To keep up to date with the subjects on my website I have to read quite a bit. And a lot of highly interesting material on quantum physics is being written and published. But occasionally I come across something that impresses me particularly and seems worth of special attention. Especially when it considerably broadens or clarifies my view on quantum physics and its interpretations. Therefore highly recommended stuff for visitors of my website. So, I’ll discuss two books here. The first one I want to discuss is: “Beyond Weird – Why Everything You Thought About Quantum Physics is .. different” by Philip Ball.
I am grateful to the student who put this book in my hands. Philip Ball is a science journalist who has been writing about this topic in Nature for many years. You don’t need to be able to solve exotic Schrödinger equations to follow his fascinating and utterly clear explanation of the quantum world and the riddles it presents. Also, he clears some misunderstandings up about this subject. Such as the word quantum, which is actually not the fundamental thing in quantum physics but rather an emerging phenomenon. The state wave is not quantized but fundamentally very continuous. He desctibes how quantum physics in its character and history deviates from all previous physical theories. It is a theory that is not built by extrapolation on the older theories. You can’t imagine what happens in the quantum world as you can do with, for example, gravity, electric currents, gas molecules, etc. The mathematical basis of quantum physics, quantum mechanics was not created by starting from fundamental principles but was the result of particularly happy intuitions that worked well but whose creators could not fundamentally explain what they were based on. Examples are: The matrix mechanics of Heisenberg, the Schrödinger equation, the idea of Born that the state function gives you the probability of finding the particle at a certain place when measured. It was all inspired intuitive guesswork that laid the foundation for an incredibly successful theory we still don’t really understand how and why it works. Ball makes presents a good case for the idea that quantum mechanics seems to be about information. It is a pity, in my opinion, that he ultimately appears to adhere to the decoherence hypothesis. That is the point in his book where the critical reader will notice that what was until then comparably good to follow step by step suddenly loses its strict consistency and that from there one has to do with imperfect metaphors. His account remains interesting but isn’t that convincing anymore. Despite that, the book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand more about the quantum world and especially about quantum computers.
The Quantum Handshake
A completely different type of book is “The Quantum Handshake – Entanglement, Nonlocality and Transactions” by John Cramer. His interpretation of quantum physics seems, in my opinion incorrectly, not to be placed on the long list of serious quantum interpretations. Not a big group of supporters. In any case, I had never heard of his interpretation until it was brought forward by someone at a presentation about consilience I attended a short time ago. The subject made me curious because the state wave seems to stretch out backward and forward in time as I see it. Cramers’ hypothesis is that the state wave can also travel back in time, creating a kind of ‘handshake’ between the primary departing state wave and the secondary backwards in time reflected state wave. The reflected state wave traveling back in time arrives at the source thus exactly at the time of departure of the primary wave. This handshake between both waves effects the transfer of energy without the need for the so-called quantum collapse. The measurement problem where the continuous state wave instantaneously changes into an energy-matter transfer would then be explained as the result of a energy transfer by the handshaking state waves. However, in order to finally be able to complete that energy-matter transfer from source to measurement device, Cramer has to assume that the state wave is “somewhat” material-physical. This ephemeral quality of the state wave is considered as a severe weakness in his interpretation. Nevertheless the book provides worthwhile reading for those who want to delve into the various interpretations of quantum physics, also and especially because of Cramer’s discussion of a large number of experiments with amazing implications such as, for example, quantum erasers and delayed choice experiments where retro causality appears to occur. His idea of a state wave that is traveling back in time – which is not forbidden in the formulations of quantum mechanics – remains a fascinating possibility.
I’m very proud of this success. Within one year 500 copies of “Kwantumfysica, informatie en bewustzijn” sold through the regular bookshops in The Netherlands. Copies sold through my own network of friends, acquaintances en students following my lectures are not counted here. The work was certainly not in vain.
In the meantime I am steadily working on the English version to which a new chapter on consilience is being added. This is going to be the introduction to that chapter:
“In science and history, consilience (also convergence of evidence or concordance of evidence) is 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. Most established scientific knowledge is supported by a convergence of evidence: if not, the evidence is comparatively weak, and there will not likely be a strong scientific consensus. “
book, starting with the scientific revolutions of de 17th century
and, following the threads of its developing history until today, we have
arrived at a perhaps baffling and remarkable result, hard science – physics –
today is not in conflict with the
idea of the existence of an of the body independent consciousness, also called
the survival hypothesis. On the contrary, it supports it.
However, should this idea only surface after studying quantum physics and nowhere else in the science domain, this support would be as whacky as a table supported by only one leg. Therefore, the question is, is survival supported by published scientific research in other domains? Indeed, it is. Some of this research was already mentioned in preceding chapters. It is time now to pay a little bit more attention to all published and reviewed evidential material concerning consciousness being independent of the material body.
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.
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.
The translation of my book ‘Quantum Physics, Information and Consciousness’ is a long term project. However, the preview version – epub format – is free downloadable. You’ll find the first four and the last chapter fully translated and all the other chapters have a summary at the end. Click here for more information.
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,
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:
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?