Saturday, May 21, 2005

On the relationship between Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory

Link to Article:

The metaphor of the ocean and waves is quite an elegant to think about these two theories. - Sri

" One of the fundamental problems of modern Physics is that two theories that have been proven correct, Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory, are basically not compatible. If both are correct representations of nature, how can they be so different and even contradictory? Relativity prescribes a spacetime continuum, whereas Quantum Theory prescribes a discrete world. Relativity is deterministic, Quantum Theory is, at best, stochastic. How can one be derived from the other?

The best way to visualize my ideas is to think of relativistic spacetime as an ocean, and of quantum values as the ripples caused by an object moving through spacetime. The ocean is a continuum, but the ripples are discrete. Both the ocean and the ripples are real, and one can construct a theory to describe the ocean and a different theory to describe the ripples. To me, Relativity is the theory about the ocean, and Quantum Theory is the theory about the ripples.

In my opinion, Quantum Theory describes the ripples caused in spacetime by energy-matter in motion. Einstein's equations describe how spacetime warps because of matter. Schroedinger's equations describe the ripples caused by such matter.

If I am right, Relativity's space and time are different from Quantum Theory's space and time. We use the same name for two different things: Relativity's space is a dimension, an underlying framework, whereas Quantum Theory's space is about the 'size' of an object. Spacetime is the continuum that energy-matter interacts with. Quantum values are the results of measuring the ripples caused by that interaction. The reason that the ripples are discrete and not continuum is exactly the same that ripples form on a surface. Any attribute of an object over the ripples admits only some values, because it exists and it is measured only over the ripples.

I believe that the probabilistic nature of Quantum Theory emerges because of the translation from 'ocean' to 'ripples'. Ditto for the attributes (charge, spin, etc). They are all manifestations of the ripples."


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