The “smear” is what makes it work. What’s in the middle of the electron that makes it different from the outer surface of the electron?
There’s no middle of the electron and there’s no outer surface of an electron.
It’s the quantum physics equivalent of, “What existed before God?” from our human theological past:
There’s no before, before. In an electron, there’s no there, there.
In both cases, it’s one of those, omg-woah-mind-blown things when it clicks in… one from the world of theology and one from the world of QM.
[not asserting God but rather a similar experience to the thinker]
I love the omg-woah moments when trying to understand concepts. I remember my omg-woah moment as a kid in Sunday school and I remember my omg-woah moment when I was first trying to ‘get’ black holes in high school (a year before Hawking’s book too. He had a sightly different take on things than I got… the hard way.. going through encyclopedias… ugh. His book would’ve made it easier)
Black holes helped me ‘get’ Einstein. I particularly loved the Einstein-Rosen bridge thing.
It was the gravity thing. Theoretical black holes helped me ‘get’ electrons vs classical mechanics: I could treat electrons in the same way I would treat the center of gravity of a theoretical black hole: It’s just a thing. There’s no inside of the center of gravity nor is there an outside of the center of gravity.
You’ve at the ‘it’. The ‘point’. Electrons to me were similar to centers of gravity in that you had to treat it as a point: there simply WAS no further in to go. It is what it is, it does what it does, and that’s that. No further peeking allowed or possible. Buck stops here. No where else to go. smile emoticon
Of course I still want to go further and in my mind, I do smile emoticon
Now, I don’t know if he has the reference in your edition Jes Scott – but in the edition I downloaded, he gives a reference to an obscure paper offering an _alternative_ viewpoint + treatment of Spin.
It’s from 1986 and HE bases it upon an equally obscure work done in 1939, a point at which such an idea would also have been unpopular.
For your perusal: