# The theory of everything

I think when you’ve absorbed a lot of material, especially the old material, you get a handle on the theory of everything. The Einstein digital papers are important for this. That’s where you learn how gravity works. You learn that light curves because the speed of light is spatially variable. Not because it follows the curvature of spacetime. You learn that a gravitational field is a place where a space is neither homogeneous nor isotropic in a non-linear fashion. Hence when you plot your metrical measurements of space and time, your plot is curved:

###### Gravity probe B image courtesy of NASA, from the Wikipedia Curved Space article

However space is not. A gravitational field is not a place where space is curved. Once you know this, you start wondering about misleading claims like matter tells space how to curve, and why some contemporary authors contradict what Einstein said. It makes you do your own research and think for yourself. Then you ask yourself if there’s a place where space is curved. Then you start reading things like James Clerk Maxwell’s 1861 paper On Physical Lines of Force. He talked about displacement current, and said light consists of “transverse undulations of the same medium which is the cause of electric and magnetic phenomena”. That might sound naïve, but it isn’t. Because when an ocean wave moves through the sea, the sea waves. When a seismic wave moves through the ground, the ground waves. So, what waves when a light wave moves through space? The answer is space. And wherever space is waving, space is curved.

## A field is a state of space

I think that’s the start of the theory of everything. It is, in essence, William Kingdon Clifford’s 1870 space theory of matter. It’s also Einstein’s pure geometrical marble. It isn’t Kaluza-Klein theory with some curled-up extra dimension, it’s more fundamental than that. Simpler. Maxwell combined the electric field and the magnetic field, saying each is an aspect of the greater whole called the electromagnetic field, then Einstein described a field as a state of space. So, how many states of space can there be at any one place? The answer is one. That makes you think about the last line of Einstein’s E=mc² paper. He said radiation conveys inertia between the emitting and absorbing bodies. That means a photon isn’t just some electromagnetic wave propagating through space at c. There’s a gravitational aspect too, and the electromagnetic aspect and the gravitational aspect can not be separated. As to how it hangs together, it’s easier than you think.

## There’s only one wave there, not two

A photon doesn’t consist of an electric wave E and a magnetic wave B orthogonal to one another. The so-called electric wave is merely the spatial derivative of the real wave. The so-called magnetic wave is merely the time derivative. See the Wikipedia electromagnetic radiation article: the curl operator on one side of these equations results in first-order spatial derivatives of the wave solution, while the time-derivative on the other side of the equations, which gives the other field, is first order in time”. For an analogy, imagine you’re in an orange canoe at sea, riding over a 10m tsunami. As the wave approaches, your canoe tilts upward. The degree of tilt denotes E, whilst the rate of change of tilt denotes B. The degree of tilt increases along with the rate of change of tilt. When you’re halfway up the wave, both are at a maximum. Then the tilt starts to decrease, until you’re momentarily at the top of the wave. At this point your canoe is horizontal and has momentarily stopped tilting. Hence it’s a place where E and B are zero, even though the potential is at a maximum. Then as you go down the other side, the situation is reversed. We can plot it like this:

That’s what a photon is like. There’s only one wave there, not two. As for the cells in the upper portion of the picture, note that most of them are twisted, with a spin-1 characteristic. You have to rotate them by 360° before they look the same again. Now look up the centre, where the cells are rectangular. They have a spin-2 characteristic. You only have to rotate them by 180° before they look the same again. You might associate the former with virtual photons and the latter with virtual gravitons, but that’s missing the trick. You should associate twisted cells with electromagnetism, and flattened cells with gravity. But in doing so, you should note that the twisted cells are also flattened. This is the direction of travel for unification and TOEs. Not some GUT that predicts the existence of magnetic monopoles, and not the 25 “fundamental” fields of the Standard Model.

## All photons have a common amplitude

As for what the photon is, there are some outstandings. Does it have an all-round symmetry, like a lemon rather than the upper half of a lemon? Does it have a corkscrew rotation like a lemon with a twist, because circular polarization is more fundamental than linear polarization? I’m not sure. But I am sure that the photon has a quantum nature. All photons have energy E=hf. Planck’s constant of action h is common to all photons, regardless of their frequency f. Action has the dimensionality of momentum × distance, and there’s a distance that’s hiding in plain sight. Look at the pictures of the electromagnetic spectrum. Note how the wave height is always the same regardless of wavelength? As to why, I think of Robert Kemp’s quantization of electromagnetic change, and of light in space moving down a lossless transmission line of its own making. It’s as if space has some kind of elastic limit, so that all photons are like a plucked guitar string. The pluck is always the same, so all photons have a common amplitude regardless of wavelength. I wonder if that was what Hermann Weyl was groping for in his original 1918 gauge invariance paper on Gravitation and Electricity. That’s the paper where he said “in general one cannot separate gravitation and electromagnetism in an arbitrary manner”. And a geometry will come about that will, surprisingly, explain not only the gravitational phenomena, but also the electromagnetic field”. I’m sure he was right.

## Pair production occurs because photons interact with photons, and because this interaction is strong

Something else I’m sure about is that displacement current does what it says on the tin. Because there’s a hole in the heart of quantum electrodynamics, and it’s the size of Texas. See the UCL small tutorial in gamma-gamma physics. It says this: “From Quantum Electro Dynamics (QED) we know that photons cannot couple directly to each other, since they don’t carry charge, but they can interact through higher order processes: a photon can, within the bounds of the uncertainty principle, fluctuate into a charged fermion/anti-fermion pair, to either of which the other photon can couple”. It’s flat out wrong. A 511keV photon does not magically morph into a 511keV electron and a 511keV positron. A 511keV electron and a 511keV positron do not magically morph back into a single 511keV photon. And pair production does not occur because pair production occurs. Pair production occurs because photons interact with photons, and because this interaction is strong.

