“Spooky action at a distance”, as Einstein called it, refers to the experimental fact that particles can impact each other instantly, even when separated by sizable distances. For example, if two photons are produced collectively in what is referred to as an entangled state and the angular momentum of one is altered, then the angular momentum of the other one will adjust in a corresponding manner at the same time, no matter how far away from each other the particles are. This “spooky” behavior has been known for almost a hundred years and still is a source of confusion.

Still there is a theory in which the result is not spooky, but rather a natural consequence. I’m referring to Quantum Field Theory, which describes a world constructed only of fields, with no particles. What we call a particle is really a piece, or quantum, of a field. Quanta are not localized like particles, but are spread out through space. For example, photons are pieces of the electromagnetic field and protons are parts of the matter field. These quanta evolve in a deterministic way as per the basic field equations and there is a term in these equations that restrains the speed of propagation to the velocity of light.


Even so the QFT equations don’t tell the whole story. There are events that are not explained by the field equations– for example, when a field quantum moves energy or momentum to a different object. This event is non-local in the sense that the change in, or even disappearance of, the quantum happens immediately, no matter how spread-out the field may be. It can even happen with two entangled quanta– no matter how much they are separated. In QFT, this is essential if each quanta is to act as a unit, as per the fundamental basis of QFT.

There is a big difference between quantum collapse in QFT and wave-function collapse in QM. The former is a real physical change in the fields while the latter is a change in our knowledge. Even though we don’t have a theory to describe quantum collapse, there is nothing inconsistent about it. To quote from Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Einstein:

In QFT the photon is a spread-out field, and the particle-like behavior takes place because each photon, or quantum of field, is consumed as a unit … It is a spread-out field quantum, but when it is taken in by an atom, the entire field disappears altogether, no matter how spread-out it is, and all its energy is placed into the atom. There is a big “whoosh” and the quantum is gone, like an elephant disappearing from a magician’s stage.

Quantum collapse is not a very simple concept to accept– perhaps more difficult than the concept of a field. Here I have been working hard, trying to persuade you that fields are a real property of space– indeed, the only reality– and now I am seeking you to consider that a quantum of field, spread out as it may be, quickly disappears into a tiny absorbing atom. But still it is a process that can be visualized without inconsistency. In fact, if a quantum is an entity that lives and dies as a unit, which is the very meaning of quantized fields, then quantum collapse must occur. A quantum can not divide and put half its energy in one area and half in another; that would violate the fundamental quantum principle. While QFT does not provide an explanation for when or why collapse occurs, some day we may have a theory that does. In any case, quantum collapse is important and has been confirmed experimentally.

Some physicists, including Einstein, have been bothered by the non-locality of quantum collapse, professing that it goes against a fundamental postulate of Relativity: that nothing can be transferred more quickly than the speed of light. Now Einstein’s postulate (which we must remember was only a guess) is certainly valid in relation to the evolution and propagation of fields as illustrated by the field equations. Having said that quantum collapse is not described by the field equations, so there is no reason to assume or to insist that it falls in the domain of Einstein’s postulate.

Learn more here.

Dear New York Times

In the write-up (“With faint chirp, scientists prove Einstein correct”, p. A1, 2/12/16) we study that black holes were part of Einstein’s theory. The reality is quite different. “Einstein argued vigorously against black holes [as] incompatible with reality” (see “Black Holes” by R. Anderson) and his rivals held back their acceptance for many years.


Einstein was also mistaken when he rejected Quantum Field Theory. According to his biographer A. Pais,” QFT was repugnant to him”. This is ironic because QFT, and only QFT, reveals and resolves the paradoxes of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics that most people struggle with (see “Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Einstein” by this writer).

