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Action at a distance

  1. Aug 30, 2011 #1
    I wish to approach the problem of action at a distance in a non-mathematical way, trying to find a physical model in perhaps a meta-physical realm.
    As far as I know there are two approaches to action at a distance:
    (1) The Quantum explanation.
    Here briefly two 'particles' interact by the passage of a third ( often theoretical ) 'particle' between them.
    (2) The Realativity explanation
    Here Space Time is distorted, usually a more 'massive' paticle changes Space Time surrounding it which in turn effects the passage of a second particle.
    These explanation are in contrast to the Classical Field Theory where lines of force are assumed to emminate from one 'particle' exist in a surrounding aether and then influence a second 'particle' much like a stiff rod pushing or pulling on this second 'particle'. In addition such an aether was assumed to be the carrying media for light in a vacuum, in fact these lines of force or intensities as opposed to forces were assumed to have a life of their own independent of originating 'particles', certainly Maxwell's mathematics uses variation of intensities independent of 'particles' to obtain his formulae.
    Before I go any further I would like some comments on the statements I have made.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2011 #2


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    Are you sure you posted this in the right forum? This seems a quantum physics discussion rather than a philosophical one.
  4. Sep 5, 2011 #3
    As I stated I am talking neither quatum or relativity, I am talking meta -physics and philosophy seems the only category I can use.
    Beyond the physical world? What is the physical world, I take a Classical approach and take it to be a collection of point sources of force. Mass, if it exists, only comes out the equation:
    where F and a are absolutes. Energy is a man made concept like dimensions and above all is relative not absolute.
    But what about the space between points of force is this empty? Certainly no points of force or mass, yet if one wishes an alternative to Quatum or Relativity theories for action at a distance then something must be there - a transmitting 'medium' for intensities, the so called lines of force. What is intensity? For a point force or collection of point forces M this is:
    I = M/R2
    Which on another collection of point sources m gives rise in m to the force:
    F = Mm/R2
    A noticable fact that as M moves this intensity moves with it whether M is gravitational or coulombic. If light is simply vibrations in the intensities in this 'medium' ( Maxwell's equations ) then as the source moves PARTICULARLY A MASSIVE SOURCE AS THE EARTH the light will move also - we have the effect of Aether Drag.
    I shall leave of at this point, again to see if I can obtain some response.
  5. Sep 5, 2011 #4


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    Again, this is not philosophy. It seems you have a lot of fallacies about classical and quantum physics that you could address if you posted in the correct forum.
  6. Sep 5, 2011 #5
    Here's a quote from Einstein on non-locality:

    It is characteristic of these things that they are conceived of as being arranged in a space-time continuum. Further, it appears to be essential for this arrangement of things introduced in physics that, at a specific time, these things claim an existence independent of one another, in so far as these things “lie in different parts of space.” Without such an assumption of the mutually independent existence (the “being-thus”) of spatially distant things, an assumption which originates in everyday thought, physical thought in the sense familiar to us would not be possible. Nor does one see how physical laws could be formulated and tested without such a clean separation. Field theory [the theory of electromagnetic or gravitational fields, for example] has carried out this principle to the extreme, in that it localizes within infinitely small (four-dimensional) space-elements the elementary things existing independently of one another that it takes as basic, as well as the elementary laws it postulates for them. For the relative independence of spatially distant things (A and B), this idea is characteristic: an external influence on A has no immediate effect on B; this is known as the “principle of local action,” which is applied consistently only in field theory.

    It is argued, though, that experiments to test Bell's inequality suggest that such instantaneous interactions among distantly separated systems do occur and seem to call into question even our basic notions, that "physical" objects should be arranged in a space-time continuum, "where the state of the field is determined entirely by its value at each point in space, so that the state of any localized entity exists independently of all spatially separated systems (Maudlin):

    "Bell has shown that the statistical predictions of QT are definitely incompatible with the existence of an underlying reality (that resembles the observed world at the macroscopic level) whose spatially separated parts are independent realities linked only by causal dynamical relationships. The spatially separated parts of any underlying reality must be linked in ways that completely transend the realm of causal dynamical connections. The spatially separated parts of any such underlying reality are not independent realities, in the ordinary sense. (Stapp)

    Not that I understand what this means but I have read that if one accepts Bohmian-type non-local fields such as the interaction between the quantum field and its particle it:

    must be something quite different from ordinary physical interactions which invariably are understood as exchange of particles: photons carry EM interaction, W-bosons carry weak interaction, gluons the strong one and 'gravitons' are supposed to carry gravitation. The interaction between the particles and the quantum waves seems to not allow for such an analysis, because the quantum waves are conceived of as truly continuous entities.

  7. Sep 5, 2011 #6
    I thought that others believe that Bell misrepresented the conclusions of QM in this regard, and that his conclusion is very much debatable. [I actually believe that Stapp here misrepresents whatever Bell got wrong.]

    I would enjoy a layman explanation of the critique on Bell's statement. (Since I don't really understand QM.)

    BTW: Man, I should read some Einstein. That thought is even compatible with some what I incidentally came up with.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  8. Sep 5, 2011 #7
    This might be what you're looking for? Some interesting quotes:

    Pairs of photons have been the most common physical systems in Bell tests because they are relatively easy to produce and analyze, but there have been experiments using other systems. Lamehi-Rachti and Mittig (1976) measured spin correlations in proton pairs prepared by low-energy scattering. Their results agreed well with the quantum mechanical prediction and violated Bell's Inequality, but strong auxiliary assumptions had to be made like those in the positronium annihilation experiments. In 2003 a Bell test was performed at CERN by A. Go (Go 2003) with B-mesons, and again the results favored the quantum mechanical predictions.

