Proponents of Quantum Mechanics love to trot out the double slit experiment as “evidence” for their seemingly mystical theories about nature. Many if not most documentaries designed to introduce Quantum Mechanics to the lay person will begin with a presentation of the experiment in order to convince the viewer that nature is incomprehensible to the human mind and thus we have to resort to inconceivable objects to “explain” the seemingly conflicting behaviors of light.

In this way all of the potential objections the lay person might have can be easily deflected as merely being based on common sense, something which has no place in our Quantum Universe.

THE QUANTUM PARADIGM

We are living in what you could call the Quantum Paradigm, although the same sorts of issues pervade Relativity as well as String Theory. It is considered conventional wisdom by those in the “know” that especially at the Quantum level nature behaves in ways which require us to abandon our intuitive modes of thinking. After all we evolved only to deal with macroscopic phenomena.

Indeed, there is no reason that Mother Nature has to be comprehensible to the mind of an ape. There’s no reason that visualization, how we normally understand explanations, should be appropriate for describing objects at the most fundamental levels of reality. But if it is the case that nature is beyond our comprehension then how does it relieve our ignorance at all to try to fill the void with theories that also make no sense to us?

The proponent of Quantum will argue that there is some kind of “understanding” achieved by playing around with all these fuzzy, non-intuitive “ideas” although they cannot articulate substantively what kind of understanding that is. But that’s the best we can do, they say! The Quantum Universe is weird and bizarre and strange and we just have to accept that. And how do we know it’s strange?

A prime example is the confusing nature of light. In some experiments, such as the photoelectric effect, light magically decides to be a particle. In others, such as those involving polarization, light magically decides to be a wave. Because light exhibits both behaviors physicists say it possesses the mystical property known as “wave-particle duality.” In fact, all elementary particles allegedly have this property.

The double slit experiment and its variations are the poster children for “proving” this mysterious property even though it cannot be rationally understood or communicated.

THE DOUBLE SLIT EXPERIMENT

The slit experiment was first performed in 1801 by Thomas Young. In the experiment Young shined a light through two slits and observed interference patterns on a screen behind the slits.

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The experiment helped settle the debate between the corpuscular theory of light and the wave interpretation. Particles could not possibly explain fringes because such behavior is characteristic of the constructive and destructive interference of waves. In areas where the light is brightly reflected along the screen the waves from both slits are arriving in phase and thus their peaks are added. In regions of darkness the waves arrive out of phase and cancel each other out.

It wasn’t until Planck and later Einstein started proposing explanations for black body radiation and the photoelectric effect, respectively, that the particle theory of light reemerged. The photoelectric effect in particular was explained as discrete photons striking electrons in a conductive surface and knocking them loose to generate a measurable current.

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The resulting conflict between the various schizophrenic interpretations for light begat the idea that light somehow possessed both wave and particle-like properties. “Classical” ideas about objects had to go by the wayside because clearly light was performing magic tricks beyond our mere simian abilities to understand.

VARIATIONS OF THE EXPERIMENT

More advanced versions of the double slit experiment have attempted to push the limits when probing into the apparent contradictions between waves and particles. While there are many different variations of the experiment in this article I wish to confine the explanation to Young’s basic version as well as the alleged “single-photon” setups. The purpose is not to provide an in depth analysis of common elements of interferometers such as lasers, polarizers, beam splitters, half-silvered mirrors, etc., but to attempt a general understanding of what is physically happening during these types of experiments.

I state here clearly right off the bat that I do not pretend to fully understand light. While Bill Gaede’s Rope Hypothesis provides a solid foundation for the mechanism behind light the reality is complex and ever more refined understanding is always available. The key difference is that the Rope Hypothesis clearly defines an object as that with shape. While we have no choice but to think and illustrate in simplified forms nowhere does the Rope Hypothesis assume that an object possesses any inherent quality other than mere shape. Therefore all objects and processes should be able to be visualized (at least in simplified form). This lies in stark contrast to the Quantum approach which places little to no value on visualization beyond the endless visual analogies which are never to be taken even remotely literally.

 YOUNG’S EXPERIMENT UNDER THREAD THEORY

If you are not familiar with Thread Theory then you may want to glance over another article I wrote. I will present my understanding here, no one else necessarily endorses anything I’ve written.

atom final smallestzoomed in rope2

From the article,

The Rope Hypothesis begins with the following assumption: every atom in the universe is connected to all others by electromagnetic ropes. Each of these ropes is comprised of two threads entwined around one another like DNA without the rungs.

