Electromagnetic Discovery May Demystify Quantum Mechanics

Here’s a press release from Q-Track on my discovery and publication… Hans

Physicists have long been troubled by the paradoxes and contradictions of quantum mechanics. Yesterday, a possible step forward appeared in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. In a paper, “Energy velocity and reactive fields” [pay wall, free preprint], physicist Hans G. Schantz, presents a novel way of looking at electromagnetics that shows the deep tie between electromagnetics and the pilot wave interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Schantz offers a solution to wave-particle duality by arguing that electromagnetic fields and energy are distinct phenomena instead of treating them as two aspects of the same thing. “Fields guide energy” in Schantz’s view. “As waves interfere, they guide energy along paths that may be substantially different from the trajectories of the waves themselves.” Schantz’s entirely classical perspective appears remarkably similar to the “pilot-wave” theory of quantum mechanics.

Schantz’s approach to electromagnetic theory focuses on the balance between electric and magnetic energy. When there are equal amount of electric and magnetic energy, energy moves at the speed of light. As the ratio shifts away from an equal balance, energy slows down, coming to a rest in the limit of electrostatic or magnetic static fields. From this observation, Schantz derives a way to quantify the state of the electromagnetic field on a continuum between static and radiation fields, and ties this directly to the energy velocity.

“The fascinating result is that fields guide energy in a way exactly analogous to the way in which pilot waves guide particles in the Bohm-deBroglie theory,” Schantz explains. “Rather than an ad hoc approach to explain away the contradictions of quantum mechanics, pilot wave theory appears to be the natural application of classical electromagnetic ideas in the quantum realm.”

His solution to the “two slit” experiment that has perplexed generations of physicists?

“Fields behave like waves. When they interact with the two slits, they generate an interference pattern. The interference pattern guides a photon along a path to one of the screen. It’s not the photon interfering with itself. It’s the interfering waves guiding the photon.”

So which slit did the photon pass through?

“If the photon ends up on the left hand side of the screen, it went through the left slit. If it ends up on the right hand side of the screen, it went through the right slit. It really is that simple.”

Schantz applied these electromagnetic ideas to understand and explain how antennas work in his textbook, The Art and Science of Ultrawideband Antennas (Artech House 2015). He’s also co-founder and CTO of Q-Track Corporation, a company that applies near-field wireless to the challenging problem of indoor location. “There are things you can do with low-frequency long-wavelength signals that simply aren’t possible with conventional wireless systems,” Schantz explains. “Understanding how static or reactive energy transforms into radiation has direct applications to antenna design as well near-field wireless systems.”

Schantz chose an unconventional way of popularizing his ideas. “I was amazed that my electromagnetic perspective was not discovered and adopted over a hundred years ago. It was as if someone had deliberately suppressed the discovery, so I undertook to write a science fiction series based on that premise.” Schantz’s Hidden Truth series debuted in 2016, and he released the third volume in the series, The Brave and the Bold, in October.

Schantz’s next project is a popular treatment of his physics ideas. Edited by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright, Schantz’s book Fields: The Once and Future Theory of Everything will appear in 2019.

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37 thoughts on “Electromagnetic Discovery May Demystify Quantum Mechanics”

  1. 10 Cents:
    Congratulations. Is this the Royal Society in London’s publication?

    Yes. My article appears in a special issue commemorating 125 years of Oliver Heaviside’s ‘Electromagnetic Theory.’

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  2. Sweet.

    I like theories that simplify things.

    Amazed to see the same people who propose many universes complaining pilot wave is crank.

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  3. Congratulations on your publication. As someone who is extremely lazy about writing up work, I admire your discipline. I haven’t read your paper yet but I’ll get to it.

    I was puzzled by the following:

    Hans G. Schantz:
    If the photon ends up on the left hand side of the screen, it went through the left slit. If it ends up on the right hand side of the screen, it went through the right slit. It really is that simple.

    An interference pattern from two slits cannot simply be explained by having the photon end up on the right or left of a screen. The pattern is a set of alternate bright and dark bands (fringes). An explanation of this must explain why there are many areas where no photons arrive (dark fringes). I don’t see how “it went through the left slit” or “it went through the right slit” explains this. Care to clarify?

    Edit:

    N.B.: Photons passing through a single slit are equally likely to end up on the right-hand or the left-hand side of the screen. Thus, which slit the photon used in a double-slit experiment is irrelevant to which side of the screen it ends up on.