Quite possibly the most significant irony is the statement, “according to Einstein’s theory, gravity is caused by objects warping space and time”. While that is what everybody accepts today, the truth is that Einstein recognized gravity as a force field, similar to electromagnetic fields, except that it is produced by mass, not charge. That an oscillating mass generates gravitational waves is no more incomprehensible or unexpected than that electromagnetic waves are produced when electrons move back and forth in an antenna. To Einstein, curvature was actually a consequential result, similar to the changes in space and time produced by motion according to his Special theory of Relativity.

Black holes. Contrary to many studies, black holes were actually not part of Einstein’s supposition. In fact Einstein argued strongly against black holes [as] incompatible with reality, and his opposition held back their approval for many years.

Synopsis. Gravitational waves are easy to understand if you accept gravity as a force field, similar to the electromagnetic field (QFT). And while the contraction effect is more subtle, it is not that much different from the F-L contraction that has been accepted for over a hundred years.

Read more here…

Book Simplifies Complicated Quantum Field Theory

fields of color, quantum field theory, theory of relativity

The following is a current write-up written about Quantum Field Theory and the book, Fields of Color. The write-up showed up in the Leisure World News on September 4, 2015.

The book “Fields of Color: The Theory that Escaped Einstein” streamlines the complicated Quantum Field Theory in order that a nonprofessional can grasp it. Written by Leisure World resident Rodney Brooks, it contains no formulas– as a matter of fact, no math– and it utilizes colors to represent fields, which in themselves are hard to think of. It demonstrates the field picture of nature resolves the paradoxes of quantum mechanics and relativity that have perplexed a lot of individuals. It is original, detailed, and interesting.

Brooks is impressed and satisfied with the success of his book, that was published in 2011. He states 6,000 copies have been sold, out of the ordinary for a self-published book on physics. In addition, the publication has a 4.4 (out of 5) star rating on Amazon with much more than 90 reader reviews– a higher score than Einstein’s own book on relativity and above Stephen Hawking’s popular book “The Theory of Everything.”.

In its essence, quantum field theory (QFT) defines a world made of fields, not particles (neutrons, electrons, protons) as most physicists conclude. Nevertheless the field principle is hard to grasp. To quote from Chapter 1 of “Fields of Color”: “To put it briefly, a field is a property or a condition of space. The field concept was introduced into physics in 1845 by Michael Faraday as an explanation for electric and magnetic forces. However, the idea that fields can exist by themselves as “properties of space” was too much for physicists of the time to accept.” (Chapter 1 in its entirety can be read at http://www.quantum-field-theory.net/).

Colors of Fields.
Later this principle was expanded to other fields. “In Quantum Field Theory the entire fabric of the cosmos is made of fields, and I use (arbitrary) colors to help people visualize them,” says Brooks. “If you can picture the sky as blue, you can picture the fields that exist in space. Besides the EM (electromagnetic) field (‘green’), there are the strong force field (‘purple’) that holds protons and neutrons together in the atomic nucleus and the weak force field (‘brown’) that is responsible for radioactive decay. Gravity is also a field (‘blue’), and not ‘curvature of space-time’ which most people, including me, have trouble visualizing.”.

He continues: “In QFT, space is the same old three-dimensional space that we intuitively believe in, and time is the time that we intuitively believe in. Even matter is made of fields– in fact two fields. I use yellow for light particles like the electron and red for heavy particles,.

like the proton. But make no mistake, in QFT these ‘particles’ are not little balls; they are spread-out chunks of field, called quanta. Thus the usual picture of the atom with electrons traveling around the nucleus like little balls, is replaced by a ‘yellowness’ of the space around the nucleus that represents the electron field.”.

Brooks’ interest in physics was initially triggered when at age 14 he read Arthur Eddington’s “The Nature of the Physical World.” This publication illustrates how a table is made of small atoms that in turn could be split into even tinier objects. “So this is what the world is built of,” Brooks thought at the time. In college at the University of Florida he majored in mathematics with a minor in physics. He was then drafted into the army for 2 years.