As each rope approaches the surface of the atom one of these threads breaks off and wraps around the atom to form the electron serpentine. The other penetrates to the center to form the proton dandelion. Thus under the proposal the electron is not a particle or a “probability cloud” but more like a ball of yarn woven with gazillions of threads. Nor is the proton a particle but a sea urchin like structure also comprised of gazillions of threads converging towards its center.

When the ropes are twisted at their ends by the expansion and contraction of the electron shells the resulting torsional motion fires down the ropes producing the phenomenon known as light.

In Young’s experiment the atoms comprising the lamp are connected to the the atoms in the slit aperture which are also connected to the screen. All atoms comprising the system are connected, pumping, and torquing before the light source is ever turned on. Below is a highly simplified diagram illustrating a few of the connections.

double slit2

When the light source is activated the atoms comprising the lamp start pumping faster causing higher frequencies along the interconnecting ropes extending from those atoms. This torquing action causes the atoms of the slit aperture to pump faster. The atoms which form the very edges of the slits pump and relay the signal uninterruptedly along the connections to the atoms of the screen where they can be reflected to the retinas of an observer or the atoms of a camera lens.

The interference pattern occurs due to a mechanism similar to the standard wave explanation.

double slit

At position 1 the lengths of rope connecting the atoms of the edges of the slits to the screen are equal. Being that the speed of light is a finite constant the torque signals along the ropes will arrive simultaneously. Each atom of the screen at position 1 will have many connections converging upon them which are torquing in phase and thus contributing in the aggregate to the contraction and expansion of the electron shells. That pumping action is relayed via reflection and appears on the screen as a vertical line.

At position 2 the length of ropes connecting the edges of one slit are shorter than those connecting the other slit to the same position. The further from position 1 the atoms of the screen are the more the incoming signals are torquing out of the phase until the point where they completely cancel each other out. The signals interfere with each other and prevent any coherent signal from being relayed via reflection.

At position 3 the torque signals come into phase again and contribute in sync towards the pumping action of the atoms comprising the screen.

The same interference patterns can be obtained by removing the walls of the slit aperture. You can verify this by shining a laser pointer at a needle and observing the light reflecting from a surface behind the needle. The atoms comprising the edge of the needle relay the signals and generate the interference pattern by the same mechanism.

In fact gravitational lensing also works in this fashion. During a solar eclipse when the moon absorbs much of the incoming sunlight it appears as though the light from distant stars behind the Sun is being bent around it and directed towards the Earth (allegedly one of the “confirmations” of General Relativity’s “curved spacetime”). Under Thread Theory the coronal atoms of the Sun are acting like the edges of the needle and relaying the signals from the distant stars to the atoms comprising the lens of a telescope.

In the slit, needle, and solar eclipse examples light is being relayed via the phenomenon known as diffraction.

SINGLE-PHOTON EXPERIMENTS

Proponents of Quantum assert that things really get weird when they set up the double slit experiment such that they only fire a single photon at a time. Amazingly when they do this and accumulate the locations of the individual collisions on the screen they still observe interference patterns.

There’s nothing too mysterious about plane waves interfering to produce fringes, but how do single photon beads accomplish this? The confusion surrounding this phenomenon has led physicists to believe that the photon is somehow “interfering with itself.”

In order to understand what is happening it’s first necessary to understand the mechanism behind the photoelectric effect under Thread Theory.

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The atoms of the light source are connected to the atoms of a conductive material. When the light is switched on the atoms pump and the ropes torque. This torquing action, besides inducing the atoms of the conductive material to pump, also causes the threads comprising the electron shells to spin in situ. Adjacent electron shells of the material are enmeshed and begin to spin in elongated rows. Electric current then is like a drill bit spinning in place and the photoelectric effect is when aligned electron shells in a conductive material are induced to spin because of the torsional motion along all of the ropes converging on the atoms which originate in the light source.

In the alleged single-photon versions of the double slit experiments oftentimes sophisticated detection cameras are used called EMCCDs or electron multiplying charge-coupled devices. These cameras utilize arrays of avalanche photodiodes which take advantage of the avalanche effect. The photodiodes “detect” light via the photoelectric effect: the incoming light causes a slight current which is then magnified and registered in the camera.

EMCCDs are ideal for dealing with ultra-low light levels to the point of supposedly being capable of detecting single photon events. In order to achieve this level of precision the use of the cameras is optimized by employing laser light within a specific frequency range.