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  4. I need to know what this phrase means, if it could be explained in lay woman’s terms:

    and the pilot wave interpretation of quantum mechanics.

    I don’t know I have encountered “pilot wave.” Are you meaning that the original or pilot interpretation of the EM phenomenon is something you are challenging? Or are there pilot waves?

    I am most eager to read the whole thing through, as the idea you have a fuller explanation is totally genius. But want to make sure I am following you.

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  5. drlorentz:
    An explanation of this must explain why there are many areas where no photons arrive (dark fringes). I don’t see how “it went through the left slit” or “it went through the right slit” explains this. Care to clarify?

    The fields (which behave like waves) are a distinct entity from the energy (which behaves like particles). The fields pass through both slits, generating the interference pattern. The individual photon passing through one slit or the other follows one of the streamlines set up by the interfering fields.

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  6. Carol Sterritt:
    I don’t know I have encountered “pilot wave.” Are you meaning that the original or pilot interpretation of the EM phenomenon is something you are challenging? Or are there pilot waves?

    What I have found is that electromagnetics may be thought of as behaving in a way very similar to the pilot wave theory of quantum mechanics. In the pilot wave theory, the pilot waves interfere and guide a particle along a particular trajectory. In electromagnetics, it turns out one may interpret Maxwell’s Equations as requiring that fields guide the flow of energy, and the motion of the fields is in general not the same as the trajectory taken by the energy they guide.

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  7. Hans G. Schantz:

    Carol Sterritt:
    I don’t know I have encountered “pilot wave.” Are you meaning that the original or pilot interpretation of the EM phenomenon is something you are challenging? Or are there pilot waves?

    What I have found is that electromagnetics may be thought of as behaving in a way very similar to the pilot wave theory of quantum mechanics. In the pilot wave theory, the pilot waves interfere and guide a particle along a particular trajectory. In electromagnetics, it turns out one may interpret Maxwell’s Equations as requiring that fields guide the flow of energy, and the motion of the fields is in general not the same as the trajectory taken by the energy they guide.

    Thanks very much. In all the times I have read about the unified field theory, or had friends discussing such, I don’t remember anyone using that term. But it is a fascinating portrayal of reality and gives me something to think about. (I lived in Lisle Illinois in late ’70, and many friends were engineers who worked at Bell labs. One went on to invent the USB device.)

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  8. Purely as classical physics Hans’s work is very useful in distinguishing near from far fields, but I suspect the analogy to Bohm’s 1952 pilot wave theory will only work for a single massive particle in a conservative classical potential – no entanglement. I do not see how Hans can describe e.g. two-particle entanglement.

    Basically the problem is this: in Bohm quantum electrodynamics Fuv(x) is the classical field tensor and it is a “beable” with a quantum information functional PSI(Fuv(x)) and the problem is very hairy technically in the Bohm picture especially for the quantum entanglement correlation functions such as

    <Psi(Fuv(x))Psi(F’u’v’(x’)>

    Now Rod Sutherland seems to have simplified this mathematically using local retrocausality for the gravity field in his Naive Quantum Gravity paper on arXiv and same thing should work for EM field, but no one is really working on this yet.

    Naive Quantum Gravity
    Roderick I. Sutherland
    (Submitted on 6 Feb 2015 (v1), last revised 6 Jan 2016 (this version, v2))

    A possible alternative route to a quantum theory of gravity is presented. The usual path is to quantize the gravitational field in order to introduce the statistical structure characteristic of quantum mechanics. The procedure followed here instead is to remove the statistical element of quantum theory by introducing final boundary conditions as well as initial. The relevant quantum formalism then becomes compatible with the non-statistical nature of general relativity and a viable theory can be constructed without difficulty. This approach also provides a simple method of avoiding the configuration space description of quantum mechanics and allows the formulation to be carried out entirely within the four dimensions of spacetime. These advantages are made possible by the inherent retrocausal nature of the final boundary conditions.

    Subjects:
    General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)

    Cite as:
    arXiv:1502.02058 [gr-qc]

    (or arXiv:1502.02058v2 [gr-qc] for this version)

    Note – I say Psi is the funda-MENTAL field (Hameroff’s term) or “proto-mental field”

    http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~mdt26/pilot_waves.html

    and when classical Fuv back-reacts on its PSI, then PSI is conscious.

