Tuesday, August 09, 2005

About "interpretational problems" of QM

If Feynman were somewhere witnessing the recent deep regression in theoretical physics, he would probably deeply regret for ever launching his shut-up-and-calculate interpretation. Fortunately there are also signs of healthy development.

During last weeks there have been a lot of discussion about fundamentals inspired by Lee Smolin's article at http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0507235 addressing among other things to the interpretational problems of quantum theory and to the problem of background dependence plaguing string theories (see Not Even Wrong and Lubos Motl's blog site). Even Witten made in Strings 2005 panel discussion a remark that quantum theory might be in need of modification.

The discussion in Not-Even-Wrong has been censored down to attempts to interpret what Names have possible meant with their casual remarks (this endless appeal to authorities and censoring of any new idea as off-topics astonishes me again and again and I wonder whether it correlates with the recent intellectual regression in USA). Lubos Motl in turn is convinced that there is nothing to be added to QM, discussion of fundamentals is waste of time, and that M-theory is the final answer to all problems which deserve answer. I am however happy to find that colleagues are perhaps finally forced to do what have they have avoided so long: to use their own brains and realize that it is extremely unprobable that a theory plagued by logical paradoxes and invented after 500 hundred years after birth of physics as a science could be final.

"Interpretational problems" of quantum mechanics is a delicately constructed euphemism for much deeper problems, and developing still one new interpretation is a waste of time. Personally I see no other way to make real progress than attacking the real problem which is construction of a quantum theory of consciousness. First of all this includes solving the logical paradox due to non-determinism of Schroedinger equation and non-determinism of quantum jump, and this seems impossible without new view about the relation between experienced time and geometric time of physicist.

Serious consideration of "interpretational problems" requires a lot of wandering at the boundaries of human consciousness which is very slow and painful process as compared to mechanical symbol manipulation requiring only technical skills. On basis of my experience of two decades of consciousness theory I am however happy to tell that this kind of activity is not at all sterile "study of foundations" or copying quotations from classics. Developing consistent interpretations for new mathematical ideas in turn allowing to develop these ideas further is what makes this kind of approach so rewarding. I dare say that in TGD framework this process has led to a rather concrete new vision about physics, consciousness, and biology.

  1. At philosophical side a precise quantitative characterization for the failure of reductionism emerges and I am now developing further the concrete implications in nuclear physics, physics of condensed matter, and biology emerged during last fifteen years. Chiral selection in living matter and fundamental mechanisms of bio-catalysis define one application.

    The new view about the relation between experienced time and geometric time of physicist ermges and has as a dual a new view about relationship between gravitational and inertial mass. The new view about energy and time predicts new energy and communication technologies based on the possibility of negative inertial energies and classical communications backwards in geometric time.

  2. At mathematical side the construction of quantum states as classical spinor fields in the infinite-dimensional space of "world of classical worlds" (3-surfaces) generalizing Wheeler's super-space provides a solution to the background independence problem.

    It also leads to the identification of hyperfinite type II_1 factors (having spinors of separable Hilbert space as a canonical representation) as the basic building blocks of quantum TGD (factors type I_n and I_infty appear in nonrelativistic quantum mechanics and factors of type III appear in algebraic quantum field theory). This implies direct connection with conformal field theories, braid groups, knot and 3-manifold invariants, and quantum groups. The hierarchy of Jones inclusions has interpretation in terms of sub-system-system inclusions with dynamical quantized value of hbar characterizing this inclusion. The inclusion hierarchies of II_1 factors provide a concrete realization to the hierarchy of conscious entities predicted by TGD inspired theory of consciousness. The hierarchy of dark matters appears as their physical correlate. This hierarchy relates closely to other hierarchies of quantum TGD (fractal hierarchy of space-time sheets, hierarchy of infinite primes identifiable as hierarchy of second quantizations of arithmetic QFT, hierarchy of conscious entities ("selves") in TGD inspired theory of consciousness, hierarchy of average durations of quantum jump with respect to geometric time).

