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FQXi FORUM
May 22, 2019

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: On the Mass and Self-Energy of the Electron (and Other Fermions) and the Origins of Quantum Mechanics by Fred Diether [refresh]
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Author Fred Diether wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 11:15 GMT
Essay Abstract

There has been a long standing assumption that the electromagnetic mass (self-energy) of a point charge (the electron) is infinite. I am going to challenge that assumption that has been virtually in place since shortly after the electron was discovered over one hundred years ago. I will show that the mass (self-energy) of the electron could be entirely electromagnetic and finite by elucidating what the mass of elementary fermions really is. Connected with that is the origins of Quantum Mechanics.

Author Bio

I'm an independent researcher in foundational physics and now a retired electronic systems engineer. I have been highly interested in physics all my life. Also, I am a founder and moderator for the UseNet newsgroup sci.physics.foundations and a member of the American Physical Society.

Download Essay PDF File

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 16:24 GMT
Hi Fred

Are you agree with my abstract?

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1413

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Author Fred Diether replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 06:42 GMT
Hi Yuri,

I can't say that I agree with all of your abstract but I will take a look at your essay. I am just not sure that your 1 and 3 matter all that much.

Any comments about what I have written in my essay?

Best,

Fred

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 20:24 GMT
Dear Fred,

Great to see your model appear! Although our models differ significantly it's clear that you've put a lot of thought into yours, and it seems to have quite original aspects. It's rather amazing how such different models can be based on the same phenomenological numbers. I believe Fermi said something to the effect that, "with 5 parameters I can graph an elephant." [ which I interpreted to mean that he could draw an elephant with the graph! ] This whole contest seems to be proving the truth of his statement.

I'm a little confused on page 4 where the radius with reduced Compton wavelength is viewed as a spherical energy density, rather than the Zitterbewegung 'helix'. And on page 5 it's unclear how the 'bag' develops discrete charge, mass, spin and magnetic moment. Or how virtual fermions confine the electron. Any remarks you have expanding on these would be appreciated. In particular, I feel that the weakest point in my own model is the introduction of charge, so I am very interested in how others explain this.

I agree with you that the Higgs does not come close to explaining the fermionic mass spectrum, and I also found your remark about the 'half-holes' and matter being actually "less than the quantum vacuum" to be quite interesting!

As there are now several 'particle' models published in this essay contest, and as my own essay, The Nature of the Wave Function, is based upon an actual particle inducing an associated wave function, I will probably add a brief synopsis of my own particle model to my comments blog.

Congratulations on a number of novel ideas, and good luck in the contest.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Fred Diether replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 06:57 GMT
Thanks Edwin,

I am going to have to do a follow up paper that is more rigorous but I wanted to at least get some of the ideas out there. Somehow if we view the "bare" entity as massless and "going around in circles" at c, there has to be something causing or confining this behavior. A natural candidate would be interactions with the electron's surrounding virtual pairs. I believe this involves the fine structure constant in a geometric way. I had just found that reference to 3-sphere derivation of alpha recently and really haven't had a chance to thoroughly check it out but it looks promising.

Yes, I was quite shocked myself when my concepts lead to the idea that matter itself is really less than the quantum vacuum or space as some call it. I will write some more about all of this tomorrow. Was a little busy with other things tonight.

Best,

Fred

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Author Fred Diether replied on Sep. 24, 2012 @ 01:01 GMT
Hi Edwin,

Sorry it has taken me awhile to respond more to your questions but I have been having a medical issue with my left leg that prevents me from sitting at the computer for very long. Please see my response to Guenter below to see more about my thoughts on charge and alpha. For the "bag" I already showed how mass is possibly developed with my hueristic model. It is simply an interaction between the charge inside the bag (electron) and the charge of virtual fermions outside the bag. It is also pretty easy to get the magnetic moment from that with some simple algebraic manipulation. An explanation of spin, charge and alpha will require more geometry that I haven't settled on an exact model for yet. It is definitely a work in progress still. :-)

Best,

Fred

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Sep. 24, 2012 @ 01:34 GMT
Hi Fred,

Well, we certainly agree on one thing: "The problem really is how to explain charge in a more fundamental way."

I have an explanation, in "The Chromodynamics War", but I consider it possibly the weakest link in my theory. Based on that explanation I can derive the fine structure constant. And my particle does end up with spin 1/2.