## Each wave ends up displacing its own path into a closed path

When you know about displacement current and the Williamson/van der Mark electron and Hans Ohanian’s paper on spin, and about the wave nature of matter and about spinors, you can envisage what’s going on. Each wave displaces the other wave into itself. Then each wave ends up displacing its own path into a closed path. A spin ½ “spinor” path, where the minimum and maximum field-variation combine to leave you with an all-round phase-invariant standing field:

###### Sinusoidal strip by me, GNUFDL spinor image by Slawkb, seeWikipedia

Of course, a photon is not some flat sinusoidal strip. It’s a wave in three-dimensional space. Likewise the electron is not some Möbius strip. To depict it we have to inflate the Möbius strip like it’s a flattened inner tube. We inflate it to a torus, then we keep on inflating past the horn-torus stage to the spindle-sphere stage. Only then does it start to resemble an S-orbital electron:

###### Torus animations byAdrian Rossiter, S-orbital image from the 2010Encyclopaedia Britannica

However even that isn’t quite the right picture, because the electron is not some purple sphere with a surface. The electron’s field is what it is, and that field doesn’t have an outer edge. So think of the sphere as something like the eye of the storm, a place where the Poynting vector is going round and round at the speed of light in sweet spherical harmony. Then you get a better picture of what the electron is:

###### Photon depiction by me                                                                                                                                 Electron depiction by me

It’s a 511 keV electromagnetic wave in a double-loop spin ½ chiral closed path, with a toroidal topology and a spherical geometry, and a g-factor of 2.002319. Like I said, the minimum and maximum field-variation combine to form an all-round phase-invariant standing field. Then we call it charge. But we don’t call it a photon any more. We call it an electron. Or a positron, which has the opposite chirality. However it has the same 511 keV mass, because only one wavelength will do to make an electron or a positron. Because only one wavelength is a 2π multiple of the common amplitude that underlies Planck’s constant of action h. That wavelength is 2.42 x 10ˉ¹² m, and the common amplitude is 3.86 x 10ˉ¹³m. There’s two orthogonal components to the spin so it’s a bispinor rotation, where the two elements of wave motion mesh like gears. Interestingly, the Planck length is √(ħG/c³), and when you replace the √(ħG) with a 4π spherical solid angle, you find that 4π/c³ = 2.42 x 10ˉ¹² m. A medical doctor called Andrew Worsley told me about that. Here he is on researchgate talking to Daniel Baldomir, who co-wrote the Geometry of Electromagnetic Systems with Percy Hammond.

## This standing field isn’t really standing of course

That geometry is in essence twisted space. As per the photon, you can associate the twisted cells in the electron depiction with electromagnetism, and the flattened cells with gravity. What flattened cells? The twisted cells. The twisted cells are flattened. Then you can take note of what Frank Wilczek said: “the proper quantum mechanical description of electrons involves wave functions, whose oscillation patterns are standing waves”. But the standing wave isn’t really standing. Standing waves never are. That’s why if you’ve got an optical cavity that consists of a pair of facing mirrors, when you kick away one of the mirrors the light comes out at c. It might look like it accelerated to c in an instant from a standing start, but it didn’t. It was always moving at c. In similar vein electron spin looks static, but it isn’t. It’s dynamical. That’s why the electron goes round in circles in a uniform magnetic field. It’s subject to Larmor precession. It’s rather like the gyroscopic precession of a boomerang. The positron is like a left-handed boomerang that goes round the other way. The electron and the positron go round in circles because they’re “dynamical spinors”. Because spin is real. Not because photons are popping in and out of existence, spontaneously, like worms from mud. And that means the electron’s electromagnetic field isn’t fundamental. So charge isn’t fundamental either. The photon field-variation is more fundamental. The wave is more fundamental than the field.

## Space is twisted

It all makes sense once you see it. See page 26 of Schrödinger’s paper quantization as a problem of proper values, part II. He said “let us think of a wave group of the nature described above, which in some way gets into a small closed ‘path’, whose dimensions are of the order of the wave length”. Also see Maxwell’s subtitle in On Physical Lines of Force: the theory of molecular vortices. Maxwell referred to Ampère as the Newton of electromagnetism, and said this: “a motion of translation along an axis cannot produce a rotation about that axis unless it meets with some special mechanism, like that of a screw”. Hermann Minkowski said something similar in Space and Time. Because it’s the screw nature of electromagnetism featuring linear electric force and rotational magnetic force. Not the point-particle nature of electromagnetism featuring magic and mysticism. It’s not unlike gravitomagnetism where there’s a space-time vortex and frame-dragging, and where “space is twisted”:

###### Gravity-probe B image by James Overduin, Pancho Eekels and Bob Kahn

Don’t forget that gravity probe B precesses. Or that Oliver Heaviside came up with gravitomagnetism via a gravitational and electromagnetic analogy. To depict the electromagnetic field you combine the radial electric field lines with the concentric magnetic field lines, like Maxwell did in his 1871 paper Remarks on the Mathematical Classification of Physical Quantities. He referred to Helmholtz and vortex motion, and to William Thomson aka Lord Kelvin of vortex atom fame. He also referred to Peter Tait, who performed experiments on vortices and came up with the knot zoo. Maxwell had previously written to Tait talking about a worble embracing itself. He said it was the simplest indivisible whorl. In 1913 Gustav Mie talked of knot singularities in the field, nowadays we might call it the trivial knot. That’s what the electron is. It’s also a vortex. An optical vortex. Ditto for the positron. We make electrons and positrons out of light, we can refract them and diffract them, they have a magnetic moment, and when we annihilate them, we get the light back. There are no magical mysterious creation and annihilation operators. Just light changing direction.