Quantum Field Theory Answers Problem.
Fast forward to graduate school at Harvard University where Brooks was a National Science Foundation scholar, majoring in physics. During the course of this time, he went to a three-year formal lecture series instructed by Julian Schwinger. The Nobel prize-winning physicist had just finished his reformulation of QFT, so the timing was excellent. “I was astounded that all the paradoxes of relativity and quantum mechanics that had earlier perplexed me evaporated or were settled,” Brooks says.

After receiving his Ph.D. at Harvard under Nobel laureate Norman Ramsey, Brooks worked for 25 years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., in neuroimaging. His 1st research was regarding the new method of Computered Tomography (CT), during which time he devised the procedure now called dual-energy CT. Then, he did research on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and lastly in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). All in all, Brooks published 124 peer-reviewed articles.

Once he retired, he and his spouse, Karen Brooks, relocated to New Zealand in 2001. That was when he became conscious of the prevalent confusion about physics, specifically quantum mechanics and relativity, whilst his cherished QFT that resolves the mystification was disregardeded, misconceived, or neglected.

“Consequently I undertook the mission of clarifying the principles of quantum field theory to the general public,” Brooks says.

His book was first released in New Zealand in 2010, and is currently in its 2nd edition.

In 2012, his grandchildren, who live in Maryland called out, and he and his wife moved to Leisure World, where he moves ahead to work on his mission. Though Einstein eventually came to believe that reality should include fields and fields alone, he preferred there to be a solitary “unified” field that would not merely consist of gravity and electromagnetic forces (the only two forces recognized back then), but would additionally contain matter.

He invested the last 25 years of his life unsuccessfully looking for this unified field theory.

Referring to the particle image that he espoused, physicist Richard Feynman once said, “The theory … describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees fully with experiment. So I hope you can accept Nature as She is– absurd.”.

Brooks, on the contrary, concludes his introductory chapter by saying, “I hope you can accept Nature as She is: beautiful, consistent and in accord with common sense– and made of quantized fields.”.

Find out more on the Fields of Color Blog.

Space-Time Curvature & Quantum Field Theory

space-time curvature

General Relativity is the title given to Einstein’s theory of gravitational force that was illustrated in Chapter 2 of my book. As the theory is normally shown, it illustrates gravity as a curvature in four-dimensional space-time. Now this is an idea far over and above the reach of regular individuals. Simply the idea of four-dimensional space-time causes most of us to tremble … The answer in Quantum Field Theory is straightforward: Space is space and time is time, and there is no curvature. In QFT gravity is a quantum field in regular three-dimensional space, the same as the other 3 force fields (EM, strong and weak).

This does not indicate that four-dimensional notation is not useful. It is a practical approach of addressing the mathematical relationship between space and time which is needed by special relativity. One may almost say that physicists could not live without it. Nevertheless, spatial and temporal evolution are fundamentally different, and I say shame on those who try to pass off and force the four-dimensional idea onto the general public as important to the awareness of relativity theory.

The concept of space-time curvature likewise had its origin in mathematics. When looking for a mathematical method that could embody his Principle of Equivalence, Einstein was led to the equations of Riemannian geometry. And yes, these formulas explain four-dimensional curvature, for individuals who can easily visualize it. You see, mathematicians are certainly not restricted by physical restrictions; equations that have a physical meaning in 3 dimensions may be generalized algebraically to any variety of dimensions. But when you do this, you are definitely managing algebra (equations), not geometry (spatial configurations).

By stretching our minds, some of us are able to even create a faint mental image of what four-dimensional curvature would resemble if it did exist. Nonetheless, stating that the gravitational field equations are equivalent to curvature is certainly not the same as saying that there is curvature. In Quantum Field Theory, the gravitational field is just an additional force field, like the EM, strong and weak fields, albeit with an increased complexity which is shown in its higher spin value of 2.

