Reflections on Inaccuracies in Quantum Physics
(c) Robert Neil Boyd

Commentary by R. N. Boyd on the following article: (link expired): The Interview, Carver Mead, September/October 2001, The American Spectator

[Article]: Once upon a time, Caltech's Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate leader of the last great generation of physicists, threw down the gauntlet to anyone rash enough to doubt the fundamental weirdness, the quark-bosonmuon-strewn amusement park landscape of late 20th century quantum physics. "Things on a very small scale behave like nothing you have direct experience about. They do not behave like waves. They do not behave like particles… or like anything you have ever seen get used to it."

[R. N. Boyd]: According to Bohm, in his book "Quantum Theory" at page 135, "... a contradiction of the uncertainty principle at any point would make the entire wave-particle duality untenable."

That is where we are. Uncertainty is out the window.

Feynman was right.

[Article]: Carver Mead never has.

As Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech, Mead was Feynman's student, colleague and collaborator, as well as Silicon Valley's physicist in residence and leading intellectual. He picks up Feynman's challenge in a new book, Collective Electrodynamics (MIT Press), declaring that a physics that does not make sense, that defies human intuition, is obscurantist: It balks thought and intellectual progress. It blocks the light of the age.

[R. N. Boyd]: The present commonly accepted physics leaves out several elements critical to understanding what is really going on. These elements are:

  1. Subquantum events, along with indications of the infinite divisibility of particles. -Mass infinitesimals arise in QM, relativity, and classical mechanics.
  2. The infinite divisibility of time. -Time infinitesimals. (See Kozyrev and Finkelstein.)
  3. Varieties of infinite velocity events, such as Moebius transform E/M and the various graviphotons. -Nonlocal connectedness is a fact.
  4. Continuous multidimensional involvements with this reality, and its physics.
  5. Consciousness -There is nothing that is not involved in some manner, with consciousness. The correct understanding of the physics of consciousness must incorporate the elements of this list. An exclusively quantum mechanical view will fail, as such a view leaves out the energetics of volition, emotion, intention, and attention, all of which demonstrably alter the quantum potential.
  6. Infinite divisibility of space -Simply, there is always a smaller measurement which can be obtained. Lattice theories and the various metrical theories are thus limited in viability to discrete domains, such as the Planck length. Below this domain, they will fail.
  7. The composite of 1 through 6, above, composes identically, the "hidden variables" which Bohm was seeking so ardently.

[Article]: During a lifetime in the trenches of the semiconductor industry, Mead developed a growing uneasiness about the "standard model" that supposedly governed his field. Mead did not see his electrons and photons as random or incoherent.

[R. N. Boyd]: He was correct in this view, in my view.

[Article]: He regarded the concept of the "point particle" as an otiose legacy from the classical era.

[R. N. Boyd]: There are mass infinitesimals. The particles with which we have direct acquaintance, are all extended particles, having a finite and measurable volume. (See Bohm, "The Undivided Universe")

[Article]: Early photodetectors or Geiger counters may have provided both visual and auditory testimony that photons were point particles, but the particulate click coarsely concealed a measurable wave.

[R. N. Boyd]: Photons are extended particles. They have measurable length, breadth, etc.

[Article]: Central to Mead's rescue project is a series of discoveries inconsistent with the prevailing conceptions of quantum mechanics. One was the laser. As late as 1956, Bohr and Von Neumann, the paragons of quantum theory, arrived at the Columbia laboratories of Charles Townes, who was in the process of describing his invention. With the transistor, the laser is one of the most important inventions of the twentieth century. Designed into every CD player and long distance telephone connection, lasers today are manufactured by the billions. At the heart of laser action is perfect alignment of the crests and troughs of myriad waves of light. Their location and momentum must be theoretically knowable. But this violates the holiest canon of Copenhagen theory: Heisenberg Uncertainty.

[R. N. Boyd]: Exactly! As I've said.

[Article]: Bohr and Von Neumann proved to be true believers in Heisenberg's rule. Both denied that the laser was possible. When Townes showed them one in operation, they retreated artfully.