## The electron and the positron aren’t throwing photons back and forth

When you know all this, you know why matter can never go faster than light: because it’s just light in a closed path, and because light can’t go faster than light. You also know what E=mc² is all about. The photon has momentum because a wave in an open path has a resistance to change-in-motion. The electron has mass because a wave in a closed path has a resistance to change-in-motion. It’s that simple. The inertia of a body depends upon its energy-content not on anything else. Then when you know that counter-rotating vortices attract, you soon work out why the electron and the positron move the way they do. For example, in positronium, the electron and the positron aren’t throwing photons back and forth. They move towards one another and around one another because each is a dynamical spinor in frame-dragged space. There’s a linear electric force and rotational magnetic force because their spin is real, not because unseen “gauge bosons” are popping into existence and nudging them just so:

###### Leftside CCASA image by Manticorp/Rubber Duck, see Wikipedia, rightside drawing by me

That means there are no messenger particles. Like Cathryn Carson said in the peculiar notion of exchange forces part I and part II, the exchange-particle idea worked its way into QED from the mid-1930s, even though Heisenberg used a neutron model that was later retracted. Now it’s stuck, so the Standard Model can’t tell you how a magnet works. It can’t even tell you why two wires with currents flowing in the opposite direction repel one another. It can’t tell you why when you turn one wire over they now attract. Nor can it tell you that this “trace” force is there because the linear and rotational forces don’t quite balance. Or why when you stop the current, there’s an even weaker trace force there. The force that we call gravity.

## The TOE that Maxwell missed

That’s the TOE that Maxwell missed. He used Newton’s equation V = √(m/ρ), which we nowadays write as c = 1/√(ε0μ0). But it looks like he didn’t read Opticks query 20 about the aethereal medium growing denser by degrees. Or query 30 where Newton said “are not gross bodies and light convertible into one another?”. So Maxwell never lined up his transverse undulations like ducks in a row, then pushed them together so that they were all slightly out of phase:

So he never saw that the result was a gravitational field. A place where space is neither homogeneous nor isotropic. Where light beams curve downwards because the speed of light is spatially variable:

###### Image credit: NASA (I removed the moon and added the lattice lines and the light beam)

A place where electrons fall down because of the wave nature of matter, because the horizontal component curves downwards. A place where energy is conserved, where internal kinetic energy is converted into external kinetic energy, leaving you with a mass deficit. Which makes you realise something.

## Much is wrong with the Standard Model

Once you’ve got a handle on electromagnetism and gravity, you realise just how much is wrong with the Standard Model. It doesn’t explain the photon, or how pair production works, or the electron. It offers no concepts of why charged particles move the way that they do, because it has no concept of the screw nature of electromagnetism. Here we are two hundred years after Ampère, and the Standard Model can’t explain how a magnet works. Or why magnetic monopoles do not exist, what charge is, or mass. It can’t even explain the proton. Is it three quarks, or zillions of quarks? Are the gluons virtual, or not? The Standard Model can’t tell you. Then when you ask why you’ve never seen a quark or a gluon, out comes the fairy story about quark confinement. But if you’re sharp you will notice that this confinement doesn’t apply to two-quark pions. You’ll also notice that like the electron and the positron, the proton can be diffracted, and goes round in circles in a uniform magnetic field. Then like the electron and the positron, the proton is subject to a grad-b drift in a non-uniform magnetic field. And like the electron and the positron, you can annihilate it with its antiparticle to yield gamma photons. You don’t have to be Hercule Poirot to spot that the proton g-factor is 5.585. You don’t have to be Miss Marple to notice that it’s nearly three times the electron g-factor. And you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out that the proton is just the next knot in the knot table:

###### CCASA image byArpad HorvathseeWikipediaPublic domain image by Jim Belk, seeWikipedia

The next knot in the knot table is the trefoil. A trefoil is tricolourable, as per the picture above. Now trace around that trefoil anticlockwise from the bottom left calling out the crossing-over directions: up down up. Now what are the chances of that? Of course, it helps if you’ve read what Williamson and van der Mark said about space being curved and charge being topological. And about identifying a quark with a confined photon state which is not sufficient in itself to complete a closed loop. It “would then only be possible to build closed three-dimensional loops from these elements with qqq and q̄q combinations”. That means the QCD strong force that keeps a proton together is the same as the strong force that keeps an electron together. It’s the photon-photon interaction that’s missing from QED.

## Neutrinos are more like photons than electrons

After that you start to think about other things. For example, if you know that an electron is a photon in a particular configuration, you know that the neutrino Is not very similar to an electron at all. As far as we know neutrinos travel at c. Nobody has ever seen a neutrino travelling at anything other than c. The SN1987A supernova took place circa 168,000 years ago. Some reports say an initial burst of neutrinos arrived 7.7 hours before the light. No reports say the neutrinos arrived after the light because they were moving slower than the light. And if a neutrino travels at c, it has no mass, end of story. It’s a non-sequitur to say neutrino oscillations mean a neutrino has mass. The photon has momentum because a wave in an open path has a resistance to change-in-motion. The electron has mass because a wave in a closed path has a resistance to change-in-motion. And if neutrinos travel at c they’re on an open path. That’s why they have no charge, because charge is what you call it when you wrap and trap a sinusoidal photon field-variation in a spin ½ configuration. So neutrinos are more like photons than electrons. Neutrinos are rotational waves rather than transverse waves.