The reason for this is due to an interesting aspect of the photoelectric effect. Conductive materials have a certain threshold frequency under which no current will be produced regardless of the intensity of the impinging light.

qunatum efficieny

The above graph is an example of the “quantum efficiency” of a single photon counting module. There is a specific frequency range in which, in the Quantum interpretation, the percentage of photons hitting a detector resulting in freed electrons is maximized.

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Also of note is the relationship between the intensity of the light and the photoelectric current. During the alleged single-photon double slit experiment the intensity of the laser beam is attenuated with filters to the point where the beam isn’t a blizzard of photons but instead more like a machine gun firing one after the other (according to Quantum, anyway).

I would like to propose a different interpretation. Below is a simplified diagram of a single-photon double slit setup.

double slit2 attenuated

Most of the light coming from the laser is absorbed by the optical attenuators while a small portion of it is relayed to the edges of the slits where it is diffracted to the EMCCD camera apparatus. There are no “single photons.” The number of connections converging on the atoms comprising the slit edges which are relaying the laser signal through the atoms of the filters is much lower due to the attenuation and thus the intensity of the diffracted light is minuscule.

All of the controllable factors of the experiment — laser frequency and power, slit size, degree of attenuation, camera exposure time/gain/accumulations, etc., are calibrated and brought into a fine-tuned state. The light that hits the photodiode array is mostly operating below the threshold photoelectric current required to set off the avalanche mechanism. From the perspective of the detector it’s mostly silence.

The only activity is the “machine gun collisions” popping up all over the place as threshold currents do break out across the reverberating network of atoms and torquing ropes. Naturally there will be variations and discrepancies across the system — not every atom in the laser or attenuation filters pumps exactly the same, not every rope has identical frequencies or angles, the constructive and destructive interference won’t be perfect on any given atom, etc.

Proponents of Quantum might be onto something with their descriptions of quantum foam. The network of atoms and ropes and threads is like a frothing ocean. The more you calibrate and fine-tune a system the more you start tapping into these effects. It’s not that single photons are crashing into the detector it’s that threshold currents are spontaneously breaking out via the photoelectric effect and oftentimes doing so in areas where there is constructive interference.

This would explain why the interference pattern is still observed in these experiments. The system as a whole is operating much like it would without the attenuation filters. In both cases the light is diffracted and due to the different lengths of the connections there are regions of light and dark.

It’s just that the latter system is calibrated to the point where physicists think they are getting individual photons. This leads to the absurd conclusion that the photons are “interfering with themselves.” The appearance of single photons is an artifact of the detector not a fact about what is happening in the experiment.

CONCLUSIONS

As I stated earlier this is not a completely comprehensive analysis of all the different double slit setups, more refined understanding is possible. There are plenty of questions to ask. But at the very least I think it’s clear that the rope architecture finally provides a basis for resolving all of these seemingly mystical results.

Thread Theory is not just about proposing an alternative explanation, it’s an entirely different approach to the science of physics than the purely empirical methods of Relativity, Quantum, and String Theory. On one hand physical interpretations are derided as “philosophy” these days. On the other hand oftentimes they are regarded as immutable facts (when they come from a place of Authority, of course). The Quantumite is perfectly comfortable with vague definitions (if they give definitions at all) and schizophrenic interpretations.

I have to wonder if the complex and sophisticated interferometry common to modern physics experiments is really a good thing. There’s too much technology and too little common sense. If you play around with lasers and mirrors enough you’re going to get some weird effects.

The real danger here is that physicists are constantly setting out to test predictions. Experiments are done with ever more fine-tuning precision, or at ever higher energies, and the setup can be formulated and reformulated until eventually they end up “proving” their forgone conclusions. The real fun begins when massive government funding is involved.

A prime example is the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) facility in Livingston, Louisiana which cost taxpayers $620 million making it the largest project ever funded by the National Science Foundation. LIGO’s interferometer has arms measuring four kilometers and it also has the biggest sustained ultra-high vacuum space in the world measuring in at a volume of 300,000 cubic feet.

And what’s it all for? To detect “gravitational waves.” The level of precision boasted along the four kilometer arm is the ability to detect a “gravitational wave” stretching of an arm measuring 1/1000th the diameter of a single proton. More recently the LIGO has been equipped with new detectors, part of “Advanced LIGO,” which are allegedly capable of even greater precision.

