The Quantum Handshake
A Transactional Model for Results of the Double-slit Experiment Along with Wider Implications
Introduction: Basics of the Double-slit Experiment
The double-slit experiment ejects nanoscale particles from an emission device and towards a screen that records their final position as a florescent spot while it absorbs them. On the way, the particles pass through two slits. If the absorber screen is placed far enough behind the double slits, emission generates what seems to be an interference pattern, as if the particles are waves, but this effect only emerges from large quantities of particles, for each one contacts the screen at a specific point, as if not a wave. This interference pattern has shown up with photons, electrons, even molecules of as many as two thousand atoms. It works when streams of particles are emitted and also when one particle is emitted at a time, so scientists have postulated that matter involves an intrinsic wave/particle duality. All sorts of subatomic particles, atoms and molecules seem in actuality to be wave packets or “wavicles”.
It is easy to imagine a stream of wavicles interfering as they diffract through the slits to yield an array of light and dark bands on the florescent screen corresponding to in phase and out of phase waves. This would resemble the classic experiment performed in the 19th century, where a beam of light was diffracted by a single aperture to then pass through double slits as a spreading field which apparently interfered with itself to similar result.
Interference patterns from one at a time particle emission are a more difficult outcome to account for. The typical explanation is that the wavicle passes through both slits to interfere with itself, spreading out in the double-slit chamber and then spontaneously collapsing in some way upon contact with the absorber surface to give a particulate signature. This “wave function collapse” mechanism is quite the brain teaser: does the wavicle spread out invisibly in the chamber as it diffracts and then somewhat mystically end up at a very localized endpoint? Why would many localized endpoints with no likeness to waves at all look like in phase and out of phase waves as they accumulate on the absorber screen? What exactly is going on?
This gets even trickier when a sensor is placed at one of the slits during the two slit experiment to detect the transmission of particles. Whether a photon, electron or larger molecule, the particle is detected 50% of the time, so there is an equal (and unpredictable) chance of it passing through either slit in any single trial. But when a sensor is present at one of the slits, this dissolves the interference pattern and the particles engender two narrow bands on the florescent screen, as if they were never a wave. This led researchers to propose a “decoherence” mechanism: diffuseness of the wavicle, according to this account, is easily disrupted by interaction with large collections of tightly knit atoms such as exist within the sensor or absorber screen. Particles supposedly assume a localized form that obeys principles of Newtonian mechanics as they jostle amongst themselves in vast quantities. Decoherence is attributed to sizable mass, and the double-slit experiment seems to set the size limit at an extremely microscopic level, around the scale of a couple thousand atoms. Anything bigger supposedly decoheres, failing to interfere with itself and bring forth the complementing interference pattern. But different experiments entangling trillions of atoms contradict this interpretation, where quantum coherence is unmistakably taking effect much more broadly.
The plot thickens, for an absorber theory of particle interactions invented by Richard Feynman and John Wheeler was adapted by John Cramer into a transactional interpretation of the double-slit experiment. It asserts that certain solutions to the equations of wave dynamics which have traditionally been ignored because they necessitate much more rapid motion than the speed of light are as physically real and causal as those of the conventional wave itself, giving rise to a linear interference mechanism along the wavicle’s path that participates in steering it to the absorber. This extremely swift, “advanced” wave would travel fast enough to exact its causality as if flowing backwards through time relative to the so-called “retarded” wave, which it interferes with in cocausation.
Actual experiments have not ironed out exactly what the real process consists in, but it seems suspect that a single particle interference at the slits brings about an interference pattern spanning the whole chamber, which only materializes from hundreds of trials that individually create point particle signatures. The verified fact that trillions of atoms can simultaneously engage in coherence also casts doubt, for wavicle entanglement clearly exceeds the mass constraints which seem to take effect in the double-slit experiment. And what precisely does interference between an advanced and retarded wave structurally entail? The relevant investigations remain to be carried out, but perhaps we can gain inspiration from the weather. By analogizing wavicle emission events to lightning bolts, which we solidly grasp from slow motion photography and video, can we describe the double-slit experiment? What role if any does electric charge play, and what can we infer if a lightning bolt mechanism proves to be the accurate explanation?