    A generalization of braid diagrams to Feynman diagrams suggests strongly itself together with a symmetry principle generalizing string model duality. Diagrams would be classified by the topology of the lowest genus two-surface allowing the imbedding of diagram and all diagrams with homologically trivial loops at this genus are equivalent to a minimal diagram characterized by its homology class for the minimal genus. The absence of homologically non-trivial loops has in TGD framework straightforward interpretation: there is no path integral over all possible 4-surface since configuration space geometry assigns an almost unique space-time surface to a given 3-surface identifiable as a generalized Bohr orbit. Almost uniqueness means the failure of strict classical determinism: this makes it possible to assign space-time correlates not only to quantum states but also quantum jump sequences.

  3. At phenomenological side this leads to a prediction of a hierarchy of dark matters relying on the identification of dark matter as a quantum coherent phase with large value of hbar. A more refined definition of darkness is forced by many-sheeted space-time and p-adic length scale hypothesis (relative darkness, partial darkness). This identification is directly relevant to the understanding of living matter as a system involving interaction of several hierarchy levels of this kind as also predicted by the basic postulates of consciousness theory. The physics of water is full of anomalies, one of them being the finding that neutron diffraction and electron scattering at attosecond time scale give evidence for the formula H_1.5O. The interpretation that one fourth of protons is in dark phase, leads to a model for clustering of water providing considerable insights to the anomalies.

During last months I have been applying the idea about dark matter as a large hbar phase to nuclear physics and condensed matter, where the predicted long ranged classical weak and color fields have been a long standing interpretational head ache. The interpretation of these fields in terms of dark matter hierarchy involving p-adically scaled down copies of electro-weak bosons and gluons gives excellent hopes of solving the problems, explains anomalies like tetra-neutron and cold fusion, and makes testable predictions. The long range weak fields allow to understand chiral selection in living matter as a strong electroweak parity breaking effect for dark matter forming the quintessential part of living matter.

To decide personally whether serious consideration of fundamentals can give something to physics see "What's New" links of various books about TGD at http://tgd.wippiespace.com/public_html/. Matti Pitkanen

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Dark quarks and nuclear strong force

I have re-written the chapter devoted to the possible implications of TGD for nuclear physics. In the original version of the chapter the focus was in the attempt to resolve the problems caused by the incorrect interpretation of the predicted long ranged weak gauge fields. What seems to be a breakthrough in this respect came only quite recently (2005), more than a decade after the first version of this chapter, and is based on TGD based view about dark matter inspired by the developments in the mathematical understanding of quantum TGD. In this approach condensed matter nuclei can be either ordinary, that is behave essentially like standard model nuclei, or be in dark matter phase in which case they generate long ranged dark weak gauge fields responsible for the large parity breaking effects in living matter. This approach resolves trivially the objections against long range classical weak fields.

The basic criterion for the transition to dark matter phase having by definition large value of hbar is that the condition α Q1Q2≈1 for appropriate gauge interactions expressing the fact that the perturbation series does not converge. The increase of hbar makes perturbation series converging since the value of α is reduced but leaves lowest order classical predictions invariant.

This criterion can be applied to color force and inspires the hypothesis that valence quarks inside nucleons correspond to large hbar phase whereas sea quark space-time sheets correspond to the ordinary value of hbar. This hypothesis is combined with the earlier model of strong nuclear force based on the assumption that long color bonds with p-adically scaled down quarks with mass of order MeV at their ends are responsible for the nuclear strong force.

1.Is strong force due to color bonds between exotic quark pairs?

The basic assumptions are following.

  1. Valence quarks correspond to large hbar phase with p-adic length scale L(keff=129)= L(107)/v0≈ 211L(107)≈ 5× 10-12 m whereas sea quarks correspond to ordinary hbar and define the standard size of nucleons.

  2. Color bonds with length of order L(127)≈ ≈ 2.5× 10-12 m and having quarks with ordinary hbar and p-adically scaled down masses mq(dark)≈ v0mq at their ends define kind of rubber bands connecting nucleons. The p-adic length scale of exotic quarks differs by a factor 2 from that of dark valence quarks so that the length scales in question can couple naturally. This large length scale as also other p-adic length scales correspond to the size of the topologically quantized field body associated with system, be it quark, nucleon, or nucleus.

