von Zuben

Von Zuben

Research & Consulting

Limited Company

·       Scientific & Technical Writing

·       Research in Theoretical & Applied Physics

·       Positioning, Navigation, & Timing Systems Design, Development, & Evaluation


Research Interests


·       Information theory in physics and electrical engineering:  Information theory has led to several technological advances, from data compression to optimal filtering techniques in Kalman filters.  The equations of motion in a Kalman filter closely parallel those of quantum mechanics, and are largely inspired by them.  This tends to support an “information only” interpretation of the quantum mechanics, but this view does not accord with experimental tests of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox.  Those experiments show an interference effect between measurements of quantum correlated particles that is inconsistent with the “information-only” interpretation of the wave function.  This area of research attempts to clarify to what extent quantum wave functions represent knowledge of a physical system, and to what extent they may be regarded as real physical fields.

·       Precise navigation and timing systems as tests of the theory of relativity:  The Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) was the first practical engineering project in which the theory of relativity (both special and general) needed to be taken account of from the outset.  Without relativistic corrections, the system would not work.  Further experiments are currently underway to use Navstar GPS to verify a prediction of general relativity: the Lenz-Thirring effect.  This area of research attempts to use known relativistic relations to improve navigation and timing engineering, and to use navigation and timing technology to perform further tests of relativity theory.

·       Theories of measurement and their relationship with localization of fields and wave functions: It can be argued that all measurements of physical systems are reducible in some way to measurements of position.  The concept of an ideal measurement implies that the measured system can be strictly localized; however, in relativistic quantum mechanics this assumption leads to the apparent conclusion that particles may travel faster than light (the Hegerfeldt paradox). Assumptions concerning the time at which the measurement occurs may play a role in this apparent paradox.  This area of research attempts to clarify concepts of position measurement and theories of measurement in modern physics.

·       The algebra of physical space in physics: Many physicists believe a wrong turn was taken in the early twentieth century when vector analysis emerged as the leading geometrical language of physics, relegating Clifford algebra to backwaters. If vectors in three-dimensional space are represented as Pauli spin matrices, for example, rather than the customary column matrices, the fourth dimension (time) emerges automatically in the algebra - and with the correct signature for relativity! Many famous equations in electrodynamics and quantum theory can then be re-expressed rendering geometric relationships, previously hidden in the formalism, explicit. This area of research attempts to shed light on some of the toughest problems in theoretical physics through use of Clifford algebra rather than traditional vector analysis in mathematical physics.

Research Interests

Papers and Publications


Curriculum Vitae