Quantum physics shows us the world in an open, indeterminate way as our mind can hardly grasp. It restores to our will, our consciousness, our inner world its rightful place in world events and thereby overcomes the ill-fated determinism of classical physics. Shaping reality is up to us! Each of our emotions or stirrings, everything that we think, wish and do affects everything else, for there is no separation of subject and object in what holds the world together ‘at the core’. Everything is a whole. The consequences of this paradigm shift are as profound and liberating as it is impossible to currently overlook. Society is still deeply entrenched in materialistic thought patterns in all areas.
The following article is from Sieglinde Fuchs and compiled by Edeltraud Grace.
The new foundation of reality How quantum physics experiments ‘unhinge’ the materialistic understanding of the world. Our understanding of what holds the universe together ‘at its core’ is currently undergoing a profound change, a paradigm shift that fundamentally undermines not only the ‘classical’ materialistic world view, but also the definition of ‘reality’. This is due to the findings of quantum physics, which were obtained in part nearly 100 years ago - by Max Planck, Albert Einstein and other great researchers, but failed to gain sufficient recognition for a long time, within the ranks in science itself and even less in the awareness of the general public. In the meantime, the term ‘quantum physics’ is encountered in many places. It is, it seems, used as an explanation for everything and nothing; things ‘quantize” in esotericism, in alternative healing methods or even in fields on the fringes of science – but only rarely is there evidence of a thorough understanding of what is actually at stake with this concept.
Paradigm shift – this concept represents a change in the basic conditions that apply to scientific theories, and probably has never been more apt as in the case of the profound change that is presently at hand in quantum physics. A change, however, which is still far more likely up to now taking place ‘behind the scenes”. According to Stuttgart quantum physicist Hans-Peter Duerr: “It is amazing that this profound shift in our understanding of reality, even to this day, more than 100 years after the paradoxical findings of Max Planck and Albert Einstein and radical innovations 25 years later by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, has hardly been comprehended in its philosophical implications.” And this despite the fact that quantum physics ‘in the 80 years since its interpretation has embarked on an unparalleled triumphal march through all areas of physics and has been a brilliant success to this day.(..) Modern chemistry, nuclear technology and the modern information technologies would not have been possible without the new insights.' The recognitions of quantum physics provide a very deep insight into hitherto hidden connections not only in these areas, but also in the areas of life we understand by vitality or health as well as consciousness. But first things first. …
The narrow boundaries of classical physics
Let us make clear to ourselves first of all what views and premises have prevailed in the old physics, thus in the so-called classical physics, founded by Galileo, Descartes and Newton in the 17th century. Its dominant features, in summary, have been a deterministic, mechanistic and ultimately also profoundly materialistic world view, manifesting primarily in activities like weighing, measuring, analytic (deductive) thinking and in search of pure matter. People have envisaged that everything follows a linear chain of cause and effect and with sufficiently detailed knowledge of the individual initial values the future conditions could be predicted accurately. Furthermore, it was felt that a purely objective investigation of a physical problem is possible and must be sought and that the investigator could have no unintentional influence on the experimental result. In classical physics the objects to be investigated were dissected in the conviction of being able to accurately fathom the nature of the whole from the individual parts. Henry Stapp, a highly respected theoretical physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, summed up the credo of the old physics succinctly in an interview: “Classical world view asserts that every physical thing was completely determined at the birth of the physical universe, which has been just mechanically grinding forward ever since.” (Enlighten Next, 46/2010) There is no room in such a world view, which some scientists still hold today, for a free will that affects world events. How superfluous every urge of the human spirit appears in it, how unimportant its quest for insight, and yes, every decision! If everything runs on the rails of the predetermined, there is also no need for the concept of responsibility. A notion, against which every natural feeling fights justifiably! According to Hans-Peter Duerr, ‘the perspective of classical physics suffices at best for grasping the coarse material reality.’ However, the assumption that all events were predetermined is not conclusive with regards to the living world and the human psyche. It is inadequate, as Duerr formulates it, ‘to answer the existing questions and, above all, it would debar genuine creativity.’
