Is Reality fundamentally Discrete?

Reference:  Speed of Light (Revision 1)

The whole idea of Quantum Mechanics keeps going back to Bohr atomic model, and to Bohr’s correspondence principle.

According to Bohr’s correspondence principle fundamental reality is discrete, but it seems continuous when one looks at the limiting case through Classical mechanics.

Einstein believed that fundamental reality is actually continuous. That was his primary disagreement with quantum mechanics.

Einstein did not disagree with the formulas of Quantum mechanics as far as they successfully led to real inventions. But he saw those mathematical formulas more than just the result of trial and error. Einstein felt that a real interpretation for the working formulas of quantum mechanics was missing. If those formulas could be explained in realistic terms, then fundamental progress in science could be made.

Maybe Einstein was right. When we apply the logic of Bohr’s correspondence principle to electromagnetic waves, we notice something interesting. The frequency of electromagnetic waves is discrete, but as it increases it becomes continuous in its limit.

As the frequency spectrum enters the gamma range, the electromagnetic field seems to converge upon itself (see the reference above). This produces electrons and the electronic field. As the frequency continues to increase within the gamma range the center of the electronic field seems to condense into a nucleus made up of “continuous mass”.

The discrete frequency is the property of a wave that is inherently continuous. So, underlying the discrete reality of frequency there is the continuous reality of wave.

Frequency is related to energy, and it is visible as “stationary orbits” of Bohr’s atomic model. But underlying that frequency there is the reality of wave. The electromagnetic wave is “disturbed space”.

Quantum mechanics focuses on the discrete energy states and avoids looking at the underlying reality of continuous space. That is why it sees reality as discrete.

But it seems that a bit of deeper digging will discover continuous space as a more fundamental reality.

If that can be done it will make Einstein very happy.


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  • bacreator  On January 12, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    How did you come to this conclusion?

    As the frequency continues to increase within the gamma range the center of the electronic field seems to condense into a nucleus made up of “continuous mass”.

    Could it be a problem of energy delivery at higher or more discrete energy values? Similar to pushing a swing at the right time.

    Still trying to understand your theory. It seems the oscillating field of a photon must have a source of charge to produce the fields. The notion of discrete vs continuous takes on an ambiguous character when you close the circular path. For instance pi turns up if a line is built to connect both ends together. It seems that transformation must have some sort of latency (perhaps in terms of energy of the field).

    • vinaire  On January 12, 2016 at 8:11 PM

      What helps is viewing space as a field of zero frequency. Compared to this,

      (1) Energy is “disturbed space with a frequency”
      (2) Mass is “disturbed space with so high a frequency that it has collapsed”.

      You can get an idea of (2) above when an object is moving through air at the speed of sound. The disturbance in air is also moving at the speed of sound. Then the frequency of the disturbance in front of the object will be totally squished and will collapse.

      The medium of air will appear as rigid to the moving object. It won’t stop the object because the object can push through that rigidity, but not sound.


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