G. 't Hooft     QM Discussion page 


Version 2 of my paper has now been posted. I found that comments of colleagues, even the most insulting ones, were actually useful to enable me to formulate the details of this theory more precisely. It is a long paper, but you can lift any section out of it and examine that separately. The grand total now forms a very solidly based theory. Yes, assumptions were made, but everything put together makes these assumptions quite plausible. Your comments are welcome at G.thooft@uu.nl  Please put "QM discussion page" in the subject area.


June 10, 2014:

There are clearly many misconceptions about this theory. Let me mention some:


1) The paper inadvertently made some people believe that I am trying to replace brilliant results of one century of science by a mutilated version of quantum mechanics. Quite the opposite is true. I have much admiration for the many great minds who put together quantum mechanics as it is. I do not want to change any of its fundamental, mathematical foundations, and indeed my paper keeps them all. It is when people try to phrase what quantum mechanics really tells us about reality, when the math is often changed into something murky. The 'collapse of the wave function' is a case in point. People often assume that the basic equations of qm have to be modified in order to understand what happens when you measure something. My theory is one of the very few that postulates that the Schrӧdinger equation always holds, including when a collapse takes place. Even the entire universe obeys a Schroedinger equation. So, my theory takes quantum mechanics to be exactly valid, which is more than many others can say. Indeed, scientific findings of the previous century led to quantum mechanics, and I accept the implications of that theory more completely than many of my critics.


2) Some suspect that I am arguing against the superposition principle. The point is that those states that ultimately describe 'reality', both in the extreme microscopic sense (i.e. at the Planck scale) and in the macroscopic sense (observed phenomena such as the dials of a measuring device) cannot be superimposed. But those `ontological states' are not the states that we normally employ when we do a quantum calculation. There, we always use template states. A template is a man-made superposition of ontological states. The coefficients of these superpositions can be used to describe probabilities. This is how probabilities enter into the theory, and also how they emerge out of it: the Born rule. The universe is in an ontological state. In fact, if you take qm seriously, you should admit that the universe can be in only one state. Of course that state cannot be superimposed.


3) The assumption that an `ontological basis' exists looks as if it is highly unlikely. In reality such a basis can be constructed easily (just look at the spectrum of eigen values of the hamiltonian), but most constructions will not be physically meaningful. The question is whether a meaningful ontological basis can be constructed. The question is hard because the concept "physically meaningful" is a difficult one.


4) One comment was that I must `hate the Bohm interpretation'. Well, I argue that the Bohm interpretation is not so vastly different from the many world interpretation (Bohm's pilot wave propagates in all those worlds, if you look carefully). I do find these descriptions of reality inefficient, inelegant. I also argue that Bohm's pilot wave looks different in a different basis. So his theory is a mathematical collection of infinitely many different theories. I do foster the belief that nature is more efficient than that. Everything comes together if you assume the existence of just one `preferred' ontological basis, where all the different worlds merge into one.


5) The impression exists that I want to modify the way quantum mechanics works for atoms, elementary particles, and molecules. I do not want to suggest any changes there. My theory applies to the Planck scale. Indeed, one can criticise me that I have not understood where most of the symmetries of this world come from. Yes, there is work to do here. Is my theory therefore uninteresting? Well, if it sparks much discussion, I think the idea is important. Since insulting criticism turned out to be useful, I may well be tempted to go into a discussion with anyone who comes with serious criticism, insulting or not. Just try, but please make a serious study of the paper (you don't have to read all technical details).


Thank you for your reactions:


From: Peter Jackson
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 7:36 PM

Dear Dr t'Hooft,

I'm in complete agreement with your views which I was pleased to read as I firmly belive I have identified the key assumption John Bell inherited from QM, and it's antithisis, leading to what you term a 'meaningful ontological basis' or mechanism sequence re-producing QM's predictions, both 'non-locality' and the intermediate distribution.

I'm only an astronomer (FRAS), research physicist/observational cosmologist and architect so wouldn't be published, certainly not alone or even with current collaborator John Minkowski (optics, Baltimore), or even taken seriously by those John Bell called 'sleepwalkers'.  My interests are however in revealing the truth and I feel collaboration is essential.

