Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Quantum Theory & Love

Two relevant legs of the quantum theory are the "superposition of states" and "quantum knowing". The theory of superposition says that atoms are in many possible states simultaneously. They searching among the various alternative energy states (an effect Michael Conrad called "quantum scanning"), and they don't "choose" a state until they collide with matter or are observed.  The famous argument in support of this is provided by the double-slit experiment, in which a low-intensity beam of photons is projected onto a wall punctured with two vertical slits.  Behind the wall is a screen. Because the intensity is low and the photon stream is "dilute", each photon should pass through one slit or the other. Instead, the patterns on the screen suggest that each photon passes through both slits at once. The bizarre but oft-replicated experiment seems to suggest that a photon can be in two places simultaneously.
Quantum theory says the photon is not just in those two places, but in many others as well. Scientist decided the best way to talk about a photon's location would be to imagine a three-dimensional graph of all possible states. This is called the state space, and the "wave function" is a way of characterising all the possible states that the photon may be in. Amazingly, when a particle comes into contact with matter—the molecules on the screen in the famous two-slit experiment, for instance—the wave function "collapses" to a single point, and the photon is forced to choose a single state to be in. When we observe something, we don't see all its possible states—we see only one. We force it to be in only one state through the act of seeing or measuring it.
The idea of quantum knowing states that movements of atoms, electrons, or other quantum particles may, under certain instances, be synchronises at great distances. As Hameroff writes, "The greatest surprised to emerge from quantum theory is quantum inseparability or nonlocality which implies that all objects that have once interacted are in some sense still connected! Erwin Schrödinger, one of the inventors of quantum mechanics, observed in 1935 that when two quantum systems interact, their wave functions become 'phase entangled.' Consequently, when one system's wave function is collapsed, the other system's wave function, no matter how far away, instantly collapsed too."
Biomimicry, Invention Inspired by Nature

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