This is my summary of what I refer to as a common-sense interpretation of quantum physics. It’s a rather abstruse summary of the 40 papers I wrote over the last two years.
1. A force acts on a charge. The electromagnetic force acts on an electric charge (there is no separate magnetic charge) and the strong force acts on a strong charge. A charge is a charge: a pointlike ‘thing’ with zero rest mass. The idea of an electron combines the idea of a charge and its motion (Schrödinger’s Zitterbewegung). The electron’s rest mass is the equivalent mass of the energy in its motion (mass without mass). The elementary wavefunction represents this motion.
2. There is no weak force: a force theory explaining why charges stay together must also explain when and how they separate. A force works through a force field: the idea that forces are mediated by virtual messenger particles resembles 19th century aether theory. The fermion-boson dichotomy does not reflect anything real: we have charged and non-charged wavicles (electrons versus photons, for example).
3. The Planck-Einstein law embodies a (stable) wavicle. A stable wavicle respects the Planck-Einstein relation (E = hf) and Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence relation (E = m·c2). A wavicle will, therefore, carry energy but it will also pack one or more units of Planck’s quantum of action. Planck’s quantum of action represents an elementary cycle in Nature. An elementary particle embodies the idea of an elementary cycle.
4. The ‘particle zoo’ is a collection of unstable wavicles: they disintegrate because their cycle is slightly off (the integral of the force over the distance of the loop and over the cycle time is not exactly equal to h).
5. An electron is a wavicle that carries charge. A photon does not carry charge: it carries energy between wavicle systems (atoms, basically). It can do so because it is an oscillating field.
6. An atom is a wavicle system. A wavicle system has an equilibrium energy state. This equilibrium state packs one unit of h. Higher energy states pack two, three,…, n units of h. When an atom transitions from one energy state to another, it will emit or absorb a photon that (i) carries the energy difference between the two energy states and (ii) packs one unit of h.
7. Nucleons (protons and neutrons) are held together because of a strong force. The strong force acts on a strong charge, for which we need to define a new unit: we choose the dirac but – out of respect for Yukawa, we write one dirac as 1 Y. If Yukawa’s function models the strong force correctly, then the strong force – which we denote as FN – can be calculated from the Yukawa potential:
This function includes a scale parameter a and a nuclear proportionality constant υ0. Besides its function as an (inverse) mathematical proportionality constant, it also ensures the physical dimensions on the left- and the right-hand side of the force equation are the same. We can choose to equate the numerical value of υ0 to one.
8. The nuclear force attracts two positive electric charges. The electrostatic force repels them. These two forces are equal at a distance r = a. The strong charge unit (gN) can, therefore, be calculated. It is equal to:
9. Nucleons (protons or neutrons) carry both electric as well as strong charge (qe and gN). A kinematic model disentangling both has not yet been found. Such model should explain the magnetic moment of protons and neutrons.
10. We think of a nucleus as wavicle system too. When going from one energy state to another, the nucleus emits or absorbs neutrinos. Hence, we think of the neutrino as the photon of the strong force. Such changes in energy states may also involve the emission and/or absorption of an electric charge (an electron or a positron).
Does this make sense? I look forward to your thoughts. 🙂
Post scriptum: Because the above is all very serious, I thought it would be good to add something that will make you smile. 🙂
I started to edit and add to the rather useless Wikipedia article on the Zitterbewegung. No mention of Hestenes or more recent electron models (e.g. Burinskii’s Kerr-Newman geometries). No mention that the model only works for electrons or leptons in general – not for non-leptonic fermions. It’s plain useless. But all the edits/changes/additions were erased by some self-appointed ‘censor’. I protested but then I got reported to the administrator ! What can I say? Don’t trust Wikipedia. Don’t trust any ‘authority’. We live in weird times. The mindset of most physicists is governed by ego and the Heisenberg Diktatur.