While QFT resolves these paradoxical declarations, I really don’t wish to leave you having the thought that the theory of quantum gravity is problem-free. Whilst computational troubles concerning the EM field were overcome with process called renormalization, very similar challenges involving the quantum gravitational field have not been overcome. Thankfully they do not actually interfere with macroscopic calculations, for which the QFT formulas become identical to Einstein’s.

Your choice. Once again you the reader have a choice, as you did in concern to the two approaches to special relativity. The choice is not regarding the formulas, it is about their interpretation. Einstein’s equations can be translated as suggesting a curvature of space-time, unpicturable as it may be, or as explaining a quantum field in three-dimensional space, just like the other quantum force fields. To the physicist, it really doesn’t make much difference. Physicists are much more concerned with solving their formulas rather than with interpreting them. If you will permit me another Weinberg quote:

steven weinberg

The important thing is to be able to make predictions about images on the astronomers photographic plates, frequencies of spectral lines, and so on, and it simply doesn’t matter whether we ascribe these predictions to the physical effects of gravitational fields on the motion of planets and photons or to a curvature of space and time. (The reader should be warned that these views are heterodox and would meet with objections from many general relativists.)– Steven Weinberg

Thus in case you prefer, you can think that gravitational effects are due to a curvature of space-time (even if you can’t picture it). Or, like Weinberg (and myself), you may see gravity as a force field that, like the other force fields in Quantum Field Theory, exists in three-dimensional space and progresses in time according to the field equations.

Learn more about space-time curvature at Fields of Color!

Why Then is the Speed of Light Constant?

speed of light, quantum field theory, quantum physics, fields of color

The question “Reasons why is the speed of light constant?” is often questioned by those making an effort to comprehend physics. Google has 2760 links to that query. Yet the explanation is so simple that a 10-year-old can understand it, that is, if you accept Quantum Field Theory.

Bring the ten-year-old to a pond and drop a rock in the water. Show her that the waves move through the water at a particular velocity, and explain to her that this speed depends solely on the properties of water. You might release different types of items at varying sites and show her that the waves move at the exact same speed, regardless of the size of the item or location of the water.

Then tell her that sound travels through air with a fixed rate that depends only on the properties of air. You could await a thunderstorm and time the difference between the lightning and the sound. Advise her that a whisper moves as quick as a yell. I believe a ten-year-old can understand the principle that water and air have properties that determine the speed of these waves, regardless of whether she does not understand the formulas.

Anybody who can comprehend this can then understand reasons why the speed of light is constant. You see, in Quantum Field Theory space has properties, exactly as air and water have properties. These properties are knowned as fields.

As Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek wrote, “One of the most basic results of special relativity, that the speed of light is a limiting velocity for the propagation of any physical influence, makes the field concept almost inevitable.”.

As soon as you accept the concept of fields (which admittedly is certainly not an easy one), that is actually all you need to recognize. Light is waves in the electromagnetic field that travel through space (not space-time) at a speed directed by the properties of space. They abide by reasonably simple formulas (not that you have to understand them), just as sound and water waves abide by basic equations. OK, the Quantum Field Theory formulas are a bit more complicated, but quoting Wilczek again, “The move from a particle description to a field description will be especially fruitful if the fields obey simple equations … Evidently, Nature has taken the opportunity to keep things relatively simple by using fields.”.

Nevertheless this inquiry can have a different meaning: “Why is the speed of light independent of motion?” This particular fact was first illustrated by the renowned Michelson-Morley experiment, in which light beams were timed as the earth revolved and rotated. The shocking result was actually that the speed of light was exactly the same despite the earth’s movement.

As I wrote in my book (see quantum-field-theory. net): That the speed of light must be independent of movement was most surprising … It makes no sense for a light beam – or anything, for that matter – to journey at the identical speed no matter the movement of the observer … except if “something funny” is taking place. The “something funny” turned out to be even more astonishing than the M-M result itself. Essentially, objects contract when they move! Even more specifically, they contract in the direction of movement. Think about it. If the path length of Michelson’s device in the forward direction contracted by the exact same amount as the extra distance the light beam would certainly have to travel due to movement, the 2 effects would cancel out. In fact, this is the only way that Michelson’s null result could be explained.

