29 July, 2009

Quantum Consciousness (Quantum Mechanics – Part I)

As we draw near to the end of this month, I am wrapping up my writings on the Law of Attraction. But before moving on to other subjects, I wanted to touch upon the topic of Quantum Physics (a.k.a. Quantum Mechanics or Quantum Particles).

Quantum physics is not a simple topic to cover in two days so I’m limiting the depth to which I will write on this subject. It is a vast world that is yet highly undiscovered but which leads to the hypotheses of many exciting possibilities. Some of the hypotheses of quantum mechanics have been used to underpin the beliefs of the Law of Attraction and Faith. Therefore, it is relevant that this information should be presented here.

Firstly, the term “Quantum” was applied to science by the German physicist Max Planck in 1900. Quantum is a Latin word that simply means “amount” or “quantity.” However, it is used in physics to mean the smallest unit of any physical property such as energy and matter. With the discovery that there are particles, smaller than the atom that make up matter, Quantum Physics was born!

In Newtonian physics (the theories of physics developed by Sir Isaac Newton; also called “Classical Physics”), Newton describes a universe in which all objects move within a three-dimensional space of geometry and time according to certain fixed laws of motion. Atoms, or matter, are considered to be self-contained, living within their own set boundaries. To illicit any change in matter requires applying some type of pressure to it – freezing it, heating it, or moving it. Newton’s laws, containing the central premise that things exist independently of each other, underlie our own philosophical view of the world – that we exist independently of one another and independently of every other thing.

Following are just a few of the discoveries of the Quantum world that have turned upside-down the Newtonian understandings provided by Classical Physics:

  • Particles may be in two or more places at once. Creating two particles at once causes a condition known as entanglement. When two or more particles are entangled, it doesn’t matter how much distance is between them. When one of the entangled particles is changed, the other entangled particles are instantly affected in the same manner.

  • Quantum physics is probabilistic rather than deterministic. We can never know with absolute certainty how a specific thing will turn out. In quantum physics, you cannot know the location and the velocity of an object. (This is known as the Uncertainty Principle.)

  • In quantum physics, the observer influences the object observed. (There are no isolated observers of the mechanical universe. Everything participates in the universe.) Only one property may be known (or measured) at any given time because the object reacts differently depending upon what is being measured – implying that the observer’s intent is key to how the object appears! (These conditions are known as Non-Locality and Quantum Entanglement.)

  • There is no “empty” space within atoms. Everything previously thought to be empty is now known to hold enormous quantities of energy.

  • Quantum particles move instantaneously, rather than in an orbital pattern as concluded by Newton.

Quantum theory doesn’t replace Classical Physics. Instead, it supplies a whole new set of rules by which sub-atomic particles operate. The rules of Classical Physics still apply to objects of substantive matter – just not to the quantum world.

Quantum Consciousness

In attempts to solve the measurement problem in quantum physics, physicists frequently run into the problem of consciousness. Though most physicists try to sidestep the issue, it seems that there is a link between the conscious choice of an experiment and the outcome of that experiment. Some physicists, most notably Roger Penrose, believe that current physics cannot explain consciousness, and that consciousness itself has a link to the strange quantum realm. Other physicists, such as Fred Alan Wolf, lean toward believing that the rules that apply to quantum particles explain that our consciousness has everything to do with the realities of the lives that we live.

Looking, then, at a broad stroke view of this unusual world of quantum mechanics, quantum theory seems to prove out that there can be no universe without thought present – suggesting that God, or a Supreme Being, had to have created the universe of which we are now a part. Quantum theory also points to our abilities, as the observers of our lives (or our realities), to alter the outcome of events and influence the cellular structures of our own bodies to align with our beliefs.

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