[R. N. Boyd]: They obfuscated. Muddied the waters so that the truth could not be seen. Rather than serving science and humanity, they served their personal interests.

[Article]: In Collective Electrodynamics, Mead cites nine other experimental discoveries, from superconductive currents to masers, to Bose-Einstein condensates predicted by Einstein but not demonstrated until 1995. These discoveries of large-scale, coherent quantum phenomena all occurred after Bohr's triumph over Einstein.

[R. N. Boyd]: Bohr never triumphed over Einstein, in my opinion. Bell's theorum upset both the then prevailing views of relativity theory and QM. Bell's theorum holds empirically.

[Article]: Mead does not banish the mystery from science. He declares that physics is vastly farther away from a fundamental grasp of nature than many of the current exponents of a grand unified theory imagine.

[R. N. Boyd]: See my remark above which delineates some of those missing factors. I am certain there will be other factors discovered in the future. For example, it will be found that Divinity is an actual and operative fact of the physics. The process of discovery is endless, IMO.

[Article]: But he believes he can explain the nature of the famous mysteries of quantum science, from the two slit experiment where "particles" go through two holes at once to the perplexities of "entanglement," where action on a quantum entity at one point of the universe can affect entities at other remote points at speeds faster than the speed of light. In his new interpretation, quantum physics is united with electromagnetism and the venerable Maxwell Equations are found to be dispensable.

[R. N. Boyd]: Maxwell is not dispensed with at all. Rather Maxwell is further enhanced when the correct understandings are obtained.

[Article]: But Mead does not bow humbly before all of Einstein's conceptions. He dismisses the photoelectric effect as an artifact of early twentieth century apparatus.

[R. N. Boyd]: I think Mead is wrong regarding the photoelectric effect.

[Article]: He also believes that General Relativity conceals more than it illuminates about gravitation. "All the important details are smoothed over by Einstein's curvature of space time." Gravity remains shrouded in mystery.

[R. N. Boyd]: Not entirely. Relativity indicates that QM is off-base where quantum fluctuations create curvatures of the space-time of 10 e-66 cm-2, smaller than the Planck length by far, indicating subquantum entities. However, relativity does not include the effects of consciousness on the observable reality, so relativity is also incomplete. The new physics will incorporate understandings as I delineated in the itemized list above.

[Article]: Bohr insisted that the laws of physics, at the most fundamental level, are statistical in nature. Physical reality consisted at its base of statistical probabilities governed by Heisenberg uncertainty. Bohr saw these uncertainties as intrinsic to reality itself, and he and his followers enshrined that belief in what came to be known as the "Copenhagen interpretation" of quantum theory. By contrast Einstein famously argued that "the Lord does not throw dice." He believed that electrons were real and he wrote, in 1949, that he was "firmly convinced that the essentially statistical character of contemporary quantum theory is solely to be ascribed to the fact that this [theory] operates with an incomplete description of physical systems."

[R. N. Boyd]: Einstein was ABSOLUTELY CORRECT that QM is an incomplete description of reality. And relativity is ALSO an incomplete description!

[Article]: So how did Bohr and the others come to think of nature as ultimately random, discontinuous? They took the limitations of their cumbersome experiments as evidence for the nature of reality. Using the crude equipment of the early twentieth century, it's amazing that physicists could get any significant results at all. So I have enormous respect for the people who were able to discern anything profound from these experiments. If they had known about the coherent quantum systems that are commonplace today, they wouldn't have thought of using statistics as the foundation for physics.

[R. N. Boyd]: Yeah. And we wouldn't be living in the global psychology we are experiencing as the result of these erroneous assumptions. There is more certainty as our understandings of the physical universe become more complete, rather than less certainty.

[Article]: Statistics in this sense means what? That an electron is either here, or there, or some other place, and all you can know is the probability that it is in one place or the other. Bohr ended up saying that the only statements you can make at the fundamental level are statistical. You cannot grasp the reality itself, only probabilities related to it. They really, really, wanted to have the last word, and the only word they had was statistical. So they made their limitations the last word, saying, "Okay, the only knowledge that there is down deep is statistical knowledge. That's all we can know." That's a very dangerous thing to say. It is always possible to gain a deeper understanding as time progresses.

