We will develop a novel approach to quantum foundations using a time-symmetric, objective model. Standard quantum theory treats measurements as observer-dependent special events, a widely criticized approach. Instead, we develop an equivalent theory of stochastic fields which satisfy forward and backward propagating equations in time having past and future boundaries. This is significant: it leads to a causal theory with a realistic interpretation. Such a conceptual advance in quantum foundations has impact on the interpretation of quantum paradoxes, as well as to cosmology and potentially to quantum gravity.
The 2022 Nobel award in physics recognized the importance of quantum foundations and the quest for a solution to the quantum measurement problem, in particular to Bell's famous paradox which suggests that quantum mechanics is nonlocal. We use our approach to analyze quantum paradoxes, which is significant because quantum mechanics is our most fundamental theory yet its foundations are disputed. Our approach is also relevant to computing the emergence of complex structures, due to its computational scaling properties. The underlying theory uses real path integrals to compute transition probabilities, offering computational advantages over Feynman path integrals. Our method will allow new algorithms for computation in complex quantum technologies, as well as potentially a theory of quantum gravity. By applying this approach to early universe cosmology, we eliminate the observer, which resolves the difficulty of how to apply quantum measurement to a universe that always contains the observer.
Deliverables include an understanding of realism in quantum mechanics, and creation of a public code library for solving time-symmetric path integrals. As Bell emphasized, the impact on quantum mechanics of replacing its “observer-centric” methodology with an objective theory may be compared to the replacement of the geocentric universe in astronomy with a heliocentric model.