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Special and General Relativity in terms of Virtual Particles.

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Special Relativity is about the effects observed when one frame of reference is moving with respect to another, with the assumption that the speed of light is the same in any reference frame. And General Relativity equates the effects of gravity with those of accelerating reference frames. Relativity is all about reference frames moving and accelerating with respect to one another. Both have effects like time dilation and space contraction. And gravity has effects like frame dragging and gravitational waves. And it's my intent here to give a heuristic explanation of these effects in terms of virtual particles as I've defined them.

In the previous article, seen here, I explained how these virtual particles define a reference frame in space. Virtual particle pairs consist of a particle and it antiparticle that appear together for a moment at some point, travel independently for a distance, and then recombine and cancel each other out at some other point. When they recombine, their wave functions are 180° out of phase so that they perfectly cancel each other out, which means that they leave no observable effects. I posit that all points in space are connected by virtual particle pairs. And a real particle propagates through space by canceling out with the antiparticle of a virtual pair, leaving the real particle of the virtual pair real and ready to propagate further by this means. Since particles travel through space by means of these virtual pairs, virtual pairs defines space through which particles move. And since each frame of reference gives its coordinates to its own set of points, each frame of reference has its own set of virtual particles. The random walk of a particle that steps through the virtual pairs of a stationary frame will appear to be random variations of a velocity in a moving frame.

As stated in the previous article, the amplitude for a particle to go from the position x' to x is, <x|U(t)|x'>= ( m 2πit ) 1 2 e im (xx') 2 /2t and all possible combinations of these transition amplitudes are multiplied and added together to form the path integral as explained here between equations [26] and [27].

Now, if any kind of particle could transition from one place to another instantly with infinite speed, this would be the same as setting t = 0 in the equation above. As you can see, this would make the equation undefined, the transition amplitude would be meaningless, and the path integral could not be evaluated. So the highest possible speed a particle could have is limited to some finite value. This limit would affect the speed at which all processes would occur, and all observers would think it was constant in all circumstance that they were in. But how would we calculate this speed?

When we consider how far in a one time step a particle can jump in a fixed direction, we should consider that there is an infinite number of points it could jump to from the starting point. These alternatives exist because there is a virtual pair associated with each possible jump that's ready to trade with the real particle and carry it along. All of these possible jumps exist simultaneous (they would have the same time parameter), so the transition amplitude functions are added up (not multiplied as with a sequence of jumps). And just as with far-flung paths in the path integral, all the distant possible jumps cancel out and contribute little to the total amplitude for a jump. The result is that for a given time step, the particle is not likely to jump a very great distance. But there would be a most likely distance specified for the duration of that time step. This would be the fastest possible speed on average that any particle could travel.

And once we have a maximum speed of propagation, we can ask how events in a moving frame of reference appear to those in a stationary frame. The result will be the same as in Special Relativity where the speed of light is the same to all observers. The only things gained here is that now we know why the speed of light is constant, because energy propagates through the virtual particles that define the reference frame through which they move. Events that appear to take the normal amount of time in a stationary frame of reference will appear to take longer when travelling with some speed. This is because the particles are now travelling through many more virtual pairs than before. And the time it takes to transverse one virtual pair defines the nature of space and time; it defines the rate at which all processes occur, and it is the same to all observers. So time slows down when traveling very fast. This is called time dilation.

And we also have space contraction in the direction of motion at speeds close to the speed of light. This is because distance is defined in terms of how many virtual particles must be crossed from one side to the other. And since time appears to slow down for objects that approach the limit, it would take a very long time to reach one side from the other. And many more virtual pairs would be crossed from the perspective of a rest frame. So space must contract in the direction of motion.

Gravity can also be explained in terms of virtual particles. Gravity is the phenomena that spacetime bends around massive objects so that the trajectory of nearby particles tends to curve towards the massive object. In effect, particles find it easier to propagate near massive objects. So it must be that there are more virtual particles in the vicinity of a massive body to make it easier to propagate near them. This would also explain the phenomena of space contraction near heavy objects. If there are more virtual particles near them, and distance is defined by the number of virtual particles to transition, then things will appear to get smaller near massive objects. And since space is contracted near heavy objects, wavelengths are also contracted, and they get lengthened as they propagate out of the gravitational field. So light coming out of a gravitational field gets red shifted. And what was a quickly changing phenomena near the mass will appear to have slowed down to observers far away from the massive object. So far away observers will see a time dilation for objects near a large mass where things appear to slow down. But what could account for there being more virtual pairs near massive or energetic objects?