[R. N. Boyd]: I am in complete agreement with Mead here!

[Article]: What about Schroedinger? Back in the 1920s, didn't he say something like what you are saying now? That's right. He felt that he could develop a wave theory of the electron that could explain how all this worked. But Bohr was more into "principles": the uncertainty principle, the exclusion principle—this, that, and the other. He was very much into the postulational mode. But Schroedinger thought that a continuum theory of the electron could be successful. So he went to Copenhagen to work with Bohr. He felt that it was a matter of getting a "political" consensus; you know, this is a historic thing that is happening. But whenever Schroedinger tried to talk, Bohr would raise his voice and bring up all these counter-examples. Basically he shouted him down.

It sounds like vanity.

Of course. It was a period when physics was full of huge egos. It was still going on when I got into the field. But it doesn't make sense, and it isn't the way science works in the long run. It may forestall people from doing sensible work for a long time, which is what happened. They ended up derailing conceptual physics for the next 70 years.

[R. N. Boyd]:I hope only 70 years!

[Article]: So early on you knew that electrons were real.

The electrons were real, the voltages were real, the phase of the sine-wave was real, the current was real. These were real things. They were just as real as the water going down through the pipes. You listen to the technology, and you know that these things are totally real, and totally intuitive.

But they're also waves, right? Then what are they waving in?

It's interesting, isn't it? That has hung people up ever since the time of Clerk Maxwell, and it's the missing piece of intuition that we need to develop in young people. The electron isn't the disturbance of something else. It is its own thing. The electron is the thing that's wiggling, and the wave is the electron. It is its own medium.

[R. N. Boyd]: Here, I don't agree. The electron is generating a wave system in the subquantum particulate substrate which accompanies the particle in the manner of a DeBroglie wave. The particle is not separable from its "wake" in the media. So in this sense, the electron has both wave and particle aspects. The particle is a disturbance, a perturbation, which propagates waves through the media, which may be viewed as continuous, at the subquantum level.

[Article]: You don't need something for it to be in, because if you did it would be buffeted about and all messed up.

[R. N. Boyd]: Not if it were subquantum!

[Article]: So the only pure way to have a wave is for it to be its own medium.

[R. N. Boyd]: Nope. See above.

[Article]: The electron isn't something that has a fixed physical shape.

[R. N. Boyd]: There is no evidence for such a statement.

[Article]: Waves propagate outwards, and they can be large or small. That's what waves do.

[R. N. Boyd]: Waves also propagate INWARDS, as Ross Tessien has accurately pointed out. Mead should acquaint himself with Tessien's work, in these regards.

[Article]: So how big is an electron?

It expands to fit the container it's in.

[R. N. Boyd]: No. It does not. The wave system, the disturbance, expands through the volume. NOT the particle responsible for originating the wave system in the subquantum media, which itself, retains definite physical measurements. However, the electron and all the other elemental particles are composites of smaller particles, which combine to result in the particle as we commonly know it.


[Article]: That may be a positive charge that's attracting it—a hydrogen atom—or the walls of a conductor. A piece of wire is a container for electrons. They simply fill out the piece of wire. That's what all waves do.

[R. N. Boyd]: Ah yes! The WAVES do this. NOT the particle itself!

[Article]: If you try to gather them into a smaller space, the energy level goes up.

[R. N. Boyd]: Simple wave mechanics inform us that this statement is correct.

[Article]: That's what these Copenhagen guys call the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. But there's nothing uncertain about it. It's just a property of waves. Confine them, and you have more wavelengths in a given space, and that means a higher frequency and higher energy. But a quantum wave also tends to go to the state of lowest energy, so it will expand as long as you let it. You can make an electron that's ten feet across, there's no problem with that. It's its own medium, right? And it gets to be less and less dense as you let it expand. People regularly do experiments with neutrons that are a foot across.

[R. N. Boyd]: NO!!! It's the WAVE that is a foot across! Not the particle! Argh!

[Article]: A ten-foot electron! Amazing!