Zitterbewegung (“trembling” or “shaking” motion in German) – usually abbreviated as zbw – is a hypothetical rapid oscillatory motion of elementary particles that obey relativistic wave equations. The existence of such motion was first proposed by Erwin Schrödinger in 1930 as a result of his analysis of the wave packet solutions of the Dirac equation for relativistic electrons in free space, in which an interference between positive and negative energy states produces what appears to be a fluctuation (up to the speed of light) of the position of an electron around the median, with an angular frequency of ω = 2mc2/ħ, or approximately 1.5527×1021 radians per second. Paul Dirac was initially intrigued by it, as evidenced by his rather prominent mention of it in his 1933 Nobel Prize Lecture (it may be usefully mentioned he shared this Nobel Prize with Schrödinger):
“The variables give rise to some rather unexpected phenomena concerning the motion of the electron. These have been fully worked out by Schrödinger. It is found that an electron which seems to us to be moving slowly, must actually have a very high frequency oscillatory motion of small amplitude superposed on the regular motion which appears to us. As a result of this oscillatory motion, the velocity of the electron at any time equals the velocity of light. This is a prediction which cannot be directly verified by experiment, since the frequency of the oscillatory motion is so high and its amplitude is so small. But one must believe in this consequence of the theory, since other consequences of the theory which are inseparably bound up with this one, such as the law of scattering of light by an electron, are confirmed by experiment.”
In light of Dirac’s later comments on modern quantum theory, it is rather puzzling that he did not pursue the idea of trying to understand charged particles in terms of the motion of a pointlike charge, which is what the Zitterbewegung hypothesis seems to offer. Dirac’s views on non-leptonic fermions – which were then (1950s and 1960s) being analyzed in an effort to explain the ‘particle zoo‘ in terms of decay reactions conserving newly invented or ad hocquantum numbers such as strangeness – may be summed up by quoting the last paragraph in the last edition of his Principles of Quantum Mechanics:
“Now there are other kinds of interactions, which are revealed in high-energy physics. […] These interactions are not at present sufficiently well understood to be incorporated into a system of equations of motion.”
Indeed, in light of this stated preference for kinematic models, it is somewhat baffling that Dirac did not follow up on this or any of the other implications of the Zitterbewegung hypothesis, especially because it should be noted that a reexamination of Dirac theory shows that interference between positive and negative energy states is not a necessary ingredient of Zitterbewegung theories. The Zitterbewegung hypothesis also seems to offer interesting shortcuts to key results of mainstream quantum theory. For example, one can show that, for the hydrogen atom, the Zitterbewegung produces the Darwin term which plays the role in the fine structure as a small correction of the energy level of the s-orbitals. This is why authors such as Hestenes refers to it as a possible alternative interpretation of mainstream quantum mechanics, which may be an exaggerated claim in light of the fact that the zbw hypothesis results from the study of electron behavior only.
Zitterbewegung models have mushroomed and it is, therefore, increasingly difficult to distinguish between them. The key to understanding and distinguishing the various Zitterbewegung models may well be Wheeler‘s ‘mass without mass’ idea, which implies a distinction between the idea of (i) a pointlike electric charge (i.e. the idea of a charge only, with zero rest mass) and (ii) the idea of an electron as an elementary particle whose equivalent mass is the energy of the zbw oscillation of the pointlike charge. The ‘mass without mass’ concept requires a force to act on a charge – and a charge only – to explain why a force changes the state of motion of an object – its momentum p = mγ·v(with γ referring to the Lorentz factor) – in accordance with the (relativistically correct) F = dp/dt force law.
As mentioned above, the zbw hypothesis goes back to Schrödinger’s and Dirac’s efforts to try to explain what an electron actually is. Unfortunately, both interpreted the electron as a pointlike particle with no ‘internal structure’.David Hestenes is to be credited with reviving the Zitterbewegung hypothesis in the early 1990s. While acknowledging its origin as a (trivial) solution to Dirac’s equation for electrons, Hestenes argues the Zitterbewegung should be related to the intrinsic properties of the electron (charge, spin and magnetic moment). He argues that the Zitterbewegung hypothesis amounts to a physical interpretation of the elementary wavefunction or – more boldly – to a possible physical interpretation of all of quantum mechanics: “Spin and phase [of the wavefunction] are inseparably related — spin is not simply an add-on, but an essential feature of quantum mechanics. […] A standard observable in Dirac theory is the Dirac current, which doubles as a probability current and a charge current. However, this does not account for the magnetic moment of the electron, which many investigators conjecture is due to a circulation of charge. But what is the nature of this circulation? […] Spin and phase must be kinematical features of electron motion. The charge circulation that generates the magnetic moment can then be identified with the Zitterbewegung of Schrödinger “ Hestenes’ interpretation amounts to an kinematic model of an electron which can be described in terms of John Wheeler‘s mass without mass concept. The rest mass of the electron is analyzed as the equivalent energy of an orbital motion of a pointlike charge. This pointlike charge has no rest mass and must, therefore, move at the speed of light (which confirms Dirac’s en Schrödinger’s remarks on the nature of the Zitterbewegung). Hestenes summarizes his interpretation as follows: “The electron is nature’s most fundamental superconducting current loop. Electron spin designates the orientation of the loop in space. The electron loop is a superconducting LC circuit. The mass of the electron is the energy in the electron’s electromagnetic field. Half of it is magnetic potential energy and half is kinetic.”
