20 January 2016: This page has now been superseded by “Incompressible Physics”…
The central idea that runs through everything on this website is that many complex things are merely different manifestations of “Incompressible Dynamics”. An extension of this idea to Modern Physics might suggest that maybe “Matter” is simply “Incompressible Energy”. So in keeping with the theme of this website we ask
Is it possible that the physics of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity merely represent Compressible and Incompressible Dynamics?…
The central problem of modern physics is that while its two great pillars General Relativity (a theory of the very fast and the very large) and Quantum Mechanics (a theory of the very small) are independently incredibly successful, they are however, at their core, fundamentally incompatible. One theory says that empty space should be empty, the other says that at the microscopic level empty space is a cauldron of “quantum fluctuations”.
In this paper we will consider the possibility that, while the mathematics of quantum mechanics produces spectacularly accurate predictions it might not be because of quantum fluctuations. In this paper we will consider the possibility that maybe we live in a “discrete space-time” universe and that
Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity are physical manifestations of the Compressible and Incompressible Mathematics of Euler’s Formula...
Part 1 – Discretization of Euler’s Formula
Euler’s Formula ( eix = cos(x) + i sin(x) where x is an angle measured in radians) is a mathematical tool used to describe how a “vector rotates” through an angle in the complex plane, but it can also be used to describe a “periodic oscillation”.
The equation for an oscillation can be written as Ae(iωt) where (A) is the amplitude of oscillation, and (e(iωt) ) is the changing phase of oscillation over time. In this phase term, the angle (x) in Euler’s Formula has been replaced with angular-frequency (ω) multiplied by time (t) in order to allow for the position of the oscillating body to change over time.
Angular frequency is usually expressed in radians per second and is normally assumed to be “continuous change over continuous time”. But what if, in reality, “Time” is NOT “continuous”, but actually occurs in tiny “discrete incremental steps”; what if there is actually some “smallest fundamental unit of time”?
Let’s take a guess that the fundamental unit of time might have the same magnitude as the value of Planck’s Constant.
(1 h-second = 6.626 × 10-34 seconds)
Furthermore let’s define a “unit of angular displacement” using Euler’s Formula. Let’s define this unit to have the same magnitude as the value of Planck’s Reduced Constant.
(1 h-cycle = 6.626 x 10-34 cycles)
(1 (h/2π)-cycle = 1 ħ-cycle = 1.054571726 x 10-34 cycles)
(1 ħ-radian = 1.054571726 x 10-34 radians)
eix = cos(x) + i sin(x)
ei = cos(1) + i sin(1)
eiħ = cos(ħ) + i sin(ħ)
eiħ = (0.999999 + iħ)
Given this “defined” “ħ-unit of angular displacement”, we can now think of every other size of angular displacement as an integer number of units of (1 +iħ);
(eiħ)n = (ei)ħn = einħ = (1 + iħ)n = n ħ-radians (where n = 1,2,3….)
And when n = Ħ = 9.48252238653324 x 10+33 (i.e. capital-h-bar : the inverse of ħ) we get an angle of
(eiħ)Ħ = (ei)ħĦ = ei = (1 + iħ)Ħ = Ħ ħ-radians = 1 radian
Let us now look at a possible physical realization of this discrete mathematics. Let’s look at an up and down oscillation (on the y axis) that occurs in discrete incremental steps of size (n ħ-radians).
Initial Displacement: y = A sin(nħ) (equation 1)
In order to evolve this initial displacement over incremental time, we will replace (nħ) with (ωt) — where (ω = nħ/t ) and where time (t) is measured in h-seconds, and can only have integer values (i.e. t = 1,2,3… h-seconds.)
Displacement over Time: y = A sin(ωt) (equation 2)
Associated with this oscillation is an incremental velocity
v = Aω cos(ωt) (equation 3)
The momentum associated with this velocity is given by
p = mAω cos(ωt) (equation 4)
If we multiply this momentum by velocity we get
pv = mA2ω2 cos2(ωt) (equation 5)
We can rewrite equation (5) in angular form replacing (mA2) with the moment of inertia (I)
pv = Iω2 cos2(ωt) (equation 6)
And since (Iω) represents angular momentum, we could guess that maybe it actually represents a single discrete ħ-unit of angular momentum which is represented by (ħ).
pv = ħω cos2(ωt) (equation 7)
Equation (7) is effectively an equation for the kinetic energy of an oscillating particle, which means there must be a potential energy associated with it, and consequently the total energy of the oscillation (at any given moment in time) is distributed between kinetic and potential energy and expressed as a function of time
E(t) = ħω(cos2(ωt) + sin2(ωt)) (equation 8)
Lastly to obtain a travelling, or moving, version of this oscillation equation we use the relationship between angular frequency and the linear velocity of the particle (i.e. ω=kv where k is the so-called wave number and v is the linear velocity of the particle) and so equation (8) can now be expressed as a function of both time and distance
E(x,t) = ħω(cos2(kvt) + sin2(kvt)) (equation 9)
The Planck-Einstein Relation (E=hf) tells us that energy is proportional to frequency. The discretization of Euler’s Formula suggest that different frequencies represent, different amounts of “oscillation units” in a particle. It suggests that (h) is a unit of angular momentum, that (f) is the number of these units in a single h-second, which makes (E) equal to an amount of angular momentum per unit time.
