New Version 1.2
still under construction May, 1996
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The Heisenberg-Bohr tranquilizing philosophy--or religion?
--is so delicately contrived that, for the time being,
it provides a gentle pillow for the true believer
from which he cannot very easily be aroused.
So let him lie there.
Albert Einstein
NEW FEATURE, Feb 1996
See Jack Sarfatti right now on digital TV on the World Wide Web if you have
Netscape 2.0 on Win 95 or NT. Get the vdolive and Amber plug ins and then get
the VDO Lecture and the Amber versions. You can also see the .pdf Amber
version with any form of Acrobat Reader.
The Quantum and Beyond
by Jack Sarfatti
Images by Christine Athena
New Feature 2/96
Sarfatti
Commentaries
on the Tucson II
Conference on
Physics and
Consciousness
The Blackhole and the Brain
(title copyrighted) Jack Sarfatti's reply to Murray Gell-Mann's
The Quark and the Jaguar
"You can fly faster-than-light
if you want to.
High as a kite, if you want to.
Speeding through the universe.
Thinking is the best way to
travel."
Moody Blues
"We are such dreams as stuff is made from."
Anonymous on the Copenhagen Interpretation in a variation on Shakespeare.
The mathematics of quantum mechanics today
explains the measurable behavior of non-living matter from the tiny subnuclear
scale
all the way up to the scale of rotating neutron stars.
Classical physics pictures matter as made from tiny point-like elementary particles,
or sources, and their fundamental force fields which are spread out all over
space and changing in time. In my point of view, quantum mechanics adds
elemental mind to classical matter in the form of wave functions for the
elementary particles and their fundamental force fields. The mental wave
functions act on their individual particles causing them to deviate from the
classical motion determined by force fields that act on them. Classical force fields
also have their own kind of quantum wave functionals which act on them. The
two together form a new structure called the quantum field
The quantum measurement problem refers to the Copenhagen interpretation of
Niels Bohr, Heisenberg, von Neumann and others. It is the accepted interpretation
of the meaning of quantum mechanics. It asserts that the quantum wave function
is a complete description of physical reality at the fundamental individual event
level. There are no classical-like source particles with definite paths in spacetime
in the Copenhagen interpretation. Similarly, there are no local classical force
fields there as well. The classical particles and fields somehow emerge in the
"classical limit" when Planck's constant hbar is small compared to the dynamical
actions of the observed system. This interpretation leads to a puzzling
faster-than-light collapse of the spread out wave function in a measurement.
David Bohm, under Einstein's influence, realized that Bohr and company threw the
baby out with the bath water. For more details of Bohm's interpretation of
quantum mechanics click here.
Above we have a computer simulation of the actual paths of massive particles in
a double slit interference experiment. Such a picture is not even thinkable in the
Smoky Dragon picture of the Copenhagen interpretation. Notice that in every
individual case a particle only goes through one slit and it never crosses the plane
midway between the slits. Each particle is guided into a wave pattern by a
physical quantum potential shown in the next picture below as seen from the
screen where the fringes are. The nonlocal (i.e. "organic" or "wholistic" or
"context-dependent") quantum potential only depends on the shape or form of
the wave function not on its magnitude. The negative spatial gradient of the
quantum potential is the quantum force on the particle. The quantum force is very
different from classical forces like the Lorentz force on a charged particle. The
quantum force can be large even when the wave function is very small. This is
why quantum effects can be large over long distances. It is not true that quantum
effects are only big for tiny atoms. This is the problem of how the classical world
emerges from the quantum world. It is more subtle than discussions based on the
Copenhagen interpretation permit. Several generations of physicists have been
mesmerized by an incomplete picture of quantum reality. Einstein was right after
all and Bohr was wrong.
Relativistic source (fermion) and force (boson) quantum fields create
and destroy particles called quanta. The force quanta are emitted and absorbed
by the elementary source particles which carry the charges of the force fields.
The electromagnetic force field is not charged, but the weak and strong forces
fields are. There are three "flavor" types of charges for the weak field and eight
"color" types of charges for the strong field. There is only one type of
electromagnetic charge.