Is there any phenomena in the wave function that indicates that there are more virtual particles near massive or energetic particles? In the first article, the wave function of a particle was equated to Feynman's Path Integral of quantum mechanics. Here all the various paths that a particle could possibly take were added in superposition to give a result. Each path contributed the same amplitude but with a different phase angle. The phase angle continually circles around a 360° cycle as the particle progresses along a path. The phase angle achieved at the end of a path could have any value between 0 and 360, and this final angel for a path is what contributes to the sum. Paths of nearly equal length have pretty much the same phase and contribute much to the sum. But paths of very different length may have phase angles that are 180 out of phase that would cancel each other out in the sum. Paths close to the shortest distance between the start and end will have phase angles close in value and will contribute to the sum. But paths that wonder far away will have wildly varying phase angles, and they will tend to cancel out with other far away paths with phase angles that are 180 out of phase. The result is that only the nearby paths contribute to the path integral; the far away paths contribute little.

This shows that there is a measure of how effective or real a path is that depends on how close it is to the shortest path. The shorter paths are more effective in the path integral, so in some sense they are more real. And remember, each path is a transition through a sequence of virtual particle pairs. This implies that the virtual particles near the particle are more effective and real. It also implies that virtual pairs with long distance jumps are not very effective or real since they would contribute only to long paths that tend to cancel out. Or in other words, the density of virtual particles is greater near real particles. And what I suggest here is that this difference in density in virtual particle pairs is what defines gravity.

In this view, every particle is surrounded by a denser cloud of virtual particle pairs that make it easier for other particles to travel through. Even if the particle is at rest, it is still travelling through time, and so the path integral applies and with it a cloud of virtual pairs. As stated earlier, these virtual pairs form a reference frame, and now we learn that they follow the particle wherever it goes. This forms the basis for the phenomena of frame dragging associated with General Relativity.

But what about gravitational waves? How can gravitational waves be explained in terms of virtual particle pairs? Recent observations show that gravitational waves carry energy through space. But gravity is just a form of spacetime that was defined in terms of virtual particle pairs and not real particles. And energy was defined in terms of an unmatched particle annihilating with the antiparticle of a virtual pair, permanently leaving a real particle available somewhere to annihilate with the antiparticle of yet another virtual pair. So it must be that gravitational waves, and thus space itself, has the ability to propagate the energy of virtual particle trading but with particles that don't remain permanently real. But how could this be?

If virtual particles can interact with real particles in order to propagate energy, then a virtual particle of one pair can interact with a virtual antiparticle of a different pair. For how would a virtual pair know whether a real particle had a partner somewhere else or not? In fact, what I intend to show later is that real particles are just virtual particles that have become permanently detached from their antiparticle partners due to acceleration. But if virtual particles can interact with each other, then there will be a percentage of them that don't recombine with their original virtual partner but will become detached for a moment. But since that leaves the antiparticle floating about nearby, they will eventually recombine. Or they may recombine with some other antiparticle that has momentarily become detached from its virtual partner. If the average number of detached partners is the same as the average number of detached anti-partners, then eventually all the partners will recombine with all the anti-partners, leaving no permanent particles that could be measured. The result will be a background of energy composed of detached partners propagating as usual until they find an anti-partner. The larger the percentage of detached partners in a region, the greater the energy density. And the longer partners stay detached, the greater this background energy. This would be the vacuum energy of empty space, also known as dark energy.

But in order for energy to propagate, the medium through which it travels must be able to have differences in energy from one region to the next. The energy level in a region must be able to change with time. And there must be some sort of elastic property whereby there's a tendency for the energy in a region to return to a steady, unperturbed level. So the question is does the wave function provide a higher density of virtual pairs nearer the particle, and do they interact with each other as in empty space. If so, then gravitational waves in the form of a higher density of briefly detached partners will propagate to lower density because there is a higher percentage of usual attached virtual pairs ready to interact with.

Now in the Path Integral of quantum mechanics, it is possible to construct a path that also includes a jump between any two points in space as part of the overall path. But it is also possible to construct a different path that incudes a jump in the opposite direction between those same two points. Since the two different paths are added in superposition, it is possible to construct those paths so that the jump from one to the other in the first path occurs at the same time as the jump from the other to the one in the second path. The two jumps between the two points at the same time but in opposite directions is the exact definition of a virtual particle pair. So virtual particle pair production is automatically included in the Path Integral. Virtual particles interacting with each other would then be seen as two different paths with portions that jump a few times before the path and antipath intersect again at the same time. And the energy associated with this particle trading in the wave function would be the way that energy is defined in the particle. So the wave function is the means by which a particle creates space that's associated with it.


Here are some cosmological thoughts.