COHERENT FLUCTUATIONS
(C)1997 Alan M. Schwartz
Special Relativity is self-consistent geometric derivation from
postulates that lightspeed is finite, identically measured in all
inertial reference frames, and the maximum propagation speed of
information. Einstein despised the indeterminacies of quantum
mechanics. Schroedinger's cat - that a physical quantity does
not discretely exist until measurement - especially grated: An
entangled quantum state can fill the universe. How does a piece
instantaneously inform the balance what an answer is lest a
contradiction arise among separated observers?
The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox is Albert's quarrel. Launch
an entangled photon pair 180 degrees apart with orthogonal (but
undetermined!) polarizations. Each polarization is measured at
great separation versus (lightspeed)(assay interval). Consistent
answers upon later comparison require superluminal rapport. The
Bell Inequality is the experiment. Special Relativity predicts
the wrong answer. Quantum Eraser experiments are elegant probes
wherein the effect (classical or quantum behavior at a double
slit) occurs before the cause (look or don't look behind the slit
to localize the traversing entity). Double eraser experiments
have been performed wherein the look is subsequently scrambled.
Einstein always loses.
Something fundamental binds quantum entangled states enabling
prompt "communication" when their probabilities collapse to a
unique observable. Nature abhors contradiction. In 1997 The
Bell Inequality ran in Europe with a 40 km detector separation.
At lightspeed that is a 133 microsecond gap. Measurement
interval uncertainties were of the order of nanoseconds. Quantum
mechanics held to the last decimal place.
How do entities with great spatial separation achieve property
self-consistency without elapsed interval? There is a mechanical
model. It is not subtle in effect, only in mechanism, and it
fits in a test tube (Science 276 373 (1997)).
Like carbon in graphite/fullerenes/diamond, many materials
exhibit metastable phases which kinetically persist against a
more stable thermodynamic configuration for their atoms. At high
pressure (3.8-4.4 million psi, Physics of the Solid Earth 30(10)
868 (1995)) the atomic structure of quartz (silicon surrounded by
four oxygens) collapses into stishovite (silicon surrounded by
six oxygens), increasing density by 60% and refractive index by
30%. Stishovite sits on a table indefinitely. Besides silica,
InP, GaAs, GaN, ZnSe, Ge, Si, CdSe, CdS, CdSe... have denser high
pressure phases.
Cadmium selenide nanocrystals homogeneously undergo phase
transition to a high pressure structure (wurtzite to rock salt)
after a pressure jump. Half-life to conversion, hence the
activation energy, scales linearly with the volume of the
nanocrystal, minutes to hours. What we observe is a coherent
fluctuation - the entire nanocrystal is the event, which is
holistic rather than progressive - despite formidable
reorganization of its atomic structure. How does one end of the
crystal know when to transform in step with the other?
Silicon nanocrystal reorganization from high pressure six-
coordinate to low pressure four coordinate structure (beta-tin to
diamond) is extreme. The ratio of the crystallographic "c" and
"a" axes goes from 0.55 in the former case to 1.414 in the
latter. A mostly spherical starting crystal transforms into an
exceedingly elongated ending crystal of high surface area, a
thermodynamic sin of the first order, without cracking.
How do groups of atoms at the extremities of the starting crystal
know when to reorganize? A chorus line kicking can proceed in
two ways: Communication gives a propagating wave. Simultaneity
gives a unified lift. People can train to independently trigger
response to the music. To what score do atoms listen? Does
atomic reorganization propagate at the speed of sound (atomic
displacement), at infrared frequencies (atomic vibrations), or
more interestingly all at once? Picosecond laser probes could
provide answers.
High activation energy reactions are vulnerable to transition
state interception by catalysts which launch alternate lower
energy (faster kinetics) pathways to product. If nanocrystal
transformation can be so prompted by external chemical or
physical influence it is more intriguing. If wave function
collapse can be externally modulated by other than an observation
we would set a hook deep into the substance of reality.
Do we know how three (or four with time, or maybe ten via string
theory) dimensions operate, in an intrinsic sense? Newtonian
physics is purely descriptive, resting upon the unification of
algebra and geometry through the spare elegance of Euler's
Equation e^[(i)(pi)]=-1. The Copenhagen Convention of quantum
mechanics outright denies that math is the model, cursedly
omitting mention of what is the model. The elegances of
stochastic electrodynamics avoid much quantum mechanical
handwaving but cannot generate a Shroedinger equation for the
hydrogen atom. The second millennium's passing finds us without
primary physical understanding. Perhaps there will be a coherent
fluctuation of human thought unifying everything in a holistic
gestalten Weltanschauung.