If a photon is a spread-out wave as quantum theory says, how can it arrive at a point? A wave should hit a barrier as a smear but a photon hitting a screen gives a dot instead. Radio waves are many meters long and so should take time to arrive, even at light speed, but they don’t. If they did, in the delay between the wave front’s first hit and the rest arriving, the tail could hit something else. One photon could hit twice, which it never does! A physical wave delivers its energy over its entire wavelength so how does a quantum wave deliver all its energy instantly at a point:
“How can electromagnetic energy spread out like a wave … still be deposited all in one neat package when the light is absorbed?” (Walker, 2000) p43
Physics doesn’t know how a quantum wave collapses to a point in a physical event:
“After more than seven decades, no one understands how or even whether the collapse of a probability wave really happens.” (Greene, 2004), p119
Einstein didn’t like quantum collapse because it implied faster than light travel. He argued as follows given that a photon is a wave that spreads as quantum theory says:
Before the photon hits a screen its wave function exists at points A or B with some probability but after it is entirely at point A say not at B. The moment A “knows” it is the photon then B “knows” it isn’t. Now as the screen moves further away, eventually A and B could be in different galaxies but if the collapse is immediate, how can nature do this? How can two events anywhere in the universe be instantly coordinated faster than light? This contradicts special relativity.
In quantum theory, quantum waves are three-dimensional waves that spread to any size then collapse to a point when observed. Nothing physical can do this, but processing spreading on a network can overload a node, giving reboot that:
a. Is irreversible. A reboot can’t be reversed.
b. Conserves processing. The processing before and after a reboot is the same.
c. Allows change. A reboot can re-allocate processing in potentially new ways.
When a photon quantum wave arrives at a screen, the extra processing will overload nodes that are already maximally occupied with the screen matter. If many nodes reboot, the first one to access the photon server will succeed. It then restarts the photon server that is supporting the expanding quantum wave. Now if a parent server maintaining many child instances restarts for one node, it must immediately stop supporting all other instances. The collapse of the quantum wave function is then just the inevitable disbanding of child instances when the server process restarts. A quantum wave, no matter how large, can instantly disappear, as if it never was, because it is a wave of processing instances not a “thing”.
When a photon hits a detector screen, what actually arrives isn’t a lonely particle looking for a point to hit but a cloud of instances requesting processing from nodes already busy with screen matter. When a screen node overloads, it requests the server to restart the process and as one photon has only one server, only one client request can succeed. The first node to successfully request a server reboot restarts the entire photon and this is where the photon “hits” the screen.
Can a quantum wave that has spread to the size of a galaxy instantly collapse to any point in it? When our computers change a point on a screen, the program doesn’t “go to” the screen pixel to change it. It can change any screen point directly and likewise a quantum server is directly linked to quantum nodes anywhere on the screen of space. The node-to-node transfer rate that defines the speed of light is irrelevant to the server-client link that governs quantum collapse. So what troubled Einstein, that a quantum wave can collapse instantly, is not a problem for quantum realism.
Seeing quantum entities as processing, not a matter substance, changes everything, e.g. when two electrons collide and bounce apart, we assume the same matter leaves as entered the collision, but if the “collision” is a network overload and server restart, the “particles” that leave are actually brand-new creations just off the quantum press. In this view, physical events annihilate and create quantum entities, just as quantum theory says. It is the conservation of processing in the reboot that maintains the illusion that a matter “substance” continues to exist.