Re: A 'Strong Force' Snipe Hunt?

On Fri, 30 Oct 2009, Just Me wrote:

On Oct 28, 6:20 pm, Timo Nieminen <t...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Due to limited time, for now we cut to the chase . . .

Your specific examples are interesting. But is there an epistemological
conflict between QM and relativity that needs resolving? There are
unsolved mathematical questions about the quantisation of gravity (and,
IMHO, a deeper question being whether or not gravity should be quantised -
perhaps gravity is indeed fundamentally different from other forces).

Excellent topic. Indeed it's one of my own most -- I hesitate to say
"favorite" but one which I've given more thought and study to than
most. I wish I had more time, maybe on the coming weekend, but for
now, I want to quote from Max Born something on this very subject
which I read just the night before last. It comes just a few pages
from the end of his book on Einstein's Relativity in the chapter on
E's attempts to devise a Unified Field Theory. Here at the opening of
that chapter he says . . .

"We have mentioned that Einstein's law connecting energy and mass
E=mc^2 . . . has its most important applications in the domain of
elementary particles, nuclei, and electrons. The masses of these
represent enormous concentrations of energy in very small regions of
space. Hence one should presume that they will produce considerable
local curvatures of space and corresponding fields."

As may be seen from the last paragraphs of the post to which you here
reply, this statement by Born could not be more pertinent. In any
case, he then goes on to speak of the disappointment of finding that
the equations of GR did not serve to produce any such hoped for
solution, that is for gravity to be the force that should account for
the "cohesive forces which keep the [nuclear] particles together
against the repulsion of the electric charges which they carry . . ."

Just making it, for now short and sweet; a sketch of what those
comments have set me to thinking . . .

Born has made it quite clear from that statement what reason would
seem to dictate following from the terms of E=mc^2. And yet, when it
comes to the more difficult, highly complex equations of GR, such a
result is not forthcoming. Now is this a fault of Born's reasoning,
of the earlier so elegantly simple equation or is it to be found
somewhere in the immense complexity of GR? I suggest the latter, as
also I would propose a new view of gravity in relation to magnetism

I'd suggest that there is a fault to be found in our understanding of
point particles. Our thinking is tainted by our classical picture of
particle as something like a billiard ball. Whatever quantum particles
might be, they're not like billiard balls. Dirac's "each photon ...
interferes only with itself" + interference of light from independent
sources tells us that, the Hanbury Brown-Twiss intensity interferometer
tells us that.

"Particle" is potentially
misleading language; the simple "quanta" might be better than
"particles". Then, for example, we might have less hoo-hah about
wave-particle duality and the like. But this language is well-entrenched,
and it isn't going to go away.

IMHO, this kind of difficulty with point particles illustrates our lack of
understanding of quantum mechanics. Perhaps there might still be
difficulties with gravitation too, but can we really tell, given that we
don't know that much about quanta?

Born's difficulty comes from trying to deal with a classical point
particle, whether it's dressed in quantum language or not.