I have long been intrigued by the way in which quantum physics (well the Copenhagen School anyway) suggests that all matter exists in a state of superposition until an act of “observation” (BIG debate as to what that means) “collapses the wave function” into a point particle. This suggests that consciousness, or the intentionality of a conscious “observer” creates the phenomenal world. Now what is weird about this, and I am sure I am not the first person to spot this, is how the quantum physicists themselves seemed to “create” quantum mechanics and quantum particles by simply thinking about them.
For example in 1900 Max Planck applied his idea of quanta as a solution for the “ultraviolet catastrophe” simply because it was a last act of desperation. His concept of “quantised energy” and his arbitrary number involving a handful assumptions, now known as the “Planck Constant”, (h = 6.62606957 Ã— 10-34 m2 kg / s). This constant was “created” in the mind of Planck and was subsequently discovered in the phenomenal world …. not only that but “h” was found to work with many other areas of quantum and cosmological research. Thus the quantum revolution began.
From then on it has been a series of hypothetical models, some of which were pure thought experiments in the minds of the “inventors” that became actual. For example Hideki Yukawa’s hypothetical particle the “meson” (now known as the pion) which was subsequently discovered and, even more weird, Murray Gell-Mann’s semi-serious “quark” model that fitted what the theory needed but, at the time, seemed crazy.
Indeed Gell-Mann himself stated many times in lectures that in his opinion quark theory was a good hypothetical model but that it was highly unlikely that quarks actually existed. Then they were discovered in exactly the way Gell-Mann suggested. This process of a human consciousness envisaging a particle only for it to subsequently be discovered happened time and time again …indeed it happened so often that the unexpected discovery of the mysterious muon had researcher Isaac Rabi exclaiming “who ordered that?”
Of course it could just be that the guys in the world of theoretical quantum physics are so good that they were able to consistently anticipate the discoveries of the ever-increasing “species” found in the “particle zoo” …. or maybe it is evidence of Eugene Wigner’s “observer-created universe in action.
Of course, the classic “thought experiment” of Einstein Rosen and Podolsky, known as the EPR Paradox, was created to show just how crazy the observer-based implications of Bohr’s “Copenhagen Interpretation” were. However in one of the most amazing scientific discoveries of all time (in my humble opinion) John Bell theoretically proved Einstein and his associates to be totally wrong and that their tongue-in-cheek hypothetical situation was real …. and in 1981 Alain Aspect created a real-world experiment that proved Bell to be right …. and our understanding of the workings of the universe changed forever: particles could be “entangled” and “spooky action at a distance” was real.
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