A Lightning Bolt Model of the Double-slit Experiment
To start with, we can consider what a lightning bolt mechanism in the double-slit chamber would look like. Almost immediately after the first retarded wave is formed by an emission event’s electric charge, comparable to the stepped leader produced by a thunder cloud, the complementary advanced wave arrives, then the two interfere to adjust the direction of this initial retarded wave as it travels towards the absorber, while the retarded wave in the backward direction (towards the emitter) cancels out the original retarded wave.
A further advanced wave instigated by this event dissipates into the emitter somehow and similarly interferes with a retarded wave eventually springing from the absorber, which resembles a return streamer, in a brief instant. The succession of retarded waves from emitter and absorber rapidly close the distance between them in a stairstepping sequence of zigzag motion, in this model presumably caused by ricocheting interference with a succession of advanced waves, until contact is made and the quantum handshake occurs, a surge of charge briefly connecting the emitter and absorber directly, like a lightning bolt, in this case invisible. Whether transmission of the particle itself flows in coordination with a subsequent current of smoother, faster motion in likeness to a dart leader is uncertain, but this can perhaps be analyzed by experiment.
The double-slit instigates a symmetry in the chamber’s charge that makes the absorber’s charge-active sites comparably symmetrical, resulting in what looks like a precise interference pattern on the florescent screen despite the haphazard, seemingly randomized nature of each individual transmission “handshake” and its chance of passing through only one or perhaps more than one slit.
The key point is that individual electrons do not bring about the characteristic fringe on the screen primarily by a lateral interference. The electrons follow a relatively linear path parameterized by charge distribution. The spookiest aspect of this process is that wavicle emission events would be perturbing their medium of electrically charged volume at variable rates and energy levels simultaneously, resulting in cocausation backwards and forwards through what is typically interpreted as spacetime.
If this lightning bolt model is accurate, an inability to get the interference fringe from molecules larger than a couple thousand atoms does not imply an upper limit on capacity of the atoms composing molecules to be in a state of relatively macroscopic entanglement, as decoherence is not induced by architecture of the slits. Decoherence may occur minimally in this context, with the molecules squeezed or stretched in a longitudinal direction more than discomposed laterally.
The upper size limit to molecules when generating what might have erroneously been called an “interference pattern” would instead be a result of the strength of electric charge in the double-slit chamber being insufficient to influence the path of each molecule such that a wavelike statistical distribution materializes on the absorber screen.
The Significance if Electric Charge Effects Prove to Obtain
What are the implications if possible entanglement between molecules is not constrained as much by their size or an extremely unusual composition (the two thousand atom double-slit experiment used oligo-tetraphenylporphyrins enriched with fluoroalkylsulfanyl chains) as the charge distributions they subsist in?
With a large electric charge such as we find in the brain, a wide range of fairly massive molecules and molecular complexes might be able to entangle while avoiding decoherence. It may not only be possible to experimentally entangle trillions of separate atoms in a nonbiological context, but also for biochemical arrays of a million molecules of thousands of atoms each to entangle in a thousand different ways simultaneously given appropriately strong electrical charge conditions.
Trillions of entanglement systems within entanglement systems and their additiveness (similar to combinatorial properties of the visible light spectrum), integrated by an electrical field substrate, probably reaches enough complexity to constitute the substance of qualia and qualitative experience as it exists within the brain.
This charge distribution phenomenon can be likened to the thunderstorms during which clouds and the ground are positively charged with negatively charged atmosphere between them. Storms create charge peaks on numerous patches of ground that synchronize with electricity coming down from the sky, these prongs of current stairstepping towards each other until they connect and a surge of electricity is transmitted. All of this of course happens in a fraction of a second, undetectable to the naked eye.
The hypothesis is that the double-slit experiment is similar, during which an emission event and the absorbing material give rise to clouds of charge, presumably separated by a cloud of opposite charge induced between them. The apparent “interference pattern” would then not be due to interference at all, but rather consequent on patches of charge that form a symmetrical pattern along the absorber surface because of the symmetry of the experimental setup. As the emission event proceeds, absorber charges rise towards the emitter, setting the statistical distribution of particle transmission. Electric charges loosely parameterize the motion of a “chosen one” absorption event and the emission event as they approach each other in stairstep, zigzag fashion and link, with an individual particle stretched linearly as it travels through one or multiple slits, flowing within the path of what resembles a microscopic lightning bolt and making contact with the screen in a seemingly random manner, at a particular point.