## The nuclear force is electromagnetic

Things go down like dominoes after that. Once you have an appreciation of the electron and the proton and the neutrino, you know what makes up a neutron. Then you pay attention to the way Rutherford thought of the neutron as a close-coupled proton-electron combination. You also pay attention to what his protégé James Chadwick said on page 2 of his 1933 Royal Society Bakerian lecture: the electric field between a neutron and a nucleus is small except at distances of the order of 10-12 cm”. Then you pay attention to electron capture, and you realise this is something else which does what it says on the tin. The electron is captured. It’s pulled into the proton, like an unfortunate worker in an industrial accident is pulled into a set of rollers. The electron is mangled into the proton. A neutrino is emitted to conserve angular momentum, and the result is a neutron. A neutron with a charge distribution. A neutron with a “negatively charged exterior, a positively charged middle, and a negative core”. After that you realise why the nuclear force has the profile that it does. All that stuff about pion exchange was just one long drawn out nuclear disaster. John Baez and John Huerta  wrote about the nuclear force in The Algebra of Grand Unified Theories. They said in 1932 Heisenberg proposed that the proton and the neutron were two states of the same particle. That’s garbage. Baez and Huerta also tell how in the 1930s Hideki Yukawa predicted the existence of a particle that mediates the strong force, much as the photon mediates the electromagnetic force”. That’s garbage too. The photon doesn’t mediate the electromagnetic force. Hydrogen atoms don’t twinkle, and magnets don’t shine. In similar vein the pion doesn’t mediate the nuclear force. The screw nature of electromagnetism is responsible for both, because the nuclear force is electromagnetic.

## That’s the paper that isn’t a model of leptons at all

That tells you all you need to know about electroweak theory, and the fabulous W-boson that was conjured up in Steven Weinberg’s 1967 paper a model of leptons. That’s the paper which started by saying leptons interact only with photons”, which isn’t true. That’s the paper that isn’t a model of leptons at all. That’s the paper that led to the development of the Standard Model, which doesn’t know that electron capture does what it says on the tin. Or that beta decay is just the flip side of electron capture. A 939 MeV neutron doesn’t decay because an 80 GeV W-boson pops out of a quark, then decays into an electron and an antineutrino with a combined mass-energy of circa 1 MeV. It decays because the electron works its way out. It takes circa 15 minutes for a free neutron, where the electron isn’t tied down tight by the surrounding protons. You’ve seen something like this before. Beta decay is the jumping popper of particle physics.

## The intermediate vector bosons don’t really exist

I am reminded of the end of Fight Club, where the skyscrapers go down one by one. Once you know that beta decay isn’t caused by the fabulous W-boson, you know that the intermediate vector bosons don’t really exist. So you know that the symmetry-breaking Higgs mechanism by which they get their mass is a load of old cobblers. Which isn’t surprising, because the Higgs mechanism doesn’t just contradict E=mc². It contradicts the bleeding obvious. The photon has momentum because a wave in an open path has a resistance to change-in-motion. The electron has mass because a wave in a closed path has a resistance to change-in-motion. It’s that simple. The inertia of a body depends upon its energy-content, not on its interaction with cosmic treacle. So how come all these superheavy particles were “discovered” in billion-dollar colliders, then set in stone by Nobel prizes?

## There may be trouble ahead

When you know about electromagnetism and gravity, and about the photon and pair production and the electron and the positron, you can work things out for the other particles too. Then you can solve the mystery of the missing antimatter, and understand black holes. Then you know that there is no information paradox, but there are gamma ray bursters. Then you know what dark matter is, and dark energy and energy too. You won’t care that quantum gravity is a castle in the air or that Hawking radiation has no foundation, or that inflation is a solution to problems that don’t exist. Not when the mysteries of physics lie at your feet. You won’t care that the particle zoo is as useless as trying to understand gunpowder via the study of incandescent patterns in the air on New Year’s Eve. What you will care about is why Big Science is bad science, and why Alfred Nobel’s prizes did more harm than his dynamite. That’s the price for knowing the Theory of Everything. The certain knowledge that scientific knowledge has been held back for decades, and that this is the trouble with physics. The certain knowledge that there may be trouble ahead.

### This Post Has 44 Comments

1. Hi,

Your knot and trefoil figures suggest some primacy for ‘threes’. Do you have a commentary on why ‘threes’ may be fundamental?

1. Not really Mike. Maybe there’s some connection with three dimensions, but I’m not sure. Particle generations don’t figure much in my thinking because I focus on stable particles rather than short-lived particles.

2. I’m just a software engineer (with 30 years experience), but I’ve been studying physics/electromagnetism/gravity for a long time as a hobby. Your explanation of the actual causes of gravity and what an electron actually is makes a lot of sense to me. You’re going back to the source material, reading the papers as they are, and figure out where physics went wrong. The “Standard Model” never made sense to me. Keep going!

1. Many thanks, Rich. I think that when the history of physics is written, people will be amazed that physicists didn’t read the original source material. Instead they were taught from textbooks that in some respects contradicted the original material, and thus were misleading. Then they themselves wrote textbooks, and so on.

1. Groan. I read it Alan. It’s another fantasy physics propaganda puff piece from Natalie Wolchover. I thought it was absolutely awful. Maybe I should go through it step by step and say why. It’s nothing much to do with topology. Or reality. For example, photons interact with photons in gamma-gamma pair production. But Wolchover says this:
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“For example, consider the case of the photon, the massless spin-1 particle of light and electromagnetism. For such a particle, the equation describing four-particle interactions — where two particles go in and two come out, perhaps after colliding and scattering — has no viable solutions. Thus, photons don’t interact in this way. “This is why light waves don’t scatter off each other and we can see over macroscopic distances,” Baumann explained. The photon can participate in interactions involving other types of particles, however, such as spin-1/2 electrons. These constraints on the photon’s interactions lead to Maxwell’s equations, the 154-year-old theory of electromagnetism”.
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It’s just garbage. Gamma-gamma pair production makes it crystal clear that those constraints don’t exist. And they certainly don’t lead to Maxwell’s equations. Wolchover and others are simply making things up and telling what’s called lies to children. Shameful.

