the energy of the field can only be absorbed in specific amounts, or packets, corresponding to the energy needed to push an electron to its next higher level."



False.
Last edited by mtbturtle on March 4th, 2014, 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: quotes fixed
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Re: Attribution?

Postby Faradave on March 4th, 2014, 12:55 pm 

I can't be sure who is meant by "Dave" in the quotes above. The quotes appear to be those of Tavroch.
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Re: My Collapsing Fields Theory (Double Slit Experiment)

Postby FrowningBuddha on March 5th, 2014, 9:48 am 

Sorry about that, I didn't mean to wrong quote anyone, still learning the system.
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