Aquantitative assessment of stochastic electrodynamics with spin (SEDS): Physical principles and novel applications
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- Cavalleri, G., Barbero, F., Bertazzi, G. et al. Front. Phys. China (2010) 5: 107. doi:10.1007/s11467-009-0080-0
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Stochastic electrodynamics (SED) without spin, denoted as pure SED, has been discussed and seriously considered in the literature for several decades because it accounts for important aspects of quantum mechanics (QM). SED is based on the introduction of the nonrenormalized, electromagnetic stochastic zero-point field (ZPF), but neglects the Lorentz force due to the radiation random magnetic field Br. In addition to that rather basic limitation, other drawbacks remain, as well: i) SED fails when there are nonlinear forces; ii) it is not possible to derive the Schrödinger equation in general; iii) it predicts broad spectra for rarefied gases instead of the observed narrow spectral lines; iv) it does not explain double-slit electron diffraction patterns. We show in this short review that all of those drawbacks, and mainly the first most basic one, can be overcome in principle by introducing spin into stochastic electrodynamics (SEDS). Moreover, this modification of the theory also explains four observed effects that are otherwise so far unexplainable by QED, i.e., 1) the physical origin of the ZPF, and its natural upper cutoff; 2) an anomaly in experimental studies of the neutrino rest mass; 3) the origin and quantitative treatment of 1/f noise; and 4) the high-energy tail (∼ 1021 eV) of cosmic rays. We review the theoretical and experimental situation regarding these things and go on to propose a double-slit electron diffraction experiment that is aimed at discriminating between QM and SEDS. We show that, in the context of this experiment, for the case of an electron beam focused on just one of the slits, no interference pattern due to the other slit is predicted by QM, while this is not the case for SEDS. A second experiment that could discriminate between QED and SEDS regards a transversely large electron beam including both slits obtained in an insulating wall, where the ZPF is reduced but not vanished. The interference pattern according to SEDS should be somewhat modified with respect to QED’s.