Hestenes‘ articles and papers on the Zitterbewegung discuss the electron only. The interpretation of an electron as a superconducting ring of current (or as a (two-dimensional) oscillator) also works for the muon electron: its theoretical Compton radius rC= ħ/mμc ≈ 1.87 fm falls within the CODATA confidence interval for the experimentally determined charge radius. Hence, the theory seems to offer a remarkably and intuitive model of leptons. However, the model cannot be generalized to non-leptonic fermions (spin-1/2 particles). Its application to protons or neutrons, for example, is problematic: when inserting the energy of a proton or a neutron into the formula for the Compton radius (the rC= ħ/mc formula follows from the kinematic model), we get a radius of the order of rC= ħ/mpc ≈ 0.21 fm, which is about 1/4 of the measured value (0.84184(67) fm to 0.897(18) fm). A radius of the order of 0.2 fm is also inconsistent with the presumed radius of the pointlike charge itself. Indeed, while the pointlike charge is supposed to be pointlike, pointlike needs to be interpreted as ‘having no internal structure’: it does not imply the pointlike charge has no (small) radius itself. The classical electron radius is a likely candidate for the radius of the pointlike charge because it emerges from low-energy (Thomson) scattering experiments (elastic scattering of photons, as opposed to inelastic Compton scattering). The assumption of a pointlike charge with radius re= α·ħ/mpc) may also offer a geometric explanation of the anomalous magnetic moment.
In any case, the remarks above show that a Zitterbewegung model for non-leptonic fermions is likely to be somewhat problematic: a proton, for example, cannot be explained in terms of the Zitterbewegung of a positron (or a heavier variant of it, such as the muon- or tau-positron). This is why it is generally assumed the large energy (and the small size) of nucleons is to be explained by another force – a strong force which acts on a strong charge instead of an electric charge. One should note that both color and/or flavor in the standard quark–gluon model of the strong force may be thought of as zero-mass charges in ‘mass without mass’ kinematic models and, hence, the acknowledgment of this problem does not generally lead zbw theorists to abandon the quest for an alternative realist interpretation of quantum mechanics.
While Hestenes‘ zbw interpretation (and the geometric calculus approach he developed) is elegant and attractive, he did not seem to have managed to convincingly explain an obvious question of critics of the model: what keeps the pointlike charge in the zbw electron in its circular orbit? To put it simply: one may think of the electron as a superconducting ring but there is no material ring to hold and guide the charge. Of course, one may argue that the electromotive force explains the motion but this raises the fine-tuning problem: the slightest deviation of the pointlike charge from its circular orbit would yield disequilibrium and, therefore, non-stability. [One should note the fine-tuning problem is also present in mainstream quantum mechanics. See, for example, the discussion in Feynman’sLectures on Physics.] The lack of a convincing answer to these and other questions (e.g. on the distribution of (magnetic) energy within the superconducting ring) led several theorists working on electron models (e.g. Alexander Burinskii) to move on and explore alternative geometric approaches, including Kerr-Newman geometries. Burinskii summarizes his model as follows: “The electron is a superconducting disk defined by an over-rotating black hole geometry. The charge emerges from the Möbius structure of the Kerr geometry.” His advanced modelling of the electron also allows for a conceptual bridge with mainstream quantum mechanics, grand unification theories and string theory: “[…] Compatibility between gravity and quantum theory can be achieved without modifications of Einstein-Maxwell equations, by coupling to a supersymmetric Higgs model of symmetry breaking and forming a nonperturbative super-bag solution, which generates a gravity-free Compton zone necessary for consistent work of quantum theory. Super-bag is naturally upgraded to Wess-Zumino supersymmetric QED model, forming a bridge to perturbative formalism of conventional QED.”
