# Infinite Potential

Discussion in 'Alternative Theories' started by Write4U, Mar 22, 2023.

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1. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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THE LIFE & IDEAS OF DAVID BOHM

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3. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Particle in a box

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_in_a_box

Question: If a particle in a box never comes to rest, does that imply a potential of infite energy?

And potential time?

And an extended trailer:

Last edited: Mar 22, 2023

5. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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No, the infinite square well potential is just a conveniently simple potential that makes the maths easy when people are learning QM for the first time, as I did at university. The key points this artificial scenario teaches you are:

- the particle can only occupy certain energy levels, so it cannot have any energy it likes. In other words, the system is quantised.

- the lowest allowed level, the ground state of the system, is not at zero energy. That means there is a zero point energy of the system, energy that is stuck there and cannot be abstracted from it.

These are features of any bound state, i.e. any state in which a system is confined by a potential of any shape. In chemical bonds, for instance, the shape of the potential confining the atoms so that they can't break apart is asymmetric, with a right hand side that does not go to infinity, because the bond can be broken by adding sufficient energy. It looks more like this:

But when you solve the equations, you still get a series of allowed levels and a ground state that is not at the bottom of the well, i.e. with a zero point energy. So the features of the simpler particle in a box scenario are retained, at least qualitatively.

P.S. A good model for the potential illustrated above is the Morse potential. Here is a link to the Wiki article on it. In the diagram you can see the energy levels calculated for this potential: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_potential

Last edited: Mar 22, 2023
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7. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Thanks for that excellent synopsis and link in regard to potential energy.

In the "particle in the box," I mainly focused on Bohm's use of the term potential as an "enfolded" order or value, that may become explicated in the future. Hence the question if the particle in the box has the inherent potential to remain active forever or will there come a time that the quantum runs out of energy?
If so, what happens then? Does the box become empty of energy?

What intrigues me is the expression "infinite" when explaining a simple concept. To me, that sounds extremely complicated.

8. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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This kind of promotional blurb sends pseudoscience warning bells off in my head.

There are numerous reasons why "revolutionary ideas" might not make it into the scientific mainstream. Threats to scientific orthodoxy aren't the really most common ones. It turns out that many ideas that are purported to be "revolutionary" are just wrong, when examined carefully. Be careful about falling for the hype.

It can be very hard to tell the difference between an idea that is "way ahead of its time" and an idea that is just wrong, at least initially. Ideas that actually turn out to be way ahead of their time tend to become adopted into the scientific canon, once there is sufficient evidence that they are correct. Then, retrospectively, we might be able to judge that the ideas was "ahead of its time". On the other hand, lots of ideas that are claimed to be way ahead of their time by enthusiasts at the time of first publication often sink without trace into history.

Last edited: Mar 23, 2023
9. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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You did? Where can I read your explanation of Bohms "enfolded order", as it applies to the particle in a box?
Tell me what you mean by "potential" in this context, first, then what it means for "potential" to be "inherent" in something? Is there any potential that isn't inherent?

On the question of energy, it sounds like you have the idea that energy can be "used up" in some way. That's not unreasonable. It comes from our everyday experience of extracting useful work from devices and mechanisms. Your car stops running when its fuel runs out. Something in the fuel is being consumed when the car is running. However, from a global perspective on energy, no energy is ever "lost" - it just becomes unavailable for extraction (or to do useful work, like turning the wheels). Specifically, for the car, some "chemical energy" is converted into heat and work (turning the wheels). Eventually, all the heat is outside of the car and no extractable energy is left in the waste-products from the fuel. But all the initial energy is still there in the universe, somewhere. It's just in less concentrated and harder-to-extract forms.

A particle in a box is an idealised system. It is used to show, for example, that the kinetic energy of the particle can only take certain values, not just any old value. Left to itself, a particle in such a box has constant kinetic energy. There is no mechanism for changing the energy. We can complicate things a little, by imagining, for instance, the particle in the box is allowed to absorb or emit photons. If that's the case, then energy can be transferred into out out of the box system, but only in certain quantised amounts.