Equation (9) is an extended version of the Planck-Einstein Relation that incorporates an oscillation within a moving particle. This equation bears some resemblance to the Schrodinger Wave Equation which has a wave function of the form Aei(kx+ωt) incorporated into a conservation of energy equation. Equation (9) however is both an oscillation function and a conservation of energy equation, where phase-over-distance and phase-over-time are combined in a single term Aei(kvt). This is an equation for a travelling “oscillating particle” not a “probability wave”…
Part 2 – Oscillating Particle
No Medium Required
In the classical world “waves” travel through a medium, because classical waves involve the transport of energy without the transport of matter. In a water wave for instance, particles oscillate in situ while the wave moves from one particle to the next. In the quantum world however maybe particles oscillate as they move –- if so, no medium is required.
An oscillating particle would carry with it its own “phase-information”. This means that a particle always knows where it is in its own cycle, and therefore how much of its total energy is being expressed as kinetic energy at any moment in time. Interaction with multiple particles at different points in their individual cycles would consequently yield wave-interference-like results because the particles would, on interaction, either be absorbed or not absorbed depending on where they are in their own individual cycle.
Phase-Size + Number-of-Phases
In a discrete oscillation angular frequency effectively describes the size of a “discrete phase-step” over time. We know that the size of the phase-step (nħ) is effectively the step-size of oscillation. We also know that the step-size times the number-of-steps in a cycle is always a constant 2π radians. This means that, in a discrete oscillation, as the amount of change that occurs in one unit of time goes up, the number-of-steps/number-of-phases must comes down.
Wave-like vs. Particle-like
The number-of-phases determines the degree of wave-like behaviour. Smaller phase-size means more phases per cycle; and consequently more wave-like the behaviour. But as the frequency/phase-size goes up the number-of-phases comes down, and so the behaviour would become less wave-like, more particle-like…
The ultimate instance of this occurs when the phase-size reaches πĦ ħ-radians or 180 degrees per h second. 180 degrees is the maximum phase-size, because any excess of 180 degrees in one direction is the same as a deficit of 180 degrees in the opposite direction (i.e. 181 degrees anti-clockwise is exactly the same as 179 degrees clockwise). This maximum phase-size corresponds to a pure binary oscillation — an oscillation in 2 discrete steps, each step of which is mathematically described by Euler’s Identity (eiπ = -1).
Max Speed/Frequency of Oscillation
Angular frequency and angular speed are one and the same thing. Euler’s Identity suggests a quantum limit to the angular speed of oscillation.
We can calculate this possible quantum limit of angular speed (Ω) by simple scaling the quantum-angular-frequency back up to our everyday scale measured in Hz (i.e. cycles per second)
f = ½ cycle per h-second = (½H) cycles per second = 7.5 × 1032 Hz
[ where H = 1.5 × 10^33 (i.e. H = the inverse of h) ]
Ω = 2πf = (πĦ) radians per second = 4.7 × 1033 radians per second
Part 3 – Energy Mass Space and Time
The Speed of Light
So if the universe does indeed have a limit to angular speed, it seems logical to assume that this speed limit might have some relationship to the limit of linear speed (i.e. to the speed of light).
We know that for the speed of light, the frequency times the wavelength is a constant. Equally we also know that, for an oscillation, the phase-size times, the number of phases in a cycle, is also a constant. This would seem to imply that just as frequency relates to phase-size, so wavelength might relate to number-of-phases.
Furthermore, since the linear speed of light (v= fλ) is the same for all frequencies, so maybe the maximum linear speed of oscillation (v=ωA) is the same for all angular frequencies. This would then mean that the amplitude of oscillation (A) would be equivalent to the number-of-phases in a cycle, and is the angular equivalent to λ/2π . This idea suggests that
at higher frequencies what contracts
is not just the wavelength
but space-time itself…
It suggests that in a quantum oscillation amplitude (A) represents spatial distance in space-time (i.e. as the amount of change in one unit of time goes up, the distance in space-time comes down); and moreover the fact that maximum linear speed of oscillation (v=ωA) is a constant further suggests that it is the angular equivalent to the linear speed of light; in other words that they are one and the same linear speed (i.e. ωA = c).