[R. N. Boyd]: Delusional!

[Article]: It could be a mile. The electrons in my superconducting magnet are > that long.

[R. N. Boyd]: No they aren't. The DeBroglie-like waves are that long.

[Article]: A mile-long electron! That alters our picture of the world—most people's minds think about atoms as tiny solar systems.

[R. N. Boyd]: Another example of the public delusions created by bad science.

However, if one views ONLY the wave systems generated by the particles in the media, it workable to take the view that electrons can be a mile long. In fact, DeBroglie mass-waves can expand to billions of miles in extent, in less than a second! DeBroglie waves can also be superluminal, although the majority wants strongly to disbelieve this fact.

[Article]: Right, that's what I was brought up on—this little grain of something. Now it's true that if you take a proton and you put it together with an electron, you get something that we call a hydrogen atom. But what that is, in fact, is a self-consistent solution of the two waves interacting with each other. They want to be close together because one's positive and the other is negative, and when they get closer that makes the energy lower. But if they get too close they wiggle too much and that makes the energy higher. So there's a place where they are just right, and that's what determines the size of the hydrogen atom. And that optimum is a self-consistent solution of the Schroedinger equation.

[R. N. Boyd]: Very good! Seems to be a proper description of the hydrogen atom.

[Article]: So much for the idea of the quantum world as microscopic...

[R. N. Boyd]: Well, it is. And it is macroscopic in the wave-systems. And it is also subquantum!

[Article]: Bohr and his followers had this notion that you got to the quantum world only when things were very small. Well that's because the only thing they knew that exhibited quantum characteristics was an atom. They said, "Well, an atom is so small, we'll never see one." Now, it turns out, people have put atoms in cavities and you can see a single atom perfectly well.

[R. N. Boyd]: Yes. And with my technique, I believe it is possible to see subquantum entities perfectly well.

[Article]: That experiment has been done many times now. In fact, if you do it properly, you can make atoms totally coherent. Do that with a lot of them, and you get Bose-Einstein condensate—a bunch of atoms in phase that act like one big matter wave. It was first demonstrated in 1995 by Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman in Colorado.

The early experiments that dealt with things like black-body radiation and light passing though double slits—couldn't they detect those effects?

The experiments on which the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics were based were extremely crude by modern standards. The detectors available—Geiger counters, cloud chambers, and photographic film—had a high degree of randomness built in, and, by their very nature, could register only statistical results. The atomic sources were similarly constrained—large ensembles of atoms, with no mechanism for achieving phase coherence. Understandably, the experiments that could be imagined were all of a statistical sort.

The most famous of those experiments involved a "single" photon that somehow succeeded in going through two holes at once.

That uses a point-particle model for the "photon"— a little bullet carrying energy. If you define the problem this way, of course, you get nonsense. Garbage in, garbage out.

So how should we think of a photon?

[R. N. Boyd]: As a helical particle which creates an accompanying wake in the subquantum media.

[Article]: John Cramer at the University of Washington was one of the first to describe it as a transaction between two atoms. At the end of his book, Schroedinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality, John Gribbin gives a nice overview of Cramer's interpretation and says that "with any luck at all it will supersede the Copenhagen interpretation as the standard way of thinking about quantum physics for the next generation of scientists."

So that transaction is itself a wave?

The field that describes that transaction is a wave, that's right.

So how about "Schroedinger's cat"—the thought experiment he proposed to illustrate the impossible conundrum of quantum theory. The cat is in a closed box, with a quantum-based trigger that either does or does not release poison. Gribbin summarizes the standard Copenhagen view of the situation: "Neither of the two possibilities has any reality unless it is observed." So is the cat dead or alive? The standard quantum-theory answer—we're quoting Gribbin again—would be: "The cat has neither been killed nor not been killed until we look inside the box to see what happened." In other words, reality is observer-dependent.

That is probably the biggest misconception that has come out of the Copenhagen view. The idea that the observation of some event makes it somehow more "real" became entrenched in the philosophy of quantum mechanics, and, like the other misconceptions, is said to be confirmed by experiment. Even the slightest reflection will show how silly it is. An observer is an assembly of atoms. What is different about the observer's atoms from those of any other object? What if the data are taken by computer? Do the events not happen until the scientist gets home from vacation and looks at the printout? It is ludicrous!

