Report Lewis Little's Theory of Elementary Waves: Book Review in Physics and Mathematics Posted February 25, 2009 While I think the backwards direction of the real waves interacting with real particles in TEW seems promising in many experiments that he discusses, I've never been able to figure out why there is a wave interference pattern on the detector side if the waves are coming from the detector and going to the source for something like the double slit experiment. If the waves are going from the source through the double slits to the detector, an interfering waves pattern is easy to understand. But if the waves are going in the opposite direction, then wouldn't there be a wave interference pattern at the source rather than at the detector or the screen? And it is things like this that I am unable to think through that make me hesitant to say that TEW is correct. I think I can explain what Little wants to say here. There is, as you suggest, supposed to be something like an interference pattern *at the source*, produced by the interference of all those reverse waves coming from the screen. I can see why you are puzzled about this, because it's not clear where that interference pattern is *exactly* or how it's supposed to help. It would seem to have to be located practically at a point, namely, the source. But I think Little has a sensible answer here. Basically, it is that, yes, the interference pattern is right there at the source, crammed into a point. But thinking that's some kind of problem for the theory is based on losing sight of how the theory is supposed to work. Remember the idea is that each point on the screen is supposed to be sending out waves in all directions, and that the waves from a given point on the screen are somehow "tagged" so that they are coherent with other bits of wave sent out by that same point on the screen, but *in*coherent with (and so unable to interfere with) waves from *other* points on the screen. So let's just think about some one point on the screen, and if we can get straight on that we'll have the whole thing, because each point on the screen acts similarly (but independently). So there's some point on the screen sending out these waves, some parts of which make it through the slits and arrive at the source. Depending on the relative path length between the parts that went through the two slits, the parts might be in phase or out of phase (or something intermediate) at the source. The idea is that this wave interference occurs, and it is the overall/net amplitude of the wave -- right there at the source -- which determines the probability that the wave will "tickle" the source just the right way and thereby trigger a photon particle to be released. If there is constructive interference, the wave amplitude will be large, the tickling will be intense, and so lots of photon particles will be released by the source "into" that wave. On the other hand, if there is destructive interference, the wave amplitude will be zero, there will be no tickling, and hence no photon emission. And if the interference results in an in-between amplitude, a proportionately in-between number of photons will be emitted. And of course the idea is supposed to be that once the source emits a photon particle "into" a given wave, the particle just follows the wave back to its source, i.e., to the particular spot on the detection screen that emitted that wave. And so you can see how different points on the screen will end up receiving different numbers of particles, and so how the observed interference pattern develops. I think there are some questions about this that ought to be answered in a really serious theory (as opposed to a half-baked idea). For example, what determines which of the two possible paths a given particle follows back through the apparatus? What is the nature of the "tagging" that is required to prevent the waves from different points on the screen from interfering with each other, and how is this "tagging" preserved when the waves scatter into new directions at the slits? And there are lots more questions like that one could ask. My attitude is that, if there weren't these other clearly (to me) fatal problems with the theory (pertaining to the EPR-Bell type experiments) I might be interested in thinking more carefully of what other such questions should be asked, and demanding answers to them. But since I already know with certainty that the theory is wrong, and worse, that the whole idea of and motivation for constructing a relativistically local theory is unviable and corrupt, there's no point wasting time worrying about such details. Thomas, you said you have a background in physics and have looked into Bohm's theory, but that you don't think Bohm (or anybody) has the correct interpretation. What specifically are your objections to Bohm's theory? You also said something I didn't understand at all: "Throwing out the waves as they do in the Copenhagen interpretation I think ignores the evidence, but I don't know that anyone has gathered the evidence and has presented a good overall theory at this time." In what sense do they "throw out the waves" in Copenhagen. The Copenhagen interpretation of course uses a wave function.