Valence quarks and even exotic quarks can be dark with respect to both color and weak interactions but not with respect to electromagnetic interactions. The model for binding energies suggests darkness with respect to weak interactions with weak boson masses scaled down by a factor v0. Weak interactions remain still weak. Quarks and nucleons as defined by their k=107 sea quark portions condense at scaled up weak space-time sheet with keff=111 having p-adic size 10-14 meters. The estimate for the atomic number of the heaviest possible nucleus comes out correctly.

The wave functions of the nucleons fix the boundary values of the wave functionals of the color magnetic flux tubes idealizable as strings. In the terminology of M-theory nucleons correspond to small branes and color magnetic flux tubes to strings connecting them.

2. General features of strong interactions

This picture allows to understand the general features of strong interactions.

  • Quantum classical correspondence and the assumption that the relevant space-time surfaces have 2-dimensional CP2 projection implies Abelianization. Strong isospin group can be identified as the SU(2) subgroup of color group acting as isotropies of space-time surfaces, and the U(1) holonomy of color gauge potential defines a preferred direction of strong isospin. Exotic color isospin corresponds to strong isospin. The correlation of exotic color with weak isospin of the nucleon is strongly suggested by quantum classical correspondence.

  • Both color singlet spin 0 pion type bonds and colored spin 1 bonds are allowed and the color magnetic spin-spin interaction between the exotic quark and anti-quark is negative in this case. p-p and n-n bonds correspond to oppositely colored spin 1 bonds and p-n bonds to colorless spin 0 bonds for which the binding energy is 3 times higher. The presence of colored bonds forces the presence of neutralizing dark gluon condensate favoring states with N-P>0.

  • Shell model based on harmonic oscillator potential follows naturally from this picture in which the magnetic flux tubes connecting nucleons take the role of springs. Spin-orbit interaction can be understood in terms of the color force in the same way as it is understood in atomic physics.

3. Nuclear binding energies

  • The binding energies per nucleon for A=< 4 nuclei can be understood if they form closed string like structures, nuclear strings, so that only two color bonds per nucleon are possible. This could be understood if dark valence quarks and exotic quarks possessing much smaller mass behave as if they were identical fermions. p-Adic mass calculations support this assumption. Also the average behavior of binding energy for heavier nuclei is predicted correctly.

  • For nuclei with P=N all color bonds can be pion type bonds and they have thus maximal color magnetic spin-spin interaction energy. The increase of color Coulombic binding energy between colored exotic quark pairs and dark gluons however favors N>P and explains also the formation of neutron halo outside k=111 space-time sheet.

  • Spin-orbit interaction provides the standard explanation for magic numbers. If the maximum of the binding energy per nucleon is taken as a criterion for magic, also Z=N=4,6,12 are magic. The alternative TGD based explanation for magic numbers Z=N=4,6,8,12,20 would be in terms of regular Platonic solids. Experimentally also other magic numbers such as N=14,16,30,32 are known for neutrons. The linking of nuclear strings provides a possible mechanism producing new magic nuclei from lighter magic nuclei and could explain these magic numbers and provide an alternative explanation for higher shell model magic numbers 28,50,82,126.

4. Stringy description of nuclear reactions

The view about nucleus as a collection of linked nuclear strings suggests a stringy description of nuclear reactions. Microscopically the nuclear reactions would correspond to re-distribution of exotic quarks between the nucleons in reacting nuclei.

5. Anomalies and new nuclear physics

The TGD based explanation of neutron halo has been already mentioned. The recently observed tetra-neutron states are difficult to understand in the standard nuclear physics framework since Fermi statistics does not allow this kind of state. The identification of tetra-neutron as an alpha particle containing two negatively charged color bonds allows to circumvent the problem. A large variety of exotic nuclei containing charged color bonds is predicted.

For more details see the completely revised chapter TGD and Nuclear Physics.