By: April Carson
Quantum mechanics perplexes physicists because, as far as measurements are concerned, subatomic particles don't appear to "choose" a state until an observer measures them. By doing so, an array of indistinct possibilities turn into one concrete outcome. Although the mathematics behind quantum mechanics offers rules on how this happens, those equations remain unable to explain in practical terms what we can derive from it all.
It is proposed that consciousness, our understanding of ourselves, and the effect we have on our environment, play an essential part in this measurement. It is through our perception of the universe that it progresses from a mere idea to something tangible. Therefore, consciousness may be able to answer the questions posed by quantum mechanics.
The question that remains is how it can be tested and proven scientifically. Numerous theories are attempting to explain this phenomenon, but none have been concretely accepted by the scientific community yet.
Quantum mechanics is the guiding principle that reigns over all subatomic particles, which make up our universe. This science of understanding reveals to us an intrinsic non-deterministic world where even scientists with their best experiments and most accurate initial conditions cannot anticipate exact outcomes. This is where the concept of consciousness has been presented as a possible factor influencing the behavior and outcomes of these systems.
Fortunately, indeterminism is only present in the realm of subatomic particles; regular-sized objects and phenomena are subject to deterministic laws. This has allowed scientists to study the effects of consciousness on quantum systems. Experiments have been conducted in which a conscious observer was able to influence the behavior of a photon, to demonstrate its wave-like properties.
Unpredictability is given when physicists conduct experiments involving quantum systems. Take, for example, the endeavor of measuring an electron's energy levels in an atom; instead of being able to expect a definitive outcome, we must rely on the probabilities indicated by equations in quantum mechanics. After scientists experiment, the universe regains its determinism; that is to say, if they are aware of the energy level of a specific electron, then they can predict precisely how it will behave since its "wavefunction" shrinks and the particle settles for an exact energy level.
This has been the prevailing notion of quantum mechanics for decades. But with the emergence of the field of quantum consciousness, there may be more to consider when it comes to understanding why this unpredictability occurs.
This peculiar shift from indeterminism to determinism is unprecedented, and there isn't a single other theoretical physics that shares the same concept. But the idea that consciousness can be used to explain quantum mechanics has been gaining traction in recent years, as renowned physicists have proposed theories on how conscious states of being could be linked with quantum events.
The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics recommends that people dismiss all potential interpretations and simply focus on the outcomes. From this outlook, the subatomic realm is beyond comprehension and individuals should not aim to form a clear image of what's occurring. Instead, scientists can be thankful they can use equations from quantum mechanics to forecast results accurately.
Many people, however, find this unsatisfying. The process of measurement in quantum theory appears to be truly extraordinary when compared with any other type of interaction. This unique quality becomes especially evident as you compare it against the rest.
At first glance, the power of consciousness in quantum mechanics seems to be a far-fetched possibility. However, when we look closer at what's happening during measurement, it is impossible to ignore that the conscious mind could play a role in determining outcomes.
For example, in an isolated cloud of gas located deep within the boundless reaches of space, no one is present to witness it. Should two atoms collide inside that gas cloud, however, then quantum mechanics would follow suit and govern this particular interaction. On the contrary, there is no "measurement" or result in that can be detected due to the immense number of random interactions occurring daily and invisible to us. As such, quantum mechanics informs us that this interaction stays uncertain.
However, if a conscious observer were present to measure the outcome of this collision, then quantum mechanics would suggest that the result becomes suddenly predetermined.
By observing and recording the results when two atoms collide, researchers in a laboratory setting can determine which rules of quantum mechanics apply. This action of measuring flips indeterminism to become deterministic; thereby allowing scientists to map out a concrete outcome from the experiment.
Quantum mechanics dictates that interactions between subatomic particles don't have a predetermined outcome because of the nature of subatomic processes. This means every step in measurement relies on unpredictable reactions involving these same particles, making it impossible to escape from this indeterminate reality. However, some argue that the power of consciousness can intervene and influence these unpredictable interactions to manifest specific outcomes.
Humans place a great degree of significance on consciousness, as we are the only living beings known to possess it. Consequently, some interpretations suggest that measurement is merely the collective effect of conscious agents intervening in mundane subatomic interactions. It follows then, that our unique awareness could be potentially unrivaled anywhere else in the universe.
This perspective necessitates that consciousness is distinct from all the other physical phenomena in existence. Otherwise, scientists might contend (and indeed do) maintain that our awareness can be reduced to a combination of subatomic interplays.
Regardless of one's stance, the implications of such speculation are far-reaching. If consciousness is indeed a fundamental feature of the universe, it could potentially explain quantum phenomena that have hitherto seemed beyond our grasp.
Spanning centuries of philosophical and theological discourse, the idea that consciousness is distinct from the material universe has become a well-established concept. But the leap from this to its potential utilization in the explanation of quantum mechanics is a more recent phenomenon.
Some seminal ideas presented by renowned physicists, such as John Wheeler and Henry Stapp, agitate for consciousness's incorporation into our understanding of the universe at large.
4BIDDEN Consciousness Awards July 30th By Billy Carson
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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