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Author Topic: Does the one electron model make sense?  (Read 1060 times)

Offline Alan McDougall

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Does the one electron model make sense?
« on: 09/06/2016 02:15:12 »
Thanks folks, I think I'm getting there, one step at a time, but I'm struggling with this bit as well.

Quote
Our measurement of the electron being at x equals the branch Bx coming out of its interference with all other branches Bx of the quantum universe, in each of which the electron is in another place x.

Here the author is referencing another potential model of reality that is also currently consistent with Quantum Mechanics. In this model of reality time isn't a string of single events stretching from past to future. Instead every time an event happens every possible outcome happens but a human can only ever observe one. Instead of imagining time as a line it instead becomes more tree like with every possible outcome of an event spawning a new line or 'branch'.

You could think of this model as saying that when a particle is acting like it is delocalized that is really just a bunch of possible universes (branches) interacting with each other and in each universe (branch) the particle is in only one place. As long as you don't try measure the location of the particle exactly all those universes (branches) are free to keep interacting but as soon as you make that measurement you essentially pick a universe (branch). In this model the only way for an electron to be bound to an atom is for the electron to be delocalized via this interaction of many universes (branches) interfering with each other. Once you pick a universe (branch) via an observation the interactions between universes (branches) cease and the electron can no longer be bound to the atom.

I am not sure if this fits here if not maybe we could start another thread.


One-electron universe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-electron_universe


The one-electron universe postulate, proposed by John Wheeler in a telephone call to Richard Feynman in the spring of 1940, states that all electrons and positrons are actually manifestations of a single entity moving backwards and forwards in time. According to Feynman:

I received a telephone call one day at the graduate college at Princeton from Professor Wheeler, in which he said, "Feynman, I know why all electrons have the same charge and the same mass" "Why?" "Because, they are all the same electron!"[1]

The idea is based on the world lines traced out across spacetime by every electron. Rather than have myriad such lines, Wheeler suggested that they could all be parts of one single line like a huge tangled knot, traced out by the one electron. Any given moment in time is represented by a slice across spacetime, and would meet the knotted line a great many times. Each such meeting point represents a real electron at that moment.



 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #1 on: 09/06/2016 09:13:35 »
Alan, I've split this off for you as it deserves its own topic.

Ive come across the maths which shows that a positron could be viewed as an electron going back in time, but I was sure Feynman interpreted it differently. I'm sure you will get some clarification here
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #2 on: 09/06/2016 09:46:35 »
Quote from: olin2B
a positron could be viewed as an electron going back in time
For every instance of an electron going forward in time, you would need a matching positron going backwards in time (to meet up with its earlier electron-self).

But in our part of the universe, there seems to be somewhat of a shortage of positrons. So in our part of the universe there must be more than 1 electron going forwards in time.

Where is all the antimatter?
 

Offline Pseudoscience-is-malarkey

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #3 on: 09/06/2016 10:08:58 »
Quote
Does the one electron model make sense?

It does if you're a physicist. 
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #4 on: 09/06/2016 14:09:26 »
Does the one electron model make sense?
No. It's nonsense. Forget it.

The one-electron universe postulate, proposed by John Wheeler in a telephone call to Richard Feynman in the spring of 1940, states that all electrons and positrons are actually manifestations of a single entity moving backwards and forwards in time.
This is nonsense because there is no motion through time. Because time is a cumulative measure of motion. Look at what a clock does, and you will see that it features a pendulum or a vibrating crystal, and some cogs or electronics that effectively count some kind of cyclical regular local motion, and it ends up providing some kind of cumulative display called "the time". Whilst we talk about the flow of time and moving forward through time, such phrases are merely a figure of speech. You don't literally move forwards through time. In similar vein you can't move backwards through time.

I received a telephone call one day at the graduate college at Princeton from Professor Wheeler, in which he said, "Feynman, I know why all electrons have the same charge and the same mass" "Why?" "Because, they are all the same electron!"
This is nonsense too. Electrons all have the same mass and charge because h is common to all photons.