3. To all of of John’s readers and fans : I just recieved my copy of John’s book Relativity+ and am thoroughly enamored to it. Even though I have just started reading, I highly recomend it for the most excellent, painstakingly, historically researched approach Mr. Duffield has undertook to help right many academic wrongs. It is officially my one and only coffee table book I own.

1. Thanks Greg. Note though that my little self-published Relativity+ is 10 years old now, and hasn’t been for sale for years. I hope though that it will one day become a collector’s item worth big bucks!

4. See The Quantum Vortex Theory of Matter by William F. Hamilton III. Here’s an excerpt:
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Electron vortex rings:
The first attempt to construct a physical model of an atom was made by William Thomson (later elevated to Lord Kelvin) in 1867. The most striking property of the atom was its permanence. It was difficult to imagine any small solid entity that could not be broken, given the right force, temperature or chemical reaction. In contemplating what kinds of physical systems exhibited permanence, Thomson was inspired by a paper Helmholtz had written in 1858 on vortices. This work had been translated into English by a Scotsman, Peter Tait, who showed Thomson some ingenious experiments with smoke rings to illustrate Helmholtz’ ideas. The main point was that in an ideal fluid, a vortex line is always composed of the same particles, it remains unbroken, so it is ring-like. Vortices can also form interesting combinations — A good demonstration is provided by creating two vortex rings one right after the other going in the same direction. They can trap each other, each going through the other in succession. This is probably what Tait showed Thomson, and it gave Thomson the idea that atoms might somehow be vortices in the ether.

5. This article essentially applies general relativity to a standard linear stochastic control formulation of minimizing the action. The main idea is to require that measurement over time also be taken with respect to Brownian motion. Then using standard results from stochastic control theory and careful handling of the metrics they derive the Stueckelberg equation. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-56357-3. Feels like a breakthrough but I don’t know the literature well enough to understand all the implications.

1. Happy New Year Alan.
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I skimmed the paper. I don’t think minimizing the action is an issue, but I think the randomness was totally missing the point. A photon is what it is, and Brownian motion is not relevant to it. Or to gamma-gamma pair production. So I’m afraid to say I think they’re lacking the fundamental physics concepts, so they ended up getting lost in maths. Hence they talked about “matter waves” because they have no concept of what the electron is, and don’t realise that it’s missing. I do wish guys like this would sit down and read the physics detective from start to finish.

6. It shows that the wave equation derives from general relativity applied at the scale where Brownian motion is a reasonable approximation to the local dynamics. Essentially this means that the wave equation is about ensembles, so it is more like statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, entropy, etc. It has demystified the wave equation for me. This insight helps me to understand that there is a clear separation between the physics of electrons and photons, and the wave equation. A photon is not a wave in the sense of the wave equation. A photon is a wave in the sense of Maxwell’s equation. The wave equation describes emergent properties of ensembles at the length scales where Brownian motion effects dominate. So the two-slit experiment is not a demonstration that light is a wave. It is a demonstration that waves emerge from ensembles of tiny things, and the waves show up because light is made up of lots of tiny things. Maxwell’s equations show that those tiny things that light is made up from are photons.

1. Sorry to be slow replying Alan. I think we’ll have to agree to differ on these ensembles. IMHO general relativity has nothing to do with the wave equation, and nor does Brownian motion. See Svend Rugh and Henrik Zinkernagel’s 2002 paper on the quantum vacuum and the cosmological constant problem. They point out that photons do not scatter on the vacuum fluctuations of QED. If they did, “astronomy based on the observation of electromagnetic light from distant astrophysical objects would be impossible”. They say the QED vacuum energy concept “might be an artefact of the formalism with no physical existence independent of material systems”, and I think they’re right. I agree that a photon is a wave in the sense of Maxwell’s equation, but I also think the wave equation describes the photon, and that the double-slit experiment is a demonstration that photons are waves.

1. Thanks for the reference. It is very good.

7. A revision: randomness of time means uncertainty about intervals between events. If such randomness matters in your experiment then the measurements (assuming that least action is appropriate in the context) can be computed using the probability measure that satisfies the wave equation.

This is mathematics, of course, but the math is inescapable. If your model of reality has to incorporate uncertainty and time, and is based on optimization as an organizing principle, then there is (must be) a probability measure over the trajectories of the model quantities over time.

The mathematical principle that generates such a probability measure is duality. The probability distribution comes from a reformulation of the HJB equations as a saddle point problem. This is a well known technology that was employed by von Neumann, among others.

But the main point to keep in mind is that these are not real probabilities. The experiment does not split the universe into many worlds. The experiment has one outcome, namely the path that is actually measured, and the fact that the wave equation is useful has to do with the usefulness of this duality to calculate average behaviors. This is, I believe, what the authors mean when they say that quantum mechanics is a phenomenological theory.

The authors have shown that the wave equation arises from adding event interval uncertainty into general relativity. The solution to the wave equation is a mathematical artifact that is useful for making calculations. The wave equation does not add any new physics, but it can be a useful perspective on setups with event interval uncertainty.

1. I’m sorry Alan, but I don’t buy “randomness of time”. I view the uncertainty principle as something “inherent in the properties of all wave-like systems” which “arises in quantum mechanics simply due to the matter wave nature of all quantum objects”. I don’t buy duality either. Pascual Jordan solved the issue of wave-particle duality in 1926. Particles are waves. That’s why we can diffract electrons. The authors might say quantum mechanics is a phenomenological theory. But I’d say that’s because it lacks foundation. There is no concept that a photon is a wave in space, like Aephraim Speilberg and Jeff Lundeen said. Or that an electron is a wave in space in a closed path. Despite what de Broglie and Schrodinger and Bohm said.

