New Structures for Physics

Volume 813 of the series Lecture Notes in Physics pp 705-752


Process, Distinction, Groupoids and Clifford Algebras: an Alternative View of the Quantum Formalism

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


In this paper we start from a basic notion of process, which we structure into two groupoids, one orthogonal and one symplectic. By introducing additional structure, we convert these groupoids into orthogonal and symplectic Clifford algebras respectively. We show how the orthogonal Clifford algebra, which include the Schrödinger, Pauli and Dirac formalisms, describe the classical light-cone structure of space-time, as well as providing a basis for the description of quantum phenomena. By constructing an orthogonal Clifford bundle with a Dirac connection, we make contact with quantum mechanics through the Bohm formalism which emerges quite naturally from the connection, showing that it is a structural feature of the mathematics. We then generalise the approach to include the symplectic Clifford algebra, which leads us to a non-commutative geometry with projections onto shadow manifolds. These shadow manifolds are none other than examples of the phase space constructed by Bohm. We also argue that this provides us with a mathematical structure that fits the implicate-explicate order proposed by Bohm.