Wheeler is generally well-regarded, but not by me.

 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #5 on: 09/06/2016 15:32:14 »
It might make some sense to those with a *very* different concept of time. I don't see any way that this model is useful for problems in which systems only evolve in one direction in time (what we can experience and measure). I also don't see how it can help us understand how multiple electrons interact with each other (which is very important), although it might potentially offer an explanation for electron exchange and correlation...

Also, as evan points out: where are those positrons?
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #6 on: 09/06/2016 23:22:05 »
Does the one electron model make sense?
No. It's nonsense. Forget it.

The one-electron universe postulate, proposed by John Wheeler in a telephone call to Richard Feynman in the spring of 1940, states that all electrons and positrons are actually manifestations of a single entity moving backwards and forwards in time.
This is nonsense because there is no motion through time. Because time is a cumulative measure of motion. Look at what a clock does, and you will see that it features a pendulum or a vibrating crystal, and some cogs or electronics that effectively count some kind of cyclical regular local motion, and it ends up providing some kind of cumulative display called "the time". Whilst we talk about the flow of time and moving forward through time, such phrases are merely a figure of speech. You don't literally move forwards through time. In similar vein you can't move backwards through time.

I received a telephone call one day at the graduate college at Princeton from Professor Wheeler, in which he said, "Feynman, I know why all electrons have the same charge and the same mass" "Why?" "Because, they are all the same electron!"
This is nonsense too. Electrons all have the same mass and charge because h is common to all photons.

Wheeler is generally well-regarded, but not by me.


Yes John Wheeler suggested it and he was most likely a more learned and original thinking physicist than you, so for the time I will ignore your comment about that the great man , "was sprouting nonsense"

The idea comes from quantum non-locality such as seen in the double split experiment where it was proved that a single particle can exist in more than one place at the very same moment in time.

Wheeler just extrapolated on that prove and suggested that if a particle could exist in two places at the same time, why was it not possible that the same particle could exist, everywhere at every moment of time?
« Last Edit: 10/06/2016 10:53:46 by Alan McDougall »
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #7 on: 10/06/2016 08:31:37 »
Yes John Wheeler suggested it and he was most likely a more learned and original thinking physicist than you, so for the time I will ignore your comment about that the great man , "was sprouting nonsense"
Why even bother asking about it then?

Wheeler just extrapolated on that prove and suggested that if a particle could exist in two places at the same time, why was it not possible that the same particle could exist, everywhere at every moment of time?
This is a junk extrapolation. Photons have an E=hf wave nature. We can make electrons (and positrons) out of photons in pair production, and they have a wave nature too. That's why we can diffract electrons. And neutrons. The wave nature of matter is not in doubt. Now get this: waves always exist in more than one place at the same time. They are not pointlike. Suggesting that a particle in two places at once is somehow miraculous, is utterly specious. As is using it to justify particles "moving back in time", and the absurd notion that there's only one electron. These claims fly in the face of all the hard scientific evidence we have. They are fanciful. They are a fantasy.
 
But if you want to believe in cargo-cult science, and defend it with some vague appeal to authority, that's your choice. If you want to believe in woo, that's up to you.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #8 on: 10/06/2016 10:56:24 »
John

So the great Richard Feynman and John Wheeler, were 'Cargo Cult Scientists?

Quote
You stated referring to them?
 
"But if you want to believe in cargo-cult science, and defend it with some vague appeal to authority, that's your choice. If you want to believe in woo, that's up to you".
« Last Edit: 10/06/2016 14:17:43 by Alan McDougall »
 

Online jeffreyH

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #9 on: 10/06/2016 12:37:15 »
John is now on my ignore list. It is just easier to ignore the misconceptions.
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #10 on: 10/06/2016 14:21:39 »
So the great Richard Feynman and John Wheeler, were Cargo Cult Scientists?
No. But this fanciful notion of Wheeler's was cargo-cult science. See Feynman talking about cargo-cult science here:

"We've learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature's phenomena will agree or they'll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven't tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it's this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.