1. Yes, I do not disagree with you about randomness of time. And I agree that the sort of field potentials a photon or electron are likely to encounter along their path are probably not going to give rise to Brownian motion.
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My point is that the paper shows that the Schroedinger equation is equivalent to a framework that we (and probably others) would reject. If the math is right then it would influence a number of long-running discussions concerning measurements and wave-particle duality. Also, I don’t think electrons diffract because they are composed of Maxwell’s waves moving in a tight loop. It seems to me that the diffraction measured by tests of Schroedinger equation, for example, the two-slit experiment, is far too macro to involve the Maxwell waves.

1. All points noted Alan. I never thought of the Schrodinger equation as being equivalent to a framework that we’d reject. Maybe that’s because after reading lots of old papers including those by Schrodinger, I don’t think much about individual equations. Not that I dislike maths or anything, it’s just that I think that most people don’t think enough about the terms. They don’t know what E really is. They have no concept of the foundational real thing that underlies m or p or ħ or ψ.
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Have you read my article on the double slit experiment? Also see page 12 of Art Hobson’s paper https://arxiv.org/abs/1204.4616

1. I dunno John. Seems like Hobson goes in a tight loop, invoking non-locality of the vacuum – which in turn seems to rest on violation of the Bell inequalities, which we are not sure about anymore.
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“Localization occurs at the time of this click. Each region i responds by interacting or not interacting, with
just one region registering an interaction because a quantum must give up all, or none, of it’s energy. As we’ll see in Sec. VI C, these other sections of the screen actually register the vacuum–a physical state that can entangle nonlocally with the registered quantum. The non-locality inherent in the entangled superposition state |Ψscreen> has been verified by Bell-type measurements (Sec. VI C).”

1. That’s all part of the fun, Alan. If everything was cut and dried, and if we all agreed about everything, physics would be as dull as ditchwater,

8. I’ve come across this author’s work in my quest to find the truth and just thought I would share:

http://www.ptep-online.com/2017/PP-48-07.PDF

“It is shown that Lorentz Invariance is a wave phenomenon. The relativistic mass, length
contraction and time dilation all follow from the assumption that energy-momentum
is constrained to propagate at the speed of light, c, in all contexts, matter as well as

1. Thanks, Uncertain. I went through it. Here’s what I thought:
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I thought the introduction was promising, but felt a little unhappy with the light flashes, because photons are solitons. Then I didn’t like this on page 6: “In Electromagnetics, for example, the wavefields interact with charges but not with each other”. This is falling for the QED myth and missing the significance of what happens in gamma-gamma pair production: light interacts with light. He then says “Electromagnetic field models of subluminal massive particles are thus excluded”. Aaaaagh! Then he starts talking of force fields instead of standing waves, and he seems to have no appreciation of why an electron moves linearly or rotationally. However I liked what he said at the bottom of page 6: “Therefore, when considering luminal wave models for matter, we shall restrict our attention to closed trajectory systems”. But then I didn’t like the way he went on about the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction on page 7. A wave going round and round doesn’t undergo length contraction. When it’s moving past you, you would claim that one point of the wave has a helical rather than circular motion. Hence the wave doesn’t contract in the direction of motion. It extends. Only if you were that wave, you might think everything else has contracted. But anyway enough of my nitpicking. I think he’s definitely thinking on the right lines and barking up the right tree, and I especially I liked with a refractive medium approach to gravity on the last page. He referred to 12. Laidlaw A. On the Electromagnetic basis for gravity. Apeiron, 2004, v. 11, 3.. I’ll read that. Meanwhile I wish I could get people like Andrew Laidlaw to read the physics detective articles starting from the beginning.

1. Hi Phys. Det.,

I certainly agree that light interacts with light….. but the problem to which I referred in that sentence from page 6 is that that does not happen in the Electromagnetics theory as we have it. This has nothing to do with QED.

As for the light flashes, you may wish to assume that photons are solitons, but I rely solely on the fact that they carry linear momentum in the direction of propagation for the subsequent analysis. Do they ALSO have angular momentum? Of course they do. But I don’t NEED to deal with it for the task to hand at that point, taking the reader towards Lorentz Transformations.

As for LFC, perhaps you should study the analysis a bit more? In particular, a wave going round and round – on the surface of a sphere – can indeed undergo length contraction, in which case it goes round and round on the surface of a sphere compressed by gamma in the direction of travel.

Please do feel free to email me as I may not be checking this thread.

Cheers….

Andrew (Laidlaw)

1. All points noted Andrew. I guess one of the issues I have is that I’ve read old papers by the likes of Maxwell and Einstein, and then I read some modern textbook which describes some aspect of physics as we have it, and they are not the same. The modern textbook also ignores experimentation like this:
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http://www.physics.princeton.edu/~mcdonald/e144/pt_51(2)_17_98.pdf
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I’ll email you re the Lorentz transformations.

9. Hmm, When he said “Electromagnetic field models of subluminal massive particles are thus excluded” I interpreted this as him pointed out some of the short comings of dealing with the problem with current Electromagnetic theory. He later goes on to say: “Overall, once we include interactions between wave objects, the global values of field variables cannot be expressed as a linear superposition of disjoint values so a nonlinear theory is required. If the chosen field variables are force fields, then global values are by definition still given as a linear superposition, but this is a linear superposition of conjoint values that correspond to actual transfers of wave momentum from one object to another.”
He is leading the reader through the decision to use the field momentum density to create the wave model which have a real physical basis and interpretation rather than current approaches which have non-physical point particles built into their underlying assumptions.
This paper is a small subsection of his book “After Physics” which I am starting to go through now which gives a far more detailed dissection of current theories and their inherent problems and a step by step evolution of his ideas. I think you might like it.
One of my favorite quotes from that book that made me think of you….
“the unnecessary, oxymoronic neologism that is spacetime”,

