San José State University
Thayer Watkins
Silicon Valley
& Tornado Alley

The Reinterpretation of the Experimental
Evidence Which Supposedly Supports the
Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory

The Copenhagen Interpretation maintains that a particle exists only as a probability distribution until observation and measurement causes their probability distribution to collapse to a spike. From time to time there are experimental results which are announced to confirm the weirdness of the physical world. These should be taken with a grain salt. There are no attempts to consider alternate interpretations of the experimental results. There is evidence in favor of the Copenhagen Interpretation and there is evidence against it. In a recent conference of quantum physicists a survey was done on what interpretation of quantum theory the physicists the physicists favored. Only 42 percent of the respondents favored the Copenhagen Interpretation. This was more than any other interpretation so the Copenhagen Interpretation is considered the dominant interpretation in physics.

The Wave-Particle Duality

It has been known since the 1920's that particles like electrons can manifest wave properties just as photons can manifest particleness as well as wave properties. Typical experimental evidence for the Copenhagen Interpretation is of the form that when wave properties are tested for, electrons exhibit wave characteristics and when particle characteristics are tested for the electrons exhibit them. The notion is that an electron must at any time be either a particle or a wave and its character is not determined until it is subjected to observation. It is not true that an entity has to be either a wave or a particle; it can be both at the same time. This has been known since the 1950's.

Solitons and Solitary Waves

When computers became widely available in the 1959's mathematicians applied them to solving partial differential equations. One equation used was the Korteweg de Vries equation. This equation has an analytical solution which is a traveling wave form. It has a parameter that determines the direction and magnitude of travel.

Two of these wave forms were set up as the initial condition with parameters such that they moved toward each other as the partial differential equation was solved numerically. When the wave forms collided there was a period of very chaotic results but if the solution was continued the initial wave forms emerged as though they had passed through each other. The researchers found other partial differential equations whose solutions exhibited the same phenomena. The wave forms were given the name solitons.

The researchers found there are other partial differential equations that exhibit a somewhat different phenomenon. When the waveform solutions of these equations collide what may emerge from one side of the region of collision is more than one waveform instead of one of the original wave forms. It is as though one or both of the original wave forms underwent fission. Sometimes there is a sinusoidal function that emerges from the region of collision. This is analogous to the emission of a gamma ray in nuclear fission.

The wave forms from such partial differential equations are called solitary waves. One such partial differential equation is the Regularized Long Wave Equation.


In entanglement a pair of particles is created and then separated. At some time after separation when the two particles are widely apart some characteristic of one particle is measured. And, lo and behold, the partner possesses the symmetric opposite characteristic. Supposedly the measured particle mysteriously communicates its choice to its partner. Supposedly! The alternate explanation is that when the pair is created they have the opposite characteristics which they maintain through the rest of their existence.

Bell's Theorem

(To be continued.)

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