Quantum Physics


Explaining Duality, the "Only Mystery" of Quantum Mechanics, Without Complementarity or "Which Way" (Welcher-Weg)

Authors: Sarma N. Gullapalli

Wave-particle duality has been extensively debated from the earliest days of quantum mechanics, for example the historic discussions between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr [1], to the present. Richard Feynman [2] called it the “only mystery” in quantum mechanics, long after Neils Bohr had offered his widely accepted explanation based on complementarity involving the observation also. Following John A. Wheeler’s ingenious delayed choice thought experiment [3] to test observer involvement in interference, it was implemented, with and without entanglement by experimenters, eg [4], [5] and [6] who confirmed observation involvement as predicted by Niels Bohr, but they also revealed the phenomenon of retro-causality which begs proper explanation. The criterion of “which way” (welcher-weg) that captures the observation involvement is currently widely used in all single photon interference systems. In this paper a break-through Axiom is presented and justified which (a) Explains duality in interference, with particle always remaining particle and wave always remaining wave throughout, without wave-particle complementarity or “which way” (welcher-weg) observation that is the currently accepted mystifying view (b) Shows the equivalence: Coherence and alignment ≡ Interference ≡ No “which way” observation; No coherence or alignment ≡ No interference ≡ “which way” observation (c) Explains Wheeler’s delayed choice thought experiment (d) Explains results of experimental implementations of Wheeler’s thought experiment which show retro-causality with and without entanglement (e) Explains non-local action at a distance, and (f) Rephrases Albert Einstein’s unanswered question “Is quantum mechanics complete?” at a more fundamental level than just duality and non-locality. The new explanation given does not require that the particle (photon) somehow “know” about the test setup or “which way” observation or change its behavior from particle to wave and vice versa as required by currently accepted explanation based on Niels Bohr’s complementarity principle and observation involvement. No new assumptions are made, only a new complete interpretation of probability which is already a fundamental assumption of quantum mechanics. The proposed Axiom not only explains duality without complementarity or “which way”, it does so with substantial objective clarity that removes unwarranted mysticism that goes beyond physical objectivity. It avoids metaphysical subjectivity that seems to surround certain current perceptions of quantum mechanics. New terms “partial causality” and “total causality” are suggested to properly understand “retro-causality” and “quantum erasure”. Key words: Quantum Mechanics, New Axiom of quantum mechanics, Duality, Interference, Complementarity, Observer, Which-way, Entanglement, Locality, Partial Causality, Total Causality, Retro-Causality, Quantum Erasure.

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[v1] 2018-07-04 14:58:35

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