Project

Foundations of quantum mechanics

Updates
0 new
0
Recommendations
0 new
0
Followers
0 new
6
Reads
0 new
118

Project log

Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This paper explores some more advanced questions in the realist interpretation of quantum mechanics, which is based on a ring current model of elementary particles. More specifically, we wonder how elementary ring currents – charged oscillations – can create the spherically symmetric (electro)static potential we associate with electrons and protons: why are there no small variations because of the motion of the pointlike charge inside? We argue the question does not arise because of the Planck-Einstein relation. We also offer some thoughts on the quantum-mechanical application of the least action principle and the possible relation between asymmetric (static) potentials and the idea of curved spacetime (gravity). While these two topics are not directly related to the question we started out, they were triggered by the same reflection, and that is why we discuss them in one and the same paper.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
Five-page summary of all of physics
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
We discuss the nuclear force hypothesis and propose a modified Yukawa potential for it. We also discuss a key issue with Yukawa-like proposals: the non-conservative nature of the force. We suggest two solutions for this issue: (1) a spatially asymmetric potential or, alternatively, (2) the introduction of dynamics: if there is a scalar potential, we should find a vector potential too. The latter requires the elaboration of an equivalent of Maxwell’s equations for nuclear force fields, which we believe is not justified. We believe the nuclear potential is effectively spatially asymmetric because it is nothing but an electromagnetic dipole field. The nuclear binding energy between the proton and neutron in a deuteron nucleus, for example, is of the order of 2.2 MeV, which can effectively be explained by the dipole field from the neutronic combination within the nucleus. The nuclear potential, therefore, appears as an electromagnetic dipole potential, combining an electric dipole and the magnetic fields of the neutral current from the motion of the positive and negative charges, and the charged current from the motion of the two positive charges. Such potential is, typically, spherically non-symmetric but conservative, and the order of magnitude of the presumed nuclear range parameter is the same as that of the distance which separates the charges (femtometer scale).
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
Short paper about the fundamental concepts in physics, based on previous explorations of the meaning of the wavefunction and a consistent application of Occam's Razor Principle (mathematical possibilities must correspond to physical realities) and geometry only.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This papers concludes our excursions into the epistemology/ontology of physics. We provide a basic overview of the basic concepts as used in the science of physics, with practical models based on orbital energy equations. We hope to make a difference by offering an alternative particle classification based on measurable form factors.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
Zbw (mass-without-mass) model of the proton and neutron, using combined nuclear/Coulomb potentials and orbital energy equations.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This paper completes the analysis of the 1/r (Coulomb) and a/r2 (nuclear) potential functions through a consequent analysis of the mass-energy equivalence using orbital energy formulas. The a/r2 function (modified Yukawa function with a as a nuclear scaling parameter) yields the desired crossing of potentials and the potential well one would expect to find. We also suggest a wave equation for the deuteron nucleus (p + e + p) based on a geometric interpretation of Schrödinger’s wave equation for the hydrogen atom (zero-spin model). Finally, we offer some thoughts on low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR or anomalous heat reactions) and the elasticity of space. The model has the advantage of (i) not introducing new fundamental constants or charges (the nuclear charge gN is identical with the electric charge), (ii) respecting relativity theory (no superluminal speeds), and (iii) confirming Planck’s quantum of action as the fundamental unit of physical action (h) and angular momentum (ħ) in particle-field exchanges of energy and momentum.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This paper shows how one can use potentials to build up a spin-zero model of the deuteron. The spin-zero model consists of a proton, and another proton plus an electron which combine in an electrically neutral particle which we refer to as the neutron. We treat all particles as spin-zero particles because we assume their magnetic moment is zero. As such, it may complement Paolo Di Sia's model of the nucleus (2018), which we give due attention. In contrast to Di Sia, we think of neutrons-or the electron cloud that surrounds the proton inside-as electric dipoles. The model does so by interpretating Yukawa's potential function as a dipole potential. Instead of predefining the range parameter a, we calculate it from the equilibrium condition (equal but opposite magnitudes of the Coulomb and nuclear forces). We find a very acceptable value of about 2.88 fm for a, and find an equally acceptable value for the distance between the positively charged center of the neutron and the center of the electron cloud which, in a deuteron nucleus, must shift it center of charge towards the proton so as to ensure stability-not unlike the sharing of valence electrons in chemical bonds.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
The special problem we try to get at with these lectures is to maintain the interest of the very enthusiastic and rather smart people trying to understand physics. They have heard a lot about how interesting and exciting physics is—the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and other modern ideas—and spend many years studying textbooks or following online courses. Many are discouraged because there are really very few grand, new, modern ideas presented to them. Also, when they ask too many questions in the course, they are usually told to just shut up and calculate. Hence, we were wondering whether or not we can make a course which would save them by maintaining their enthusiasm. This paper is a draft of the fifth chapter of such course. It offers a comprehensive overview of the complementarity of wave- and particle-like perspectives on electromagnetic (EM) waves and radiation. We finish with a few remarks on relativity.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