The various geometric approaches (Hestenes’ geometric calculus, Burinskii’s Kerr-Newman model, oscillator models) yield the same results (the intrinsic properties of the electron are derived from what may be referred to as kinematic equations or classical (but relativistically correct) equations) – except for a factor 2 or 1/2 or the inclusion (or not) of variable tuning parameters (Burinskii’s model, for example, allows for a variable geometry) – but the equivalence of the various models that may or may not explain the hypothetical Zitterbewegung still needs to be established.
The continued interest in zbw models may be explained because Zitterbewegung models – in particular Hestenes’ model and the oscillator model – are intuitive and, therefore, attractive. They are intuitive because they combine the Planck-Einstein relation (E = hf) and Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence (E = mc2): each cycle of the Zitterbewegung electron effectively packs (i) the unit of physical action (h) and (ii) the electron’s energy. This allows one to understand Planck’s quantum of action as the product of the electron’s energy and the cycle time: h = E·T = h·f·T = h·f/f = h. In addition, the idea of a centripetal force keeping some zero-mass pointlike charge in a circular orbit also offers a geometric explanation of Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence relation: this equation, therefore, is no longer a rather inexplicable consequence of special relativity theory.
The section below offers a general overview of the original discovery of Schrödinger and Dirac. It is followed by further analysis which may or may not help the reader to judge whether the Zitterbewegung hypothesis might, effectively, amount to what David Hestenes claims it actually is: an alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Theory for a free fermion
[See the article: the author of this section does not seem to know – or does not mention, at least – that the Zitterbewegung hypothesis only applies to leptons (no strong charge).]
The Zitterbewegung may remain theoretical because, as Dirac notes, the frequency may be too high to be observable: it is the same frequency as that of a 0.511 MeV gamma-ray. However, some experiments may offer indirect evidence. Dirac’s reference to electron scattering experiments is also quite relevant because such experiments yield two radii: a radius for elastic scattering (the classical electron radius) and a radius for inelastic scattering (the Compton radius). Zittebewegung theorists think Compton scattering involves electron-photon interference: the energy of the high-energy photon (X- or gamma-ray photons) is briefly absorbed before the electron comes back to its equilibrium situation by emitting another (lower-energy) photon (the difference in the energy of the incoming and the outgoing photon gives the electron some extra momentum). Because of this presumed interference effect, Compton scattering is referred to as inelastic. In contrast, low-energy photons scatter elastically: they seem to bounce off some hard core inside of the electron (no interference).
Some experiments also claim they amount to a simulation of the Zitterbewegung of a free relativistic particle. First, with a trapped ion, by putting it in an environment such that the non-relativistic Schrödinger equation for the ion has the same mathematical form as the Dirac equation (although the physical situation is different). Then, in 2013, it was simulated in a setup with Bose–Einstein condensates.
The effective mass of the electric charge
The 2m factor in the formula for the zbw frequency and the interpretation of the Zitterbewegung in terms of a centripetal force acting on a pointlike charge with zero rest mass leads one to re-explore the concept of the effective mass of an electron. Indeed, if we write the effective mass of the pointlike charge as mγ = γm0 then we can derive its value from the angular momentum of the electron (L = ħ/2) using the general angular momentum formula L = r × p and equating r to the Compton radius:
This explains the 1/2 factor in the frequency formula for the Zitterbewegung. Substituting m for mγ in the ω = 2mc2/ħ yields an equivalence with the Planck-Einstein relation ω = mγc2/ħ. The electron can then be described as an oscillator (in two dimensions) whose natural frequency is given by the Planck-Einstein relation.
The king of science – physics – is in trouble. The theoretical physicists need our help. Who are we? It’s us: society, philosophers, and amateur physicists. The academics need to be kicked in the butt by common-sense people who don’t care a hoot about this or that prematurely awarded Nobel Prize in Physics. Why? Not because academics are consuming tax payer money. No. Society should invest even more in fundamental research. However, we should invest in the right people: in research that helps us to find truth. Physicists need to be jolted because they are totally ‘Lost in Math.’ They stopped trying to provide proper explanations. They fell in love with the queen of science: mathematics. They hype up canonical nonsense and can’t answer straight questions. When you ask why, they wax lyrical. They mumble about great mysteries that we – simple men – should not even try to understand. 99% of what’s being published in academic journals – if not more – just keeps on expanding mathematical models that do not contribute to the advancement of our understanding of reality. The academic review process has become an academic co-optation process: “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” All of the creative stuff happens outside of academia now.