There's certainly nothing wrong with saying: "It is definitely a work in progress still. :-)

My belief is that you and I will be able to come to agreement before others, because we seem to be concerned with the same things. Let's keep this conversation going beyond the current contest.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 11:54 GMT
" ... I was quite shocked myself when my concepts lead to the idea that matter itself is really less than the quantum vacuum ..."

Hi Fred,

You bet -- I think most are scandalized by that notion. It logically follows, though, by inverting the "finite and unbounded" interpretation of general relativity from finite in time and unbounded in space, to one finite in space and unbounded in time -- which doesn't change general relativity in the least. It only obliterates the boundary between classical and quantum phenomena, as you suggest, and as Joy Christian's topological structure demonstrates by correlation of all quantum pairs. Eliminate by zitterbewegung (Hestenes) all possibility of an absolute rest state at the quantum scale, and a corresponding privileged inertial frame at the classical -- and one finds that the Planck constant is no longer a barrier to a smooth continuum -- wave function correlation and particle pair correspondence is complete from vaccum state to cosmological scale. Bee Hossenfelder has some interesting words on this subject, too.

So glad you made it under the wire! Good luck in the contest.

Best,

Tom

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Author Fred Diether replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 06:10 GMT
Thanks Tom,

Great different perspective you have given that I hadn't really thought much about before. I will give it some good thought. I have mainly been focused on my interpretation of where modern particle physics has lead us to. Dirac almost had the right concept but didn't really follow it through to its logical completion with his "sea" idea. First we have to reject the notion of negative energy states. That is like accepting the notion of negative absolute length. It is just not there. The energy states are all postive but more like left and right handed states as soon as you have fermions. So the sea is all filled with positive states with complimentary states like electron-positron appearing to be "nulled out". So does that mean we are riding on or in a trememdous sea of positive energy? There is really no way to tell since it is a gauge-like situation. We can only sense changes in energy.

Well, I got swept away tonight by the political stuff going on so will try to write some more about this soon and to answer more of Edwin's questions.

Best,

Fred

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 13:55 GMT
Hi Fred,

"So does that mean we are riding on or in a trememdous sea of positive energy? There is really no way to tell since it is a gauge-like situation. We can only sense changes in energy."

I agree. I think we get tangled up in our own underwear when we neglect that a positivity condition inheres in any definition of energy that begs a measured state. (Hence, my essay's claim that half of "reality" is known by default.) I consider Einstein's unreduced equation: E^2 = m^2c^4 + (pc)^2 that implies a particle of nonzero mass and zero momentum posseses negative energy. The equation is not untrue; nor is it unphysical -- it means that symmetry between vacuum energy and rest energy compels only one locally real state per measure. Quantum pair correlations, then, depend on the symmetry of continuous measurement functions (just as classical correlations).

Best,

Tom

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T H Ray replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 21:34 GMT
Just heard Jimi Hendrix:

" .... castles made of sand

Fall into the sea.

Eventually."

Seemed appropriate.

Tom

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 9, 2012 @ 07:51 GMT
Dear Fred,

there is another possibility for explanation of fermion and electron mass, if to take into account substantial model of electron which is described in § 14 of the book: The physical theories and infinite nesting of matter. Perm: S.G. Fedosin, 2009-2012, 858 p. ISBN 978-5-9901951-1-0. It is known that the mass of any object (body, particle) is the measure of inertia and energy. In order to understand the reason of mass of bodies we must use mainly concept of strong gravitation. See more about it in my essay.

Sergey Fedosin Essay

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Author Fred Diether replied on Sep. 9, 2012 @ 18:11 GMT
Hi Sergey,

Thanks for taking a look. Man, you have a lot of material to digest that looks very interesting. :-) However at the present time, I prefer to stay as close to the Standard Model of Particle Physices as I can. I am only rejecting that the Higgs can give mass to fermions. I could be wrong about that also. Hopefully we will find out one way or the other in a few years.

Best,

Fred

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Guenter Poelz wrote on Sep. 22, 2012 @ 16:06 GMT
Hi Fred,

I read your paper and enjoyed it. It addresses the numerous problems connected with the electron. You looked at some from a different point than usual and animate for further thoughts. I have to go over it again.