[R. N. Boyd]: Agreed. Bohm also agrees.

[Article]: Gribbin goes on to describe an experiment with entangled photons, which shows quantum entities affecting one another at long distances with no passage of time. He says this "proves that there is no underlying reality to the world."

[R. N. Boyd]: To the contrary! It proves that there IS an underlying reality to the world!~

[Article]: That is the experiment proposed by John Bell, the late Irish physicist, and done in its most definitive form by John Clauser—I'm currently in discussion with him about his fascinating findings. But the results say nothing whatsoever about what is and is not real.

In your book, you ambitiously redraw the boundaries of physics. In the "dark age" of the last 70 years, you say, a fundamental distinction was drawn between classical physics—mechanics, electricity and magnetism—and modern physics, consisting of quantum theory and relativity. Bohr connected the two with his "correspondence principle." What was that?

That was one of the big mistakes they made. They wanted the quantum domain to approximate the classical Newtonian world. And it simply doesn't. But Bohr believed that if you picked a limit where there are enough wavelengths, everything would average out to the same result you get from Newtonian physics.

[R. N. Boyd]: There are still problems here. For example, I have recently discovered that the Planck's constant is a relative constant. That is to say, that it is only a constant in the given context.

There must be a Planck's constant which is related to velocity, as well as frequency, for the cases of Moebius transform E/M and graviphotons, which are allowed propagation velocities from zero to infinity. That is to say, that for non-Lorentzian E/M, the Planck's constant must vary from the Lorentzian norm. Because of this, relativity theory needs to be developed for every possible velocity of non-Lorentzian E/M. In other words, relativity needs to be generalized to address velocities from zero to infinity. Also, at infinite velocity, there can be no time.

For the cases of Moebius transform E/M and graviphotons, it is clear that standard relativity theory must be drastically modified, as the constant velocity of light "c", has vanished completely. Graviphotons are identically the non-local connectedness of quantum physics, where these E/M propagations have attained velocities exceeding "c", up to infinite velocity propagations, which must be treated as a special case. If it is found that graviphotons have any direct involvement with our reality, which is strongly likely to be the case, relativity theory will need an overhaul to account for the associated FTL phenomena. (If it can.)

There are also some interesting effects regarding Lorentzian E/M. For example, in the situation of an oscillating mass, such as a pendulum, the constant in the equation E = nhv (where v is frequency and n is some integer) the energy is the very small quantity of about 6.6 e-27 erg-sec, which is not detectable by our instrumentation, whereas in the case of microwave radiation of 10 e10 cycles per second, the basic unit of energy is still only 6.6 e10-17 erg, while at light frequencies of v ~ 10 e15, hv ~ 10 e-12 erg, which is barely measurable. Now it appears that the value of hv will attain the value of 1.0 erg at some frequency greater than 10 e27 cps. By this, it appears that v >10 e27 should be an interesting energetic domain!

I think we are looking at the edge of the next layer of physics when we are examining faster than light events and subquantum events. Faster than light events must supersede relativity theory. Subquantum events must supersede quantum theory. Studies in these two areas will dramatically change the face of physics in the near future.

For example, Unruh's principle, which holds that anything which is accelerated must experience itself to be embedded in a "hot gas" of photons, the temperature of which "gas" is proportional to the acceleration. Given by:

T = a(hbar/ 2 pi c)

where T is temperature, c is the velocity of light in the media, and a is acceleration.

Clearly, Unruh's principle is invalid for any faster than light events!

[Article]: So by "correspondence," he meant a correspondence between the quantum world and the larger Newtonian world?

Yes. And that was the wrong assumption.

[R. N. Boyd]: Not so. Everything is in correspondence! Superluminally!!!!

[Article]: When you get to coherent quantum systems, they don't have a Newtonian limit at all.

[R. N. Boyd]: That's true.

[Article]: Coherent quantum systems "scale" in a way that is entirely different.