The search for the smallest particles
The assumptions of classical physics were called into question as the search for the smallest constituents of matter penetrated deeper and deeper into the subatomic world. Instead of the expected ever smaller ‘components’ of ‘matter particles’, it yielded almost only….empty space. Only 0.000001 per cent of the space, thus the world we perceive with our senses, is ‘occupied’. Imagine the size of a football field, in which the atomic nucleus would be no more than a grain of rice and the orbits of the electrons would be located around this nucleus would be located at the edge of the football field. In between…..empty space! On closer examination the world revealed itself completely different from the expected. But it is precisely this emptiness, which so irritated Western scientists, that seems to have a lot to offer: the sages of the East have always regarded the ‘emptiness’ as the real thing, as the unlimited creative potential; tangible matter, however, as ‘Maya”, as an illusion. A look into the subatomic world confirms this concept. But even more stunning facts were observed in this ‘empty space full of energy’, especially this one fact: The approach is crucial for the result of an experiment! Not only the apparatus, thus the measuring device, but also the intention of the researcher has an influence on the experiment. His consciousness is a part of the process, it contributes to or even decides the outcome. It undermined the old idea that every event is predetermined by the initial conditions and that in an experiment the researcher can act as a disinterested, ‘objective observer’. Researchers themselves were so surprised by the subatomic phenomena that many found it difficult to accept them and be made aware of their scope. Niels Bohr (1885-1962), one of the most important physicists of the 20th century, declared. “The great extension of our experience in recent years has brought light to the insufficiency of our simple mechanical conceptions and, as a consequence, has shaken the foundation on which the customary interpretation of observation was based.’ For Hans-Peter Duerr a ‘reversal of the old world view is necessary’. The search for the smallest particles, for what holds the universe together ‘at its core’, was far from over with the discovery of the atom, or even with protons and electrons. In the meantime, quarks, mesons, baryons, pions, bosons, hadrons and so on, have been identified. But these elementary particles often manifest only fleetingly, for split seconds, before they disintegrate into even smaller particles or waves, giving the impression that they are actually anything but ‘elementary’. The search for the tiniest elements increasingly made it clear that the material world ‘dissolves’ before our eyes, and that it clear that it is all about possibilities and probabilities, about the relationships and interactions existing between the particles. ‘Mater is not composed of matter’, Hans-Peter Duerr brings home the point: ‘ Science also speaks only in parables’ – and adds: ‘The new world view is basically holistic, (Holism is the belief that the elements of a system…(…) are completely determined by the structure of relationships. (Wikipedia). In contrast the doctrine of reductionism assumes that a system is determined by its individual components/elements.) not atomistic: there exists actually only the one, the undivided and inseparable whole….In the quantum-theoretical world view the cosmos is (….) one single light ball of relationship structures.’ But how have we approached this important idea, that the world is a whole, in which everything is interconnected and interrelated, and whose nature we can never find out by continuously splitting into smaller units?
The birth of quantum physics
Two lectures given by Max Planck (1858-1947), later a Nobel Prize laureate, on 19th October and 14th December 1900 before the ‘German Physical Society’ in Berlin can be considered to represent the birth of quantum physics. These dealt with a formula which described the intensity distribution of the radiation of a black body (A blackbody also spelled black body is an ideal object that absorbs and emits all radiant or electromagnetic energy falling on it, regardless of frequency or angle of incidence.) In a completely new but stringent approach, which stood in contrast to the understanding at that time, Planck showed that the energy of a radiation source can only amount to a whole-number multiple of a so-called ‘energy quantum’ – the smallest unit of energy. According to Planck, this energy quantum E is the product of the frequency of the radiation (number of oscillations per unit time) f and a constant, which he abbreviated with the letter ‘h’: E = f h. Today we know this famous ‘h’ as Planck’s constant or ‘quantum of action’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_constant At this time, however, nobody, not even Planck himself, could foresee what far-reaching consequences this discovery would have. In fact, Planck’s quantum of action is now considered one of the fundamental constants of nature. The extreme smallness 6.626070040(81)×10−34 joules-second plays a central role in physical ‘actions’. (‘action’ in the physical sense is the product of converted energy and time), because every action can only be a multiple of h. A few years later, in 1905, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) put forward the hypothesis that light likewise travels in the form of quanta; he called this tiny package a photon. Experimental proof of Einstein’s hypothesis would come in 1926. So it became clear through Planck and Einstein that electromagnetic radiation, including heat and light, are emitted in ‘packets’, in the form of quanta, thus in the smallest indivisible units. The fact that nature works with ‘quantum leaps’, thus that energy can be transferred only in certain discrete amounts, was a revolutionary finding, because until then it was regarded in physics that all natural processes take place in a steady, continuous manner. But in the microscopic domain of elementary particles and atoms structures are ‘quantized’. The discovery was just one of many revolutionary findings which have shaken the materialistic world view of classical physics.