In the brain, current flows through neurons as the relative positivity to negativity of charge alternates between internal and intermembrane space. This process is regulated by cyclical flow of ions into and out of the axon. Action potentials throughout the brain are happening trillions of times per second (as many as 200–300 cycles per second in a hefty percentage of 100 billion neurons), so that the organ is like a highly organized electrical storm. These orderly periodicities of charge disequilibrium are presumably what generates brainwaves, and in line with the foregoing hypothesis would also provide the medium of nonlocality within which entanglement effects occur, similar to a thunderstorm and the double-slit experiment. This electrical charge nonlocality within the brain is strong and persistent enough that biomolecules within cells may entangle as described, far beyond the double-slit experiment’s limits.
Nonlocality of an electrically charged field could establish entanglement relationships between particles in a way that is infused into the matter itself but also supervenient on local positions. This supervenient integration that is intrinsic to matter while it consists in electric charge might engender “qualia” as additive entanglement amongst particles, and with sufficient complexity in emergent organization would beget qualitative perception.
In essence, charge distribution likely participates in piloting, synchronizing or blending particle interactions via entanglement within many circumstances, and this can show up in standard quantum mechanics as statistical probability.
In this account, the wavicle doesn’t fill the double-slit chamber as if transmitted like aether and then engage in a radically disjuncted collapse mechanism, or else why would the phenomenon not be easily observed with particles under all naturally occurring conditions, a reality of total superposition? In this model, holism of charge distribution within matter is the entanglement mechanism instead of a phenomenon of particle position or state and the accompanying paradoxes of action at a distance.
Maybe compromise between the wave and particle models is possible that sustains realism in relation to the double-slit context, a wavicle which can stretch, elongate, flow in a particular direction with some likeness to a liquid or gas depending on globally active factors, in this case electric charge distribution.
A Tentative Hypothesis About the Nature of Wave/Particle Interactions
Then what is an advanced wave? Let’s start with the more intuitive facet of transmission, the retarded wave: it seems to be a flash of electrically charged current between the emitter and absorber that morphs the wavicle’s shape somehow via charge dynamics and within which the wavicle flows as a high energy cluster of matter, tightly knit enough to avoid being substantially absorbed by the environment as it travels to the florescent screen, and pliant enough to squeeze through the slit or slits.
If we were to launch a baseball at the screen by contrast, it would slow slightly due to macroatomic friction in the chamber and bounce off the slits rather than transmit through them because relatively massive size induces large enough decoherence effects and charge cancellation amongst its tangle of constituent particles that it cannot squeeze through nor respond to electromagnetic effects which pervade the subatomic scale, instead obeying classical laws of Newtonian motion.
Electromagnetic radiation near the visible portion of the spectrum is a sweet spot in relationship to Earthlike molecules, constantly being emitted at relatively high intensities that saturate the environment. However, it is absorbed in large amounts as well, which amongst the double-slit context and most Earthbound situations reduces average intensity over any given range of space such that negligible impact is had on outcomes. Moderately sized radio waves with their longer wavelengths could travel ever so slightly faster, but exist at such low intensities within the double-slit context that they are quickly absorbed by molecules and also have negligible effect.
Extremely long wavelengths may also be generated at very low intensities by the highly energetic emission/absorption event, but could move so rapidly that they skirt much interaction with molecules, reaching the opposite apparatus with their intensity almost undiminished. This might be enough to create advanced waves that ping pong between retarded waves and participate in steering their mostly linear motion.
The hypothesis is that the double-slit experiment involves something like two energy peaks, one at the low speed, high but relatively localized intensity, low absorption, particlelike portion of the spectrum, and one at the extremely high speed, very low intensity, extremely low absorption, long-range wave end of the spectrum, separated by a sizable gap of moderate speed, intensity and absorption that proves negligible. Earth’s molecular structure may cancel out everything but the very lowest and highest speeds in matter, so that far ends of the spectrum, particles and very long wavelengths, can interfere if conditions are conducive, and the highly sensitive double-slit experiment with its minuscule lightning bolt of current containing a tiny, relatively isolated wavicle might be such a context.
To conclude, electric charge properties within the double-slit chamber during the emission event have perhaps not been thoroughly examined, but if this factor does play a role in determining the behavior of particles involved, it could have significant ramifications for our comprehension of how naturally occurring phenomena such as brain function operate.