Quantum and Particle Physics
How do the subatomic particles of matter and energy that seem to make up this universe do what they do?
Herewith a few ontological and epistemological notes on the papers that follow in this section: -
Nobody Understands Quantum Physics - as Richard Feynman famously asserted.
Einstein considered that quantum theory remained incomplete.
The Copenhagen Interpretation remains the most popular interpretation of quantum physics. It seems to say that below a certain level of reality, we do not have a clue what goes on, and we probably never will.
Many other interpretations of quantum physics also exist and the very existence of such a plethora of interpretations suggests that we do not yet have a completely satisfactory model.
We can only understand anything by appreciating a level of reality underlying it that supplies it with mechanisms. For example, chemistry only begins to make sense once we understand something about the atoms within chemicals. Biology remained a mere matter of phenomenology or ‘stamp collecting’ until we understood something about biochemical and evolutionary mechanisms.
However if quantum and particle physics do describe reality at its most fundamental level then reality cannot have any underlying levels to supply the quanta (or us) with any mechanisms for what they do.
We have some indications that this may actually apply; the simplest apparently non-composite fundamental particles like electrons and neutrinos seem to have zero size (when measured in certain ways) and no internal structure.
(However, they do seem to exhibit several different properties each; and to come in three different flavours and anti-flavours each)
Many quantum particle interactions appear to occur probabilistically rather than upon deterministic certainties, the outcomes seem random within limits.
We ascribe various quantum numbers to particles and these describe what we have observed them doing. For example, we describe particles as having ‘spin’, ‘baryon number’, ‘lepton number’, ‘colour charge’, ‘electroweak charge’, ‘flavour or generational number’, ‘isospin’, ‘hypercharge’ and ‘weak hypercharge’, and so on. However, these quantum numbers just quantify symmetries – behaviours that seem common to various types of quanta and which remain conserved or not conserved in various types of particle interactions.
Plus we have the additional complication that some of the properties of quanta denoted by these quantum numbers seem to have partaken in various degrees of superposition immediately prior to their interactions, and thus appear to have consisted of something in more than one state at a time.
In addition, some of the properties denoted by quantum numbers do not seem limited to the minute spaces we commonly ascribe to quantum particles, and neither to have any sort of spacetime locality at all. Certain correlations between states can seemingly stretch across the entire universe.
We have almost no visualiseable correlates for these quantum numbers apart from ‘spin’, which correlates to helicity in the direction of travel but only at lightspeed, ‘electroweak charge’ that correlates to static electric charge, and ‘flavour or generational charge’ that simply seems to add more mass to a particle, but not in any predictable or algorithmically compressible manner.
Some of the symmetries denoted by quantum numbers do not even make sense in terms of our usual understanding of symmetry. All observed neutrinos for example spin only leftwards, nature does not seem to allow them to do otherwise; nobody yet has a model that explains this, although anti-neutrinos seem similarly constrained to spin rightwards.
The current standard model of particle physics looks like a magnificent piece of phenomenology or stamp collecting, it classifies what we have observed in terms of various symmetries and broken symmetries - this behaves like that, and this resembles some things but not others.
In view of the above it would appear that, quantum and particle physics as we currently understand them do not model reality at its most fundamental level because we have complexity, symmetry and broken symmetry, without any underlying mechanism to explain them.
What mechanism could describe them?
General Relativity describes gravity as geometric spacetime curvature and this seems like a truly fundamental theory, albeit one that may require a few tweaks to accommodate extreme curvatures and very large masses and both very large and very small distance scales.
Most theorists opine that any theory that integrates quantum theory with general relativistic theory, must lead towards a theory of quantum gravity in which general relativity gives ground to quantum theory, despite that the equivalence principle implies the impossibility of quantising gravity.
The following papers in this section take the opposite view and consider the possibilities of describing quantum and particle physics in terms of a dynamic spacetime geometry in which quanta appear as vorticitating hyperspheres in a spacetime manifold with a temporal dimensionality symmetric with its spatial dimensionality.
Whilst the Hypersphere Cosmology hypothesis on this site seems fairly well formed and anti-fragile to falsification, the following papers remain conjectural and subject to frequent revision.
I feel fairly certain that another level of reality, and probably just a single additional layer of reality, underlies what we currently understand about quantum and particle physics. I suspect that fundamental layer consists of Planck scale hyperspheres whose multi-dimensional 'rotations' give rise to particle types and their behaviours.