The search for a Great Unification Theory has led to Great Confusion. Physicists agree on that, and not only in private: the ‘Lost in Math’ quote is the title of Sabine Hossenfelder’s latest book. She is a highbrow academic. Not some amateur. Not like me. At least she’s honest: her book is a very good account of the current discontent within the academic community. Lee Smolin also documents that sinking feeling within the scientific community: “Houston, we have a problem.” I contacted several other theoretical physicists: they all complain about the current mindset, but fail to offer an alternative. The cartoon shows why.
Physicists who dare to speak out against the mainstream gurus are sidelined. One of the theorists I admire most – because he’s one of the very few people who work on realist interpretations, models of what electrons and photons actually are and other sensible stuff – told me arXiv had reclassified most of his past papers from the Quantum Physics to the General Physics category, where they attract little attention. Let me ask you: how can we possibly say anything sensible about the interactions between photons and electrons if we don’t even try to think about what an electron and a photon might actually be? The Heisenberg interpretation of quantum mechanics has become the Heisenberg Diktatur. The time is ripe for a revolution.
I want to support that revolution because physicists themselves won’t make it happen. Why? I am not sure. I produced a book, assembling all of the theoretical pieces that do make sense but are not being looked at because they are too simple – read: not fancy enough. Pieces that contribute to what everyone is waiting for: a sensible realist interpretation of quantum mechanics. I only invested time in the manuscript because the venerable Institute of Physics had offered me a publication contract after I had sent them some of my papers, but then they reneged on it – after checking my credentials. I have four university degrees (BAEc, MAEc, BPhil and a MSc research degree) but, yes, I admit I am not a professional physicist. I am not part of the in-crowd. I then turned to World Science Publishing. The editor-in-chief, Dr. K.K. Phua, looked at the manuscript overnight and wrote me the next morning: “Your new book looks good and we are interested to publish it. Our physics editor will take care of your project and she will discuss the details with you separately. We look forward to a close collaboration with you.” Dr. K.K. Phua is a high-energy physicist: PhD and DSc (University of Birmingham), Founding Chairman, World Scientific Publishing, Founding Director Emeritus, Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore, Adjunct Professor, National University of Singapore (NUS), Fellow of American Physical Society (APS), Fellow of Singapore National Academy of Science (SNAS). He wrote that email on 5 April 2019. A jealous reviewer then torpedoed publication. He acknowledged he had read one chapter of the book only but that was enough for him to authoritatively conclude that I was just “casually playing with disparate formulas to try to build up credibility.” Wow ! Now that counts as a scientific comment, does’t it? Would you please care to point out any error, dude? Reviews aren’t supposed to be based on sentiment, are they?
I have a wonderful day job (I work as a consultant in the development business) and so I don’t need money. I also don’t need to get papers published. But I do want to get my ideas out. I want to highlight the sorry state of physics: The Emperor Has No Clothes. I first explored the QED sector. Neatly organized but weird. I then explored the QCD sector too. That sector is not neat: it is terribly disorganized and, therefore, even weirder ! Why should we assume a force must be mediated by some particle – gauge bosons? Messenger particles? Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman! Quantum field theory resembles the 19th-century aether theory: we don’t need it. We don’t need it for the QED sector: Maxwell’s Laws – augmented with the Planck-Einstein relation – will do. We also don’t need it to model the strong force (QCD). The quark–gluon model – according to which quarks change color all of the time – does not come with any simplification as compared to a simpler parton model. I also think the weak force is everything but a force. Forces involve charges. The electromagnetic force is a force between electric charges. These charge are positive or negative, so that’s like black-and-white TV. The strong force is related to the color charge. That’s color TV. Sort of. Much more difficult to analyze. Think of the three-body problem. But the weak force? What’s the weak charge? Flavors? No. Surely You’re Joking, Messrs. Glashow, Salam and Weinberg! A force keeps stuff together. Something that causes stuff to fall apart is no force.
Am I too skeptical? Perhaps, but I am in good company. It’s not just Einstein. The whole first generation of quantum physicists – all of them: Schrödinger, Dirac, Pauli and Heisenberg, all the Great Geniuses – had become skeptical about the theory they had created. Why? Various reasons—we’ll explain them. In 1975, Dirac wrote the following about the perturbation theory he himself had contributed to: “I must say that I am very dissatisfied with the situation because this so-called ‘good theory’ [perturbation and renormalization theory] involves neglecting infinities. […] This is just not sensible mathematics. Sensible mathematics involves neglecting a quantity when it is small – not neglecting it just because it is infinitely great and you do not want it!” The Wikipedia article on Dirac, from which I am quoting here, notes that “his refusal to accept renormalization resulted in his work on the subject moving increasingly out of the mainstream.”
