When I chose to study physics, I thought that science was always
rational. Modern physics has certainly failed to fulfill those
expectations. For example, I found that the widely accepted
Copenhagen interpretation does not allow us to believe in the real
existence of matter and that the law of causality is not applied
in quantum theory. David Layzer gave one of the most honest
descriptions of modern physics when he said that modern physics is
merely a computational device for predicting the outcomes of
possible measurements. Unfortunately, his statement is true.
by Paul Marmet
can be studied from many different points of view. Its aim can be
to make numerical predictions of some phenomena or to present a
rational way of explaining physical observations. These are two
quite different aspects.
consider the first aspect predicting events. Using mathematical
equations, modern physics can make predictions with extreme
reliability. The mathematical formalism used in physics is so
powerful that, when it leads to cases that can be calculated, it
gives predictions that are compatible with all known experiments.
does not directly deal with mathematical physics. Therefore, we
will avoid using, as much as possible, most of the equations known
in modern physics. We do not challenge any of the mathematical
equations of modern physics. The usual aspect of physics, as being
a computational device for predicting the outcomes of possible
measurements, is not considered here at all.
book, we consider only the second aspect of physics. When we deal
with physics, we must ask: Do rules other than the ones imposed by
mathematical logic exist? Yes, there are in physics some elements
that do not exist in mathematics. Physics deals with concepts such
as mass, length, time and energy. These concepts correspond in our
mind to images different from the ones represented by mathematical
relations. They have a different representation in our mind
because they must be submitted to external tests. They have to
comply with observational results. There is no equivalence in
mathematics. A mathematical demonstration never implies any
experimentation. Mathematics simply deals with the calculation of
relations between those concepts.
question is: Can we apply logically any existing mathematical
relationship to those physical concepts, and expect to find a
result compatible with experiments? The answer is certainly "No".
Physics possesses its own rules different from those of
mathematics. Mathematics allows the calculation of things that
cannot exist. Here are some examples. Physically, it does not make
sense to consider negative or imaginary masses although
mathematics can calculate them. Also, it is observed that masses
never move to velocities faster than light. Instantaneous
interaction at a distance is not a problem in mathematics, it is
not however compatible with physical reality.
deal with physical reality, a mass must have an existence
independent of the observer. We can show that mathematics can be
used to calculate objects that do not have an autonomous
existence. Pure mathematical results do not necessarily have a
correspondence with physical reality. For example, mathematics
allows us to calculate the effects of the reversal of time
although this reversal is not compatible with experiments. We also
try to find a cause for any physical phenomenon. However, the
physical cause of the phenomenon is irrelevant in mathematics.
conclude that since physics must be compatible with observations,
specific rules are required. We cannot claim that the rules of
mathematics are exactly the same as those that apply in physics.
Without the characteristic rules of physics, there would then be
no difference between physics and mathematics and experiments
would be useless. Physics requires extra rules that are not
pertinent in mathematics.
It is the
specific rules of physics that we discuss in this book. The main
rules discussed here are causality, realism and the coherence of
physical laws. Those rules are essential to a rational explanation
to paradoxes about light and wave-particle interpretation.
Furthermore, those rules must be coherent and not contradict each
other as usually happens when we try to explain light.
book, we first recall the well-known absurdities of the Copenhagen
interpretation of modern physics. We then realize that there is a
substantial need to define realism in physics. The difficulties of
the dualistic model for the interpretation of light and particles
are examined. The realism of Einstein's relativity is shown to be
of the utmost importance. Using relativity, we show that a
rational solution exists to explain light behavior without having
to deal with the absurdities of the Copenhagen interpretation. We
present a rational solution to the paradoxes of modern physics.
Contrary to what has been claimed, it is erroneous to believe that
those paradoxes have no rational solution.
one essential result is that the interpretations given here are
completely compatible with the existing formalism of the
mathematics of modern physics. In a few words, it is shown that
Nature is logical and that matter is compatible with realism,
contrary to the claim offered by the interpretation of modern
author wishes to express his gratitude to Luc Gauthier for his
devoted and unfailing assistance. I also acknowledge fruitful
discussions with L. Marmet, M. Proulx, B. Richardson, A.
St-Jacques and some friends. I wish to thank Mrs. J. R. Beaty
and Mr. S. Beaty for the editorial help. A research grant from
Natural Science and Engineer Research Council of Canada given
for a related subject largely contributed to create the
conditions suitable for active research and to the printing of
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