The search for the nature of light
Long before Planck and Einstein, researchers had addressed the nature of light. What is light? Is it wave of particle? Already in the 7th century this question was the subject of controversial debate, and it remains- in so far as wanting to maintain the ‘either – or’ attributes to classical physics – open till today. None other than the famous English scientist Isaac Newton (1643-1727) suggested that rays of light were composed of ‘very small bodies emitted from shining substances’ (Third Book of Opticks, 1704). On the other hand, the Dutch physicist Christian Huygens (1629-1695), about 14 years older than Newton, conceived of light as a wave phenomenon; he inferred this from observing that ‘light beams travelling in different and even opposite directions pass through one another without mutual disturbance.’(Traite de la lumiere)
Then in 1801 the experiment was carried out for the first time on the nature of light that would become world-famous: the double-slit experiment. It was devised by a brilliant English physician and physicist Thomas Young (1773-1829). His experiment consisted of a metal plate pierced by two parallel, adjacent slits, behind which at some distance a screen was mounted. Young sent a monochromatic (single-colour) light through these slits. If light behaves like a wave, as he believed, it would emerge behind the two splits spread out in a circle – similar to a wave of water -, giving rise to the picture of an interference, an overlapping or superposition of two waves. A typical interference pattern consists of brighter stripes with intervening (the maximum displacement of the waves) add up, thus overlap, this results in a brighter stripe, if the amplitudes add to zero, a dark intervening space appears. And indeed, Thomas Young was able to show this overlapping pattern and thus verify the wave nature of light. But when he published his results in 1802, he got nothing but scorn and derision – especially because it contradicted Newton’s theory of light particles. It was not until about 20 years later that Young’s wave theory was acknowledged – and then until Max Planck in 1900 demonstrated mathematically that light can also be emitted in the form of particles. Wave or particle? This question about the nature of matter has not been confined to light, and once quantum physics was born, outstanding importance was soon accorded the old double-slit experiment. Because this experiment threw up completely unexpected phenomena, including making clear for the first time the decisive influence of consciousness on the emergence of reality.
Behind the back of the observer
Let us study this experiment once again more closely and picture electrons being shot through the slits, thus tiny, electrically charged elementary particles, which exist in any material in large quantities. First, we use a plate which has not two, but only one slit. If only one slit is open, which can let electrons pass through to the photoplate lying behind, then it is in principle the same thing as happens if one were to fire bullets: the reception surface shows a bright stripe in the area of impact of the electrons that have streamed through the split. Thus creating a single bright band, the electrons behave exactly as expected of particles. However, if both slits are open, providing the electron beam the possibility to fly through two slits, then not two parallel bright stripes develop on the photoplate, as one might expect, but, as in the experiment by Young in 1801, an interference pattern, thus the well-known result of two or several waves. It confirms that here apparently an interference is produced by particles. How is such a thing possible? Researchers suspected at first that the electrons, when two slits are open, interact with each other somehow. To rule this out, they launched in further experiments single electrons successively. But this slowing down of electron emission did not change the result: an interference pattern again emerged over time on the photoplate. There is no explanation for this phenomenon from classical physics. For the individual particle apparently interferes with itself. It seems to fly at the same time through both slits and thus produces the interference pattern. But how can this be? To lift the veil of secrecy surrounding this mysterious ‘flight behaviour’, researchers installed a detector, with the aid of which they could exactly observe the path of the particle through the slit. Through whatever technical refinements this happened: as soon as the particle was observed, viewed or measured, it flew, as befits a particle, ‘dutifully’ through a slit without producing an interference pattern. The interference pattern is thus destroyed by the simple process of observation. In quantum language this means: ‘the wave collapses’, and we can trace the particle on its path to the flash on the screen. The conclusion is that electrons appear, as soon as they are observed, as particles. But ‘behind the back of the observer’ they behave like a wave. The double-slit experiment provides insight into this mystery of nature. Does this experiment reveal that concrete reality only arises through the act of observation, through a conscious effort? Is there a visible and measurable world, as it is, only because there is consciousness? Was the idea of a separation between spirit and matter, between perception and reality a big mistake? These questions have evoked heated discussions to this day, because many of the most fundamental assumptions of classical physics have been called into question by the observation of the smallest particles – not only the principle of dualism, that is, the separation of subject and object, of observer and observed, but also the basic assumption that the world is constituted of strictly separate parts and particles – sun and earth, atomic nucleus and electrons, and so on. For it became clear that everything is interconnected through a network of relationships and that we must perceive the world newly in tis wholeness, that is, in a ‘holistic’ way.