To summarise: the notion that some system will eventually "run out of energy" requires some mechanism for dissipating the energy. If there is no such mechanism, then the energy will remain constant; it can't do anything else. In technical language, a system that cannot transfer energy in or out is said to be isolated from its environment. Your car is clearly not an isolated system, because it continuously takes energy in from the outside in the form of fuel and releases energy in the form of heat and exhaust gases.

As exchemist explained, the simple model of a particle in a box has a lowest possible energy (often called the "ground state energy"). It cannot have zero energy; that's not a quantum-mechanically allowed value for the energy. So, in that sense, it is impossible for the particle to be "empty of energy", in this scenario.
You're thinking of the "infinite potential well", I assume.

Remember, this model of a particle in a box is, in a certain sense, the simplest possible first model of such a system. The "infinite potential well" refers to the potential energy, which tells us about the forces in the particle. In this model, the particle has no force on it, when it is in the box. However, this box must have walls to "keep the particle in". So, we model those walls as exerting an effectively infinite force whenever the particle approaches them. This ensures that the particle can't bust out of the box or "jump over the wall", or similar. The infinite force at the walls translates to infinite gradient of the potential energy curve at the walls. That means the potential energy is zero everywhere in the box, except at the walls, where it goes "instantly" to infinity.

The important point is that all of this is a mathematical model. It is not intended to be an accurate model of what actually happens at the walls of a physical box. If we try to model that, the infinities disappear, but in some other respects the model has to become much more complicated.

The model's usefulness is that it exhibits broad features and behaviours that are the same as those exhibited by real physical systems. It provides insight into how and why quantum mechanics "works", in a simple way.

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10. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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I realize that Bohmian Mechanics has not been proven, however it also has not been proven false.

BOHMIAN MECHANICS
On Bohmian Mechanics, quantum ontology, and other quantum theories without observers.
But then again,
Why then should the current mathematical model deserve exclusive claim?
https://www.bohmianmechanics.org/background/current-status-of-bohmian-mechanics.html#

Last edited: Mar 23, 2023
11. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Yes, I understand the explanation of zero energy in the box, but what of the energy inherent in the particle?
What is it that pushes the particle around, its own energy?
So what infinite energy keeps the particle in the box from ever coming to rest? That is the thrust of my inquiry.

I am trying to connect "Infinite potential" with "Infinite energy". Does the particle has infinite energy?
Bohm actually proposed that a cubic cm of space contains as much energy as a trillion atom bombs.

The Energy of a Trillion Atomic Bombs in Every Cubic Centimeter of Space!
Michael Talbot and David Bohm (in quotes) in Talbot's The Holographic Universe, Chapter 2: The Cosmos as Hologram, p.51
https://jacobsm.com/deoxy/deoxy.org/h_bohm.htm

Last edited: Mar 23, 2023
12. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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Write4U:
You need to let go of this idea that energy is like a substance that can be contained in things, or that things can be made of energy. Energy is just a number, an accounting system. There is no energy inherent in anything. Energy is just a number (or a set of numbers with different labels) that we can calculate for a system.
Nothing is needed.

Newton's first law of motion: a particle that is not acted on by any force will travel at constant speed in a straight line.

Nothing is needed to keep something moving in a straight line at constant speed. Things just do that, all by themselves, without needing anything to push them around.
No energy is needed, let alone an infinite energy. A constant input of energy is not needed to keep an object moving at constant speed.
No. For it to have infinite energy it would need to be inside the walls of the box. The infinitely strong force prevents that from ever happening, in the simple model of the particle in the box. Between the walls, the potential energy is zero, so particle has a finite amount of energy, equal to its kinetic energy, which doesn't change.
Well, maybe, but it's impossible to get any useful work out of an "empty" cubic centimeter of space.* So, even if that's true, in practical terms it doesn't seem to matter very much.

---
(* The Casimir effect might complicate this statement a bit.)

13. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Yes I know that, but why should it travel at all?
There is also a law that an object at rest tends to stay at rest. So why does a particle that is not acted on not stay at rest? Moreover, it does not accelerate, it is instantly at SOL, Does this not appear peculiar to you?

