This is a book about the conceptual foundations
of modern physics. It looks at some traditional
problems of interpretation (wave-particle duality,
the Copenhagen approach, entanglement, nonlocality,
the constant velocity of light) from a different
perspective.

If you are familiar with the mysteries of quantum physics,
then you might want to start with either wave-particle duality or quantum nonlocality.

If you are interested in special relativity (esp. space contraction and time dilation) then you might
start here: The Paradigm of Projectile Motion.

A similar but longer paper that also treats Einstein’s second postulate is here:
Special Relativity: A Reexamination of the Second
Postulate and of Space Contraction and Time Dilation.

If you wish to understand 'Einstein’s Method' then continue below.

This book has almost no equations since its focus is the philosophy of physics and
not physics itself. Excerpts from chapter II and III reveal the approach the book takes.

Thank you for visiting and consider
leaving your own comments or questions.

There are many questions in modern physics
that remain essentially unanswered.
How can a photon or a speeding electron
exhibit both particle and wave
characteristics? What is the physical basis
of a “probability wave?” Why is
the velocity of light a constant for all
observers? This book argues that we need a new
approach, a new method, to make any progress
regarding these questions. What we need to do
is revisit and adapt a method that Einstein used
with great success over two decades.

So what is Einstein’s method and how
did he use it?

Einstein’s method is fairly
straightforward. It is a form of analysis that
utilizes the symmetrical
relationship of the photon gas to the
molecular (ideal) gas. In a series of papers
between 1905 and 1925 Einstein made some
startling advances in quantum theory by
comparing mass quanta in the molecular gas to
energy quanta in the photon (radiation) gas. The young
Einstein was a serious student of both
thermodynamics and molecular statistical
mechanics and he used his
“method” entirely within the
realm of thermodynamics and statistical
mechanics. A fine example of this is his
“Heuristic Viewpoint” paper of
1905 wherein he argues that the entropy
decrease of radiation compressed in time and
molecular quanta compressed in space supports
the conclusion that radiation is composed of
discrete energy quanta. The proposal here is
that the method of analysis that Einstein
used within thermodynamics can be extended to
areas that he did not cover. Specifically,
his method can be applied to an ontological
inquiry into the problems raised by quantum
mechanics.

What is ontology and how can an ontological
inquiry help us regarding the problems of
modern physics?

Traditional ontology is the study of those
things that exist, but it is broadened in
these pages to include things (entities) that
also occur. Ontology is important because the
great questions of physics often revolve
around what exists and what occurs. Consider
the case of a speeding electron encountering
a double slit and then terminating by
impacting a barrier screen. When interacting
with the double slit the electron acts as a
wave which implies that it occurs, but when
terminating at the barrier screen the
electron acts as a particle which implies
that it exists. So this becomes a question of
ontology: does the speeding electron exist,
or does it occur, or is there and
intermediate state or process that can
reconcile these polar opposites? This
experiment in physics challenges our very
notion of an entity’s identity as an
existence, or an occurrence, but not both
simultaneously. Shall we side with Bohr and
conclude that reality depends upon how we
measure it, or shall we keep faith with
Einstein and his belief that reality is
fundamentally objective despite quantum
obfuscation? Einstein’s method applied
in new ways to the photon gas and the
molecular gas provides new insights into
these questions that have been debated for
almost a century.

Einstein’s method suggests that
matter and radiation are formally analogous in terms of what
exists and what occurs (ontology). Whereas one entity (at-rest inertial matter)
exists, has the field form and progresses in time, the
other entity (radiation) occurs, has the waveform and progresses
in space. Non-stationary matter (projectile) is a breed apart and
is treated separately since it combines both the waveform and the field form.

Matter and radiation are characterized by mass and energy
respectively. Providing it is stationary in space relative to an
observer, inertial matter has kinetic (rest) mass but no kinetic energy
(for that observer). In contrast, radiation has kinetic energy
but no kinetic (rest) mass. The following formal conditions then
prevail.

Mass-as-stationary-matter exists, is quantized, has the field
form, and progresses (ages) over time. On the other hand, energy
as radiation occurs, is quantized, has the waveform, and
progresses over space. Kinetic mass has the field form because it
exists as it extends over space and progresses in time; kinetic
energy has the waveform because it occurs as it oscillates over
time and progresses in space. Both quanta have an intensity level
(density for one, frequency for the other), and this intensity,
multiplied by quantum extension (in space or in time) yields its
quantitative measure (mass or energy respectively).

Space-stationary mass quanta and time-stationary energy quanta
(radiation) progress at the maximum possible rate in opposite
dimensions. Photons proceed through space at the speed of light
which cannot be exceeded for any observer. Space-stationary mass
quanta proceed through time at the maximum rate since once they
start moving through space relative to some observer their time
progression (clocks) slow down.

In short, the space-stationary mass (particle) and the
time-stationary photon are ontological opposites, and their
contrast extends beyond that of existence versus occurrence.
Formal comparisons between material quanta and radiation quanta
can provide insights into the nature of the photon. In addition,
this kind of analysis has a heuristic value: assumptions made about
one quantum either have their counterpart in the opposite quantum
or they must be considered suspect. That is perhaps one of the
greatest values of 'Einstein’s Method.' Although the greatest physicist,
Einstein, used this analysis, current physicists do not. Even
worse, this approach is also out of fashion with philosophers of physics. But
on the positive side an increasing number of philosophers and
physicists have grown dissatisfied with the classical
(Copenhagen) interpretation of quantum mechanics. Others resist
the very human tendency to cling to familiar and accepted ideas
at the expense of considering new ideas. I hope you will read on
if you belong to either of these groups.