The phenomenon of matter-antimatter pair creation and annihilation is usually taken as confirmation that, somehow, fields can condense into matter-particles or, conversely, that matter-particles can somehow turn into lightlike particles (photons and/or neutrinos) – which are nothing but traveling fields (electromagnetic or, in the case of the neutrino, some strong field, perhaps). However, pair creation always requires the presence of a nucleus. We, therefore, wonder whether pair creation and annihilation cannot be analyzed as part of some nuclear process. Indeed, we argue that the usual nuclear reactions involving protons and neutrons can effectively account for the processes of pair creation and annihilation. We therefore argue that the need to invoke some quantum field theory (QFT) to explain these high-energy processes would need to be justified much better than it currently is.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
We apply our realist interpretation of quantum mechanics to an analysis of the mechanics of electron propagation through a crystal and derive a formula for the effective mass of an electron which differs by a factor 2 from Feynman's. We think this solves his rather weird remark on the relation between the effective and free-space mass of an electron, which says the effective mass turns out to be 2 to 20 times the free-space mass of the electron. Our calculations imply the effective mass equals the free-space mass in the absence of a potential barrier between successive atoms in an lattice, which is what is to be expected. We also find Feynman's use of the small angle approximation for the argument of the wavefunction (so as to simplify the energy formula) is unjustified: the order of magnitude of the kb factor in the energy formula is one rad (radian), so that is too large for an small angle approximation. This remarkable result is surprising but makes sense because the reduced energy formula has no maximum, which contradicts the empirical reality of the conduction band in conductors as well as in semiconductors.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
Uncertainty may result from (1) an impossibility to measure what we want to measure, or an impossibility to observe the system, (2) the limited precision of our measurement, (3) the measurement fundamentally disturbing the system and, as such, causing the information to be unreliable, (4) an uncertainty that is inherent to Nature. The latter position is referred to as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. We agree with Lorentz’s and Einstein’s viewpoint that there is no need to elevate indeterminism to a philosophical principle. The more important question is: how does quantum physics model it? How does it deal with it? This paper offers some thoughts on that and, in the process, highlights some contradictions which support Lorentz’s (and Einstein’s) position: we only have statistical indeterminism here and, hence, quantum physics is not a radical departure from classical physics. Statistical indeterminism is, effectively, the fifth interpretation of uncertainty which can be added to the list above, and we think it is the right one. We illustrate our position with a detailed discussion of the wavefunction(s) in the context of Schrödinger’s wave equation for the hydrogen atom. The same example also further explores the question in regard to the (possible) physical dimension of the real and imaginary part of the wavefunction. To paraphrase Feynman, we wonder what could be ‘sloshing back and forth’ between the real and imaginary part of the wavefunction? We think it is kinetic and potential energy. We, therefore, briefly present our two-dimensional oscillator model again, but using the metaphor of a multi-piston radial engine as a metaphor this time, and augmented by an analysis of the quantum-mechanical energy operator.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
As a pointer – think of it as a service to other amateur physicists – I thought it would be useful to quickly highlight some pitfalls and discoveries I stumbled upon while working my way through Feynman’s Lectures – complemented with some other basic material. I call it a Survivor’s Guide to Quantum Physics because – at times – it did feel like going through a jungle, or wading through deep water, or climbing some mountain for which there is no map. The main discovery is this: while there is a tendency to present quantum physics as a coherent set of principles and theory, it is not. At best, it is a toolbox with some novel mathematical techniques, approaches and models. At worst, it tries to present itself as an alternative to classical physics, which it is definitely not. Quantum physics is, in essence, a combination of Maxwell’s equations and the Planck-Einstein relation. Nothing more. Nothing less. In the QED sector, at least (the QCD sector is still a mess). But in the QED sector, all is clear: the one and only quantum is Planck’s quantum of (physical) action, but its physical dimension – a force times a distance times a period (cycle time) – is, unfortunately, not always well understood by those who are supposed to understand it – which is why there is a lot of nonsense around. We hope this short paper might help you to avoid the mistakes we made, and that is to waste time on things you should not waste time on: stuff that is not useful, or plain wrong even. And then I will also try to highlight the little shortcuts or visualizations that may help you to get a much more intuitive grasp of things.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This paper explores the common concept of a field and the quantization of fields. We do so by discussing the quantization of traveling fields using our photon model, and we also look at the quantization of fields in the context of a perpetual ring current in a superconductor. We then relate the discussion to the use of the (scalar and vector) potential in quantum physics and, finally, a brief discussion of Schrödinger's wave equation which, we argue, just models the equations of motion of charged particles in static and/or dynamic electromagnetic fields-just what Dirac was looking for. We argue that the idea that Schrödinger's equation may not be relativistically correct is based on an erroneous interpretation of the concept of the effective mass of an electron.