QR3.5.3 The Quantum Lottery

What then affects where a photon hits a screen when it arrives? According to quantum theory, the power of the quantum wave defines the probability it will hit at any point but where it actually hits is a random choice based on those probabilities. So while the probabilities are exact, the actual hit point varies based on no known physical cause.

Quantum theory calculates the probability a photon will hit a screen point as follows:

a. Its wave equation describes how the photon cloud spreads through both slits.

b. Given two paths to a screen point, positive and negative wave values add to a net result.

c. The net amplitude squared is the probability the photon physically exists at that point.

So quantum theory explains Young’s experiment as follows:

The photon quantum wave spreads through both slits, then its positive and negative values add or cancel at the screen to give interference that affects the probability of where it hits.

All this “quantum activity” is seen as entirely imaginary so it doesn’t really happen but in quantum realism, there really is a quantum wave that really does generate physical events. If a quantum wave is a processing wave and a physical event is a node overload that restarts the server, what decides that? Servers have many clients so a quantum server response to a client node reboot request could be:

1.   Access. The server restarts that node’s processing which denies all other nodes access for that cycle, i.e. collapses the quantum wave. This then is a physical event.

2.   No access. The server doesn’t respond as it is busy elsewhere, so the node just drops the process and carries on. This then was a potential physical event that didn’t happen.

Quantum collapse is random to us because it is a winner takes all lottery run by a quantum server we can’t observe. When many nodes reboot, the first to initiate a server restart locks out the others and wins the prize of being the photon, leaving other instances to wither on the grid. It follows that screen nodes with more server access are more likely to reboot successfully.

Why then does quantum theory define its probabilities based on the square of the quantum wave amplitude? The quantum wave is a sine wave and the power of a sine wave is its amplitude squared. This power defines the processing demand that determines access to the photon server. That positive and negative quantum amplitudes cancel locally is an expected efficiency. Nodes that access the server more often have a greater probability to successfully reboot and host a physical event.

When many screen nodes overload at once, where a photon actually hits depends on server activity that is, to us, random, just as quantum theory says. But quantum theory can deduce the probability of where a photon hits from the square of the quantum wave amplitude at each point because the power of the quantum wave at a node defines its server access. Thus quantum realism derives what quantum theory simply declares, based on the known data.

Quantum realism then describes Young’s experiment in terms of server access as follows:

a.   The photon processing wave spreads instances through both slits.

b.   If they reach the same node by different paths, positive/negative values add to a net result.

c.   When many screen nodes overload and reboot, the net quantum amplitude squared defines the probability of server access that results in a physical event.

In Young’s experiment, the photon server supports client instances that pass through both slits then interfere as they leave, even for a single photon. This interference alters the server access that decides the probability a node overload will succeed. The first screen node to overload and restart the server is where the photon “hits”. If detectors are in both slits, both fire equally because both have equal server access. If a detector is in one slit, it only fires half the time because the server is attending to instances going through the other slit half the time. Table 3.1 interprets Feynman’s summary of quantum mechanics (Feynman et al., 1977) p37-10 as a calculation of server access.

Quantum realism now answers questions like:

a.   Does the photon go through both slits at once? Yes, photon instances go through both slits.

b.   Does it arrive at one screen point? Yes, photon processing restarts at one screen node (point).

c.   Did it take a particular path? Yes, the instance that caused the reboot took a specific path.

d.   Did it also take all other possible paths? Yes, other instances, now disbanded, took every path.

If quantum theory is literally true, a photon really is a “wave” that goes through both Young’s slits, but it arrives at a screen point because a physical event is a server restart triggered by one node. A photon as server processing never dies because it can be born again from any of its legion of instances.

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 Table 3.1. Quantum theory as describing server access

Quantum theory

Server Access

1. Existence. The probability a quantum entity exists is the absolute square of its complex quantum amplitude value at a point in space

1. Restart. The probability a quantum entity restarts a server in a physical event depends on node access that is the absolute quantum amplitude squared

2. Interference. If a quantum event can occur in two alternate ways, the positive and negative amplitudes combine, i.e. they interfere

2. Combination.If quantum processing can arrive at a node by alternate network paths, the positive and negative values combine, i.e. they interfere

3. Observation.Observing one path lets the other occur without interference, so the outcome probability is the simple sum of the alternatives, i.e. the interference is lost

3. Interaction. Interacting with a quantum wave on one path lets the other occur without interference, so the probability of either path occurring is the simple sum of the alternatives, i.e. the interference is lost