Consciousness explained by today's physics

Quantum Consciousness

Quantum weirdness

Since 1920 scientists have known that subatomic particles present in our part of the universe, may in the very next moment appear in another far distant part of the universe, and in between the two locations they seems to flip out of existence. This was the birth of the quantum theory.

Particles through two slits

To further explore the weirdness of quantum mechanics let us firing particles larger than atoms, for example, tomatoes through two slits. We will see two distinct bands appear on the screen, which agree well with our expectation of the experimental outcome.

Subatomic particles through two slits

If we changed from firing particles larger than atoms to particles smaller than atoms, like electrons, through the two slits. We will see a large amount of bands appear on the screen, which I assume is a very different outcome than the one you expected it to be.

Waves of water through two slits

Scientists found that the behavior of electrons agreed with the pattern observed when waves of water were passed through the slits. The two slits will divide the wave into two waves which interferes with each other on their way to the screen creating a pattern of multiple bands.

Interpretation of the two slits experiments

An interpretation of the finding would be that an electron leaves as a single particle, divide itself into two, passing through both slits and interferes with itself to produce an interference pattern on the screen.

An observer

Scientists tried to further explore the phenomenon by observing the electron to see which slit it actually went through. But the quantum world is far more mysterious than they could imagine. When electrons were observed they behaved like single particles, producing two bands on the screen instead of the expected interference pattern.

Wave/particle duality

The conclusion is that an electron exists only as a wave of potentials and in the view of an observer it collapses into a particle with a defined location.
The question is, can we really say that everything around us just appear in front of our eyes as a result of us observing it.

In the eye of the beholder

Take for example a red stone on a beach. It is not likely that it will disappear if we look away for a moment. Although, the probability is high that some of the many billions of subatomic particles that form the stone will move to another part of the universe the moment we look away, the probability is still that the majority of the subatomic particles will remain in the same position.

Newtonian laws

The problem is that Newtonian laws cannot explain the wave of potentials inherited in subatomic particles because the law is just an approximation of the reality, assuming that everything in the universe is predefined by strict laws and can be predicted by equations.

The many worlds theory

In an attempt to explain the wave of potentials “the many worlds theory” was born. Which proclaims that the very act of observing do not collapse the wave-function into particles. Instead, it says that every conscious observation, or decision, will divide the world into an infinite number of worlds with different outcomes within the probability of the wave-function.

Multiple outcomes

The theory is breathtaking because the conclusion would be that in one world... Michael Jackson is still alive... and in one world, you... where never born...

The conscious mind theory

Another explanation to the collapse of the wave-function is “the conscious mind theory”. Where the collapse of the wave into a particle is a direct result of a conscious observation, or decision, and will only result in a single outcome for the universe.

Conscious mind governed by other physical laws

However, the theory assume a conscious mind that is governed by other physical laws than those present in the immediate surroundings in our universe. Otherwise the wave-function in the previous experiment would have collapsed without the influence of an observer.

The string theory

In the second part, I will provide you with a possible explanation to a conscious mind based on the leading theory among today's scientists regarding the origin and the fabric of cosmos, called “the string theory”.

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Copyright 2009, Dr. Jorgen Magner