Please click here for a brief summary of the ideas presented in this blog.
Classical physics is causal; a complete knowledge of the past allows for the computation of the future. Likewise, complete knowledge of the future allows precise computation of the past.
Not so in Quantum Physics. Objects are neither particles nor waves; they are a strange combination of both. This means given complete knowledge of the past, we can make only probabilistic predictions of the future.
In other words, classical mechanics tells us only one future exists while quantum mechanics tells us due to its probabilistic interpretation of the wavefunction, many different ones exist simultaneously or are superposition with respect to each other. Which one becomes a reality is determined by observation.
However, that MAY NOT be the case.
As mentioned earlier, one of the things that separate the future associated with classical physics from probabilistic one of quantum mechanics is one tells us all of the probable future outcomes of an observation simultaneous exist while the other which based on causality tells us there is only one.
However, when we role dice in a casino most do not think there are six of them out there waiting for the dice to tell us which one we will occupy after the roll. This is because the probability of getting a six is related to its physical interaction with properties of the table in the casino where it is rolled. This means the probability of getting one is determined by the physical properties of the dice and the casino it occupies. Putting it another way, the probabilities associated with a roll of the dice does not define the future of the casino the casino defines the future of the dice.
Similarly, just because Quantum mechanics defines outcome of observations in terms of probabilities would not mean all of the predicted futures exist if the probability of a specific outcome is caused by a physical interaction with the universe it occupies. In other words, like the dice, it is possible the wavefunction does not define the future of the universe the universe defines the future of the wavefunction.
However, to understand why one would have to show how the probability of a specific outcome in a quantum environment is related to the interaction of the wavefunction with the properties of space-time.
To begin we must first establish a physical connection between the wavefunction and the space-time universe define by Einstein. This can be accomplished because he defined its evolution in terms of an electromagnetic wave while the wavefunction represents how a Quantum environment evolves to create a particle.
This commonality suggests the wavefunction MAY BE a mathematical representation of an electromagnetic wave in space-time. Therefore, to derive the probabilities quantum mechanics associates with it one must first physically connect its evolution to the physical properties of space-time.
One can accomplish this because the science of wave mechanics and Relativity tell us electromagnetic wave move continuously through space-time unless it is prevented from by moving through time by someone or something interacting with it. This would result in its energy being confined to three-dimensional space. The science of wave mechanics also tells us the three-dimensional “walls” of this confinement will result in its energy being reflected back on itself thereby creating a resonant or standing wave in three-dimensional space. This would cause its wave energy to be concentrated at the point in space where a particle would be found. Additionally, wave mechanics also tells us the energy of a resonant system, such as a standing wave which this confinement would create can only take on the discrete or quantized values associated with its fundamental or a harmonic of its fundamental frequency. This explains the quantized or particle properties of quantum existence in terms of the physical properties of the space-time universe define by Einstein.
Putting it another way when an electromagnetic wave is prevented from moving through space time either by being observed or encountering an object it is reduced or “Collapses” to a form a standing wave that would define the quantized energy quantum mechanics associates with a particle.
This also tells us a particle would have an extended volume equal to the wavelength associated with its standing wave because if an electromagnetic wave is prevented from moving through time it will be reflected back on itself. However, that reflected wave still cannot move through time therefore it will be reflected back creating a standing wave. Putting it another way the standing wave itself defines its boundaries because if it cannot move though time it MUST STAND in place in the form of a standing wave.
The next step in answering the question as to why the future is what it is would be to show how and why that standing wave interacts with space and time to create the future in terms of the probabilities quantum mechanics associated with the wave function.
The reason is because Quantum Mechanics defines the position of a particle in terms of mathematical point in space which would be randomly distributed with respect to a center of the standing wave which earlier defined one. Therefore, the randomness of where that point is with respect to a particle’s center will result in its position, when observed to be randomly distributed in space. This means one must define where it appears in terms of probabilities to average the deviations that are caused by the random placement of that point.
(The reason why Relativity is deterministic is because those deviations are average out by the large number of particles in objects like the moon and planets.)
In other words, one can explain Quantum Mechanics probabilistic in interoperation of the wavefunction in terms a causal interaction between it and the universe it occupies.
Additionally, this shows why defining the outcome of an observation of the wavefunction as quantum mechanics does in terms of probabilities does not mean all the of those predicted futures exist. This is because similar to the dice mentioned earlier the probability of a specific future is caused by a physical interaction of it with the universe it occupies.
Putting it another way, the reason why the future is what it is because the wavefunction does not define the future of the universe the universe defines the future of its wavefunction.