For example, the unified classical electromagnetic field of microwaves, radio,
infrared, light, x rays and gamma rays, together with its quantum wave functional,
forms the quantum electrodynamic force field part of quantum electrodynamics
(QED). The quanta of the QED force field are called photons. The classical
distinction between particles and fields gets blurred at the quantum level.
Basically, all forms of matter, whether sources or forces, are quantum fields that
create and destroy particle-like quanta. So, for example, the quanta of the QED
source field are electrons and their antiparticles.
The quanta come in two forms called real and virtual. Real quanta
can be detected directly and obey the mass shell equation that connects their
energy and momentum in terms of their frame-invariant proper mass. Classical
electromagnetic radiation is made out of real photons. Virtual quanta can only be
detected indirectly and they do not obey the mass shell equation. This means that
virtual quanta can travel faster than the speed of classical light radiation. For
example, a virtual photon can be spacelike outside the classical light cone.
Indeed, the near field, e.g., Coulomb field of electrostatics, is made mostly from
virtual spacelike photons of longitudinal and timelike polarizations. These
faster-than-light (FTL) virtual quanta cannot be used to send signals because they
cannot be directly detected over long distances. Real quanta obey the
Heisenberg uncertainty principle which says that the uncertainty in an energy
(momentum) measurement must be larger than Planck's constant divided by the
uncertainty in a simultaneous time (position) measurement. In contrast, the total
energy (momentum) of a virtual quantum must be smaller than Planck's constant
divided by its lifetime (size) as a fluctuation out of the vacuum in which there are
no real quanta. Hoyle and Narlikar have an alternative point of view in which
there are no photons, real or virtual, and the future universe influence functional is
responsible for spontaneous emission and other vacuum fluctuation effects.
Collections of identical classical elementary particles, that share
the same entangled wavefunction, have special permutational quantum forces
that repel each other, even if they are not exchanging virtual quanta of their
fundamental classical forces. In contrast, collections of identical quanta of
classical force fields of spin 1 called bosons, that share the same wave function,
have permutational quantum forces that attract each other, even if they are not
exchanging virtual versions of themselves. This is shown by the image on the left of
the picture below for a system of two identical bosons in which possible paired
particle trajectories in Bohm's theory are plotted.
The image on the right shows the repulsive permutational quantum force
between the possible trajectories of two identical fermions of spin 1/2. In both
cases the particles are in external classical harmonic potential force fields with no
classical force coupling between them.
The quanta of the classical forces spin exactly twice as fast as do the
elementary particles that emit and absorb them. The elementary particles are
quarks and leptons. Their wave functions are called spinors because of their odd
properties under spatial rotation. The spinor wave function of a single elementary
particle is multiplied by -1 under a full circle rotation. For example, a neutron is
made out of three quarks, therefore it also has a spinor wave function. If a beam
of unentangled neutrons is passed through a crystal interferometer, their
individual wave functions are each split into two pieces along two separate paths
and are then recombined with two outputs fed into two detectors A and B. First
the experiment is done with the paths adjusted so that detector A has
constructive interference while detector B has destructive interference.
Therefore, detector B is silent. Now imagine a special magnetic coil placed in one
of the paths. It is designed in such a way that it rotates the magnetic moment of
the spinning neutron by a full circle of 360 degrees in the plane perpendicular to
the path. This means that the piece of the wave function on that path is multiplied
by a factor of -1 compared to what it was before the magnetic field was
switched on. The result is that detector A switches from constructive to
destructive interference and falls silent, while detector B does the opposite and
begins to "click".
A similar experiment can be done with photons using polarizers instead of
magnetic coils. In contrast, the photon wave function is not a spinor but a vector,
and, consequently, it does not get multiplied by a -1 under a full circle rotation.
Therefore, there is no spinor switching of the firing rates in detectors A and B for
photons in optical interferometers.
The new mental nonlocal quantum force is qualitatively different from the
classical material force fields. This "telepathic" quantum force does not weaken
as space and time separations increase.
