In 1905, his so-called Wonder Year, Albert Einstein presented a theory of the photoelectric effect. The new idea came in just two lines. However I boldly claim that Einstein’s theory of the photoelectric effect, although crucially correct, was also crucially wrong.
I claim that Einstein talked too much. His intuition was not careful enough, and too tied up with old fashion particles. Quantum Mechanics, one of the inventors Einstein was, questioned the very nature of elementary particles. Einstein imposed, at the outset, a solution, which, I claim, was erroneous.
What Einstein ought to have said is that electromagnetic energy was absorbed in packets of energy hf (h was Planck’s Constant, f the frequency of the light). That explained immediately the photoelectric effect. It was just enough to explain the photoelectric effect.
PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT EXPLAINED SOLELY AS RECEPTION QUANTIZATION:
An electron receiving energy from light, receives a packet hf. If f is too small, the electron cannot be emitted: the electron needed some energy, say A, to escape the material. One needs hf > A.
Nor can an electron just pile up energy from light until the stored energy exceeded A. Why? Because energy is RECEIVED in such packets, and only these packets. It was hf, or nothing.
That explanation of the photoelectric effect was both necessary and SUFFICIENT. Such an explanation is exactly the symmetric statement of the one made by Planck in 1900.
(Planck did much more than that, he had to invent his constant, and it is astounding that he did not explain the photoelectric effect, as he had done 99% of the work).
Should Einstein have said what I said, he would have explained the photoelectric effect, instead of putting all of physics on an erroneous path.
EINSTEIN LOCALIZATION, AN ERRONEOUS HYPOTHESIS:
However, Einstein instead said something prophetic he had no reason to proffer.
Here is Einstein statement from 1905, translated from German:
“Energy, during the propagation of a ray of light, is not continuously distributed over steadily increasing spaces, but it consists of a finite number of energy quanta LOCALIZED AT POINTS IN SPACE, MOVING WITHOUT DIVIDING and capable of being absorbed or generated only as entities.”
[I emphasized what I view as the grievously erroneous part.]
With Planck’s E = hf, this is what gave Einstein the Nobel Prize in 1921. So not only Einstein got it wrong, but so did the Nobel committee.
(Planck objected strenuously, because he never meant for the Electro-Magnetic field to be quantized outside the blackbody cavity. I agree about quantization upon reception, as that explanation works. My objection is that Einstein had no proof of what he advanced about LOCALIZATION.)
Einstein claimed that light is made of “quanta localized at points in space, moving without dividing”. Thus, Einstein invented elementary particles. Einstein had no reason for of this fabrication, whatsoever, and did not need it, as I said.
THE POISONOUS WAVE-EIGENSTATE SALAD:
Fast forward thirty years. By then, thanks to the likes of Dirac (inventor of Quantum Electro Dynamics, who stumbled on Cartan’s Spinor Space and Antimatter) and Von Neumann (Functional Analysis maven), etc. the Quantum formalism had been sculpted like Mount Rushmore in the mountains of natural philosophy.
The formalism consisted in claiming that the elementary particles invented by Albert were vectors in a (Hilbert) space whose basis was made of the possible results of the experiment E.
The mathematics worked well.
However, IF Einstein’s initial invention was false, so was the picture of reality it conveyed.
And indeed, as we saw, Einstein had no reason to claim what he did: he violated Newton’s “Hypotheses Non Fingo” (“I do not FABRICATE hypotheses”… my translation).
Isaac Newton: …”I do not fabricate hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction.”
DEMOLISHING THE MULTIVERSE ERROR:
Galileo, to expose his ideas more pedagogically, set-up a trialogue, between “Simplicius” and two others (one being Galileo himself).
I pursue my exposition of what those who believe in the Multiverse cannot dare to articulate, as it would expose their utter confusion, and more:
Simplicius: So you say that Einstein fabricated localized Quanta, out of his fertile imagination, and that axiom wrecked all of physics?
Patrice Ayme: Exactly. I would prefer to call it not fertile, but obsolete, imagination. After Einstein had fabricated his seemingly innocuous hypothesis, the localized elementary particle, the next step was to identify it with the wave function.
Simplicius: Do you not insist that the world is mostly made of Quantum Waves?
PA: Yes but “Wave Functions” are just fist order approximations of “Quantum Waves”. “Wave Functions” cannot be real, they are mathematical artefacts.
Simplicius: How come?
PA: Wave functions are made of end states, the so-called eigenvectors, the end products of experiments. That makes wave functions intrinsically teleological, made up of the future. You may as well identify human beings to their tombstones, that’s how they end up.
Simplicius: What is the connection with the Multiverse?
PA: Wave functions are intrinsically multiversal, they are made by adding different outcomes, as if they all happened. But only one can ever happen, in the end. However, when in flight, we are been told that (Einstein’s) localized particle is made of as many pieces of universes as there are eigenstates.
Simplicius: So you conclude that Einstein’s localized quantum hypothesis plus the basic Quantum Formalism implies that the simplest elementary particle is made of pieces of different universes that will happen in the future?
PA: Exactly. Einstein, in conjunction with the Hilbert formalism, invented the Multiverse. This is what Everett observed, and, at the time, it made the inventors of Quantum Mechanics (minus Planck and Einstein) so uncomfortable that Everett was booted out of theoretical physics, an even his adviser Wheeler turned against him.
Simplicius: But did not Einstein demonstrate with the EPR thought experiment that “elements of reality” could not be localized?
PA: Exactly. With a little help from Karl Popper, maybe. Entanglement has been experimentally shown to not be localizable with the metric used in General Relativity. So light quanta themselves not only are not points, something that was obvious all along, sorry Einstein, but also, the speed of light is an emerging metric for the Universe.
It has been a conspiracy all along.
PA: Yes, there is a famous mistake in Dirac’s Principles of Quantum Mechanics. He insists that a photon interfere only with itself. That is demonstrably false (radio interference and independent lasers playing double slit). Dirac had to say that to NOT make the Quantum Waves themselves the main actors.
Simplicius: Why would physicists conspire to push false physics?
PA: Because, if they admit that their physics is false, and have nothing better to propose, they are losing status. (Whereas I improve mine by showing why they are wrong.)
Another point is that the “Multiverse” is suitably mysterious and absurd to impress common people. It is obviously the greatest miracle imaginable, so those who have penetrated this secrecy are very great men.
WHAT IS GOING ON?
We saw Einstein’s hypothesis of localization led to the Multiverse. As the Multiverse is unacceptable, so is the localization hypothesis.
But we already knew this in several ways (diffraction, 2-slit, and other non-local wave effects; plus EPR style experiments, let alone the QM formalism itself, which also predicts non-localization).
The intuition of the real sub-quantic theory depends, in part, on such facts.