[R. N. Boyd]: That is also true.

[Article]: You propose dividing physics into "coherent" and "incoherent" systems. What's the difference?

Okay. The quantum world is a world of waves, not particles. So we have to think of electron waves and proton waves and so on. Matter is "incoherent" when all its waves have a different wavelength, implying a different momentum.

[R. N. Boyd]: Accurate.

[Article]: On the other hand, if you take a pure quantum system—the electrons in a superconducting magnet, or the atoms in a laser—they are all in phase with one another, and they demonstrate the wave nature of matter on a large scale. Then you can see quite visibly what matter is down at its heart.

[R. N. Boyd]: Not quite. You can't see the substructures this way.

[Article]: Perhaps we can compare it to water in a bathtub. If you "reinforce" the bath water at the right moment, a big wave will suddenly slosh out onto the floor. That is the macro equivalent of what you are describing. But when the little wavelets lap against one another, then not much happens—incoherence, in other words. Is that right?

[R. N. Boyd]: Not exactly. But, if we consider the water behavior as related to the behaviors of a subquantum superfluidic media, then perhaps we may obtain substantial results from such an approach.

[Article]: That's right. In the coherent system, the waves are all in phase. But now, instead of water, let's think of something solid, say a billiard ball. A billiard ball is an incoherent mixture of lots of little matter "waves" that are interfering with one another all the time.

[R. N. Boyd]: So why is it a billiard ball? [duh!] What coheres the form?

[Article]: But to our everyday understanding, on the "macro" level, a billiard ball is also "coherent" in the usual sense of that word. It obeys Newton's laws, for example. Throw it with a certain velocity and we can predict where it will land.

[R. N. Boyd]: Yeah, and that brings up another problem with any wave-only theory: the problem of mass. How do you get inertia out of a wave-only system if the wave itself is not comprised of massive entities?????????????????

[Article]: Right, but that is a different sense of the word. As I describe them, coherent and incoherent systems are dominated by different sets of physical laws. With the incoherent systems that we see all around us, time is one-directional. And things that come apart don't spontaneously come together again. And the inertia—of the billiard ball, for example—increases linearly with the number of atoms. With coherent systems, on the other hand, time is two-directional, and inertia increases with the square of the number of elements.

[R. N. Boyd]: Feynman would disagree.

[Article]: In a superconducting magnet, the electron inertia increases with the square of the number of electrons. That's foreign to Newtonian thinking, which is why Feynman had trouble with it. A coherent system is not more real, but it is much more pure and fundamental.

[R. N. Boyd]: This is backwards. Can you see why I would say that?

[Article]: Can we finesse this business about time going backwards and forwards? Understanding quantum physics is hard enough as it is! When Bohr proposed the correspondence principle, he wanted to keep a single set of laws: "As above, so below." And yes, in the microcosm, when things are jumbled up and "incoherent," it does approximate the physics of the macro-world. But under appropriate conditions—what you term coherence—the micro-world seems to operates in a quite different way?

Right—Bohr put his foot on the wrong stone, the Newtonian side rather than the quantum side. The underlying reason is that Newtonian physics was phrased in terms of things like position and momentum and force which are all characteristics of particles. Bohr was wedded to particles.

[R. N. Boyd]: And he still didn't get it right!!!

[Article]: Are coherence and incoherence absolutes—can something be "a little bit pregnant?"

Yes, it can be. Light from an ordinary fluorescent bulb has a certain amount of coherence, but light from incandescent bulbs has almost none. With coherence, all the waves have a common phase. When they're out of phase you get all these fringes and interference patterns.

[R. N. Boyd]: Yes. And...

[Article]: "Coherence" seems comparable to electricity—it has existed forever, and we could see it in the sky as lightning, but only in the nineteenth century were we able to harness it. And only recently have we been able to harness coherent phenomena.

[R. N. Boyd]: Shpilman's coherent electrons!!!

