I’m writing this post because I keep coming across things we seem to completely ignore just because we can’t understand them. But these things prove that the world isn’t what we think it is, and they fascinate me.
The “double-slit experiment” and weird quantum physics
When I was reading Dean Radin’s book, Supernormal, he reminded me of the quantum physics experiment called the “double-slit experiment”. I’d learnt about this at university, but I’d conveniently forgotten about its significance, just like almost everyone else. It was good to be reminded about it. The concept of this experiment can be really hard to explain and describe, but I’ve found this short video that does just about the best job I’ve seen of describing its significance. Please take 5 minutes to look that this video.
Now, that should be shocking. Light and electrons sometimes act like particles and sometimes act like waves. It seems like when they are near the dual-slits they act like waves but elsewhere act like particles. Then, even weirder, if somebody tries to look at the particles/waves (observe them) they act as particles all the time. Just by observing them changes the way they act! It doesn’t make any sense and should really blow our minds.
These results pretty much prove to us that we’ve really got no idea how this world works. We can’t explain this, so how can we really explain anything?
A few quotes from eminent scientists
Here are a few quotes that show how these results from quantum physics experiments have blown the minds of some of the worlds top scientists.
The atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.
– Werner Heisenberg
Anyone not shocked by quantum mechanics has not yet understood it.
– Niels Bohr
Observations not only disturb what is to be measured, they produce it.
– Pascual Jordan
Nobody understands quantum mechanics.
– Richard Feynman
I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.
– Max Planck
The weirdness gets worse
But now it gets even weirder. In Supernormal, Dean Radin describes another experiment that he conducted where he sealed the double-slit apparatus in a “double-steel walled, electromagnetically shielded, optically sealed room, which in turn rested on a vibration isolation mat on a ground-floor concrete floor”. Then he got people to sit outside this room and just try and observe the light or particles using only their “mind’s eye” or clairvoyance. So they are only observing the experiment with their mind. For a group of people experienced with meditation, he achieved a positive result that had only 1 chance in 107,000 of being a fluke. That’s just amazing.
And even more weird
In a further experiment, Dean Radin’s team recorded 50 sessions of double-slit experiments in a sealed room with nobody observing. The results were recorded using a camera only. An inanimate object like a camera does not count as an “observer” and has no effect on the experiment. Nobody viewed the recordings made by the camera, so there was no “observation” of these experiments.
Three months later, they began to look at the results recorded by the camera. They played back 22 of the results just normally as a control group. But for the rest, they tricked people into thinking they were watching the results of a live experiment and asked them to focus their mind on the apparatus and try and affect the results using their mind power only. This was the first time the results were being viewed, so this was the act of “observation”. The people who were experienced with meditation created a positive effect that had only 1 chance in 175 of being a fluke. Double wow!
This shows that “time” is not so important in quantum physics. The important thing is the act of observation and it doesn’t really matter when the observation is performed. This type of thing is well known in physics these days (probably not well understood) and another good example is the delayed-choice experiment.
At the end of this section in his book, Dean Radin wrote the following;
To emphasize, this suggests that the observational effect is not limited to working in real time; it also works in what, from a conventional point of view, would appear to be backward in time. Based on the experimental evidence reviewed in earlier chapters, by now you should be used to the idea that the mind has access to information from “outside” the usual boundaries of space and time. This implies that either the mind can reach through space and time, or – and I’m guessing that this is more likely – the mind is not in ordinary space-time in the first place.
That sounds deep and crazy but, based on the evidence, it’s hard to argue.
How can we say what’s crazy?
It’s very easy for somebody to suggest something that sounds a little unusual and for other people to instantly say “that’s crazy”, “that makes no sense” or “there’s no proof for that and it can’t be”. Well how about this. If anyone can explain what’s going on behind the double-slit experiment (just as one example) and the results we’ve seen above, then I might accept that they know what’s crazy and what isn’t. If not, I’d like to consider every possibility.
The world is definitely a weirder place than we’d like to believe.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these topics. Please leave a comment. I’d love to learn more from you.
Related Links and Posts
- A reasonably simple explanation of the delayed-choice experiment – http://www.bottomlayer.com/bottom/basic_delayed_choice.htm
- Supernormal : Science, Yoga, and the evidence for extraordinary psychic abilities