    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/star-gate/id1406227128?mt=11

    Same for any local classical gauge field especially the gravity curvature tensor field Ruvwl(x) and that gets us to PK Dick’s VALIS, Olaf Stapledon’s Star Maker and Hawking’s Mind of God.

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  9. Jack Sarfatti:
    Purely as classical physics Hans’s work is very useful in distinguishing near from far fields, but I suspect the analogy to Bohm’s 1952 pilot wave theory will only work for a single massive particle in a conservative classical potential – no entanglement. I do not see how Hans can describe e.g. two-particle entanglement.

    Can you suggest a classical example of fields that would give rise to such an entanglement?

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  10. Not at the moment no. I seem to recall seeing some very recent papers talking about classical analogs to nonlocal entanglement. The place to look would be the Wheeler-Feynman classical electrodynamics using advanced and retarded potentials since John Cramer’s transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics is based on their 1940 work which in turn was based on earlier work of Stuckleburg. Yakir Aharonov’s two-state-vector “weak measurement” theory is also based on Wheeler-Feynman classical EM but has an essential difference from Cramer’s TI. Huw Price has reintroduced Costa de Beauregard’s “zig-zag” to explain pair entanglement using local retrocausality (implicit in Wheeler-Feynman CLASSICAL EM) in a way that does not violate special relativity. Finally, Roderick Sutherland has used all of the previous ideas to update Bohm’s pilot wave theory to include special relativity and to avoid the use of configuration space for many-particle entangled systems (with interactions switched off so far).

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  11. PS new Ed Witten paper

    These are notes on some entanglement properties of quantum field theory, aiming to make accessible a variety of ideas that are known in the literature. The main goal is to explain how to deal with entanglement when—as in quantum field theory—it is a property of the algebra of observables and not just of the states.”

    https://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/RevModPhys.90.045003?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rmp-alert

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  12.  

    PPS The key conceptual issue is as follows. Roger Penrose has been very perplexed on how to reconcile general relativity with quantum theory all his professional life. Roderick Sutherland has actually shown how to do what Roger wants using Bohm’s pilot wave theory as extended to include advanced back-from-the-future “destiny” quantum pilot waves in addition to the usual “history” quantum pilot wave from past to present. Roger stumbled because he used non-Bohmian pictures of quantum reality that only have quantum waves which must “collapse” in some magical way to produce classical reality in which Schrodinger’s Cat cannot be both alive and dead at the same time in the same reality. None of these problems arise in Bohm’s picture in which classical reality is actually always there in addition to the quantum information “pilot wave” corrections to the classical motions (particles like electrons and classical fields like Hans has studied).

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  13. I never understood Roger’s cyclic cosmology until last Monday Oct 30, 2018. It is beautiful mathematics and he has two strong physics facts to back it up.
    There is still one loose end about the massless electric charges in far future but I think that will be solved – violation of gauge invariance. I think Roger’s cosmology is better than competing inflation.

    However, on quantum mechanics I disagree with Roger he has been seduced by the Bohrians.
     

    https://www.mpls.ox.ac.uk/upcoming-events/oxford-mathematics-london-public-lecture-to-a-physicist-i-am-a-mathematician-to-a-mathematician-a-physicist-roger-penrose-in-conversation-with-hannah-fry

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  14. I have never liked inflation because it seems like a kludge. Why did it stop?

    With the wave from the future, does this imply the pilot wave exists across time without the same sense of causality as we have?

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  15. There are two kinds of pilot waves one from the future to the present – destiny, the other from past to the present – history. They both influence classical particles and classical fields (like the one Hans analyzed) and cause deviations in their purely classical motions. You can think of the pilot waves as unconscious thought waves that do not awaken into consciousness until the classical particles and classical fields they act on, directly back-react on them as sensory input signals – in my extension of Sutherland’s 2015 mathematical Lagrangian reformulation/extension of Bohm’s 1952 pilot wave theory.

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  16. Jack Sarfatti:
    There are two kinds of pilot waves one from the future to the present – destiny, the other from past to the present – history.

    Do they interact? Are all particles following one or the other?

    If the future totally fixed then?

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  17. Of course, they interact in the sense of Yakir Aharonov’s weak measurements – the mathematics is worked out in Sutherland’s papers. Particles follow BOTH of course in what Igor Novikov in Moscow would call “globally consistent” time loop histories.