Reality manifests only 'blurred'
Classical physics embraces the assumption of a simple causality. It was believed that it is possible in principle, with regard to a particle, to determine the position and the momentum (a physical quantity that expresses the speed and the direction of movement) and calculate all the ensuing interactions. If the initial conditions in a system are known exactly, it was thought, then one can calculate its future. Now, however, quantum physics showed that it is basically impossible with regard to a particle (through observation) to carry out a measurement of the position and at the same time to calculate the momentum. This impossibility is not perchance due to any deficiency in the experiments, but actually a matter of a lawfulness, which was recognised by the German physicist and Nobel Prize laureate Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) in 1927, when he formulated his famous ‘uncertainty principle’. This means nothing more or less than that certain parameters of a quantum object (such as position and momentum) cannot be determined simultaneously with any precision. Measuring one parameter exactly, leaves the second related value inevitably inexact, ‘blurred’. The famous double-slit experiment has also been used over and over in attempts to circumvent the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The goal was to succeed in obtaining a simultaneous measurement of position and momentum. Thus one could calculate, as the brilliant French physicist Louis de Broglie (1892-1987) had discovered, the wavelength of the wave from the displacements of the interference bands on the screen- and from this determine the momentum. Together with the measurement of the particle’s position one would have two accurate measurements. But unfortunately, the sought-after interference bands just did not materialise in this arrangement. Because as soon as a detector for measuring the position starts running, the light (or also an electron beam) behaves like particles. There was thus no possibility of circumventing the uncertainty principle through this very cleverly contrived experiment. But perhaps with one even more ingenious? John Archibald Wheeler (1911-2008), an American physicist, who was sometimes referred to also as high priest of quantum mysteries’, suggested bringing the time factor into play. We already know that if one observes electrons or photons while flying through the split, they behave like particles; without observation, they appear as waves. But when do they decide to be particle or wave? What would happen if in the experiment we wait long enough until the electron or photon has passed through the double slit, and if we only decide just then whether a measurement of position is carried out or not?
When time and space have no meaning
Five years after Wheeler had formulated this idea, two independent research teams (one in Maryland and one at the University of Munich) actually carried out this experiment. Put simply, they ‘parked’ the photon, after passing through the double slit, in a ‘waiting loop’ (in a fibre optic cable) and then ‘calmly’ let a random number generator decide if a measurement of position is carried out, that is, whether the path of the particle should be measured or not.
But the known effect remained even with this refined experimental design: the wave character manifested only if there was no measurement, and, on the other hand, the particle aspect showed if the random generator chose a measurement of position. It was thus again not possible to bypass the uncertainty principle – but another incredible phenomenon appeared with this experiment. For apparently the photon decides backwards in time as to how it behaved, whether it appeared as a wave or as particle. ‘Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory had not understood it’, Niels Bohr once said. One can agree with him looking at such facts. It was the first time the classical idea of a time sequence, which can lead only from the past to the future, was rendered obsolete in an experiment. In the microcosmic world, space and time, as we experience them, appear not to exist at all. This was demonstrated in experiments with ‘entangled’ particles. Regarded as entangled are quanta which come from one source or had in some way had contact with each other and entered into interaction. If these entangled particles are then separated and one of them is specifically altered (for example, a reversal of the ‘spin’ , the angular momentum), this change immediately also shows in the other particle, even if it is (astronomically) far away. And ‘immediately’ really means immediately, without any delay – instantaneously, as it is stated in quantum physics. This effect is exploited successfully in ‘quantum teleportation’, where quantum states (later maybe even light beams) can be transmitted over large distances without being changed by a measurement process. It is so unimaginable that space makes no difference, there is no distance in the usual sense between entangled quantum objects, because what prevails here – and there is no better word for it – is non-locality (in contrast to familiar principle of locality, where objects verifiably move from one location to another and can affect each other by direct contact or through a medium).