1. I guess there are problems with current electromagnetic theory. My bugbear is the way that it’s taught. Textbooks are full of electric fields and magnetic fields instead of electromagnetic fields. It’s as if Maxwell’s unification never happened. Moreover the electromagnetic field is never depicted. As far as I know not a single electromagnetic textbook says anything about what actually happens in gamma-gamma pair production, and how two 511keV electromagnetic waves end up as two 511keV/c² standing-wave standing-field spin ½ things with a magnetic moment and a spherical symmetry. Things that can be diffracted. I’ve said repeatedly that the electron is field, so excluding electromagnetic field models of massive particles is not something I like to hear.
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Fair enough re interactions between wave objects. But not force fields. If there’s mud on one side of the road your car veers, but it isn’t in a field of force. The car provides the force. An electromagnetic field is not a field of force. Linear “electric” force and rotational magnetic force results from the interaction of two (or more) electromagnetic fields. It takes two to tango. Charged particles move the way that they do because each is a “dynamical spinor” which alters the surrounding space in a fashion akin to frame-dragging. Then you can contrive your charged particles so that linear or rotational forces balance. But when an electron then goes round and round in circles it isn’t because it’s in a field of force. It’s because of Larmor precession. Which occurs because spin is real. Which is what electromagnetic field models of massive particles tells you.
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I’m happy enough with wave momentum from one object to another. That’s what’s happening in Compton scattering. We’re effectively carving a slice of wave momentum off the incident photon and slapping it on to the electron, which is a wave in a closed path. This extra wave momentum is asymmetrical on the electron, so as a result, the electron moves. But again you only know this when you have an electromagnetic field model of a massive particle. Only then do you dispense with the juju.
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“He is leading the reader through the decision to use the field momentum density to create the wave model which have a real physical basis and interpretation rather than current approaches which have non-physical point particles built into their underlying assumptions” That’s something I like.
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“This paper is a small subsection of his book “After Physics” which I am starting to go through now which gives a far more detailed dissection of current theories and their inherent problems and a step by step evolution of his ideas. I think you might like it”. Sounds interesting. I see it, on Academia. Now what’s my password? I’m in a hotel on my work laptop.
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”One of my favorite quotes from that book that made me think of you…. “the unnecessary, oxymoronic neologism that is spacetime”. Yep, spacetime is an abstract mathematical thing that models space at all times, and is therefore absolutely static. Our world is not. We live in a dynamical world of space and motion. The map is not the territory!

1. HI PHys. Det.,

What is a force field? It was (out of the box) something we wrote down to encode an interaction, which is to say a transfer of linear momentum, between particles.

Now, take away the particles (in the sense of having any ontological status as existential fundamental objects).

Fundamentally, they are just energy, which comes in fields. In particular, it comes in wavefields that propagate at c. So our understanding of force fields needs a minor adjustment in this context.

Whenever we talk about an interaction exchanging linear momentum between such wave objects it is, from the definition of force as rate of change of momentum, a force, but it is clearly a distributed force – which is to say precisely that it is a force field, by definition.

Not quite the same concept as E and H. However, to describe a field we generally use some set of “field variables”. If we choose to use force fields as field variables (one does not have to), then we CAN come back to bivector orthogonal vector fields and we may as well call them E and H. But in order for light to interact with light in that generic form of wave model, i.e. to exchange linear momentum between wave objects, you’re going to need a nonlinearity.

Cheers…..

Andrew.

1. No problem re nonlinearity. But IMHO there’s an issue in physics wherein contemporary textbooks confuse field and force. How can I describe what I think is correct? How about this:
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The electron is field. Electromagnetic field. A field is a state of space. That’s what Einstein said in 1929. It isn’t force. Force is only observed when two (or more) fields interact. Like an electron and a positron. Each appears to be a standing wave standing-field thing, but they’re dynamical. Each is a wave going round and round at c, frame-dragging the surrounding space. So they move around one another and towards one another rather like counter-rotating vortices. I’ll check out your book, see what you make of the article below:
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http://physicsdetective.com/the-screw-nature-of-electromagnetism/

1. Hi Phys. Det.,

I am quite sure we are on the same page. The electron is field. And I even agree with your sentiment that it is Electromagnetic field. Here’s the rub. In Electromagnetics, the E and H fields at a given point are defined as the force (Newtons) that WOULD act on a putative (1 Coulomb) test charge placed at that point. Newtons/Coulomb. The language thus forbids saying that it “isn’t force” while also saying that it “is” Electromagnetic. But I agree on the sentiment.

You are so correct to note that force is only observed when two fields ACTUALLY interact. That’s highly pertinent.

Overall, this is the issue that’s being unravelled in Section 5 of RLSM. The key conclusion: although we need nonlinear field-field interactions for a pure field physics, there is no reason whatsoever to think that this interferes with linearity at the level of Mechanics.

The effect of that remark is that we can rebuild all of the foundation theories without ever committing to a particular, theory dependent, choice of field variables.

Finally, a better physical understanding of the foundations may facilitate a more informed approach to the host of Dynamics issues (several of which you have highlighted throughout your blog above) that are clouding the horizons.

Cheers….

Andrew.

1. Me too Andrew. We are “barking up the same tree”, as they say. I hope that more and more people will be doing so. However I rather feel that some folk do not want to admit that there’s any issues whatsoever with what’s in those modern textbooks. Or with the Standard Model. Which is doubtless why Woit deletes my comments. Where do you live? I’m in London at the moment.

1. I usually tell people that I am homeless, but there is a cool millenial term for it: Digital Nomad. On the coast south of Chennai India at the moment, I am enjoying warm weather and the nice beach.

Cheers….

Andrew.

1. Good for you Andrew, I talk to people in Chennai a fair bit these days. If I take a trip out there I’ll look you up. Ever heard of Hexaware?

