A proposed physical analog of a quantum amplitude: Corkscrew model from the Theory of Elementary Waves (TEW)

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Jeffrey H. Boyd


This article proposes solutions to two riddles of quantum mechanics (QM): (1) What is the physical analog of a quantum amplitude?, (2) Why do electrons in a double slit experiment act differently if we look at them? The Theory of Elementary Waves (TEW) is an unconventional view of how nature is organized. Elementary ray amplitudes precede and travel in the opposite direction as particles, which then follow these amplitudes backwards. The amplitude A = |A| e is a vector in Hilbert space, but it moves through Euclidean space. This makes explicit something implicit in Feynman’s thinking, although Feynman had the amplitudes traveling in the wrong direction. In double slit experiments, the amplitude of elementary rays going though the two slits interfere before they reach the electron gun. Any experiment that detects which slit the electron uses, destroys the coherence of those two rays, destroying the interference. Because there is no interference, the target screen displays no interference fringe pattern. TEW represents a paradigm shift of seismic proportions, in both classical and quantum physics. Thomas Kuhn warns that paradigm shifts of this magnitude are usually rejected as preposterous. That is exactly what happened to Alfred Wegener’s idea of “continental drift.”


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Author Biography

Jeffrey H. Boyd, retired

Dr. Boyd was born in 1943 in northern New Jersey, USA, the son of a factory worker family in which no one had ever been to college. In high school he helped his father dig a basement by hand, using a pick, shovel and wheelbarrow. As a teenager he and his cousin, Lewis E. Little, played three dimensional tic-tac-toe, and developed strategies for four dimensional tic-tac-toe. Boyd chose which college to apply to based on Little’s advice about which had the best Applied Math department. Boyd’s undergraduate degree in mathematics was from Brown University in 1965, three years after Little graduated from Brown in physics.  Following Dr. Martin Luther King in the Civil Rights movement, Boyd was in Mississippi in 1965, where he learned that being denounced as an outside agitator did not mean one was doing the wrong thing. Boyd has post-graduate degrees from Harvard, Yale and Case Western Reserve Universities, has served on the research faculty of the National Institutes of Health for seven years, and has been on the faculty of the Yale Medical School. His day job is as a physician: a psychiatrist. Boyd retired after a quarter century at Waterbury Hospital, Waterbury CT, a Yale teaching hospital at which he served as chairman of behavioral health and chairman of ethics. Fifty five years ago Boyd abandoned his first love (mathematics) because of his belief that no mathematician over the age of 25 ever discovered anything important, and he was rapidly approaching that age. He wanted to be in a field where age and experience counted for you, not against you. A rewarding career in medicine followed. Then Andrew Wiles proved Femat’s last theorem at age forty and Lewis Little discovered elementary waves at age fifty-two. With this series of articles in JAP the author discovered, to his astonishment, that even this old dog can learn some new tricks. Boyd has published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Advances in Physics, Journal of Advances in Mathematics and Physics Essays.