How Quantum Mechanics Screws with our Perception of Reality Quantum Mechanics and Reality, by Thomas J McFarlane © Thomas J. McFarlane 1995www.integralscience.org Most traditional [spiritual] paths were developed in prescientific cultures. The primary purpose of this essay is to explain how quantum mechanics shows that the materialistic common sense notion of reality is an illusion, i.e., that the objective existence of the world is an illusion. The appearance of an objective world distinguishable from a subjective self is but the imaginary form in which Consciousness Perfectly Realizes Itself. Now listen to Niels Bohr, the pioneer of 20th century physics: An independent reality, in the ordinary physical sense, can neither be ascribed to the phenomena nor to the agencies of observation.  Consider the words of Shankara, the famous Hindu philosopher: All things -- from Brahma the creator down to a single blade of grass -- are. . .simply appearances and not real.  Compare with Werner Heisenberg, the inventor of quantum mechanics: To quote Bohr and Heisenberg once more,
Quantum physics says goodbye to reality Some physicists are uncomfortable with the idea that all individual quantum events are innately random. This is why many have proposed more complete theories, which suggest that events are at least partially governed by extra "hidden variables". Now physicists from Austria claim to have performed an experiment that rules out a broad class of hidden-variables theories that focus on realism -- giving the uneasy consequence that reality does not exist when we are not observing it (Nature 446 871). Some 40 years ago the physicist John Bell predicted that many hidden-variables theories would be ruled out if a certain experimental inequality were violated – known as "Bell's inequality". In his thought experiment, a source fires entangled pairs of linearly-polarized photons in opposite directions towards two polarizers, which can be changed in orientation. Bell's trick, therefore, was to decide how to orient the polarizers only after the photons have left the source.
The Search For The History Of The Universe's Light Emission The light emitted from all objects in the Universe during its entire history - stars, galaxies, quasars etc. forms a diffuse sea of photons that permeates intergalactic space, referred to as "diffuse extragalactic background light" (EBL). Scientists have long tried to measure this fossil record of the luminous activity in the Universe in their quest to decipher the history and evolution of the Cosmos, but its direct determination from the diffuse glow of the night sky is very difficult and uncertain. Very high energy (VHE) gamma-rays, some 100,000,000,000 times more energetic than normal light, offer an alternative way to probe this background light, and UK researchers from Durham University in collaboration with international partners used the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) gamma-ray telescopes in the Khomas Highlands of Namibia to observe several quasars (the most luminous VHE gamma-ray sources known) with this goal in mind. Source: PPARC
Dark Matter: The Larger Invisible Universe | Joe Arrigo PERSPECTIVE Normal matter—you, me, oatmeal, mountains, oceans, moons, planets, galaxies—make up about twenty-percent of the universe; the other eighty-percent is dark matter—star-stuff we cannot see or detect…yet. Why are scientists so certain this enigmatic matter exists? Because the evidence permeates the universe, first observed by Fritz Zwicky, when he measured the motions of galaxies and calculated that there wasn’t enough visible matter to affect galaxies to extent they were being pulled around.WWWFirst, there isn’t enough gravitational force within galaxies to bind and hold them in their current formation; then there is an invisible element that keeps them rotating faster than scientists would expect, clusters of galaxies bend and distort light more than they should, and supercomputer simulations exhibit that clouds of ordinary matter in the early universe did not have enough gravity to create the tight formations of galaxies we now see.
Alice in Quantumland: A Charming Illustrated Allegory of Quantum Mechanics by a CERN Physicist by Maria Popova Down the rabbit hole of antimatter, or how to believe six impossible things about gender stereotypes before breakfast. As a lover of science and of all things Alice in Wonderland, imagine my delight at discovering Alice in Quantumland: An Allegory of Quantum Physics (public library) — an imaginative and unusual 1995 quantum primer by particle physicist Robert Gilmore, who has under his belt experience at Stanford and CERN. Besides the clever concept, two things make the book especially remarkable: It flies in the face of gender stereotypes with a female protagonist who sets out to make sense of some of the most intense science of all time, and it features Gilmore’s own magnificent illustrations for a perfect intersection of art and science, true to recent research indicating that history’s most successful scientists also dabbled in the arts. Gilmore writes in the preface: In the first half of the twentieth century, our understanding in the Universe was turned upside down.
The Theory of Everything | Joe Arrigo PERSPECTIVE The above equation was written by Dr. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist, who graduated first in his physics class at Harvard, and, when he was in high school built a 2.3 million electron volt atom-smasher in his parents garage. It is an equation for String Field Theory—a theory that may unite The Theory of Relativity with Quantum Theory, into a unified theory called The Theory of Everything. Theoretical physicists are those scientists who work in that twilight zone cutting edge realm between reality and science fiction. For thirty years Einstein sought a unified theory of physics that would integrate all the forces of nature into a single beautiful tapestry. Even he failed. String Theory says that at the subatomic level, there are vibrating strings—that particles like protons, electrons and quarks are nothing but musical notes on a tiny vibrating string, that all the stupendous activities in the universe are born from a sub-atomic loop of energy deep within all matter. © Joe Arrigo
In a "Rainbow" Universe Time May Have No Beginning What if the universe had no beginning, and time stretched back infinitely without a big bang to start things off? That's one possible consequence of an idea called "rainbow gravity," so-named because it posits that gravity's effects on spacetime are felt differently by different wavelengths of light, aka different colors in the rainbow. Rainbow gravity was first proposed 10 years ago as a possible step toward repairing the rifts between the theories of general relativity (covering the very big) and quantum mechanics (concerning the realm of the very small). The idea is not a complete theory for describing quantum effects on gravity, and is not widely accepted. Nevertheless, physicists have now applied the concept to the question of how the universe began, and found that if rainbow gravity is correct, spacetime may have a drastically different origin story than the widely accepted picture of the big bang. Yet the concept has its critics.
Golden Ratio Discovered in the Quantum World | Science By Rakefet TavorEpoch Times Staff Created: January 19, 2010 Last Updated: June 17, 2012 PICTURING THE GOLDEN RATIO: Scientists fired neutrons at cobalt niobate particles, finding resonant notes with the golden ratio. (Tennant/HZB) The “golden ratio,” which is equal to approximately 1.618, can be found in various aspects of our life, including biology, architecture, and the arts. But only recently was it discovered that this special ratio is also reflected in nanoscale, thanks to researchers from the U.K.’s Oxford University, University of Bristol, and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and Germany’s Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for Materials and Energy (HZB). Their research, published in the journal Science on Jan. 8, examined chains of linked magnetic cobalt niobate (CoNb2O6) particles only one particle wide to investigate the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Neutrons were fired at the cobalt niobate particles to detect the resonant notes. Dr.
Four things you might not know about dark matter Not long after physicists on experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN laboratory discovered the Higgs boson, CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer was asked, “What’s next?” One of the top priorities he named: figuring out dark matter. Dark matter is five times more prevalent than ordinary matter. Dark matter shows up periodically in the media, often when an experiment has spotted a potential sign of it. Here are four facts to get you up to speed on one of the most exciting topics in particle physics: 1. Illustration by: Sandbox Studio, Chicago At this moment, several experiments are on the hunt for dark matter. In the 1930s, astrophysicist Fritz Zwicky was observing the rotations of the galaxies that form the Coma cluster, a group of more than 1000 galaxies located more than 300 million light years from Earth. The idea of dark matter was largely ignored until the 1970s, when astronomer Vera Rubin saw something that gave her the same thought. 2. 3. 4.