The falsifiable dynamic geometrical foundations of the model draw much on optics, have been closely examined in a competition essay and not been falsified (despite the odd angry remark!). We also have a short summary, and longer paper in draft. But two problems are;

1) understanding QM's foundations well enough without falling into indoctrination, and

2) holding in mind and applying the multiple ontological components. You may be one of the few able to do so (you may be interested that the ontology fits into a greater one and incorporates a quantum gauge hierarchy based on a solid logical system - all needing exploration).

I hope you manage to read this mail, and that you're willing to look and try. Please let us know, and by all means also let us know we're crazy if we are!

Kind thanks

Peter Jackson



I receive many mails concerning qm, gr, and other themes in theoretical physics. I do not know how to react on your statements (my server does not show any attachments). It's not quite evident that you address the questions head on, this is difficult even for professionals.

Cordial greetings,

Gerard 't Hooft


  Dear Dr 't Hooft. My answers are added in red (G. 't H)

Dr Minkowski and I thank you for your response.  We've certainly addressed entanglement, non-locality and the inequalities 'head on', finding an otology as simple and elegant as the Eiffer tower, once the heap of components (some from optics etc) are assembled in the right order. We axiomise a simple (though 'quantum gauged' hierarchical) particle morphology and derive a falsifiable classical mechanism. The particular false assumptions inherited and used by John Bell are identified. Indeed the solution is exactly of the type Bell predicted (I'll identify all the passages later).

A recent essay and summary paper are incomplete (with the odd flaw). Neither John or I are mathematicians, or professors, so (considering the likely backlash) a collaboration with an eminent nobel laureate may be needed. You correctly identify that reproducing QM's predictions is not the hard bit, but to help common thinking I'll re-state the  problem simply;

A (Stern-Gerlach etc.) splitter sends two 'singlet state/entangled' particles are far apart (not just round two Mach-Zehnder paths-more on that later). A&B each have a rotatable filter/analyser and two photomultipliers. They find the same at opposite 'angle' settings and opposite at the same settings, implying that if A changes setting at the last moment then B's finding is dictated ('quantum state reduction'). The intermediate distribution is non-linear; 50:50 at relative 90 degrees, describing a cosine 'probability' curve. The distribution is found both in single detector data from 'absolute' angles, and (more tricky,) in 'relative' angle correlations.

(You may like to comment if the Grangier et al (1988) formula makes any sense to you).  p (A,B, q1, q2 ) = p(A, q1 ) p (a,b, q2 ) Locality hypothesis. pn+ (A,B,qn) + pn- (A,B,qn) = pn (a,b)  Where n= 1,2. (We do also have a mathematical physicis studying the matter but he's being rather slow).

In trying to falsify a more general model a prediction of Alain Aspects 'time resolved pair' data emerged. I initially discarded the model as it varied from his findings. Closer inspection (of his French language thesis) revealed the raw data set was precisely as predicted (it had been 'corrected' by omitting the 99.99% inconsistent with theory). Weihs (with Zeilinger etc.) found the same and followed the same procedure. Most other work uses so called 'weak measurement' (statistical bulk analysis), which is blind to single pair comparisons so uses assumptions, one of which I identify as incorrect.

As P.C.W Davies pointed out ('Ghost in the atom') Bell and Copenhagen are contradictory. For his inequality either; objective 'beable' reality "the reality of the external world, independent of our observations" or 'non seperability'/ no FTL signalling, has to go. Bell couldn't chose which. Our 'discrete field' model (DFM) suggested Copenhagen, so subjective observed reality, is correct, but provides the mechanism via which the 'pre-interaction' wavefunction can normally be derived from the 'post interaction' (observed) information (a 'Born rule' logic emerged even before QM's predictions). The ontology relieses much on Descartes, Huygens and the Bragg; 'new way of thinking about familiar things' free of encumbances to first glimpse, so let me first ask you some question you may not be familar with;

1) Does the Earth spin clockwise or anti-clockwise? Since the Earth moves slower than light, its helicity (spin in direction of motion) depends on the observer. If the Earth would move with the speed of light in the direction of the North pole, its helicity would be right, if it moved direction South pole, helicity would be left.

2) Viewed by an observer lying along the orbital plane does the equator spin 'up' or down'? Again, not well defined.

3) Are those two answers observer dependent?

4) Can Earth's angular momentum be conserved under rotation of the x axis (i.e. 'pole switch')? I don't understand the question.