Does the Inertia of a body depend on its Energy Content?
If (ωA) is both a constant and a constituent of our unit of angular momentum (ħ = mωAA) this would mean that (mA) must also be a constant and so when the energy (ħω) of an oscillating particle goes up, space-time amplitude (A) comes down which requires that mass (m) must go up.
Conservation of Mass-Energy and Space-Time
Photons are traditionally believed to be massless, but there has never been any experimental proof of this belief. So maybe low energy photons simply have imperceptible mass, too small to be measurable, but maybe at higher energies/frequencies measurable mass might actually emerge.
If so, then by the conservation of momentum, this would mean that the increase in mass would be accompanied by a decrease in linear velocity. And this idea, when extended from momentum to energy, would mean that total energy in a photon is in fact the sum of Kinetic Energy and a form of “Kinetic Mass” (i.e. Mass Energy); and by adapting the Lorentz transformation (from linear to angular) the breakdown between the two would be given by
E = ħω ((ω/Ω)2 + (1 – (ω/Ω)2)) (equation 10)
Where (ħω(ω/Ω)2) represents mass-energy and (ħω(1 – (ω/Ω)2)) represents kinetic-energy. Equation (10) is a “falsifiable statement”; it suggests that extremely high frequency photons should gain “measurable” mass and therefore travel “measurably” slower than the speed of light. Admittedly this equation would require very high energies to test, but nevertheless it is potentially testable, and therefore falsifiable.
Furthermore, if (ωA = c), then
EA = ħc ((ω/Ω)2 + (1 – (ω/Ω)2)) (equation 11)
Equation (11) suggests some form of conservation of Mass-Energy and Space-Time; where the first term (ħc(ω/Ω)2) might represent the Mass-Energy and the second term (ħc(1 – (ω/Ω)2)) represents Space-Time. This suggests that the more massive a particle becomes, the more space-time contracts; and it is the frequency of oscillation (i.e. the quantum amount of angular momentum per unit time) that determines the balance between the two.
Euler’s Identity occurs when (ω=Ω). According to equation (11) Euler’s Identity effectively describes an energy black-hole; a quantum phase-size maximum where effectively all energy is kinetic-mass, and each unit of time simply executes one of the two legs of a discrete binary oscillation..
Equations (10) say that any further increase in energy will not increase the frequency of oscillation, it will simply increase the mass of this energy black-hole. Equations (11) suggests that Euler’s Identity is representative of an oscillation where all space and time get condensed into mass in a “Singularity”.
Furthermore it suggest that this singularity is not an infinitesimally small point but instead a smallest unit of space. We calculate the size of this unit as
Amplitude of Singularity = c/Ω = (3 × 108) / (4.71 × 1033)
Amplitude of Singularity = 0.637 x 10-25 meters
In the latter part of the 19th century, classical physics used the concept of the “equipartition of energy” to conclude that all possible wavelengths and frequencies were equally likely. Consequently, when applied to the problem of “blackbody radiation” it was assumed that all possible standing waves inside the cavity of a “black body” were merely “degrees of freedom”. This line of thinking ultimately lead to the so-called “ultraviolet catastrophe”. Planck’s quantization of energy appeared to solve the problem, but the original idea that wavelengths can be infinitely small, and frequencies infinitely large, nevertheless managed to live on.
The argument for the existence of a possible maximum angular frequency suggests we abandon the idea of infinitely small wavelengths. The discretization of Euler’s Formula suggests both a smallest frequency and a smallest wavelength.
It allows us to think of frequency as “phase-size” and wavelength as the “numbers-of-phases”, and in doing so suggests a possible basis for the unification of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity; it suggests 3 fundamental principles of “Quantum Relativity”…
1. Particles oscillate as they move
E = ħω(cos2(kvt) + sin2(kvt)) – (equation 9)
2. The more they oscillate, the more massive they become
E = ħω ((ω/Ω)2 + (1 – (ω/Ω)2)) – (equation 10)
3. The more massive they become, the more space and time contracts
EA = ħc ((ω/Ω)2 + (1 – (ω/Ω)2)) – (equation 11)
Part 4 – Implications
1. Double Slit Experiment
The Double-Slit Experiment was once famously described by Nobel laureate Richard Feynman as the “only mystery of quantum mechanics”. This experiment suggests a “Wave-Particle Duality” of both light and matter, and seems to support the concept of particle “Superposition” (not only in space but also in time).
The traditional understanding of quantum mechanics effectively ignores what a quantum particle is actually doing (during its travel from source to receiver) and only talks about the mathematics of the “wave-function” associated with the particle. In the double-slit experiment it is thought that it is not the particle itself but the particle’s wave-function that goes through both slits at the same time.
