Volume 3: Pages 185-193, 1990
Substratum Interpretation of Wave Function Collapse
F. Winterberg 1
1Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada System, Reno, Nevada 89506 U.S.A.
To avoid the paradoxes of the quantum mechanical measurement process, it is proposed that the collapse of the wave function is a real physical phenomenon occurring with superluminal velocities. Such an interpretation, of course, would involve drastic modifications in the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. A modification is suggested by assuming that all particles are, in reality, quantized wave patterns of a substratum, or ether, and that special relativity has to be understood as a dynamic symmetry resulting from true deformations of bodies in absolute motion through the ether. Departures from relativity could, in principle, be observed at energies which would correspond to the grainy structure of the ether, but if this structure is of the order of 10−30 cm [grand unified theory (GUT) scale] or 10−33 cm (Planck scale), departures from special relativity could only be observed at 10−16 GeV, or 10−19 Gev, far beyond the reach of any particle accelerator, now or in the foreseeable future. In a previously proposed ether model, which can reproduce electromagnetic waves, Dirac spinors, and special relativity as a dynamic symmetry, it is proposed that space is filled with an ether consisting of a densely packed assembly of positive and negative Planck masses (Planck ether), where the definition of positive versus negative is expressed in a nonlinear, exactly nonrelativistic operator field equation for the Planck ether. This ether model leads to longitudinal waves with wavelengths between the Planck ( 10−33 cm) and GUT ( 10−30 cm) scale, with a superluminal phase velocity near the GUT scale, and a cutoff at this scale. Even though the center of mass of a wave packet representing an elementary particle would have to obey a relativistic law of motion, no such restriction exists in the dynamic interpretation of special relativity for the different parts of the packet. We therefore suggest that the collapse is caused by the entrapment of the wave packet within convergent longitudinal ether waves and the acceleration of its different parts at superluminal speed into a small volume element where the packet is absorbed. Because the collapse would take a finite time, the quantum mechanical correlations would be broken above a certain length. This length would become infinite if the Planck length is set equal to zero, which means that ordinary quantum mechanics would be recovered in the limit where quantum gravity can be ignored. And because the collapse would be caused by the rapidly fluctuating compression waves of the Planck ether near the GUT scale, the collapse could even take place through dense matter.
Keywords: mechanistic anti‐Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, preferred reference system substratum model, Planck ether model for a fundamental field theory
Received: July 28, 1989; Published Online: December 15, 2008