    The outcomes of the Bell tests provide dramatic confirmations of the prima facie entanglement of many quantum states of systems consisting of 2 or more constituents, and hence of the existence of holism in physics at a fundamental level. Actually, the first confirmation of entanglement and holism antedated Bell's work, since Bohm and Aharonov (1957) demonstrated that the results of Wu and Shaknov (1950), Compton scattering of the photon pairs produced in positronium annihilation, already showed the entanglement of the photon pairs.

    The experiment of Weihs et al. does not completely block the detection loophole, and even if the experiment proposed by Fry and Walther is successfully completed, it will still be the case that the detection loophole and the communication loophole will have been blocked in two different experiments. It is therefore conceivable — though with difficulty, in the subjective judgment of the present writer — that both experiments are erroneous, because Nature took advantage of a separate loophole in each case. For this reason Fry and Walther suggest that their experiment using dissociated mercury dimers can in principle be refined by using electro-optic modulators (EOM), so as to block both loopholes: “Specifically, the EOM together with a beam splitting polarizer can, in a couple of nanoseconds, change the propagation direction of the excitation laser beam and hence the component of nuclear spin angular momentum being observed. A separation between our detectors of approximately 12 m will be necessary in order to close the locality loophole” (Fry & Walther 2002) [See Fig. 2 and also note that “locality loophole” is their term for the communication loophole.]

    In the face of the spectacular experimental achievement of Weihs et al. and the anticipated result of the experiment of Fry and Walther there is little that a determined advocate of local realistic theories can say except that, despite the spacelike separation of the analysis-detection events involving particles 1 and 2, the backward light-cones of these two events overlap, and it is conceivable that some controlling factor in the overlap region is responsible for a conspiracy affecting their outcomes.

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  9. Sep 5, 2011 #8
    As far as I remember, that experiment showed that entangled particles have a 50% chance of being in a certain state, and 100% chance of being correlated. For me, that read like evidence that the underlying system must be deterministic, so I failed to see what all the fuzz was about?
  10. Sep 9, 2011 #9
    You simply don't understand science has been turned by the mathematicians into a religion that cannot be challenged, you are marching up a dead end.
    One final meta -physical concept. Einstein when he invented the Photon gave as one of the reasons that a wave front cannot meaningfully ( energy transfer ) interact with a single bound electron. But if as I have argued that light is oscillations in existing lines of force, then the lines of force radiating out from the electron act as a 'net'. The fact that a min frequency is required comes from the fact that the electron has to jump a discrete energy level to be free. These energy levels are argued to be the result of 'standing waves' set by the dualistic nature of matter. There are others who argue that intensity itself at short distances has directional changes forming 'wells' which trap particles at discrete energy levels,
    I will be discontinuing contributions to this thread, I find like many others that there is a guild mentality job protection attitude amongst professional scientists, which discourages the free mind.
  11. Sep 9, 2011 #10


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    Your premises are nonsensical and contrary to fact but as long as you believe them, you would not enjoy this forum.
  12. Sep 19, 2011 #11
    Hey Guillaume, don't give up dude.

    Part of the fun of forums like this is to engage in debate and test out your ideas. there are loads of physics experts reading the posts who can help you clarify your understanding. Just keep an open mind. there is no guild mentality really, just lots of physicists who think in similar ways, but you will also find exceptional thinkers who have other views if you persist.

    As for your original question:
    (1) the classical field theory "lines of force" have been explained as really fictional constructs that are emergent from particle exchange forces (gauge theories), as you original post implies.
    (2) the spacetime distortions of Einstein's gravity have also been partially explained as emergent constructs due to graviton exchange. But this theory is less certain, since no one has ever detected gravitons. So for now you can still go about assuming gravity is a force which acts via distortions in spacetime as explained by Einstein's theory.

    Thus, there are no action-at-a-distance forces that we know of anymore. All known fundamental forces have been explained either by boson particle exchange or spacetime distortions. Whether current theories are correct or still need clarification (most likely) is something only further experimental evidence can answer.
  13. Sep 24, 2011 #12
    I am trying to reply but whether by Physics Forum or by Mail.com I keep being cut off
  14. Sep 24, 2011 #13
    I was not intending to contribute any more but the news about faster than light particles (not that I believe it ) has prompted me into action. To reiterate I am not introducing some new theory of Physics I am simply disatified with both Quatum and Relativity Theories and I am playing with ideas in order to stimulate others. I am not a great lover of Aether theories as they smack of the 'Hand of God' however I shall continue with them in the wan t of better, certainly they are no more 'cranky' than 'dual nature of matter' or 'space /time dimensional continuum'.
    Speed of light as the maximum velocity of particles? Doesn't the 'ponderators' prove this? An analogy movement of abody in air - force required Kv2. However approach the speed of sound and the reqirement is greatly increased. I have described mass as mearly the constant ( based on the some of point sources ) in the equaion
    F = ka
    It can be viewed as the resistance of the Aether to changes in the relationship of point sources. As such it can be expanded
    F = K(1/(1-v2/c2)) In other words increasing resistance to change a 'light barrier' instead of a sound barrier. But all such effects are usually rlated to the acceleration of CHARGED particles with respect to earth. One assumes that the lines of force emited by the particles follow it and since accelaration in this case must certainly be limited by the speed of light this 'resistance' ios not to supprising.
    But what happens with truely neutral particles?
    I must appologise for spelling but as I exspect to be cut of at any moment I have not the time to check. You either understand me or you don't
  15. Sep 24, 2011 #14


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    Please post any valid questions in the appropriate physics sub forums.
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