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This paper discusses Feynman's derivation of the Hamiltonian matrix in the famous Caltech Lectures on Quantum Mechanics, which is illustrative of the mainstream interpretation of what probability amplitudes may or may not represent. We refer to this argument as Feynman's Time Machine argument because the "apparatus" that is considered in the derivation is, effectively, the mere passage of time. We show Feynman's argument is ingenious but, at the same time, deceptive. Indeed, the substitution (for what Feynman refers to as "historical and other reasons") of real-valued coefficients (K) by pure imaginary numbers (−iH/ħ) effectively introduces the periodic functions (complex-valued exponentials) that are needed to obtain sensible probability functions. The division by Planck's quantum of action also amounts to an insertion of the Planck-Einstein relation through the backdoor. The argument is, therefore, typical of similar arguments: one only gets out what was already implicit or explicit in the assumptions. The implication is that two-state systems can be described perfectly well using classical mechanics, i.e. without using the concepts of state vectors and probability amplitudes. This paper, therefore, complements earlier deconstructions of some of Feynman's arguments, most notably his argument on 720-degree symmetries (which we referred to as "the double life of −1") as well as the reasoning behind the establishment of the boson-fermion dichotomy. This paper, therefore, concludes our classical or realist interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This is an experiment. The special problem we try to get at with these lectures is to maintain the interest of the very enthusiastic and rather smart people trying to understand physics. They have heard a lot about how interesting and exciting physics is-the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and other modern ideas-and spend many years studying textbooks or following online courses. Many are discouraged because there are really very few grand, new, modern ideas presented to them. Also, when they ask too many questions in the course, they are usually told to just shut up and calculate. Hence, we were wondering whether or not we can make a course which would save them by maintaining their enthusiasm. This paper is a draft of the second chapter of such course.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This is an experiment. The special problem we try to get at with this paper is to maintain the interest of the very enthusiastic and rather smart people trying to understand physics. They have heard a lot about how interesting and exciting physics is — the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and other modern ideas — and spend many years studying textbooks, following online courses, and blogging about their experiences. Many are discouraged because there are really very few grand, new, modern ideas presented to them. The problem is whether or not we can make a course which would save them by maintaining their enthusiasm. This paper is a draft first chapter of such course.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This paper summarizes the basic principles of the common-sense interpretation of quantum physics that we have been exploring over the past few years.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added a research item
This paper further explores intuitions we highlighted in previous papers already: 1. The concept of the matter-wave traveling through the vacuum, an atomic lattice or any medium can be equated to the concept of an electric or electromagnetic signal traveling through the same medium. 2. There is no need to model the matter-wave as a wave packet: a single wave – with a precise frequency and a precise wavelength – will do. 3. If we do want to model the matter-wave as a wave packet rather than a single wave with a precisely defined frequency and wavelength, then the uncertainty in such wave packet reflects our own limited knowledge about the momentum and/or the velocity of the particle that we think we are representing. The uncertainty is, therefore, not inherent to Nature, but to our limited knowledge about the initial conditions. 4. The fact that such wave packets usually dissipate very rapidly, reflects that even our limited knowledge about initial conditions tends to become equally rapidly irrelevant. Indeed, as Feynman puts it, “the tiniest irregularities” tend to get magnified very quickly at the micro-scale. All of the above makes us agree with what Hendrik Antoon Lorentz noted a few months before his demise: there is no reason whatsoever “to elevate indeterminism to a philosophical principle.”
Jean Louis Van Belle
added 2 research items
This paper explores the assumptions underpinning de Broglie's concept of a wavepacket and the various conceptual questions and issues. It also explores how the alternative ring current model of an electron (or of matter-particles in general) relates to Louis de Broglie's λ = h/p relation and rephrases the theory in terms of the wavefunction as well as the wave equation(s) for an electron in free space.
Jean Louis Van Belle
added 4 research items
In this paper, we try to show where and why quantum mechanics went wrong-and why and when the job of both the academic physicist as well as the would-be student of quantum mechanics turned into calculating rather than explaining what might or might not be happening. Modern quantum physicists effectively resemble econometrists modeling input-output relations: if they are lucky, they will get some kind of mathematical description of what goes in and what goes out, but the math does not tell them how stuff actually happens. To show what an actual explanation might look like, we bring the Zitterbewegung electron model and our photon model together to provide a classical explanation of Compton scattering of photons by electrons so as to show what electron-photon interference might actually be: two electromagnetic oscillations interfering (classically) with each other. While developing the model, we also offer some reflections on the nature of the Uncertainty Principle. Finally, we also offer a brief history of the bad ideas which led to the current mess in physics.
In this paper, we pick some less well-known contributions of great minds to the history of ideas from the proceedings of the Solvay Conferences. We hope to show there was nothing inevitable about the new physics winning out. In fact, we suggest modern-day physicists may usefully go back to some of the old ideas - most notably the idea that elementary particles do have some shape and size - and that they should try somewhat harder to explain intrinsic properties of these particles-such as their angular momentum and magnetic moment-in terms of classical physics. The contributions which we discuss are those of of Ernest Rutherford, Joseph Larmor, Hendrik Antoon Lorentz and Louis de Broglie.