I will bet my bottom bitcoin that they eventually “detect” a “gravitational wave” (even though they can’t explain what a “gravitational wave” is supposed to be). They’ll find it alright just like they “found” the Higgs Boson. You just ramp up the precision or collision energy and eventually you “discover” what you set out to discover when you blew through so much of other peoples’ money. Our modern mythology is a patchwork of these sorts of “confirmations” of “predicting” what exists. Levels of precision like those at the LIGO are bound to tap into the subtle effects generated by the criss crossing network of atoms and ropes no matter how hard they try to eliminate noise from the system.

Whatever happened to separation of Church and State? Why should Americans or anyone else be forced to fund the Modern Physics Religion?

Personally it’s not the money that bothers me. It’s the havoc that Quantum in particular has wreaked on common sense and critical thinking. The Quantumites like to get upset at folks like Deepak Chopra. Deepak didn’t create the problem, he’s just running with the mysticism espoused by the physicists and cloaked under the label of science when they insisted on throwing away qualitative considerations in favor of abstract mathematics and reification. I love the fact that Chopra bothers the Quantumites so much. He’s stealing adherents from them! He’s defiling their Proven Truths! How dare he!

But what does this all have to do with liberty beyond complaining about taxes? Why am I posting it here?

I’ve tried discussing with the physicists. I’ve come to the conclusion that we aren’t going to see eye to eye on anything. In their minds it is absolutely inconceivable that there could be any major issues with modern physics. There is no hope of “changing physics from the inside.”

I’m posting it here because I find these new ideas fascinating and I want to share them with people who are typically more open minded and reflective. That’s something special that I love about the libertarian “movement” (for lack of a better term). My goal isn’t to convince anyone of anything, it’s just to disseminate understanding of these views.

And that’s the kicker — before you can even approach concepts like belief, truth, proof, evidence, knowledge, or fact you need to have a coherent, intelligible set of claims to evaluate. Understanding always precedes all of these and occurs independently from them. One can understand a theory without necessarily believing in it or thinking it’s the truth.

In modern physics it’s impossible to even understand the claims being made. You’ll be perpetually accused of “arguing from ignorance” if you say something like that. The real understanding is supposed to be in the math somewhere and it takes years of intense study to get there. Yet the equations are comprised of physical quantities. Numbers. What are they actually saying exists and what is it doing? What physically explains the observed measurements, numbers, patterns, equations, etc.?

No matter what one has to make assumptions about the physical world in the course of attempting to interpret the evidence (including the very successfully predictive and accurate equations). Empiricists cannot avoid this. The only choice is whether the key terms of the assumptions will be defined in such a way that they are clear enough to be used consistently.

Modern physics has decided to leave key words undefined and to regard physical interpretations as philosophy. Yet they’ll turn around and claim that some of their physical interpretations are facts.

They have yet to define the most key word in physics: object. Doing so would instantly annihilate the entire foundation of Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and String Theory, at least in terms of their physical interpretations (yes I understand that Relativity and QM maths can make predictions).

In the final analysis the current conception of physics renders 99.9% of humanity in the unfortunate position of having to take physicists on faith. Actually, given the high degree of specialization and large scale experimentation in modern physics I’ll crank that up to 100%. It’s a faith based system whose conventional wisdom dictates that nature is incomprehensible and our God given critical thinking skills must be ignored in exchange for a fuzzy, vague, ill-defined “understanding” of reality.

The visually based conception of physics (object: that with shape) on the other hand smashes this paradigm. Visualization is a universal or near universal human ability. Therefore a unified theory with this approach will be accessible to anyone. I think of it like bitcoin — each individual node verifies that they can understand the whole picture within themselves. It’s a trustless system which doesn’t rely on faith. And I think that’s how science should be.

I’m reminded of the scene in 1984 when O’Brien is torturing Winston and asking him how many fingers he is holding up. Granted modern physics is a little more mundane than that but similarly we are asked to betray our own basic reasoning skills. It’s yet another facet of life where the “experts” are telling us how to think and what to believe even though what they’re saying makes no sense. As far as I’m concerned the more the thinking patterns of humanity align with the individual reasoning abilities each person naturally possesses the less susceptible mankind will be to manipulation. And I think that could do a great service for human liberty.

Yes, I agree with the Quantumites that there’s no reason Mother Nature necessarily has to conform herself to how us apes understand things. But that also doesn’t preclude the possibility that She has. After all, as some religious folk like to say, we were created in the image of God. The idea that we can in fact understand nature at its most subtle levels might just return us to a little bit more sanity in this crazy world.