One member of a virtual-particle pair will have positive energy and the other negative energy or what is called antimatter and matter.
These virtual particles manifest themselves only when something disturbs the quantum vacuum.
What exactly an electron is depends on how carefully you look, look carefully enough and you will disturb the vacuum energy that is present even in apparently empty space.
This will turn the void into a hive of activity containing antiparticles or positrons that will have a perfect electric and magnetic mirror image to the electron forming a universal symmetry.
Some have put forward the idea that antiparticles the positrons can be viewed as particles travelling backwards in time and that this has even been observed in the laboratory.
This gives us a picture of quantum mechanics that is totally abstract and that can never be understood as a complete theory representing and corresponding to the reality of our everyday life.
But there is another way of looking at this! And that is to say that we can see antiparticles travelling backwards in time because the whole process represents the forward ‘March of Time’ itself
This might sound insane, but this theory is based on just two simple postulates
1. The first is that the quantum wave particle function explained by Schrödinger’s wave equation represents the forward passage of time ∆E ∆t ≥ h/2π or Arrow of Time itself photon by photon
2. The second is that Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle ∆×∆p×≥h/4π that is formed by the wave function is the same uncertainty we have with any future event
This process of continuous creation or change we see and feel as the flow of time itself. Forming a potential infinity of possibilities at every point in space and every moment in time that we can interact with turning the possible into the actual!
An important aspect of the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle ∆×∆p×≥h/4π is that it does not work in the same sense forward and backward in time. One of the fundamental puzzles of our Universe is that we have a definite ‘arrow of time’ a distinction between the past and future. The uncertainty relations tell us that we cannot know position and momentum at the same time, and therefore we cannot predict the future.
But it is within the rules of quantum mechanics to calculate backwards and find out what the position and momentum was at some time in the past. This precisely fits in with our everyday experience of the nature of time, moving from a known past into an uncertain future.
Add to this that Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle can be reformulated to say that it is impossible to simultaneously measure the energy of a particle and the interval of time ∆E ∆t ≥ h/2π for which it has been in existence. When we consider what happens in a region of empty space in a very tiny interval of time, there will be a large uncertainty in the energy content of that region.
It could be said that energy appears out of nothing, but the most simple and beautiful explanation for this is that we have a process of continuous creation or change.
A process of change that at the smallest level can be seen as the Planck Constant ħ=h/2π as a constant of action within the uncertainty of the flow of Time itself forming the dynamic geometry of spacetime.
In this theory it is the quantum wave particle function continuously collapsing and reforming. The continuous exchange of photons the continuous flow of negative (-) and positive (+) charge. This process forms time itself by slowing the rate that time flows.
This whole process can be seen as a process of symmetry breaking and forming between the profound symmetries of matter and antimatter or negatively (-) charged electrons and positively (+) charged positrons.
This process corresponds to Einstein’s description of gravity in terms of pure geometry in his theory of General relativity.
The greater the energy or mass of an object the greater the exchange of particle or photon oscillations within the quantum field.
This will slow the rate that time runs distorting the geometry forming Einstein’s curvature of spacetime around the object.
In this theory there is no ‘gravitons’ or undiscovered particles, objects just free-fall (gravity) towards the greatest mass because it has the slowest rate that time flows and the greatest curvature of spacetime.
This curvature is represented by π in the equation of quantum mechanics. The irrational numbers that drop out of the human mathematical system do so because human mathematics is based on the geometry of our Universe and that geometry is a dynamic and continuous forming the continuum of time.
π = 3.141592653589793238462643383 27950288419716939937510... infinity!
A link to videos on Quantum Atom Theory an artist theory on the dynamics of light and time.