Nevertheless the idea that items contract when in motion was equally as perplexing as the Michelson-Morley outcome. Why should this be? Once more the explanation is provided by Quantum Field Theory. Quoting once more from my book:.

We need to acknowledge that even if the molecular configuration of an object seems stationary, the component fields are constantly interacting with one another. The EM field interacts with the matter fields and vice versa, the strong field interacts with the nucleon fields, etc. These interactions are what holds the object together. Now if the object is moving really quickly, this interaction among fields will become more difficult since the fields, on the average, will need to interact through greater distances. Thus the object in motion ought to in some way adjust itself to ensure that the exact same interaction between fields can occur. How can it do this? The only way is by decreasing the distance the component fields must travel. Since the spacing between atoms and molecules, and hence the dimensions of an object, are determined by the nature and configuration of the force fields that bind them together, the measurements of an item must therefore be impacted by motion.

It is very important to comprehend that it is not just Michelson’s apparatus that contracted, it is anything and everything on earth, including Michelson himself. Even if the earth’s speed and the consequent contraction were a lot greater, we on earth would John Bell, Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Physics, Speed of Light, Fields of Colorcontinue to be unaware of it. As John Bell discussed a moving observer:.

But will she not see that her meter sticks are contracted when laid out in the [direction of motion] – and even decontract when turned in the [other] direction? No, because the retina of her eye will also be contracted, so that just the same cells receive the image of the meter stick as if both stick and observer were at rest. – J. Bell (B2001, p. 68).

In conclusion, for individuals who would like to comprehend physics, I say use Quantum Field Theory and: WAKE UP AND SMELL THE FIELDS.


Quantum Field Theory

Lots of folks think that Einstein’s theory of general relativity claims that gravity is due to curvature in fourth dimension. As an example, here’s a recent question uploaded on Quora: “”Einstein tells us that gravity is motion in curved space-time, so why do scientists still refer to it a force?”.

Forgive me for yelling, but this one genuinely makes me crazy. EINSTEIN DIDN’T SAY THAT! In his theory of general relativity, developed in 1915, gravity is a force field, not much different from the electromagnetic (EM) field. It is CERTAINLY NOT four-dimensional curvature. But first a bit of history.

The field idea was presented into physics in 1845 by Michael Faraday through his studies of electric and magnetic phenomena. When James Maxell provided formulas for Faraday’s field in 1864, the field view of EM forces was generally accepted. But Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity, which included “action at a distance”, stayed the same. Newton’s theory was extremely successful, and is still taught in elementary physics classes today, but Newton was not satisfied with the concept of “action-at-a-distance”, stating “That one body may act upon another at a distance, through a vacuum, without the mediation of anything else … is to me so great an absurdity, that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking can ever fall into it.”.

This altered, obviously, when Einstein offered his principle of general relativity in 1915. In Einstein’s words: “As a result of the more careful study of electromagnetic phenomena, we have come to regard action at a distance as a process impossible without the intervention of some intermediary medium … The effects of gravitation also are regarded in an analogous manner … The action of the earth on the stone takes place indirectly. The earth produces in its surroundings a gravitational field, which acts on the stone and produces its motion of fall … [T] he intensity and direction of the field at points farther removed from the body are thence determined by the law which governs the properties in space of the gravitational fields themselves.”.

Keep in mind that Einstein mentioned not a thing about “curvature”. By creating formulas for the gravitational field, as Maxwell had performed for EM forces, Einstein answered Newton’s complaint about action-at-a-distance and brought the gravitational field into physics on a par with the EM field.

For people who have no idea just what a field is, I deliver this basic definition: A field is a property of space. There is no such thing as vacant space. You can’t have space without fields. These fields follow laws (i.e., equations) that define how a change at one point impacts the field at adjacent points, and additionally how one field affects other fields….