Correlated quanta do not have to be identical, so that the permutational
quantum forces need not exist for them. Correlated quanta do not have local
wave functions of their own. They do have local reduced density matrices which
have a higher positive thermodynamic entropy than their common wave function
has. Indeed, if the correlated quanta share a single "pure" entangled wave
function, its thermodynamic entropy is zero. This implies that the nonlocal entropy
of correlation is negative. Therefore, the correlated quantum whole is greater
than the simple sum of its parts. Thus, the nonlocal quantum connection allows
new collective coherent emergent properties of higher levels of organization of
matter in which "more is different".
The telepathic quantum force not only depends upon where and
when all the particles are macroscopically detected, it also depends on a
mind-like informational pattern that exists in extra-dimensional Hilbert space
beyond the spacetime of Einstein's theory of relativity. Furthermore, the quantum
force does not care whether the separations between particles at their
macroscopic detections are spacelike. That is, the quantum force acts
faster-than-the speeding photon.
The above world picture arises out of the late David Bohm's "nonlocal hidden
variable" interpretation of quantum mechanics today. The hidden variables are
the positions of the actual tiny particles and the spread out configurations of the
actual classical force fields. The nonlocality is in the action of the objective
quantum force made out of the wavefunction on the "hidden" actual particles
and on the "hidden" actual classical force field configurations. This telepathic
force that is different from the fundamental classical forces, appears as a
quantum potential in the Hamilton-Jacobi form of Newton's second law of motion
for the particle, and as a "superpotential" in the corresponding form of the
classical field equations which are now highly nonlinear and nonlocal even in
charge-free regions of spacetime.
In contrast, the dominant "Copenhagen interpretation" assumes that there are no
hidden variables. There are only mental wave functions of coherently superposed
dreamy fixed possibilities of an "observable frame of reference". These fixed
possibilities called "eigenfunctions of the observable" describe alternative
classical situations that are mutually exclusive or "orthogonal". In simple language,
the possibilities contradict each other.
The fixed possibilities form the extra linearly independent basic dimensions of the
Hilbert space. The coherent linear superposition of these contradictory classical
possibilities is represented by a "point" that, for an isolated system, moves rigidly in
time on the surface of a unit hypersphere in this complex Hilbert space that exists
beyond spacetime. The rigid evolution of isolated systems is described by the
Schrodinger equation and its generalization to the relativistic Dirac equation for
the elementary particles. The linearity means that the different fixed possibilities do
not distort or impede each other. The rigidity consists in the invariance under
changes in perspective of the "right angles" between the fixed possibilities. A
mathematical change in perspective has an operational definition as a change in
the total experiment arrangement as defined by Bohr.
The superposition mysteriously squashes or "collapses" in a measurement (i.e.,
macroscopic detection) in which only one of the several fixed possibilities actually
happens. The non-rigid collapse process is fundamentally different in kind from the
rigid time evolution of the quantum system when it is not being observed. The
collapse squashes the full Hilbert space to a lower dimensional subspace with a
definite probability The sum of all the probabilities for a complete set of fixed
possibilities adds up to 1 (i.e. a certainty). This feature is conserved in time
between measurements under the rigid evolution for the isolated or closed
system.
The Copenhagen interpretation suggests a strange kind of action backwards in
time in the form of John Archibald Wheeler's delayed choice experiment.
There is no mysterious collapse in Bohm's theory because the hidden particle is
actually present in one of the fixed possibilities which is an objective pattern of
information. Correlations of the "empty" fixed possibilities with contradictory or
"orthogonal" possibilities of huge numbers of particles and fields forming the
environment make it extremely unlikely that the empty possibilities of the original
particle will be able to act on that particle again. If we can control the interaction
of our particle with the environment, we can, in principle, quantum erase the
would-be measurement.
Bell's theorem shows that there must be faster-than-light quantum influences if the
wave function describes individual quantum systems, and if there is
counterfactuality in which what might happen but doesn't, nevertheless, has a
definite observable influence on what does actually happen.
