Properly incorporating relativity into quantum theory resolves a principle paradox: deterministic relativity facilitates quantum uncertainty.
German theoretical physicist Albert Einstein imagined space and time intertwined in his special theory of relativity (1905), which was a statement about how motion is perceived. What was “special” about this theory was its limitation: it only applied to constant linear motion. Einstein enlarged the reference frame a decade later with his general theory of relativity.
A “reference frame” refers to how objects appear to a certain observer. A key principle of all physics is that existence is subjective: perception is individualized via reference frames. This inherent subjectivity uneasily underlies the assumed contrary idea that there is an objective world.
Einstein drew upon 2 postulates to formulate his special relativity. The 1st was Galilean invariance: that the laws of motion are the same in all inertial frames. The 2nd was what the famous 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment – dispelling the idea of aether – showed: that light had a constant velocity regardless of reference frame.
“Einstein considered the 2nd postulate to be crucial. In reality, what is crucial is the principle of relativity. In 1910 Vladimir Ignatowski showed that based only on this principle it is possible to reconstruct all relativistic phenomena of the special theory of relativity,” explains Polish physicist Andrzej Dragan.
Einstein relied upon Lorentz transformations to dream up special relativity. Dutch theoretical physicist Hendrik Lorentz concocted these transformations in 1904 to allow simple (linear, constant velocity) characterizations of reference frames.
Lorentz transformations result in 3 worlds of mathematical solution: particles moving subluminally, particles moving at light speed, and particles moving at superluminal velocities. Physicists traditionally rejected the 3rd option as unreal.
Superluminal coordination among quanta – entanglement – is a known phenomenon. To allow entanglement, signaling the status of other particles must travel instantaneously.
“Taking into account a superluminal system, it is possible to derive some of the postulates of quantum mechanics from the special theory of relativity,” Dragan discovered.
Dragon and Polish physicist Artur Ekert elaborate: “The full mathematical structure of the Lorentz transformations contains both subluminal and superluminal terms. The superluminal part is usually discarded, on the premise that it makes no physical sense. As a consequence, a familiar classical picture of a particle moving along a well-defined path is obtained. Retain the superluminal terms and take the resulting mathematics of the Lorentz transformation seriously, then the notion of a particle moving along a single path must be abandoned and replaced by a propagation along many paths, exactly like in quantum theory.”
Andrzej Dragan & Artur Ekert, “Quantum principle of relativity,” New Journal of Physics (24 March 2020).
“Does relativity lie at the source of quantum exoticism?,” Phys.org (2 April 2020).