We know "how", do we know "why? Why does it do anything at all?

Is there an enfolded order that becomes unfolded as reality?

14. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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I confess that, when I replied, I decided to indulge myself by explaining it properly, as if to somebody that has a basic understanding of physics. I did so in the possibly forlorn hope that some such person, one day, might read it and be enlightened.

It is nonetheless depressing that, after after more than ten years reading and posting scientific articles, you can still ask: "will there come a time that the quantum runs out of energy?" Energy doesn't "run out". James has already referred you to Newton's First Law.

I repeat, the ground state is the lowest possible energy level for the system to occupy. There is no way to abstract any of the energy that remains.

15. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Energy that remains? And exactly what does that even mean?
And where has all that energy disappeared to, even in the abstract? You haven't a clue, right?
Apparently, you blindly accept all the unanswered questions that accompany both relativity and quantum.

What you just advised me to do is "shut up and calculate". So don't call me stupid when you display gullibility yourself to Classical physics. Nothing has been settled definitively.

My original question stands.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_physics

And therein lies the rub.

Problem of time
According to you a minor problem?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_time#

Are you claiming to have solved this conflict a have developed a TOE?
If so, enlighten us or admit that you share your ignorance with all other "great minds".

Last edited: Mar 23, 2023
16. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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You are raving.

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17. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Yep.
A few hints.
How do I go raving?

Raving 101: Longtime Ravers Give First-Timer Tips
https://www.insomniac.com/magazine/raving-101-longtime-ravers-give-first-timer-tips/

A raving we will go, a raving we will go, hi ho, hi ho, a raving we will go!

Last edited: Mar 23, 2023
18. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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39,288
Well, photons are massless, for starters. Massless things travel at the speed of light.

Remember, physics creates models that explain observations. There is no "should". Our models are descriptive, not prescriptive.
Actually, the law you referred to (Newton's first law) only says that objects that are initially at rest will stay at rest unless acted on by a (net) force. Photons are never at rest.
It does seem counterintuitive to me, yes. But there are lots of results from physics that I find counterintuitive. I can live with that.
That bit about standing, longitudinal waves measures as mass strikes me as wrong. What is this "energywavetheory.com" source you quoted? Is this some kind of "alternative theory"? Who says mass is standing, longitudinal waves? Anybody reputable?
Science builds models, remember. The models describe the "how". You can certainly ask "why" questions about why the model predicts what it predicts. But the deep philosophical questions of why the universe is the way it is are not ones that are always accessible to scientific investigation.
All that stuff about "enfolded order" always strikes me as mumbo jumbo. I don't know what it means.

19. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Let me demonstrate the "enfolded order" in the number 4/3.

It is 30 seconds long.

All emergent phenomena start as enfolded orders (potentials)

Large quantities of H2O molecules have 3 enfolded orders, dependent on temperature and pattern density: water (liquid), ice (solid), vapor (gas).
Under the right conditions, these enfolded orders emerge as unfolded physical orders, or patterns in reality.

Last edited: Mar 24, 2023
20. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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For us there is no should, but in deterministic physics there is always a should.
We just don't know!

21. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Apparently, no one knows anything about David Bohm, a brilliant mind by all accounts who, based on Louis de Broglie original work, presented a viable alternative universal model of quantum theory.

Louis Victor Pierre Raymond, 7th Duc de Broglie; 15 August 1892 – 19 March 1987)[6]
more..... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_de_Broglie

The de Broglie–Bohm theory, also known as the pilot wave theory, Bohmian mechanics, Bohm's interpretation, and the causal interpretation,
more..... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Broglie–Bohm_theory

Pilot wave theory

Couder experiments,[1][2] "materializing" the pilot wave model.
more..... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_wave_theory

Last edited: Mar 30, 2023
22. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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continued....

Bohmian Mechanics
First published Fri Oct 26, 2001; substantive revision Mon Jun 14, 2021
more..... https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-bohm/

23. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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And for the current state of Bohmian Mechanics.

CURRENT STATUS OF BOHMIAN MECHANICS

http://www.bohmianmechanics.org/background/current-status-of-bohmian-mechanics.html