1. The Indian based global IT services provider intending to become the first in the world with more than 50% of staff digital? Never heard of them.

With respect to length contraction, I reviewed your post above and saw this:

“When it’s moving past you, you would claim that one point of the wave has a helical rather than circular motion. Hence the wave doesn’t contract in the direction of motion. It extends.”

What you are visualising is the total movement of the field (at speed c), but such movements do two jobs: they provide for both the translations of the particle as a whole through space at speed $v$ AND the internal movements relative to the centre of inertia. Evolution in space + internal evolution = characteristic velocity.

I trust it is self evident that the internal movements determine both the rate of clocks and the shape of the particle. Equally obviously, the speed of internal movements is not in general equal to c and it slows down as $v$ increases – leading to time dilation, while the LFC analysis that you commented on shows how the shape of the particle also gets compressed by the factor gamma in the direction of travel.

As for your consideration of movements on a circle for the comoving particle, that is actually a special case of the appropriate constraint for isolated particles, namely curvilinear trajectories of the wave vector on the surface of a sphere in the comoving system. (The constraint comes from the little group on one hand and the experimental existence of de Broglie waves on the other – see chapter 6).

The curvilinear trajectory on a sphere is itself a special case of the general trajectory, and the analyses of both length contraction and time dilation apply to the general case, not just trajectories inscribed on the surface of a sphere in the comoving system.

I hope that helps.

Cheers…..

Andrew.

1. Thanks Andrew. I’ll read your book with interest.

10. “so excluding electromagnetic field models of massive particles is not something I like to hear.” – No worries, he is not saying that just approaching in a different way – Enjoy the book!

1. Thanks. I downloaded it and jumped to the section on why an apple falls down. I was please to see that he talked of light curving downwards due to a variable refractive index, and matter falling down because it was in essence light in a closed path. Like in how gravity works. My pal Reg Norgan told me about that.

2. Hi Uncertain,

Thanks for your comments. You are bringing to the work the attitude that I like readers to bring.

Cheers….

Andrew

1. Cheers Andrew, I really appreciated your book and must applaud you on a job well done. I particularly liked the clear exposure of the underlying assumptions upon which our current theories are based, which unfortunately many forget about and yet are so important to always keep front and center. I also like your approach to distributed action which could be a great foundation upon which to build. I do wonder about your thoughts on pair production because I think most of your examples in the book are modeled along fields that already exist which are, in essence, the “particle”. However in pair production, surely the fields of say the electron and positron must propagate outwards, presumably at c, after or during the moment of their creation.

( I have to also say I chuckled a lot with the use of the term “retarded” in your book which, although it’s not politically correct anymore, is a great reminder of the mental illness of physics these days )

Neil

1. If I might chip in here, Uncertain: I don’t think they propagate outwards. In gamma-gamma pair production, you start with two 511keV photons. Each photon is a sinusoidal electromagnetic field variation. It isn’t localised. It’s spread out across all of space, but it gets weaker with distance. When pair production occurs, each gets “twisted and wrapped” into an all-round standing field.
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We really need an animator to depict this. Until then, the best I can think of is to wrap a sinusoidal strip of paper into a Mobius like “spinor” configuration. This sinusoidal strip of paper represents the central portion of the sinusoidal electromagnetic field variation.
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PS: I’m reading his book. I’m about half way through. I’m making notes.

2. Hi Uncertain,

With respect to pair production, after the moment of creation, the electron and positron move away from each other at speeds strictly less than c.

That sentence means that, while the energy that constitutes either of the particles always moves at c, the CENTRE OF INERTIA of the field system that constitutes a massive particle always moves subluminally.

Indeed, we are most familiar with the case where the centre of inertia is not moving relative to the observer at all, which is the case of the comoving particle. In this particular case, and only in this case, the internal movements of (say) the electron are at speed c.

On the other hand, when we see an electron moving at speed V, then the field movements (always at speed c) must account for BOTH the movement of the system through space, at speed V, AND its internal movements:

Internal movements slow down, lengths contract etc..

Cheers…..

Andrew.

11. Hi Phys. Det.,
The following theoretical article calculates the strength of gravitational fields created by laser photon pulses.
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1367-2630/18/2/023009
I don’t understand the math but it seems to agree with your concept that gravity is produced by electromagnetic waves.

I believe my approach to Physics is the same as yours. I think all the rules of Physics are human abstractions of reality and therefore at best are inaccurate.

Looking at the big picture, how does a large massive object like the Earth with multitudes of moving electromagnetic waves moving near the speed of light combine in such a way to slow the movement of distant electromagnetic waves?

Also, I think light, as it propagates, creates space, time, mass and all other abstractions of Physics. I wonder if you believe that space existed before the passage of electromagnetic waves?

1. All points noted Don. I’ll take a look at that paper. Yes, gravity is produced by electromagnetic waves. A zillion photons in a mirror box will have non-zero “active gravitational mass”. As for how it does it, IMHO it’s because the photon is a pressure-pulse in space. When you combine a zillion out-of-phase photons, there’s a pressure-gradient in the surrounding space.
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I think space existed before the passage of electromagnetic waves. I think space waves.

12. Hi Phys. Det.,
Thanks for the response. I have learned a lot from reading your articles.
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Your explanation of gravity works for me.
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I think space(distance), time, and velocity are only abstractions about what photons do. These are qualities of a photon that are always changing. A photon is a process, not a quality.
At the event horizon of a black hole, does the space and time of a photon completely disappear but the photon persists?

1. My pleasure Don. As far as I know, at the event horizon the photon stops. The energy is still there exerting a gravitational effect. As for whether it disappears, maybe a water droplet is a fair analogy. If it joins an ocean, it isn’t recognisable as a water droplet any more.