An alternative approach to quantum phenomena

Foundations of Physics 18 (6):591-624 (1988)
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Abstract

This paper outlines the qualitative foundations of a “quasiclassical” theory in which particles are pictured as spatially extended periodic excitations of a universal background field, interacting with each other via nonlinearity in the equations of motion for that field, and undergoing collapse to a much smaller volume if and when they are detected. The theory is based as far as possible directly on experiment, rather than on the existing quantum mechanical formalism, and it offers simple physical interpretations of such concepts as mass, 4-momentum, interaction, potentials, and quantization; it may lead directly to the standard equations of quantum theory, such as the multiparticle Schrödinger equation, without going through the conventional process of “quantizing” a classical theory. The theory also provides an alternative framework in which to discuss wave-particle duality and the quantum “measurement problem”; in particular, it is suggested that the unpredictability of quantum phenomena may arise from “deterministic chaos” in the behavior of the background field

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