I'll state that we axiomise 'measurement' as exchange of orbital angular momentum, invoke electron 'spin flip' and 'non-mirror symmetry' of OAM. But this Email is getting rather long and can't construct the full proposed ontology at one hit so I'll attach a key figure ('Bloch Cones 2' .jpg) and links to the two (non-technical and incomplete) documents below, one reporting on a simple and repeated 'classroom experiment' consistent with the principle. The fig is just one of many (see also the Planck Ins. electron fig). Each 'cone' is constructed from the absolute setting angle with the polarisation axis (I won't go into various spin states here) so they also have a 'relative' angle. The DFM identifies that spin axis and propagtion direction co-incide, so opposing directions 'entangle' the angles. As orbital speed at any point on a sphere surface varies by the cosine of the angle with the equatorial plane, the OAM exchange obeys Malus's law, which produces the 'probability' (Bayesian) distribution of likelihood (OAM) of each detector being tripped.  That was a first 'glimpse' of the DFM based structure to help you decipher the figure, which you may need to read < 3 times.


I also identify that the classical mechanism does not prove a fully deterministic universe, just (as Einstein stated) that FTL is not required. Both QM and the StR are slightly re-interpreted to allow convergence and render a more logically coherent common description possible, where 'inertial systems' are real and local (as is the LT as a real mechanism using non-linear optics). But all that will be too much to comprehend and swallow for now so we'll just derive the non-spooky QM solution first.

The full model includes helical charge paths, toroids, elliptical polarity etc, but it's complex enough at first as it is. Remember the spin 1/2 derivation in the essay is a naive simplification, (The Planck Institute electron model of the type used is shown in the 2nd fig above) and some figures including the final have slight errors - it was still a moving target! Jackson. P. A. Do Bob and Alice have a future? FQXi, Fund. Phys Comp. Essay. Finalist. May 2014.


Jackson, P. A. & Minkowski J.S. Classical reproduction of quantum correlations. Short Summary. July 14. https://www.academia.edu/6525547/Classical_reproduction_of_quantum_correlations_popular_summary_B_

I hope you gain a glimpse from those, but they certainly won't all make sense immediately. I expect a lot more questions and concerns (and hopefully the answers requested above). I can pass citation links for any element, and if you'd like the prediction derived from a different experimental protocol, or on the Mach-Zehnder paths without the 'time reversal' nonsense, we can do that too. If you think we're entirely crazy do be honest!  We were about to approach others until I read your blog, so can still do if you're not interested.

Thank you for your valuable time.

Very best regards

Peter A Jackson (RIBA, FRAS)


David Sønstebø:

From what I know of your unorthodox interpretation of quantum theory, you face a lot of criticism due to the usage of the borderline "conspiratorial" superdeterminist loophole. Now obviously nature does not care what humans think of her, but I can't help but feel that retrocausality would be more parsimonious than a singular direction causality where everything just happens to line up in a correlating manner.

Weak measurements are sometimes said to corroborate the retrocausal view, you might find this paper interesting: http://www.epj-conferences.org/articles/epjconf/abs/2013/19/epjconf_tm2012_01015/epjconf_tm2012_01015.html 

Warm regards,


G.'t H: "Retrocausality" only seems to occur when you use QM language to interpret my classical models. In my cellular automaton models nothing "paranormal" is seen happening. The problem with EPS and Bell's gedanken experiments is that they assume that Bob and/or Alice can change their minds while keeping the quantum state elsewhere unaffected. That's a counterfactual action and is not allowed in my view (It would replace an ontological state with a superposition of states, and that cannot happen in a CA.

In my most recent talks on the subject, I illustrate this in classical mechanics, i.c. Newton's model of the planets, by introducing XEM, the "Earth-Mars interchange operator": put Earth wher Mars is and put Mars where Earth is. The square of this operator is the identity, XEM2 = 1, and therefore  XEM = ±1. Now, according to Copenhagen, this operator is an observable. So if you use QM language, you would think that it can be measured. Nobody in Copenhagen asks: "But how does one interchange Mars with Earth?" Well, we can't, so measuring this operator is counterfactual, and even for the classical planets, one cannot decide whether XEM is +1 or -1.   Now which actions of Bob and Alice are counterfactual is difficult to determine, because, unlike the planets, we haven't yet discovered what the ontological basis is. That's the point.