Eberhard's theorem shows that these precisely observable faster-than-light
influences (in the form of hindsight correlations) cannot be used for practical
communication if quantum mechanics today is a complete theory of physical
reality. Nevertheless, these spacelike correlations do have a practical application
in the technology of untappable public key cryptography which will be in
widespread use to secure commercial transactions on the world-wide-web of
the Internet.
Bohm's hidden variable interpretation reproduces all of the statistical predictions
of quantum mechanics today provided that we make the approximation that the
mental wave functions of the particles and fields acts directly on them, but, in
contrast, the particles and fields do not directly act back on their wave functions.
In other words, the mindlike wave functions of inanimate organizations of matter
are unmoved movers that move matter, but are not moved by matter. When we
go beyond this approximation we find our conscious selves.
More precisely, a direct action of matter back on mind destroys the rigid
conservation of probability in the time evolution between measurements. I
hypothesize that this, so-called, "nonunitary" violation of conservation of
probability current is the fundamental mechanism for the creative evolution or
"mutation" of cultural memes in living organizations of matter. Memes are the
fundamental patterns of social behavior, defined in sociobiology, that are also
subject to Darwinian selection pressures. A meme is like a gene at a higher level
of organization of matter.
There is another interpretation of quantum mechanics without hidden variables
which does not have telepathic faster-than-light nonlocal influences between
spacelike separated localized quanta that share the same entangled
wavefunction. This interpretation, with minor variations, is called "many worlds", or
"many minds", or "consistent histories", or "parallel universes", or "relative state". All
of these minor variations on the same theme deny counterfactuality in some way,
so that they can be local theories and still obey Bell's theorem. It is not necessary
to imagine that the material universe actually splits, only that the mental wave
functions do. There are no fundamental problems with energy conservation, for
example.
David Albert's quantum camera, that photographs "other worlds", has shown that
many-minds type interpretations, in the presence of self-measurement, allow the
observer to be directly aware of their parallel streams of consciousness in
contradiction to Everett's initial assertion to the contrary. The self- measuring
observer transcends the uncertainty principle in a limited way. The consequent
multiple interpenetrating realities interpretation is consistent with the experiences
of shamans, mystics and poets. It also explains the odd psychologies of "UFO
contactees" as described in several books by Jacques Vallee. The cultural
implications of this school of thought have been explored in great detail by Fred
Alan Wolf in his books, Parallel Universes and The Dreaming Universe.
The late Richard Feynman also had a fundamental interpretation of
quantum mechanics in terms of histories which naturally leads to the idea of
information propagating both forward and backwards in time. Quantum
interference appears in the form of loops in time over nonvanishing timelike slices
of spacetime.
Bohm's famous student, Israeli physicist Yakir Aharonov has an interpretation of
quantum mechanics that involves more than one wave function in which what
happens now is determined by both past and future causes. The coherence of
quantum states from different times permits Aharonov to conceptualize a very
unreliable quantum time machine in which time travel to the past to before the
machine is built, and to the future, to after it is destroyed, is possible, at least as a
thought experiment. This is qualitatively different from the, in principle, reliable
classical time travel through wormholes , built from exotic matter in which it makes
no sense to travel to a time that was before the wormhole was created.
Quantum time machines might be a model for a deep brain mechanism at the
quantum gravity level which would permit rare memories of "past lives" as direct
telepathic downloading of information reaching back in time and equally rare
precognitions as direct telepathic downloading forward in time back from the
future.
Recent studies of continuous measurements in open quantum systems and
complex adaptive systems that measure themselves are opening up new ways of
thinking that will take us beyond quantum mechanics today into a more magical,
but still scientific, view of the world making Star Trek real taking us not only to the
stars, but to the far future of the universe and back to as close to the Big Bang as
we dare to go. "Make it so."
Quantum Back Action
Does Consciousness Require a Violation of Orthodox Quantum
Mechanics?