Almost all agree that the mass energy of the electron is dominantly its field energy. Thus its classical physics. The problem is the classical electron radius r_e. It defines a quantum mechanical center which is most interesting. Wouldn't it be reasonable to use massless virtual particles there?

The mass of the electron can be generated by a circulating massless charge distribution, thus with speed of light, which is embedded in its own synchrotron radiation. The size of the mass is determined by r_e, i.e. by quantum mechanics. If you are interested see

http://arxiv.org/abs/1206.0620

Best,

Guenter

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Author Fred Diether replied on Sep. 22, 2012 @ 18:47 GMT
Hi Guenter,

Thank you for reading and enjoying my essay. I had read your paper with much interest in doing research for my essay. The biggest problem I had to figure out was what constrains the point-like charge entity to some kind of local circular-like path with speed c and to be stable? The only physical thing available is the quantum vacuum modelled with a Dirac-Fermi field. Thus my approach is to try to get the quantum vacuum "pressure" to equal the "pressure" of the electron as a confining mechanism by using primarily virtual electron-positron pairs.

The classical electron radius is too small if you consider an energy density volume of that order. And you can see from my hueristic model that the mass volume needs to be of order lambda_C/2pi. Two of the lamba_C's in my model could be somewhat adjusted though by adjusting the associated frequency but probably not by that much. However, I also have the fine structure constant, alpha, to explain in my model. If alpha is due to geometrical effects like I suspect, then we might consider that alpha is reducing the mass volume in the model.

I notice in your paper after eq. (28) you are going to a flat disk. I had missed that on a first reading so I am going to do some more studying of your idea.

Best,

Fred

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Anonymous replied on Sep. 23, 2012 @ 07:56 GMT
Hi Fred,

A special solution of the synchrotron radiation exists which pulls the charge from a possible outside location onto a circular orbit (Fig. 15 - 17). If you use the Dirac theory you already insert the answer into the solution. It works but doesn't explain it.

I like your picture of the "pressure" and hope that I have understood it. For an electron at rest there is a pressure from outside to the inside to fix the charge. But quantum mechanics acts on the charge with a disturbing pressure and forces it onto a random path. If this is like a circle (with a radius of the order of r_e) it generates the symmetry breaking.

I have to think more about your remarks on lamba_C (I am too slow :-( ).

Best,

Guenter

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Author Fred Diether replied on Sep. 24, 2012 @ 00:51 GMT
Hi Guenter,

OK, I have studied your paper some more and hopefully my comments here will also answer some of Edwin's questions above. You have quite an accomplishment to get the circular motion by utilizing synchrotron radiation. But I don't think simple circular motion does the trick as you mention after your eq. (28) you must postulate a "neutrino like object" to get back to spin 1/2...

view entire post


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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 14:54 GMT
Dear Fred Diether

Very interesting to see your essay.

Perhaps all of us are convinced that: the choice of yourself is right!That of course is reasonable.

So may be we should work together to let's the consider clearly defined for the basis foundations theoretical as the most challenging with intellectual of all of us.

Why we do not try to start with a real challenge is very close and are the focus of interest of the human science: it is a matter of mass and grain Higg boson of the standard model.

Knowledge and belief reasoning of you will to express an opinion on this matter:

You have think that: the Mass is the expression of the impact force to material (definition from the ABSOLUTE theory of me) - so no impact force, we do not feel the Higg boson - similar to the case of no weight outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Does there need to be a particle with mass for everything have volume? If so, then why the mass of everything change when moving from the Earth to the Moon? Higg boson is lighter by the Moon's gravity is weaker than of Earth?

The LHC particle accelerator used to "Smashed" until "Ejected" Higg boson, but why only when the "Smashed" can see it,and when off then not see it ?

Can be "locked" Higg particles? so when "released" if we do not force to it by any the Force, how to know that it is "out" or not?

You are should be boldly to give a definition of weight that you think is right for us to enjoy, or oppose my opinion.

Because in the process of research, the value of "failure" or "success" is the similar with science. The purpose of a correct theory be must is without any a wrong point ?

Glad to see from you comments soon,because still have too many of the same problems.

Kind Regards !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 07:48 GMT
After studying about 250 essays in this contest, I realize now, how can I assess the level of each submitted work. Accordingly, I rated some essays, including yours.

Cood luck.