[Article]: Right. And once we have harnessed them in the laboratory, and begin to understand them, we can start to see them in the universe around us. There are increasing indications that many of the objects in the universe have coherent things going on in them. There are known to be masers in the atmospheres of some stars. It's now thought that a lot of the beaming of pulsars has to do with laser-like action. That's just surmised from the actions of these very mysterious objects— mysterious within the normal realm of incoherent physics. The universe is probably full of coherent physics.

[R. N. Boyd]: Coherences are caused by Consciousnesses. This fact must not, and cannot be overlooked. Functions of organization (as opposed to incoherence) will be found to be inevitably related to energetics of consciousness, e.g., divergences in the quantum potential resulting from alterations of the symplectic E/M, resulting directly from all manner of Consciousness.

[Article]: That brings us back to Einstein—experimental results continue to vindicate his viewpoint, no?

The Bose-Einstein condensate, for example, or the quantum hall effect, or the superconducting quantum interference device—I list ten of them in my book, beginning in the mid-1930s and going up through 1995. Not many of your readers will have heard of them. But most people know what lasers and superconductors are, and they demonstrate nature acting in ways that Bohr and Heisenberg did not anticipate—a coherent state. Unfortunately, it was not until the 1960s that those results became widely known. So Einstein didn't have that information. He predicted coherent phenomena, but he didn't have a single example that he could actually get his hands on.

So orthodoxy won the day.

[R. N. Boyd]: Pity isn't it? Are we going to make the same mistake?

[Article]: And after Bohr defeated Einstein, nobody else would take on the argument. Because if they put Einstein under, think what they would do to you.

And yet it all turned on some very open questions...

Einstein's basic point was that unpredictability does not mean intrinsic uncertainty.

[R. N. Boyd]: Agreed!

[Article]: His other complaint was that Bohr was removing understanding from the field of physics. Bohr argued quite passionately that intuitive understanding was just not possible any more, and that you were old-fashioned if you insisted on it.

[R. N. Boyd]: Pardon my comment, but YUK, icky!

[Article]: And so mathematical description was substituted for understanding?

[R. N. Boyd]: There we are! My ways are vindicated yet again! Understanding IS more important.

[Article]: Absolutely. It's conceptual nonsense.

[R. N. Boyd]: Yay!

[Article]: You can calculate stuff with the theory, but the words people put around it don't make any sense. That had the effect of driving the more conceptually-oriented students out of physics. We have ended up with more and more mathematicians in the physics departments. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with mathematics—it's the language we use to express the precise relations of physical law. But there is an increasing tendency to mistake the language for the physics itself.

[R. N. Boyd]: Hear hear!!

[Article]: Once we lose the conceptual foundations, the whole thing becomes a shell game.

[R. N. Boyd]: Boy, you got that right!

[Article]: There are very few conceptual workers left in the field. Feynman was one of the last ones, and he wasn't willing to take on the Copenhagen clan. Nobody was, until we come to A. O. Barut, John Dowling, John Cramer, and a few others.

[R. N. Boyd]: Like Kiehn, and Smith, and perhaps me, although I'm not in the same league as Kiehn and Smith. At least those two guys contemplate what I have to say.

Sarfatti seems to be hoist on his own petard, composed of his various narrow-minded prejudices. A pity, really...

[Article]: A lot of the trouble seems to come down to the idea of matter being composed of particles, rather than waves.

Point particles got us into terrible trouble.

[R. N. Boyd]: But they aren't POINT PARTICLES!!! Particles have finite and measurable extent!!! In "The Undivided Universe" at page 214, Bohm says, "...Using the relation for the frequency of rotation of a particle that we obtained earlier, we can easily see that to have a spin one-half, we would need an electron the size of the Compton wavelength. But we know this cannot be allowed because of the experimental data on scattering. In fact this data implies that the electron cannot be larger than about 10 e-16 cm."

He goes on to argue that the angular momentum, hbar/2, would require a peripheral velocity to the edge of the spinning particle to exceed light speed. And in fact this is true!!! Unfortunately, he allowed this exceeding of light velocity to sway his subsequent reasoning with regard to the actual physical extent of particles, erroneously concluding that electrons are point particles. The fact of the matter is, when we eliminate the various UNPROVABLE relativistic assumptions from quantum physics, it all changes. Drastically! When the artificially imposed relativistic limitations are lifted form QM, what stands revealed are extended particles, in all their glorious mystery! Among many other revelations...