(version 0.4)
March 22, 1996
Jack Sarfatti
jsarfatti@aol.com
The world, according to the late David Bohm, divides into objectively real, though
mathematically complex-valued, quantum waves and objectively real classical
particles and gauge fields. The classical particles and gauge fields always have
quantum waves attached to them. For a many-particle system, the quantum
wave function's domain is the systemÕs classical-mechanical configuration space
not physical space. This is in contrast to Copenhagen-type interpretations (i.e.,
Bohr, Heisenberg, von-Neumann, etc. -- all are a wee bit different) in which the
quantum wave is fundamental and the classical particle is not. Indeed, BohmÕs
actual particle position in physical space has been called the "hidden variable".
This is topsy-turvy since most practical measurements in quantum physics involve
localized "particle" flashes in a detector. The quantum wave patterns build up in
the statistics of the particle detections. It would be more appropriate to say that
the wave is the hidden variable.
We restrict this discussion to non-relativistic quantum mechanics. BohmÕs theory
appears to violate the Lorentz transformations of EinsteinÕs theory of special
relativity at the individual quantum particle level. However, Lorentz symmetry is
restored in the statistical quantum wave patterns. That is, there does appear to
be a preferred rest frame in which the new nonlocal quantum forces act
instantaneously. This fact is a bit ugly, but we must remember that there is a
preferred global frame of reference in the standard cosmological "big bang"
solution of EinsteinÕs general relativity field equations. The "co-moving Hubble flow"
provides a new kind of covariant aether in which the cosmic photons from the
big-bang are isotropic with a temperature that obeys the Planck blackbody
distribution. The isotropy establishes an absolute global "rest frame", and the
temperature establishes an absolute measure of global cosmic time from the big
bang. Bohm conjectures that the quantum force is instantaneous in this global
frame which suggests an interesting connection between a solution to classical
general relativity and low-energy quantum mechanics. Special relativity is a local
tangent space symmetry in general relativity. Therefore, the big bang Friedmann
solution is an example of the spontaneous broken symmetry familiar in solid-state
physics and in the standard model of elementary quark-lepton fermion sources
and gauge boson forces. On the other hand, if we look at quantum
electrodynamics we find the counter-intuitive surprising fact that the near field of
virtual longitudinal and timelike photons is also instantaneous in every Lorentz
frame of reference. This is because every Lorentz transformation between inertial
frames in relative uniform motion induces a compensating internal phase
symmetry or "gauge" transformation that re-adjusts the near field to be
instantaneous in every frame. Can we impose this feature on the
special-relativistic generalization of BohmÕs quantum force? This is a question for
further research.
The quantum force is the negative spatial gradient of a context-dependent
quantum potential that appears in the Hamilton-Jacobi equation for the particle
derived from the linear Schrodinger wave equation. The quantum forceÕs
context-dependence explains the wave-like guidance of the individual particle in
the famous double slit experiment which the late Richard Feynman called the
"central mystery of quantum mechanics". Context-dependence means that the
guiding quantum force only depends on the "form" of the quantum potential and
not its intensity or strength. This is because the quantum potential is the Laplacian
of the amplitude of the wave function divided by that same amplitude. Therefore,
multiplying the wave function by a constant does not change the quantum
potential. Bohm calls this quantum force "active information" in which a small
expenditure of energy is able to control a much larger expenditure of energy. This
feature is dramatically illustrated in the quantum Carnot engine operating
between a hot negative temperature and a cold positive temperature. The
quantum wave is a kind of information wave. This is the same idea that David
Chalmers calls for in his criteria for a post-modern physics of consciousness
although he does not appear to be aware of the relevance of Bohm's theory in
this context.
