QR5.1.1 The Great Divide

About a hundred years ago, relativity  and quantum theory replaced the previous 200-year-old Newtonian model with a world of malleable time, curved space and matter probability waves. A century of research has confirmed both theories in their respective cosmic and sub-atomic domains yet they contradict each other, as relativity creates infinities at quantum lengths and quantum field tricks fail for gravity. As one physicist states:

Mankind has uncovered two extremely efficient theories: one that describes our universe’s structure (Einstein’s gravity: the theory of general relativity), and one that describes everything our universe contains (quantum field theory), and these two theories won’t talk to each other.(Galfard, 2016)

This schism existed at the heart of physics last century and essentially nothing has changed since. It is as if the universe has two different rule books, one for the very small and one for the very large with nothing in common, as the very large rules don’t work for the very small and the very small rules don’t work for the very large.

Two theories that contradict each other can’t both be right but both quantum theory and relativity have been proved to be right innumerable times. The conclusion isn’t that they are wrong but that both are incomplete. If both are right, then each is only half the picture and something more fundamental is at play.

Quantum realism concludes that that these two theories can’t talk to each other because each exposes the other’s theoretical errors but ignores its own:

1. Quantum theory: Assumes that quantum states evolve on a static space and time background (Smolin, 2006) that relativity assures us doesn’t exist.

2. Relativity theory: Assumes that foreground objects follow fixed trajectories that quantum theory assures us isn’t so.

The reconciliation now explored is that both foreground objects and their background context are created by a quantum field, defined as quantum processing on a quantum network.