Year: 2021

The Quantum Particle Illusion

Problems with the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics date back to attempts by Max Born, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, as well as many others in the 1920s to continue to employ the classical concept of a particle in the context of the quantum world. The experimental observations at the time and the assumption that the classical concept of a particle was to be preserved have led to an enormous literature on the foundations of quantum mechanics and a great deal of confusion then and now among non-physicists and students in any field that involves quantum theory. It is the historical approach to the teaching of quantum mechanics that is at the root of the problem.

Spacetime is the arena within which quantum mechanical phenomena take place. For this reason, several Appendices are devoted to the nature of spacetime as well as to topics that can help us understand it such as vacuum fluctuations, the Unruh effect and Hawking radiation.

Because of the success of quantum mechanical calculations, those who wish to understand the foundations of the theory are often given the apocryphal advice, “just ignore the issue and calculate”. It is hoped that this book will help dispel some of the dismay, frustration, and confusion among those who refuse to take to heart this admonition.

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