There is an actual point-like particle with a well defined position and momentum at
each moment. There is also an actual gauge force field configuration, but in this
discussion we only discuss the source particles. In fact the momentum of the
particle is context-dependent determined as the gradient of the phase of the
wavefunction at the actual position of the particle at every moment. This particle
passes through only one of the two slits, but its attached objective wave passes
through both slits. The recombination of the waves from both slits exerts a
quantum force on the particle whose effects exactly reproduce the observed
statistical coherent wave patterns for ensembles of particles whose initial
positions are postulated to obey the Born probability rule. The conservation of
probability current, derived from the linear Schrodinger equation along with the
Hamilton-Jacobi equation, then ensures that the Born probability rule holds for all
times. There is no conflict with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle since the
statistical deviations of position and momentum measurements obey that
principle. The actual particle trajectories are classically chaotic so that a small
change in an initial position generally will result in an unpredictable and
uncontrollable large change in trajectory over a short time. This, the simplest form
of BohmÕs theory, is deterministic but not predictable. Bohm and Vigier later
added a fundamental stochastic sub-quantal level which, according to
Nanopoulos, originates in the virtual blackholes and super-string states of the
quantum foam at the Planck scale of 10^-33 cm. In addition, the dependence of
the wave of several particles on position in higher dimensional configuration
space introduces the kind of "nonlocality" observed in the experiments testing
BellÕs locality inequality.
We now come to "back-action" which is the main idea of this paper . The origin of
this idea is NewtonÕs third law that for every action there is an equal and opposite
reaction. We now know that this is a consequence of translational symmetry in
physical space. Radiation resistance in Maxwell's electrodynamics is a kind of
back-action of the field on its source. Wheeler and Feynman showed how this
back-action is caused by advanced waves propagating backward in time from
the future absorption of the radiation. Retarded causality then depends on the
future final boundary condition of total absorption which is actually violated in the
same standard big bang solution of general relativity I mentioned earlier -- as
shown by Hoyle and Narlikar in the January 1995, Reviews of Modern Physics. It
can also be shown that quantum spontaneous emission of real radiation by virtual
zero point vacuum fluctuations can be explained as advanced wave effects
from the future that are classically associated with radiation resistance. Feynman
also used the term "back-action" to explain the generation of quantized vortices
in superfluid helium.
The late Eugene Wigner, amplifying on von-NeumannÕs "collapse" postulate in the
Copenhagen-like interpretations, suggested that "consciousness" is essential for
the completion of the quantum measurement. This entails a violation of the linear
Schrodinger equation.
Note that the Hartree-Fock mean-field approximation for the spectra of
many-electron atoms give an effective cubic nonlinear Schrodinger-like
equation. The Heitler-London theory of the simple chemical bond and the
Heisenberg model of ferromagnetism demand similar effective cubic
nonlinearities which show up, for example, in the exchange integral. The
exchange integral in the effective Lagrangian involves two electron densities or
four wave function factors.The equation of motion from the action principle
involves a functional derivative with respect to the wave function so the resultant
nonlinearity is cubic. Cubic nonlinearities also show up in the Landau-Ginzburg
equations for coherent macroscopic order parameters or giant effective
quantum wavefunctions in second order phase transitions including superfluids,
superconductors and lasers. The cubic nonlinearity is also found in the Higgs
mechanism for mass generation of particles in the spontaneous breakdown of
symmetry of the electro-weak force. The Goldstone modes from the symmetry
breakdown add a new polarization component to the massless gauge bosons
giving them rest mass. Fermion source particles can also acquire rest mass this
way. The symmetry breakdown is from a tachyon field that undergoes
Bose-Einstein condensation. The Goldstone modes are small subluminal quantized
vibrations in the vacuum expectation value of the tachyon field. These
nonlinearities in the Schrodinger equation which are generically induced in
mean-field approximations to many-particle effects are swept away by
second-quantizing the wavefunction so that it is now a creation and destruction
operator of elementary excitations of collective modes in non-relativistic solid
state physics. The second-quantized Schrodinger equation is now "linear" in the
Fock space whose base states consist of different precise numbers of
elementary excitations. Nevertheless, this is only a formal trick and the problems
of the first-quantized theory are still there. The creation of antimatter at high
energy has led to the idea that second-quantization is really more fundamental
for relativistic theories, however, Bohm's theory which does not use second
quantization may also be able to explain the creation and destruction of particles.
