(The New) Quantum Touching
A Cinematic Model of
Instantaneous Action-at-a-Distance

April 2003

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This thesis supports the Einsteinian Theory of Relativity in both its 'Special' and 'General' modes. What it criticises is the UNNECESSARY COMPLEXITY of the Einsteinian theory and shows how those complexities lead to paradoxes of the 'EPR' kind.

For instance, it is an axiom of Einsteinian Relativity that light travels in a vacuum at a constant rate c. But in a vacuum, where there is, by definition, no object or point of reference for length, time or motion, with respect to what can we sensibly say that the speed of light is constant or otherwise?

The plain fact is that for all observers, regardless of whether they are relatively moving or stationary, the time between a pulse of light-energy being emitted at a point A and absorbed at another point B is 3.3 nanoseconds to the metre. Any question of what the light is doing or what time it takes between A to B in a pure vacuum, where, by definition, it is interacting with and relating to nothing, is unanswerable.

As the old saying goes, ask a silly question and you get a silly answer. So, if we persist in asking the question as to what happens to a quantum of light between A and B when it is interacting with nothing - i.e., not manifesting itself in any way - then the completely silly answer we arrive at is that its speed is the same not only with respect to space itself but also with respect to all things relatively moving or stationary in that space.

This, of course, is what makes modern physical science so notoriously abstruse. The theories that physicists have contrived in order to describe this imaginary space-travelling, non-interacting, non-manifest entity/nonentity called the 'photon' are, predictably, far beyond commonsense comprehension. Is it a wave, a particle, a wave-particle, or an underlying wave-like probability-function which collapses into physical reality when observed? Is this 'wave-function' stationary or does it travel at the speed of light? How does it know where to go when it sets out, so as to consummate the interaction and preserve its quantum integrity? Is it clairvoyant or is it 'guided' on its way by yet other, doubly hidden waves or by 'spooky superluminal actions-at-a-distance'? ... The speculations are endless. Yet it is that mess of metaphysical speculations and experimental attempts to probe the inscrutable which nowadays constitutes the major part of what we call 'Theoretical Physics'. Nor is there is any justification whatsoever for the man-in-the-street to assume that what he does not comprehend is somehow, in some altogether priestly way, comprehended by these professionals. Indeed, some of the most well-appointed physicists, such as Feynman, have held that an inability to comprehend modern physics is a qualification of professional competence in the subject (This of course implies that anyone seeking a philosophical understanding of modern physics is incompetent. It tends to institutionalise perplexity by severing physics from commonsense and thereby inhibiting any further progress in natural philosophy.)

The sole justification for suffering this dreary state of confusion is that, practically speaking, 'it works'. Some physicists, dismissive of its disastrous effect on commonsense, even justify perpetuating Relativity in the form that Einstein circumstantially conceived it on the basis that it is 'elegant' and therefore to be preserved inviolate like a work of art. However, the fact remains that Einstein's mathematician's solution can be derived in a much simpler, more commonsense way. This is with much the same practical consequences as with Einstein's solution, but without getting bogged-down with those metaphysical problems that are generated by his altogether bizarre and unprovable axiom of light travelling at a finite speed that is relative to the vacuum as well as to everything in it. This different derivation of the same relativistic formulae is by means of a 'cinematic' model of light-propagation. This dispenses altogether with unanswerable questions as to what light does or how it travels in a vacuum and takes it as sufficient for all practical- and theoretical-physics purposes simply to say that in space, all observational distances are also times in the constant ratio of units c. Seen in this way, there is no more mystery in the fact that c is the same for all observers than there is in the fact that for all relatively moving observers there are exactly 2.2046226 pounds in a kilogram and 1.0936133 yards in a metre.

Within this same, Ockham's-razored, or conceptually shaved-down factual account of how light-energy is transacted between A and B, the model shows how light-propagation can be conceived without any contradiction whatsoever as having both finite speed and instantaneous (i.e., action-at-a-distance) attributes. That is to say, the instantaneous action-at-a-distance connections are depicted as being, as it were, pure distance-extended quantum frames or 'stills', in which the emitter and absorber occur together in a balanced angular momentum relation. The finite speed c then becomes a function of the limiting 'movie' speed of the action consisting of cinematic-type sequences of those quantum stills relative to the observer.

This cinematic model is discussed more fully on the ACTION-AT-A-DISTANCE page of this website.