Sergey Fedosin

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Michael James Goodband wrote on Oct. 3, 2012 @ 20:58 GMT
Hi Fred

You raise a number of interesting points in your essay, which are all the more interesting to me because my essay model predicts that a particle should be describable by some sort of bag model. My classical physics model has a particle as a black hole topological monopole defect in space with an ergo-region trapping virtual-radiation giving a form of vacuum polarisation where the...

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Author Fred Diether replied on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 07:12 GMT
Hi Michael,

Thanks for your extensive comments. I just finished studying your "Derivation of a chiral SO(3)..." paper. It is so comprehensive, I will definitely be studying it more thoroughly. I do think you are on a very good track using the geometry of the spheres for the 4 normed division algebras. I am still recovering from this bad cold (bronchitis actually) so will be responding more thoroughly to your comments above soon.

It has been awhile since I have thought about mini-black holes to explain the "confinement" problem for monopoles but you seem to have found a solution to make them stable. I need to study that some more but I think that what you are describing for the transistions between the spheres could also give a stable balance of pressures between the quantum vacuum and the monopoles.

Best,

Fred

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Joy Christian replied on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 18:57 GMT
Hi Fred,

Bronchitis sounds nasty. I hope you recover soon.

It is pity that your essay is ranking so poorly in the community rating at the moment. It deserves much better in my opinion. You have some original ideas meeting the criteria of the contest.

Good luck with it in any case.

Best,

Joy

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Author Fred Diether replied on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 06:46 GMT
Thanks Joy,

Yeah, it is always nasty. Just when I think I am turning the corner and getting better, this illness takes me down again for awhile. I'm a baby boomer and the big thing back when I was a kid was that if you got tonsillitis, they would take your tonsils out. So now most every time I catch a cold, it turns into bronchitis because no tonsils to stop it from going to the lungs. Living in smoggy LA is not very helpful either. I'm slowly getting better. Every day now is a bit better than the previous one.

I guess there is or was something weird going on with the community ratings. Well, I am just glad I finally got something done and submitted so that my ideas are on some kind of formal record. Ya never know what might happen a few years from now in physics. It has been a good experience. Now I have to work on a more rigorous follow-on paper. But got some good ideas from others in the contest here that may help with it.

Best,

Fred

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 15:58 GMT
Dear Fred,

Nice essay. Two ideas I appreciate in particular,

1. The gravitational idea: neutral half-holes in the quantum vacuum would have an attraction many orders of magnitude smaller than the “forces,” and this attraction would be present for all “particles” because the elementary fermions would all be points of low pressure.

2. The geometric mass generating scheme.

I have no idea if these ideas are right, but they’re certainly original and things I wouldn’t have thought of myself! Good luck in the contest, and take care,

Ben Dribus

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Author Fred Diether replied on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 06:45 GMT
Hi Ben,

Thanks for reading my essay. The idea of gravity being the result of matter being less than the quantum vacuum is very non-intuitive. But if we are to take quantum field theory seriously, it leads to that result. A few years ago, John Baez, then a moderator of sci.physics.research told me that idea may be compatible with General Relativity when formulated in a pressure mode. Unfortunately, I can't find the discussion on the Googlegroup archives.

IMHO, the only way to fundamentally derive the elementary fermion masses is going to be by the geometry of interactions in the quantum vacuum. The Higgs mechanism does work in an ad hoc way but the Higgs is too simple to give all the different necessary couplings required. Plus if the Higgs is 125 GeV, what about the coupling for the top quark mass? So... the way I see it is that the void is not only filled with a Higgs field giving the gauge bosons masses, but it is also filled with a Dirac-Fermi field. Just seems natural with what we know about the Standard Model of particle physics. Michael Goodband has done some very good work on using 3-sphere and 7-sphere geometry to derive elementary fermion properties. I think what is left is to figure out the geometrical packing of the spheres in the quantum vacuum to be able to get the masses; a multi-dimensional version of what I presented in my essay. It is beyond my current capabilities though.

I have your essay queued up to read next. It looks very interesting.

Best,

Fred

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus replied on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 18:08 GMT
Dear Fred,

Thanks. By the way, Baez has some category-theoretic ideas in physics which are quite different from mine but still interesting. He seems to turn up in everything. Take care,

Ben

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Kamilla Kamilla wrote on Apr. 10, 2016 @ 16:51 GMT
this is really great,unique and very informative post, i like it. thanks

192.168.l.254

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