[Article]: If you take today's standard theory of particle physics, and the standard theory of gravitation, it is well known that the result is "off" by a factor of maybe ten to the power of 50. That's 10 followed by 49 zeroes. The amount of matter in the universe is way, way more than what is observed. And that discrepancy comes, at its heart, from assuming that matter is made up of point particles.

What's the problem with them?

Because point particles are assumed to occupy no space, they have to be accompanied by infinite charge density, infinite mass density, infinite energy density.

[R. N. Boyd]: Yeah! That's a REAL PROBLEM! With extended particles, all these difficulties go away.

[Article]: Then these infinities get removed once more by something called "renormalization."

[R. N. Boyd]: Flunk! Renormalization is wrong!!! Always. Wrong.

[Article]: It's all completely crazy. But our physics community has been hammering away at it for decades. Einstein called it Ptolemaic epicycles all over again.

[R. N. Boyd]: Yeah, he's right. That is what we are dealing with regarding relativity theory and QM at this moment. Both theories are incomplete, as I itemized early on.

[Article]: Hold on...epicycles?

Ptolemaic astronomers assumed that the earth was at the center. But then it became more and more complex to calculate the orbits of visible planets. When you assume the earth is the center, you have to add epicycles to the existing orbits to adjust them. In the same way, when you assume photons are point particles, and all you can calculate is probability, you have to add epicycles of conceptual nonsense to "explain" even the simplest experiment.

So when results don't fit theory. . .

The theory has to be adjusted, with band-aids stuck on top of one another. This happens all the time with science, but especially with the statistical quantum theory. It takes enormous work to take that theory and work it into a form that is useful for anything except those questions that it was initially devised for. And the band-aid epicycles are then announced as a triumph for the theory. It's amazing how long they have gotten away with it.

[R. N. Boyd]: I agree! But that's not the only thing wrong...

[Article]: Is there a message in all this?

What this is telling us is that we have simply not been thinking about it right. We have to start working through the whole subject again. And that is going to take real work. I've gotten a little start on various pieces of it. Barut and Dowling got some wonderful results with the hydrogen atom. But there's a whole lot more work to do.

Running through your work is the idea that the deeper thing is probably simpler.

It always worked out that when I understood something, it turned out to be simple. Take the connection between the quantum stuff and the electrodynamics in my book. It took me thirty years to figure out, and in the end, it was almost trivial. It's so simple that any freshman could read it and understand it. But it was hard for me to get there because all of this historical junk was in the way.

Much has been made of the philosophical implications of quantum theory.

Once Bohr and Heisenberg won scientific the debates, they went around pontificating about philosophy.

What was the thrust?

They said that if the quantum world is inherently uncertain, if the only information about basic physics is statistical, then we need to rethink our view of all of reality. In a way it was a throwback to the old arguments between science and religion. Newtonians used the ability to predict the planets' positions as a refutation of standard religion, which said, well, "God puts them where he wants and you have just have to have faith about that." Religion didn't need to take a stand against Newton, but it chose to, starting with Galileo. And this terrible polarization set in.

So quantum theorists took us back to the unknowable, where things have to be taken on faith or on authority?

[R. N. Boyd]: How perfectly awful!!! And here we are suffering because of it, to this day.

[Article]: Yes, but as we look out at the universe today, there's nothing that makes it anything but more awesome. In fact, as we look back at those pictures and we think, "Now how could anyone who had any deep sense of faith believe in a God that would make stars by punching little holes in a cardboard sky?"

What was anti-religious about the Newtonian view? He was personally religious.

Nothing, but his followers framed the issue as, "If you can predict it, that shows that religion is wrong."

[R. N. Boyd]: Wrong view. It does not at all show religion is wrong. It shows that Divinity is greatly more complex than one's simple set of socially acquired dogmatic beliefs.

[Article]: The quantum theorists reopened the question as "No, you can't predict it, because it's basically statistical."

[R. N. Boyd]: Flunk.

End of commentary.