It
appears that time in quantum theory operates at the boundary of deterministic
evolution but while opening up the discussion of determinacy to more contest
because the causality of time appears, on the surface, to be axiomatic.
Attempts at constructing arguments on time may appear tautological on the
outset. At a microstate level, the
coupling of time to position, momentum, and energy at the quantum level is more
hidden than what one might have encountered at the classical level. The visual
diagrams produced of the mathematics demonstrating the couplings of these
physical states where gauge interactions are effected, such as the Feynman
diagram for instance, locate time within a simplified epistemology of graphical
vertices. While there have been
discussions concerning the individuality and indeterminacy of quantum events in
the arrow of time (Stengers 2011): and on whether the past can be indeterminate,
and if such level of determinacy can be worked out from Heisenberg’s Principle
(Tanaka 2004), such interrogations do not inform us of the ontology of time,
and what are its especial properties that make it amenable to particular
developments in mathematical physics, and even the construction of experiments
after a fact. Therefore, the properties of time are unstable and speculative
despite its unequivocal location in laws of physics.

I
am interested in exploring the philosophical implications of quantum states by considering
the meaning of speculation in the quantum phenomenology of time. The evolution
of time, as embodied by the SchrĂ¶dinger wave functions, sets time as a pointer on
the particularized and discrete elements of the physically observable states, with
time at points of contiguity. Hence, I argue that temporality, more so than
spatiality, can act as an index, or ‘pointer,’ to physical events situated at
multiple timelines, or which are constitutive of multiple timelines, because
time can enact a cut through the ambiguity that spatial coordinates contain.

While
time is always present, times also obtains a ghost-like (virtual) quality
manifested through oscillatory modes and symmetries that are not always
explicitly defined and formalized, and could sometimes dropped out from the process
involved in the calculations. What does it mean to apprehend time in quantum
space and are its detection and perception only possible through the medium provided
by sensitive and selective digital apparatuses? These digital instruments mediate
the apprehension of wave-particle duality that could be interpreted causally or
acausally. How do these digital mediators enact time within the epistemic
regime of the trading zone, therefore making our access to its ontology more
speculative, thereby enabling different causal/acausal interpretations of time?

I
intend to begin by considering first the double slit experiment, examined in
tangent with the Aspect experiment, through the interpretive lens of the
Bohrian complementarity principle and Bell theorem. The discussions around the double slit experiment, where the
screen behind the slits become the photodetector for each individual photon:
every gradation of intensity in the light fringes represent snapshots of time
while the time does not stand still, because time moves in accordance to the
points of interferences and superpositions. What can one say about how time
reacts and interacts at the locus of interference and decoherence, and can we create
a rich phenomenology of time when causality is excluded? Or, perhaps one can
consider causality as where locality is most determinable, because
informational states are deciphered at the local level.

Before
we even venture into where time may stand at that point of entanglement of
local/non-local states, we may have to return to the beginning of the
‘creation’ of quantum mechanics: from the point when contestation was taking
place between the causalist and acausalist camps of
quantum physics that Paul Forman documents in his article, “The Reception of an
Acausal Quantum Mechanics in Germany and Britain.” We might argue that matrix
mechanics and the wave theory are mathematically equivalent, but could we
consider time be equivalent, given that the interpretation of physicality is
differently bounded. How does one
perceive the category of time should we set the physical events within the
framework of the particle and the field? How far can the mathematization of
time account for the deterministic gaps in quantum theory, and how can time
bridge the experiential with the logic?

I
argue that the tracing of time through its multiple operations also means
understanding the hybridity of functional, symbolic, and affective facets of
temporality that are in simultaneous interactions, occupying spaces of the
material and the real, even as it might also operate at an imaginative plane
that could be pure physical feeling. Could the positioning of time against a
speculative theory for furthering the discourse of theoretical under-determination
and hypothetical postulation, settle the realist versus anti-realist debate
surrounding physical observables?

The
classic double slit experiment can then be compared to the De-Broglie-Bohm delayed-choice
experiment. By looking at where the interpositions are, one can magnify the internal
and external fields where time marks the spectral of distribution in the wave
mechanics, and how time is squished or expanded in the choice of initial
experimental setup. Bell, in his collection of essays published in

*Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics*, has written extensively on the question of the measurable through the different versions of the wave-particle problem, which then culminate in the entanglement problem for which the question on the completeness of quantum mechanical epistemology when positioned against an inaccessible ontology.
Time
may hold the clue to the traits constituting local beables within the bounds of
finitude, and shortcomings involved in the renormalization of divergent
behaviors of the quantum field. The renormalization process is able to
parameterize time within structure independent terms, and eliminates the
structure-dependent terms of the Hamiltonian: data may be deciphered at the
temporal level to provide further explication of degenerate quantum behavior. It is possible to embed time within the
symmetries of interactions of the different fields in existence, and I would
like to explore the different scales in which time is able to operate, while
also looking into how time is differently applied to perturbative and
non-perturbative descriptions of the quantum field theories. Is it possible for
time to be rendered unobservable when separated from the other physical
properties, and time, embedded within interactions of physical qualities with
finite and infinite energy fields, could contain predictive powers of new
physics, and even provide explanations as to how data can be grounded.

Therefore,
I would like to produce a critique of time against Whitehead’s philosophy of
organism, particularly of his categoreal scheme and theory of extension found
in

*Process and Reality*because they provide useful framework for thinking about time within mathematical and physical bounds. Moreover, Whitehead was perhaps thinking of the embodiment of time in the then ‘new’ physics of quantum mechanics in the quantum ‘jumps’ he discusses in*Science and the Modern World*, which was his way of making sense of the temporal space of microphysical events that were gradually being worked out in the parallel developments of relativity and quantum physics. I would like to demonstrate how Whitehead was onto the problems of the developing ontology of quantum theory, especially where time stands, and how his arguments resonate with the thinking of time from ordinary quantum mechanics to quantum field theory.
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