Quantum physics and paranormal phenomenaBy Jaime Licauco
Philippine Daily Inquirer
In last week’s column, I discussed the inadequacy of conventional science in explaining various paranormal phenomena. Dismissing these as mere anomalies of nature or plain trickery does not really help explain how or why they occur.
Because conventional science cannot explain these nonphysical phenomena, we need to develop a new science—the science of the impossible. And I said that quantum physics, or quantum mechanics, seems to come the closest to explaining such phenomena.
But what is quantum physics, also known as particle physics and quantum mechanics? From a layman’s standpoint, it is the branch of physics that deals with the smallest particles of matter, i.e. subatomic particles.
Quantum physics tries to discover the smallest particle of matter beyond which you cannot go any further.
The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus called the smallest particle of matter “atom,” which means “indivisible.” Beyond the atom there’s nothing else.
Then modern physics found that the atom was not the smallest particle of matter, that it is not indivisible. Atoms are composed of still smaller particles called electrons, protons and neutrons. When Einstein came along and proposed that atoms hold within them tremendous amounts of energy, he paved the way for the development of the atomic bomb, which destroyed thousands of lives at Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. Einstein was reported to have regretted his discovery.
When modern physicists started studying the smallest particles of matter, they found that energy was not continuous but discrete. That’s what has since been known as the quantum level, beyond which one cannot go any further.
However, modern physicists discovered to their amazement that these smallest particles of matter do not obey the universally accepted laws of classical physics postulated by Sir Isaac Newton. They are following laws completely in defiance of Newtonian laws.
For example, in classical physics, the universe is seen to be deterministic and predictable. There are no surprises because “God,” according to them, “does not play dice with the universe.” So, cause always precedes effects, the speed and location of particles are definite and measurable, object and subject are separated and independent from each other, etc.
Quantum physicists, on the other hand, discovered that at the quantum level, cause may occur at the same time as its effect, that one cannot predict both the velocity and position of a particle at a given time, and that subject and object are not really separate and distinct from each other. They found, for example, that an object changes as it is observed. A particle, like photon, can behave both as a particle or a wave depending on the observer.
What are some other shocking discoveries or theories of quantum physics which may explain paranormal phenomena?
1. The Wave Property Theory, which says that “a quantum object (for example, an electron) can be at more than one place at the same time.” This somehow explains how bilocation (i.e. being in two places at the same time) can take place.
2. The Collapse of the Wave Theory states that “a quantum object cannot be said to manifest in ordinary space-time reality until we observe it as a particle.” This explains to me how materialization is possible. Once we visualize or mentally form any image of an object, it can manifest physically.
3. The Quantum Jump Theory states that “a quantum object ceases to exist here and simultaneously appears over there.” This explains to me how teleportation takes place. In teleportation, a person or object can disappear in one place and simultaneously appear in another. There are documented accounts of this phenomena.
4. The Quantum-Action-at-Distance Theory states that “manifestation of one quantum object, caused by our observation, simultaneously influences its correlated twin object, no matter how far apart they are.” This explains to me telekinesis, or mind over matter, the power to affect or move an object without physical force.
In one single sweep, the world of Newtonian physics seemed to collapse. Physicists no longer understood what laws govern the behavior and characteristics of particles. What’s worse was that when they started smashing or dividing these particles into still smaller units, they found nothing there. In other words, what we consider to be solid matter is made up of nothing but empty space.
And that’s why the great Danish physicist Niels Bohr remarked that, “Everything we call real is made up of things that cannot be regarded as real.”
Some quantum physicists began sounding more like mystics rather than scientists. For example, Arthur Stanley Eddington said the universe is “beginning to look more like a great thought than like a big machine.” And Sir James Jeanes, another physicist, agreed when he said, “The stuff of the universe is mind stuff.”
Heretical words, indeed! Suddenly, the once predictable world of Newtonian physics has become as unpredictable as the weather. Suddenly, nothing makes sense anymore.
That’s probably why Niels Bohr said, “If quantum physics has not profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.”
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