Authors: Jean Louis Van Belle
If mathematics is the queen of science, then physics might well be the king. It successes are obvious. However, as a science, physics may have failed in one regard, and that is to explain what its basic concepts – such as state vectors, wavefunctions, and transformation matrices – actually represent. When studying quantum mechanics, it is, effectively, hard to keep up the initial enthusiasm, and those who branch out to other fields – which is most of us – quickly end up going through the motions only: we regurgitate models and equations and know how to solve the standard problems, so as to pass the exam, but then forget about them as soon as possible. This paper explores a very intuitive sentiment about the issue: the wavefunction is a rather ‘flat’ mathematical object – it is two-dimensional, basically – so it can’t do the trick, perhaps. In contrast, Maxwell’s equations have real vectors in them, which is why a deeper or more intuitive understanding of electromagnetism comes relatively easily. Indeed, when everything is said and done, we are just human beings living in three-dimensional space, and that is why vector equations (or systems of vector equations), as a mathematical tool, make sense to us. This paper further explores this sentiment. It also offers a way out by, predictably, presenting yet another possible physical interpretation of the wavefunction. More importantly (for the reviewer of this paper, at least), this paper offers a sensible response to the mainstream view that three-dimensional physical interpretations of the wavefunction cannot make any sense because of the weird 720° symmetry of the wavefunction when describing spin-1/2 particles (fermions or – for all practical purposes – electrons). The author does so by analyzing (1) Dirac’s belt trick more in detail – and what it implies in terms of the interaction between the observer and the object – as well as (2) Feynman’s derivation of the transformation matrices for spin-1/2 two-state systems.
Comments: 14 Pages.
[v1] 2018-06-13 11:18:39
Unique-IP document downloads: 59 times
Vixra.org is a pre-print repository rather than a journal. Articles hosted may not yet have been verified by peer-review and should be treated as preliminary. In particular, anything that appears to include financial or legal advice or proposed medical treatments should be treated with due caution. Vixra.org will not be responsible for any consequences of actions that result from any form of use of any documents on this website.
Add your own feedback and questions here:
You are equally welcome to be positive or negative about any paper but please be polite. If you are being critical you must mention at least one specific error, otherwise your comment will be deleted as unhelpful.