Where do quantum phenomena end?
The strange ‘double life’ of light as wave and particle (called ‘complementary’ by Niels Bohr), the non-locality, the movement backwards in time, the influence of conscious intention, blurred relations, instantaneous action at a distance – the microcosmic world is always offering surprises. But how far, and up to what ‘threshold’ do all the quantum phenomena cover? Is there such a boundary at all? The described double-slit experiments were carried out first only with light, thus with photons, and also with electrons, but then, in 1996, also with whole atoms. The Japanese researcher Prof. Fujio Shimizu and his colleague in Tokyo were able to demonstrate that even whole atoms exhibit interference, and thus may have wave character. This experiment has only been surpassed by Prof. Anton Zeilinger and his team in Vienna, where they managed to send the so-called fullerene – giant molecules of 60 to 70 carbon atoms arranged in a form of a football –through a double slit. An interference pattern was generated and it confirmed the wave character. So where is the boundary? Does everything have the character of a wave, which we only cannot demonstrate in everyday life? Is what we experience as reality only a concrete ‘precipitation’ from a sea of possibilities and probabilities, which guarantee openness and vitality? Is it the basis for all developments and also creativity and ensuing from a higher order above space and time?
Everything is ultimately only vibration...
The ‘uncertainty principle’ shows that a so-called particle is ‘smeared’ through space, as if it were simultaneously everywhere and nowhere, so that one can actually no longer speak of a path on which it is moving, but of a ‘probability wave’, which has a tendency to exist as we try to observe and measure it. Nothing in the microcosms is firmly fixed, and one can understand the Nobel laureate Max Planck when he stated at a lecture ‘Gentlemen, as a physicist who has devoted his whole life to pure science and the exploration of matter, I am surely beyond suspicion of being a dreamer. And, as a result of the exploration of the atom, I declare the following: There is nothing like just matter. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom into vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atomic universe together.’ Vibration is a completely harmonious and rhythmic movement, which proceeds in accordance with a strict lawfulness – such as the electromagnetic vibration of our light. Now one can well imagine that through its information potential, its ability to overlap as well as its huge storage capacity (a photon has a storage capacity of 10 127 bytes), it plays a central role in the universe….
Consequences of the paradigm shift
Quantum physics shows us the world in an open, indeterminate way as our mind can hardly grasp. It restores to our will, our consciousness, our inner world its rightful place in world events and thereby overcomes the ill-fated determinism of classical physics. Shaping reality is up to us! Each of our emotions or stirrings, everything that we think, wish and do affects everything else, for there is no separation of subject and object in what holds the world together ‘at the core’. Everything is a whole. The consequences of this paradigm shift are as profound and liberating as it is impossible to currently overlook. Society is still deeply entrenched in materialistic thought patterns in all areas. Now maybe, however, a notion is dawning on us of the real meaning of existence in space and time. That is to say that the coexistence in space and the time sequence are only ‘workarounds’ or ‘ancillary structures’, which fulfil a particular purpose – the development of consciousness, which must only achieve viability in the eternal present and in the unity – just as many wise teachings proclaim.
Who am I Where am I How am I What am I Why and For what am I?
'Never be without these questions otherwise you will die before you die'
So has life said onto me (E.Herb)
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Edeltraud Jakob Grace: Love all things natural and always have a craft or art project on. Being surrounded with friends and people I love and who love me, animals and nature makes me happy. Since 2004 I see clients in my private practice. In my blogs I want to share things that might be beneficial for others (YOU) and just areas that interest me a lot. Wish you happiness and health! Edel Pictures on this line are all from my animals or garden or photos I took from nearby where we live on beautiful Mornington Peninsula.
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