Dirac’s criticism in regard to the theory he himself had created is very sensible: if one has to calculate a zillion integrals all over space using 72 third-order diagrams to calculate the 12th digit of the anomalous magnetic moment, or 891 fourth-order diagrams to get the next level of precision, then things start feeling fishy – especially if there are easier common-sense explanations around. When the first ideas on the notion of quarks came out, he wrote the following: “Now there are other kinds of interactions [i.e. other than electromagnetic], which are revealed in high-energy physics and are important for the description of atomic nuclei. These interactions are not at present sufficiently well understood to be incorporated into a system of equations of motion. Theories of them have been set up and much developed and useful results obtained from them. But in the absence of equations of motion these theories cannot be presented as a logical development of the principles set up in this book. We are effectively in the pre-Bohr era with regard to these other interactions.” (Principles of Quantum Mechanics, 4th edition, p. 312)
These words were written in 1958, but they ring true today as well ! There are alternatives – a simpler parton model will do – but they get no attention: not fancy enough. With the benefit of hindsight, I think it’s not overly brutal to say that the likes of Dyson, Schwinger, Feynman, Pais and Gell-Mann – the whole younger generation of mainly American scientists who dominated the discourse at the time – lacked a general: they kept soldiering on by inventing renormalization and other mathematical techniques to ensure those weird divergences cancel out, but they had no direction. As mentioned above, these distinguished scientists all received Nobel Prizes for their ‘discoveries’, so there is a vested interest now in keeping the mystery alive: no academic will want to hurt his or her career by trying to prove Nobel Prize winning physicists wrong !
Think about the following: isn’t it strange that the only bosons we can effectively observe – photons (and I mean real photons, not those imaginary virtual photons that are supposed to mediate the electromagnetic force) – lack essential bosonic properties? Think of it: as a boson, it’s a spin-1 particle. The theoretical values for its angular momentum are, therefore, ± ħ or 0: three possibilities. However, real-life photons don’t have a zero-spin state. Never. This is one of the things in mainstream quantum mechanics that has always irked me. All courses in quantum mechanics spend like two or three chapters on why bosons and fermions are different – spin-one versus spin-1/2, and then they delve into these spin states – but when it comes to the specifics – real-life stuff – then the only boson we actually know (the photon) turns out to not be a typical boson because it can’t have zero spin. In fact, it’s what made me think of an alternative explanation of one-photon Mach-Zehnder interference. I can give you other examples because I did an online MIT (edX) course on quantum mechanics and jotted down all the things that don’t make sense. Of course, the assistants told me to just stop asking questions: one is not supposed to try to understand these things. All we can do is calculate. I don’t mind calculations, but I do mind mindless calculations on models that represent theoretical particles that don’t exist.
You’ll say: there is no alternative, right? John Stewart Bell proved there is no other explanation. Hidden variables theories won’t do the trick. Maybe. Maybe not. My take on Bell’s Theorem reflects Einstein’s reaction to young wolfs, when they would point out that his objections to quantum mechanics (which he usually expressed as some new thought experiment) violated this or that axiom or theorem in quantum mechanics: “Das ist mir wurscht.” It’s German for: I don’t care. I don’t care about Bell’s Theorem either. It is what it is: a mathematical theorem. As such, it respects the GIGO principle: garbage in, garbage out. So we should just boldly go where Bell’s Theorem tells us not to go. In fact, John Stewart Bell himself – one of the third-generation physicists, we may say – did not like his own ‘proof’ and thought that some “radical conceptual renewal” might disprove his conclusions. We should also remember Bell kept exploring alternative theories – including Bohm’s pilot wave theory, which is a hidden variables theory – until his death at a relatively young age (62 years).
