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Can You Explain the One-electron Universe ?

  1. Mar 13, 2013 #1
    Can You Explain the "One-electron Universe"?

    I am having trouble understanding the One-electron Universe theory propose by John Wheeler. I suppose I understand the concept, but not how it could be possible and why it might be the case.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2013 #2


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    noname2020x, The first thing to understand about it is that not every proposal is ever intended to be taken seriously. :wink:

    Q. Why is it that of all the electrons in the universe are exactly alike?
    A. Because they're all the same electron.

    This was an outgrowth of the idea that positrons are just electrons moving backwards in time, and every time it seems to us that an electron-positron pair is created or destroyed, what really happened is that the electron reversed its time direction and became a positron. (Or vice versa.)

    If this is so, an electron could be zigzagging back and forth in time, and we'd see it as many different electrons rather than just one. So - how many electrons are really different, and how many are just duplicate appearances of the same one?? Maybe they're all the same! :eek:

    Even if you buy the idea that positrons move backwards in time, the obvious thing wrong about this proposal is that you'd see equal numbers of electrons and positrons, and that is simply not the case. The universe is almost entirely and exclusively made of normal matter. The correct statement is that there is one field, the electron field, of which both electrons and positrons are elementary excitations, and for that reason they are indeed identical.
  4. Mar 13, 2013 #3


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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
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