Find out more on the blog at Fields of Color…!

Looking at the Principle of Relativity – The Simpler Way

In the entire history of physics there is absolutely no equation more famous than e = mc2. This relationship amongst mass (m) and energy (e) was discovered in 1905 by Albert Einstein from his Principle of Relativity. The derivation wasn’t simple and warranted a paper by itself, referred to as “Does the inertia of a body depend upon its energy content?”. The equation continues to baffle and mystify ordinary people, since in the usual particle picture of nature, it is tough to see exactly why there is an equivalence between mass and energy.

principle of relativity

Meanwhile, a new theory called Quantum Field Theory was created. QFT was perfected in the 1950s by Julian Schwinger in five papers called “Theory of Quantized Fields”. In QFT there are absolutely no particles, there are only fields– quantized fields. Schwinger succeeded in positioning matter fields (leptons and hadrons) on an equal footing with force fields (gravity, electromagnetic, strong and weak), in spite of the obvious differences between them. Moreover, Schwinger developed the theory from fundamental axioms, as opposed to Richard Feynman’s particle picture, which he validated because “it works”. Unfortunately it was Feynman who won the battle, and today Schwinger’s method (and Schwinger himself) are mainly forgotten.

Yet QFT has many advantages. It has a stronger basis than the particle picture. It describes many things that the particle picture does not, including the many paradoxes associated with Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics, that have puzzled so many people. Philosophically, lots of people can accept fields as basic properties of space, as opposed to particles, whose composition is unknow. Or if there visualized as point particles, one can only ask “points of what?” And most of all, QFT provides a simple derivation and understanding of e = mc2, as follows.

Mass. In classical physics, mass is a measure of the inertia of a body. In QFT some of the field equations include a mass term that impacts the rate at which quanta of these fields evolve and propagate, slowing it down. Thus mass takes on the same inertial role in QFT that it does in classical physics. But this is not all it does; this exact same phrase causes the fields to oscillate, and the greater the mass, the higher the frequency of oscillation. The result, if you’re picturing these fields as a color in space (as in my book “Fields of Color”), is a sort of glimmer, and the greater the mass, the faster the glimmer. It might seem unusual that the same term that slows the spatial development of a field also causes it to oscillate, but it is actually straightforward mathematics to show from the field equations that the frequency of oscillation is given by f = mc2/h, where h is Planck’s constant.

Energy. In classical physics, energy means the capability to do work, which is defined as applying a force over a distance. This interpretation, however, doesn’t provide much of an image, so in classical physics, energy is a somewhat abstract idea. In QFT, on the other hand, the energy of a quantum is established by the oscillations in the field that makes up the quantum. As a matter of fact, Planck’s famous relationship e = hf, where h is Planck’s constant and f is frequency, found in the centennial year of 1900, follows directly from the equations of QFT.

principle of relativity, e=mc2, relativity

Well, both mass and energy are associated with oscillations in the field, it doesn’t take an Einstein to see that there must be a relationship between the 2. In fact, any schoolboy can combine the 2 equations and find (big drum roll, please) e = mc2. Not only does the equation topple right out of QFT, its meaning can be visualized in the oscillation or “shimmer” of the fields. Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek calls these oscillations “a marvelous bit of poetry” that create a “Music of the Grid” (Wilczek’s term for space viewed as a lattice of points):.

“Instead of plucking a string, blowing through a reed, banging on a drumhead, or clanging a gong, we play the instrument that is empty space by plunking down various combinations of quarks, gluons, electrons, photons, … and allow them to settle until they get to stability with the spontaneous activity of Grid … These resonances represent particles of different mass m. The masses of particles sound the Music of the Grid.”.

This QFT derivation of e = mc2 is not typically known. Actually, I have never seen it in the publications I’ve read. And still I consider it one of the great accomplishments of QFT.

We take a closer look on the blog at Fields of Color!