I’ll use this blog to de-construct some myths. I’ll need courage: I tried to correct some mistaken views and contributions to Wikipedia, but my additions and comments were deleted/ignored by some anonymous ‘editor’. If I pursue this blog – which is unlikely after the b******* I got from some unknown ‘editor’ when trying to correct/edit some crazy mainstream ideas on Wikipedia, then we will talk about many things. Arguments in standard physics textbooks (on weird (a)symmetries, for example, or on these strange conservation laws) are rubbish. But I am getting ahead of myself here. I need to prove stuff. I will. Stay tuned ! And be critical ! Don’t take BS. The Emperor has no clothes. There is no Great Mystery. Reality is comprehensible. End of rant.
PS: You should not think of ‘deconstruction’ as some negative approach. It is a philosophical term. It refers to a thorough rational analysis of what makes sense, and what doesn’t. It’s about tracing the origin of ideas, about researching the genealogy of concepts and approaches. That’s what I want to do. The alternative theory is already out there. I don’t need to invent it. But, yes, for new ideas to take root, we need to de-construct mainstream dogma. As for the domain name site title, I wanted it to refer to ‘ideas’, but ‘ideas’ was – obviously – already taken, so I took what I could get: ‘ideez’. As for the .org top-level domain, I am not an organization. It’s just me. An amateur researcher. However, one of the theoretical physicists I’ve been in touch with said the following about that: “An amateur researcher has many very important advantages over an academic researcher: more freedom, curiosity, unbiased thinking, no deadlines, no bureaucracy etcetera… The list is long !” I couldn’t agree more. I think I can leverage those advantages. I’ve served in weird places and in weird roles. We are all one-man organizations now, aren’t we? 🙂
Do I have an idea of how the alternative should look like? Yes. Instead of a Great Unification, we need a Great Simplification. We should not seek to unify the forces but acknowledge they are fundamentally different: they are associated with very different charges and so there is nothing we can do about that. But we should get rid of the idea of force-carrying particles. A description in terms of charges, field and oscillations of charges will do. And we should also recognize that (elementary) particles are not pointlike. The anomalous magnetic moment of an electron is easily explained by introducing a form factor, for example.
Unfortunately, the idea of force-carrying particles – also known as messenger or virtual particles – is deeply engrained in quantum mechanics. These particles are referred to as bosons. They are, somehow, supposed to transfer momentum, energy, or spin – and whatever else that might be relevant – between matter-particles (fermions). I think boson theory is a naïve successor to 19th century aether theory: aether theories are not consistent with Einstein’s relativity theory and, hence, they had to be abandoned. That was easy, because everyone realized they were superfluous anyway. I think boson theory is equally superfluous: the weak force isn’t a force, and we don’t need gluons to model of the strong force. The Higgs boson – which is supposed to explain mass – is a scalar: some number. That doesn’t add anything to our understanding of what might be going on.
You’ll say: there is evidence for them! The theorists who
predicted their existence and the experimentalists who confirmed their
predictions got Nobel Prizes for that. I am a naysayer here: all of these
famous experiments only yield signals that are consistent with
the boson hypothesis. All bosons – except for the photon – remain ghost particles:
one may believe in their existence, but we will never actually see
You’ll say: we may not be able to prove them, but we need
them, don’t we? No. We don’t. We don’t need to hypothesize their existence.
There are simpler theories. Classical field theory will do. Simpler theories
are better but, unfortunately, don’t get Nobel Prizes. Worse, they’re actively
Do I have ‘proof’ for that? No. But mainstream physicists don’t have proper proof for their theories either: these ‘signals’, ‘signatures’ or ‘traces’ of these ghost particles aren’t proof. And Occam says my logic makes more sense. Mainstream quantum mechanics tells us that elementary particles have properties such as spin, angular momentum, energy and mass, but these are mysterious intrinsic properties of pointlike objects. However, simple scattering experiments tell us that elementary particles (think of electrons and photons) do have some size and – more importantly – a structure. Occam says that’s enough to discredit the mainstream approach.
 See: John Stewart Bell, Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics, pp. 169–172, Cambridge University Press, 1987. J.S. Bell died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1990 – the year he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics, but the Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously so he did not get it. While acknowledging Bell’s genius and regretting his untimely death, I feel it’s good his No Go Theorem is not associated with a Nobel Prize: it would have enshrined current dogma. It’s about time the Nobel Prize Committee members start awarding physicists that challenge – rather than confirm – the status quo. Indeed, I have doubts on some of the Nobel Prize awards – including the one for Higgs and Englert after the experimental ‘confirmation’ of the ‘reality’ of the Higgs particle. Why the hurry? Read my post on Smoking Gun Physics !