Virtual Processes as Prior Generative Levels
Potentials from Virtual Particle Exchange
- Where does the Hamiltonian come from? We cannot just invent it!
- We know that the potential energy part of the Hamiltonian really comes
from field-theoretic virtual processes. What are these events?
- Kinetic energy, also, has a mass which is ‘dressed’ by virtual
- Propose: the Energy Operator is itself ‘generated’ by (further)
Propensities for Virtual Processes
- Propose: 2 linked sets each of three generative levels
- both with (broadly) corresponding processes,
- i.e. still in pattern ‘Principle » Cause » Effect’.
- Virtual processes (in some way) ‘generate’ the terms of the Energy
Operator (the Hamiltonian).
Virtual ‘Principle » Cause » Effect’
- The field-theoretic Lagrangian + Variational Principle starts the
- Propagating field quanta (virtual quantum field substances),
- e.g. photons, gluons, quarks, leptons, ...
- derived from the Lagrangian by a Variational Principle.
- generate virtual events when interacting.
- Virtual events (of quantum field theory) are point events which
generate the potential energy part of the Hamiltonian operator.
- They do not all actually occur because, for example, they may
generate potentials that are never active in the selected sequence of
Virtual and Actual Events
Point events (not=point measurements)
Contribute to alternate futures
Have intrinsic group structure (e.g. gauge invariance, renormalisation)
Visible events in history (e.g. measurement)
Definitely occur (or not)
Have branching tree structure
Many possible virtual events contribute to given actual process, such
as electron-electron scattering:
Complications: are all the stages needed?
- Some physicists try to derive probabilities of actual outcomes directly
from field theory, without a Hamiltonian or potential. Is the idea of a
potential only an approximation suitable for some energy scales?
- I would ask: Are there not still some roles for mass, kinetic and potential
energy, & energy conservation?
- I agree that a Hamiltonian (etc) is a ‘composite object’, whose detail
reflects its genesis:
- More work needed to understand the mathematical substructures at each level,
- But 'virtual processes' do appear to be a level of processes that generates
the Hamiltonians for normal quantum objects.