Peter Morgan
Gold Member
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Why do people who think that quantum theory is great go on and on that classical particle models are impossible? Why do they never mention fields? There are endless articles in Nature on the latest experiment and why classical particle models won't do. Give or take the de BroglieBohm approach and various adhoc models that exploit the detection loophole, I grant that classical particle models are impossible. I also think quantum theory is great. Very pretty mathematics, very useful, sometimes wonderfully simple.
If we want to think in terms of fields, but we want to model experiments, we had better also introduce probability. That means that we have to engage with the mathematics of continuous random fields. These exist in the mathematics literature, and are used in Physics. Classical continuous fields, such as an electromagnetic field that satisfies the Maxwell equations, won't do, sadly, because thermal or quantum fluctuations make the field rather badly defined.
The whole argument is sadly longwinded, because it's enough of a different way of thinking that it needs to establish a lot of basics. For anyone who wants to understand quantum field theory, I offer the two page PDF attachment, "The straw man of quantum physics", as an outline of how to think about experiments in terms of continuous random fields and discrete thermodynamic transitions of finely tuned experimental apparatus, instead of in terms of particles and their properties (the PDF is also available as arXiv:0810.2545 [quantph]).
My question for the thread is: why do you think this paper doesn't work? It's based on several papers that are published in good journals, but this effort has been rejected by a number of big journals, Nature, Nature Physics, Science, and Physics Today, so it's clear that I haven't achieved the leap to the next level. I hope for feedback before trying a new approach next year. Of course people on PF will have ideas that derive from their own theories, which I will be glad to hear, but I'm particularly interested in how people see this paper relative to conventional ideas about quantum theory.
If we want to think in terms of fields, but we want to model experiments, we had better also introduce probability. That means that we have to engage with the mathematics of continuous random fields. These exist in the mathematics literature, and are used in Physics. Classical continuous fields, such as an electromagnetic field that satisfies the Maxwell equations, won't do, sadly, because thermal or quantum fluctuations make the field rather badly defined.
The whole argument is sadly longwinded, because it's enough of a different way of thinking that it needs to establish a lot of basics. For anyone who wants to understand quantum field theory, I offer the two page PDF attachment, "The straw man of quantum physics", as an outline of how to think about experiments in terms of continuous random fields and discrete thermodynamic transitions of finely tuned experimental apparatus, instead of in terms of particles and their properties (the PDF is also available as arXiv:0810.2545 [quantph]).
My question for the thread is: why do you think this paper doesn't work? It's based on several papers that are published in good journals, but this effort has been rejected by a number of big journals, Nature, Nature Physics, Science, and Physics Today, so it's clear that I haven't achieved the leap to the next level. I hope for feedback before trying a new approach next year. Of course people on PF will have ideas that derive from their own theories, which I will be glad to hear, but I'm particularly interested in how people see this paper relative to conventional ideas about quantum theory.
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