If however all particles have their own oscillation-function, then any particle going through one slit will carry with it phase information which will determine the amount of kinetic energy that is transferred on contact with the screen; and so over time (as long as there is no decoherence at source) many oscillating particle will cause interference-like patterns to emerge…
Thus individual particle phase information can explain the double-slit experiment without the need for the concept of “Wave-Particle Duality”. With multiple particles (emitted from the same coherence source), there is no need for the “Superposition Principle”; nor is there any need for “an observer” to cause the so-called “collapse” of wave-function (i.e. no need for the so-called “Copenhagen Interpretation”).
2. The Schrodinger Wave Equation
The Schrodinger Wave Equation (SWE) is a wave equation for “matter waves” and a bedrock of Quantum Theory, but if Quantum Mechanics is really all about oscillating particles rather than probability waves, then how can this wave-equation produce such phenomenally accurate results?
For three reasons. The SWE is an excellent fit with the concept of an oscillating particle because firstly its wave function contains both the phase-over-time (angular frequency) and phase-over-distance (wave-number), secondly this function is incorporated inside a conservation of energy equation, and lastly but most importantly this formulation only truly works because of “The Law of Large Numbers (LLN)”.
The SWE basically describes the probabilistic AGGREGATE behaviour of multiple oscillating particles; but it relies on the LLN to convert this “probabilistic behaviour” into “accurate predictions”. This means that the SWE does not work in the singular, it only works in the collective (thus leading to the need for the superposition principle); but with quantum mechanical systems (as with thermal systems), understanding collective behaviour of billions of tiny particles (or the average behaviour over time of a single particle) is usually all that we need (unless we are trying to figure out how a single particle can be in multiple places at the same time!…).
A particle “oscillating” does so back and forth in opposite directions. We can think of one direction as being from positive to negative (through +i on the complex plane), and the other as negative to positive (through –i on the complex plane). Thus any two particles with a phase difference of exactly 180 degrees will always be moving in opposite directions.
The Bell inequality experiments are considered to be the final death-nail to Einstein’s misgivings about the “Copenhagen Interpretation” and its consequential weirdness for quantum mechanics.
The results of these experiments would seem to prove that that entangled quantum particles are more correlated than they should be according to classical mechanics (i.e. experiments show that particles with different phase-angles-of-polarization express higher correlation than is possible in classical mechanics).
However the Bell inequality test assumes that the particles are moving like bullets in a straight-line linear fashion. But if particles are indeed oscillating as they move, then the amount of correlation that we witness in experiments turns out to be exactly in line with expectations (when we take both the phase-angle-of-polarization and the phase-of-oscillation into account). Hence since there is no unexplainable excessive correlation, there is no need for any so-called “spooky-action-at-a-distance”.
The discovery of E=hf might possibly have been first real piece of evidence that the universe is in fact an entirely discrete system; and that even those things that appear continuous are in reality discrete at the tiniest scales. This would mean that there would be no such thing as pure continuous movement. All movements would be discrete, and could be quite jumpy at high frequency which can lead to the possibility that a coarsely oscillating particle could jump from one place to the next without having to travel through the space (or the barrier) in-between. Thus coarsely oscillating particles would lead to the possibility of apparent “Quantum Tunnelling”.
6. String Theory
Another interesting thing about a “incremental step-size of oscillation”, is that most higher frequency “coarse oscillations” do not produce regular, tick-tock-like symmetrical behaviour about equilibrium. On the contrary, most high energy coarse oscillations appear to produce asymmetrical behaviour about equilibrium causing matter-like structures to emerge. Furthermore this “Coarse Harmonic Motion” and the resultant emergent dissymmetry suggests support for some of the ideas behind String Theory (except that it supports oscillating particles, not oscillating strings).
7. Quantum Theory + General Relativity
The primary conflict between Quantum Theory and General Relativity is that General Relativity understands empty space as being exactly that, smooth flat empty space; but the “Uncertainty Principle” of Quantum Mechanics disagrees, because according to it, at the tiniest scales of empty space so-called “Quantum Fluctuations” must emerge.
However with the demise of the Superposition Principle, we would have no further need for the Uncertainty Principle; which means we can zoom in on smaller and smaller scales of empty space (space-time) without worrying about the emergence of this dreaded “Quantum Foam”.
Without quantum fluctuations there is no longer any conflict between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. In a discrete universe, Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity are simply the two extremes of, what we could think of, the curvature/warping of space-time…
[Postscript: If you think all of this is heresy, and flies in the face of the “well established consensus understanding of modern day physics”, then take a look at this https://youtu.be/ZacggH9wB7Y]