Volume 1, Issue 3, pages 123-170
W. M. Stuckey [Show Biography], Michael Silberstein [Show Biography] and Timothy McDevitt [Show Biography]
Mark Stuckey is a Professor of Physics at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania, USA. His PhD thesis was in relativistic cosmology from the University of Cincinnati working for Louis Witten in 1987. His work in relativistic cosmology contributed to a movement to correct misconceptions in the mass media and introductory astronomy textbooks about Big Bang cosmology. In 1994 he started study in foundations of physics with the goal of interpreting quantum mechanics in order to develop a new approach to fundamental physics. In 2005, he and a colleague in philosophy of science (Prof. Silberstein) achieved the first part of that goal by creating the Relational Blockworld (RBW) interpretation of quantum mechanics. In 2009, a colleague in mathematics (Prof. McDevitt) joined the collaboration and helped bring the goal to fruition with the development of an RBW approach to quantum gravity and the unification of physics based on modified lattice gauge theory. In 2012, the corresponding modification to Regge calculus in Einstein-deSitter cosmology was used to fit the Union2 Compilation supernova data as well as LambdaCDM without accelerating expansion, dark energy, or a cosmological constant. In 2015, RBW and its associated new approach to fundamental physics are well-developed and being brought to bear on the dark matter problem.
Michael David Silberstein is a Full Professor of Philosophy at Elizabethtown College, a founding member of the Cognitive Science program and permanent Adjunct in the Philosophy Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is also a faculty member in the Foundations of Physics Program and a Fellow on the Committee for Philosophy and the Sciences. His primary research interests are foundations of physics, foundations of cognitive science and foundations of complexity theory respectively. He is especially interested in how these branches of philosophy and science bear on more general questions of reduction, emergence and explanation. In 2005, he and a colleague in physics (Prof. Stuckey) created the Relational Blockworld (RBW) interpretation of quantum mechanics. In 2009, a colleague in mathematics (Prof. McDevitt) joined the collaboration and helped bring to fruition the development of an RBW approach to quantum gravity and the unification of physics based on modified lattice gauge theory. In 2012, the corresponding modification to Regge calculus in Einstein-deSitter cosmology was used to fit the Union2 Compilation supernova data as well as LambdaCDM without accelerating expansion, dark energy, or a cosmological constant. In 2015, RBW and its associated new approach to fundamental physics is being brought to bear on the dark matter problem.
Tim McDevitt is Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at Elizabethtown College. He earned his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics in 1996 at the University of Virginia and has spent significant time working both in and outside of academia. He has been at Elizabethown College since 2005 and he enjoys engaging in interdisciplinary research with colleagues in other disciplines.
We update our Relational Blockworld (RBW) explanation of quantum physics and argue that it provides a realist psi-epistemic account of quantum mechanics as called for by Leifer. RBW accomplishes this by employing discrete graphical amalgams of space, time and sources (“spacetimesource elements”) and an adynamical global constraint as ‘hidden variables’ that avoid the need for counterfactual definiteness in a realist account. Instead of an equation of motion governing time-evolved entities, the adynamical global constraint is used for computing the graphical transition amplitude whence a probability amplitude for our fundamental spacetimesource element. We begin with a largely conceptual and philosophical introduction to RBW’s most prominent features, i.e., adynamism, relationalism/contextualism, and the unmediated exchange of energy. This conceptual introduction includes a simple interferometer computation of the relative intensities found in a weak measurement that we compare with the authors’ computation per weak values. We use this to contrast our adynamical explanation of the experiment with the apparently dynamical, retro-time-evolved explanation of the authors’ Two State Vector Formalism. Next we use spacetimesource elements instead of paths in Dowker’s GHZ set-up to contrast RBW with Sorkin’s Many Histories account. We argue that rather than multiple paths per Many Histories, what is called for is no paths per RBW. The adynamical interpretation of these two quantum experiments, afforded by the global perspective, suggests that quantum mechanics might be underwritten adynamically. Thus, in the second part of the paper, we motivate an adynamical global constraint using coupled harmonic oscillators and then apply it to an analysis of the twin-slit experiment. This illustrates how the adynamical global constraint of our “modified lattice gauge theory” underwrites quantum field theory whence quantum mechanics. We conclude with a brief dismissal of the measurement problem and an RBW explanation of entanglement, environmental decoherence, quantum non-commutivity, quantum versus classical behavior, and the Born rule.
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