Institute Publications

Ralph G. Beil and Kenneth Ketner
A Triadic Theory of Elementary Particle Interactions and Quantum Computation
Lubbock: Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism, 2006.
ISBN 0-9667695-9-7 (alk. paper)
viii + 49, hardback 8.5x11
Keywords: 1. Relational Calculus. 2. Particles (Nuclear Physics). 3. Quantum Computers. 4. Peirce, Charles S. (Charles Sanders), 1839-1914. 5. U.S. Patent 6819474.

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The table of contents (pdf) and introduction (pdf) are available.


    This monograph summarizes an attempt to demonstrate that there are direct applications of Peirce's Logic of Relations, in particular, the Sign Relations, to the theory of elementary particles and their interactions. Further, the Peircean logic leads to new ideas on the construction of computers which function at the quantum level.
    This application of Peircean logic is not surprising when one considers that Peirce was by profession an experimental and mathematical physicist over most of this productive years. It is reasonable that his work in logic might be applicable to physics. We do not speculate on why this application has not previously occurred. We also do not speculate how the direction of the currents of Twentieth Century physics might have been altered if Peircean logic had been understood and used. However, it is our hope that a reading of this monograph might inspire such speculation on the part of the reader.
    Specifically, we show here that there is a direct correspondence betwen a bonding scheme of Peirce's triadic sign diagrams and a representation of interactions between elementary particles. Thus, a complete history of a set of interacting particles can be modeled by a set of interconnected triadic diagrams.
    Also, we find that there are fortuitous physical parallels with Peirce's principles of Tychism (chance) and Synechism (continuity).
    The resulting model is facilitated by some alternative concepts in elementary particle physics, including Einstein's needle radiation, advanced fields, Brittingham waves, and a wave function which can be interpreted as the amplitude of single particle fields rather than a probability distribution. This leads, incidentally, to the possible resolution of several ancient conundrums in quantum theory including hidden variables, spooky action at a distance, and collapse of the wave function.
    We mentioned that a significant contribution of this description of elementary particle interactions is to provide a new rationale for the design of quantum computers. This application has led far enough to produce a United States patent (Beil and Ketner (2004)). This is appropriate indeed since Peirce himself designed an electrical computing machine (Ketner (1984, 1988)).
    This monograph is written so as to require a background level not far beyond that of the "intelligent layperson," either in logic or physics. For example, there are no displayed equations. More detailed and technical versions of the material have been published or are in preparation (Beil and Ketner (2003, 2004), Beil (2004)).