Wheeler's fanciful notion has no experimental support whatsoever. Moreover it is contradicted by all the experimental evidence we have. In fact, it is so far away from empirical evidence and observation and scientific rationality, that it doesn't deserve to be called science of any type. Besides, Feynman didn't take it seriously. His Nobel speech makes that clear:

"But, Professor", I said, "there aren't as many positrons as electrons."
"Well, maybe they are hidden in the protons or something", he said.
I did not take the idea that all the electrons were the same one from him as seriously as I took the observation that positrons could simply be represented as electrons going from the future to the past in a back section of their world lines. That, I stole!"


Quote from: jeffreyH
John is now on my ignore list. It is just easier to ignore the misconceptions.
Some people like believing in nonsense, and will ignore anybody who points out that there is no evidence, that it doesn't fit with the facts, and that it makes no sense at all. If you want to find this out the hard way, go round telling people that you're composed of only one atom, and so are they, and it's the same atom. They will think you are crazy. And guess what? They will be right.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #11 on: 10/06/2016 15:18:52 »
The big problem with the one-electron universe is that it needs to travel both backwards and forwards in time, and experimentally we see vastly more electrons than positrons (mathematically, positrons are the same as electrons traveling backwards in time) - this was actually pointed out by Feynman almost immediately after Wheeler introduced the idea to him.

Of course I can harp back on a previous thread of mine , where I asked where all the natural antimatter of the universe was/hiding

The theory is very elegant in that it would nicely explain why electrons are all indistinguishable.

Alan
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #12 on: 10/06/2016 15:28:25 »
The idea comes from quantum non-locality such as seen in the double split experiment where it was proved that a single particle can exist in more than one place at the very same moment in time.

Wheeler just extrapolated on that prove and suggested that if a particle could exist in two places at the same time, why was it not possible that the same particle could exist, everywhere at every moment of time?
Alan
There are many mathematical models and calculations that are very useful but don't reflect back to a literal interpretation of reality. Take the path integral where all paths are considered in order to calculate the most likely paths, this doesn't mean that a photon takes all the paths simultaneously, or individually.
The double slit experiment does not prove that a particle or photon can exist in 2 places at once, but it is useful to consider the maths of assuming it does. If you search for double slit single photon you should find some results of experiments showing how the interference pattern builds up.
What Wheeler does is useful because someone has to explore the maths and the 'edges', but it won't necessarily give an answer that makes sense - even to Feynman!
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #13 on: 13/06/2016 16:26:32 »
The idea comes from quantum non-locality such as seen in the double split experiment where it was proved that a single particle can exist in more than one place at the very same moment in time.

Wheeler just extrapolated on that prove and suggested that if a particle could exist in two places at the same time, why was it not possible that the same particle could exist, everywhere at every moment of time?
Alan
There are many mathematical models and calculations that are very useful but don't reflect back to a literal interpretation of reality. Take the path integral where all paths are considered in order to calculate the most likely paths, this doesn't mean that a photon takes all the paths simultaneously, or individually.
The double slit experiment does not prove that a particle or photon can exist in 2 places at once, but it is useful to consider the maths of assuming it does. If you search for double slit single photon you should find some results of experiments showing how the interference pattern builds up.
What Wheeler does is useful because someone has to explore the maths and the 'edges', but it won't necessarily give an answer that makes sense - even to Feynman!


I concur!

Well then maybe the electron is smeared as one wave field across all of reality, instead of a single particle existing everywhere and everywhen?

I of course do not believe this as a true reflection of reality, but a greater mind than mine gave serious thought to it and thus it remains an interesting idea to debate.

Who was it that said "The universe is not stranger than you think, it is stranger than you can think"

Alan

 

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Re: Does the one electron model make sense?
« Reply #13 on: 13/06/2016 16:26:32 »

 

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