Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What is Quantum Mechanics Really Trying to Tell us about Reality? Featuring @Sabine Hossenfelder

The problem is that subatomic particles are fuzzy, act randomly, and behave like waves while moving.  Even whole atoms can behave this way.

Quantum Physics was invented to explain the double-slit experiment., which is shown here ...

The "Copenhagen Interpretation" states that a particle traveling through space is not really a particle but a probability wave called a Psi wave.  However, once we measure the particle then the Psi wave "collapses" down to a real particle.  We can't predict the location, but measurement affects the outcome.  This is completely counterintuitive.  

Einstein hated this theory, didn't like randomness, and believed that there are "hidden variables" that we can't yet measure.

I don't pretend to understand the following...

I tend to agree with Einstein.

One counter-theory that I like is called the Pilot Wave Theory which says a particle is always a particle, but its motion through space creates waves in space that we can't detect that in turn cause the particle to behave like a wave. Maybe the particle is like a beach ball riding an ocean wave.  There is no practical way to distinguish this theory from the Copenhagen Interpretation, so the theory is not very popular.

I am wondering if the problem is that we don't properly understand motion?  Our everyday experiences at the macro level don't apply at the quantum level.  Maybe there is a field that affects motion?

I view all of reality as a great invisible ocean.  If the ocean is bobbing up and down, the energy at that location causes a particle to exist at that location.  If the ocean is quiet then there is no particle there.  This is Quantum Field Theory.

A "field" just means that every point in space has a value, positive, negative, or zero.  The value represents the amount of energy at a particular point.   A sufficiently high value in the field causes a particle to exist there.  If the value is too low then there is no particle.   These fields seem to have random fluctuations because "virtual particles" pop into existence all the time and then immediately disappear.  This can be proven experimentally.

There is an electric field, an electromagnetic field, a gravitational field, a Higgs field, and fields for up and down quarks.  Disregarding different types of "exotic" matter, which have their own fields but decay quickly, these fields control all of reality.  

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