Quantum mechanics is an extremely successful theory for predicting experimental results. However, there are certain aspects of the historical development and interpretation of the theory which raise questions about its validity. Some of these issues are listed here:
1. Special and general relativity were developed prior to the discover of the wave nature of matter. Hence an inability to measure absolute motion lead scientists to reject the notion of an aether whose vibrations are light waves. However, the inability to measure absolute motion is completely consistent with the existence of an aether whose vibrations can be either light or matter waves, and a gravitation field can be interpreted simply as a variable wave speed in the vicinity of matter.
2. When Pauli and Dirac developed theories describing electrons using spinors, no classical explanation of spin one-half was known. It was not appreciated then (or even now!) that the forward and backward solutions of the wave equation form a spin one-half system with independent states separated by 180 degrees.
3. The statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics arose as an attempt to interpret the Schrödinger equation, which is not even consistent with special relativity.
4. Beta decay is interpreted as violating parity in spite of the fact that an apparent mirror image process occurs in nature. One need only assume that matter and anti-matter are mirror pairs in order to interpret the data as conserving parity.
5. Quantum mechanics describes natural phenomena as a superposition of interacting particles whose physical characteristics are mostly determined empirically. Yet the ability of these 'particles' to transform into different types (e.g. two photons vs. electron and positron) implies that this description is not really fundamental. The wave-like characteristics of matter suggest that 'particles' are actually quantized solutions of some type of wave process.
Created: 27 February 2006; Last updated: 08 January 2007
Copyright © 2006-2007 Robert A. Close