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  18. Jack Sarfatti:
    Of course, they interact in the sense of Yakir Aharonov’s weak measurements – the mathematics is worked out in Sutherland’s papers. Particles follow BOTH of course in what Igor Novikov in Moscow would call “globally consistent” time loop histories.

    Okaaaaya.

    I’ll take my yes, and be happy.

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  19. Bryan G. Stephens:

    Jack Sarfatti:
    Of course, they interact in the sense of Yakir Aharonov’s weak measurements – the mathematics is worked out in Sutherland’s papers. Particles follow BOTH of course in what Igor Novikov in Moscow would call “globally consistent” time loop histories.

    Okaaaaya.

    I’ll take my yes, and be happy.

    Unfortunately, this stuff is really complicated and confusing, and people have been trying to make sense of what quantum mechanics means for the better part of a century.

    Quantum mechanics is as well-tested as any theory in physics.  In its relativistic form (quantum electrodynamics), its predictions agree with experimental results within ten parts per billion.  You plug the numbers into the equations, and out pops a number which is, in all tests so far, precisely in agreement with experiment to the accuracy you can measure.  Many physicists and almost all engineers are satisfied with this: “shut up and calculate” is their motto.

    The messy part is when people ask “what does it mean” or “how does it work”.  This is the question of interpretations of quantum mechanics: trying to understand the mechanism which produces the results the equations predict and experiments confirm.  Some physicists contend this is not physics, but metaphysics or, even worse, philosophy: if the equations produce the right answer, and various interpretations are consistent with the equations and hence can’t be tested by experiment, which one is “right” is outside the domain of science.

    The de Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory completely agreed with the predictions of non-relativistic quantum mechanics but did not agree with experimental results where relativity was significant such as the Lamb shift in the spectrum of the hydrogen atom.  There are proposed extensions of the theory, such as those proposed by Roderick Sutherland which claim to reconcile the pilot wave theory with special relativity.  The hope is that this work will lead to an experimental test which could distinguish the pilot wave theory from other interpretations of quantum mechanics.

    But the fact is that all of this is “bleeding edge” theoretical physics, and that nobody has explained this at the popular science level of writing.  That would be a tremendous amount of work, and the odds are that by the time you were ready to publish, new results would have made it out of date.

    Conversations like this provide a “look beneath the hood” at how science is done.  You won’t find this in many other places.

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  20. Now that I’ve read the paper, Hans, two questions:

    1. The paper seems to treat the near-field case but two slit diffraction with light is almost always well into the far-field by any definition. This relates to my previous comment, above, about how it isn’t meaningful to say “If the photon ends up on the left hand side of the screen, it went through the left slit.” Photons passing through either slit have the same energy distribution in the far field. How is this a solution to the two-slit experiment?
    2. Does your theory make any predictions that differ from conventional quantum mechanics? If so, what are they?
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  21. Hans G. Schantz:The fields (which behave like waves) are a distinct entity from the energy (which behaves like particles). The fields pass through both slits, generating the interference pattern. The individual photon passing through one slit or the other follows one of the streamlines set up by the interfering fields.

     

    Should I take this graph literally?  If these are the calculated paths of photons, can you show the underlying field’s densities/polarities?  Or is this just a notional, conceptual illustration to show some bendiness of paths and an implied interference pattern on the right wall?
    The reason I ask is that the extreme-inward paths bend at such extreme radii that it seems they get a lot more energy invested in their fate than the other moderately-affected particles do.  This should show up in the density near the center.  The problem is that the paths always on balance curve away from the center of the two-slits, and in particular, never cross the centerline.  It does not seem creditable to me that a path originating on the lower slit will never terminate on the upper half of the board.

    Finally, many of the paths go through more severe momentary bends later on in the process than earlier.  But this is far from the area which seems to evidence a high energy density.

    I’ll be frank: this looks like an illustration knocked-up in Powerpoint to go along with a hand-waving explanation.

    EDIT:  This illustration doesn’t even appear in the paper itself, which is reassuring.  The paper makes much more sense *to my limited ability to understand* than this illustration does, if it is supposed to represent photon “trajectories”.  On the other hand, pehaps the illustration can be bolstered or clarified, but that is beyond the scope of the paper.

    I’ll follow on in a new comment, but wanted to deflate my own puffery right here in this comment.

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