The translation of my book ‘Quantum Physics, Information and Consciousness’ is a long term project. However, the preview version – epub format – is free downloadable from today on. You’ll find the first two and the last chapter fully translated and all the other chapters have a summary at the end. Click here for more information.
From Wikipedia: Vlatko Vedral is a Serbian-born (and naturalised British citizen) physicist and Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore and a Fellow of Wolfson College. He is known for his research on the theory of Entanglement and Quantum Information Theory. As of 2017 he has published over 280 research papers in quantum mechanics and quantum information and was awarded the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2007. He has held a Lectureship and Readership at Imperial College, a Professorship at Leeds and visiting professorships in Vienna, Singapore (NUS) and at Perimeter Institute in Canada. As of 2017, there were over 18,000 citations to Vlatko Vedral’s research papers. He is the author of several books, including Decoding Reality.
Watch this movie “Living in a quantum world” from Vlatko Vedral on YouTube: https://youtu.be/vaUfZak8Ug4. At the end of his presentation a question from the audience about time and quantum physics is asked (at about 1: 10) and in his answer he describes the behavior of a super-accurate clock and what happens to the last digits when you lift that clock half a meter in the gravitational field. And then he wonders what it means when you imagine that clock to be in a quantum superposition at the two different heights in the gravitational field. A superposition of two different timelines. Fascinating.
By the way, the first part of his presentation – about 45 minutes – is actually a very compact version of my quantum physics book. Everything is presented in an almost blazing speed: interference, the Mach-Zehnder interferometer, Schrödinger’s cat, the Copenhagen interpretation against the multiverse interpretation, delayed choice experiments, interference with very large molecules shot through double slits, the orientation of our robin on the earth’s magnetic field in its annual migration, the 100% efficiency of chlorophyll. Highly recommended.
Quanta Magazine, a web service which often brings interesting articles, published shortly an interesting article where relativity, quantum physics and black holes played an important role. However, in reading it I did hit upon a very common misconception, about which I like to comment here.
Quote from: Einstein, Symmetry and the Future of Physics | Quanta Magazine“Solar energy arrives on Earth and becomes mass in the form of green leaves, creating food we can eat and use as fuel for thought. “
The misconception is that mass and energy are different things and that energy is somehow mysteriously converted into mass and vice versa. However, that’s not the message of E=mc2. Energy and mass are, in the opinion of almost all physicists, more like the two sides of the same coin. They are identical. This can be understood by considering what happens when an object is accelerated up to the speed of light.
According to the special relativity, all the energy that you spend into that acceleration is converted into inertial mass. It will cost you more and more energy to keep accelerating it. That is why we can never reach the speed of light itself in this way, the inertial mass would become infinite. This effect has been convincingly demonstrated when accelerating protons in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The faster they go, the more mass they get and the stronger the magnetic fields must be to keep them neatly in their circulair loop.
In general relativity, the central basic assumption is that inertial mass and heavy mass are identical or that the acceleration force due to gravity is identical to the acceleration force that you encounter in, for example, a merry-go-round. The implication therefore is that inertial mass, heavy mass and energy are really all the same fundamental thing. This means for instance that a charged battery must also be slightly heavier than when discharged. However, the energy released by nuclear fusion is often explained in popular terms as follows:
“The mass of the two fused atomic nuclei is smaller than that of the original fused nuclei together. That mass deficit has become energy and that mass is gone.“
Thus it seems as if mass alone is not conserved, mass plus energy should be the conserved property. However, Wikipedia says otherwise: “Mass and energy can be seen as two names (and two measurement units) for the same underlying, conserved physical quantity. Thus, the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of (total) mass are equivalent and both hold true”.
Ponder this. The fused atomic nucleus has received an enormous amount of kinetic energy during the fusion, and that is speed. That kinetic energy is exactly having the same mass as the ‘disappeared’ mass. So, that mass has not disappeared at all. Due to the speed with which the fused core now moves, which means kinetic energy, it also has more mass. That is the message of special relativity. If you could have this fusion taking place in a thermally completely sealed box balanced on a pair of scales, you would find zero difference in weight – and therefore in mass.
Another but related topic. That every observer always observes the same speed of light is a physical observation but goes against our so-called common sense which tells us how adding up speeds normally works. Elsewhere on this website I say something about that in ‘What is light‘.
In the world of physics, we can see a beginning inclination to research the connection between the consciousness of the observer and the observed. Research has already shown that the human senses work and perceive at the quantum level. Not only the eye which after adaptation appears to be able to observe a single photon, but all our senses seem to function at quantum level and even beyond. Our ears are energywise extremely sensitive organs. Read the article by William C. Bushell Ph.D. and Maureen Seaberg at https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/ (SAND).
“In science and history, consilience refers to the principle that evidence from independent, unrelated sources can “converge” on strong conclusions. That is, when multiple sources of evidence are in agreement, the conclusion can be very strong even when none of the individual sources of evidence is significantly so on its own”. Wikipedia
The 38th Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE) conference was held from June 5-8 in Broomfield Colorado. The theme was “consilience” whereby evidence from diverse and independent sources can be used as valid support for scientific theories. For example, on the one hand in quantum physics a conscious observer seems to be needed to trigger the so-called quantum collapse, on the other hand in current medical science applying advanced life-saving interventions the growing numbers of validated near-death experiences can no longer be ignored. So, in both very different domains, the idea of non-matter-dependent consciousness is confirmed.
Within three days 34 presentations of approx. 20 minutes were held, whether or not supported with PowerPoint slides, offering also the opportunity for three to five questioners after every presentation, and 17 poster presentations set up in the hall in front of the conference hall, for which one and a half hours had been set aside on day 2. Personally, I thought that part was the most accessible because you could come quickly in direct contact with the poster’s creator.
To be honest, in my opinion there were some poster presentations actually deserving a full presentation and vice versa there were presentations that could have been better scheduled as poster presentations.
To download a more extensive report click here.
Someone noticed me about this TED talk by David Chalmers about consciousness as fundamental property of the universe:
Really interesting. Or watch it on Ted.com: https://www.ted.com/talks/david_chalmers_how_do_you_explain_consciousness
I’m invited to do a poster presentation on June 7 2019 at the SSE conference on consilience. Here is the text of my submission paper:
Submission presentation SSE – english
Interpretations of quantum physics trying to save the idea of an objective reality existing outside us will not survive critical examination of their explanation of the so-called quantum collapse. The following interpretations will be tackled:
- Kopenhagen macro apparatus interpretation,
- Super selection,
- Hidden variables,
- Spontaneous quantum collapse.
However other interpretations that do accept the connection between the conscious observer and quantum reality confer the problem of the nature of this connection to a more or less magical action on physical reality by a non-physical consciousness. Something I often refer to as ‘Harry Potter’ magic. These interpretations are:
- The Matrix,
- No quantum collapse whatever,
- Von Neumann Projection Postulate.
Those three interpretations and the Kopenhagen interpretation do recognize the quantum wave being a non-physical possibility wave. The quantum wave function gives the time and location dependent possibility to find the quantum particle in a measurement. Because the mathematic expression for the quantum wave describes a probability, which is also nowhere exact null, the wave should be regarded as just as non-local as a thought. These interpretations acknowledging the role of consciousness do not however solve these problems:
- how works consciousness its effect on the non-physical quantum possibility wave,
- how it is possible that multiple observer minds manifest the same outcome? When I observe the moon, I’m surely not the only one so how can I possibly manifest the moon?