This is also a problem for further research. Indeed Feynman's path integral
formulation of relativistic quantum field theory does not use second-quantization
and Bohm's picture can readily be integrated into Feynman's. Indeed, Feynman's
theory is essentially an incomplete version of Bohm's without the actual
trajectories. Therefore, in Bohm's theory as in Feynman's the creation and
destruction of particle-antiparticle pairs at high energy correspond to actual
particles turning around and moving backward in time. Feynman imposes a
boundary condition which is a contour around the poles of the particle
propagator in the complex-energy plane such that particles move forward in
time with positive energy and backward in time with negative energy. This choice
ensures microcausality. We must be prepared for exotic matter in which this
boundary condition is violated. The exotic matter keeps star gate traversable
wormholes from collapsing and permits the Alcubierre warp drive. One can also
imagine new exotic processes in which the actual particles move in Hawking's
imaginary time and also temporarily transform into tachyons on spacelike paths.
These are all problems for further research. Note that the use of complex energy
planes in Feynman's theory also demands the use of complex time planes since
the two are related by a Fourier transform.
Wigner invoked the metaphor of NewtonÕs third law in the new context of the
mind-matter interaction. He said that matter affects mind, but there is no
corresponding reaction of mind on matter without the collapse of the quantum
wave function brought about by consciousness. As shown by John Archibald
Wheeler in his classic essay, "Law Without Law", this view leads to "delayed
choice" actions backward-in-time (BIT) because we did not exist in the early
universe and yet we observe light from the early universe. In effect, it is the future
that actualizes the past in the von-Neumann-Wignerean view of quantum reality.
Indeed, Roger Penrose and Henry Stapp have physics of consciousness theories
based on this approach.
To summarize, Wigner uses the metaphor of back-action to say that mind acts on
matter in the collapse of the wave function. Penrose and Stapp say that each
qualia-event or moment of awareness requires a collapse in the wavefunction of
the brain. It is assumed that there are mechanisms that preserve coherence over
a time of the order of one second. The wave function is shielded from ordinary
thermal fluctuations which would decohere it in times much shorter than one
second.
BohmÕs theory is very different from the von Neumann-Wigner theory. First off, I
identify "pre-mind" with the quantum wave attached to the relevant
many-particle system. This is a new postulate that the potential for psychological
"qualia" is a fundamental physical property of the universe in the sense defined by
David Chalmers in his December 1995, Scientific American article. If we grant this
postulate that the potential for qualia is as fundamental as charge or mass, and
that this potential is identical with the quantum waves of certain particles of
matter in biological and possibly other complex systems, then BohmÕs quantum
force immediately explains how mind moves matter. Furthermore, in BohmÕs
theory it is the quantum force that guides the particle into a given branch of the
wave function in a measurement situation. This simulates WignerÕs idea that
"consciousness" collapses the wavefunction. BohmÕs theory is one of "collapse
without collapse". Therefore, I have given a more detailed explanation of
WignerÕs idea in terms of a deeper idea due to a combination of BohmÕs and
ChalmersÕs views. We now have a new way of looking at the modern theories of
quantum consciousness of Penrose and Stapp.
To make more contact with the standard quantum mechanics, we now see why it
is that the guidance of the particle by the "mind-like" quantum force into a
particular "eigenfunction" of the "observable" is, under usual conditions,
unpredictable and uncontrollable. The latter two features are due to the fact that
the linear Schrodinger equation has zero back-action in the sense that I mean it.
Whereas WignerÕs idea of back-action was that of mind on matter, my idea is the
exact reverse. The Bohmian back-action is the direct action of particulate matter
on its attached guiding mind-like quantum wave whose support is in the
configuration space of classical mechanics, and whose range is in Hilbert space.
The result, however, is not incompatible with WignerÕs main idea and it, in fact,
explains it in a deeper more elegant way.
The absence of back-action in orthodox quantum mechanics is mentioned by
Bohm and Hiley in their book, The Undivided Universe.
"unlike what happens with MaxwellÕs equations for example, the
Schrodinger equation for the quantum field does not have sources,
nor does it have any other way by which the field could be directly
affected by the conditions of the particles. This of course
constitutes an important difference between quantum fields and
other fields that have thus far been used. As we shall see, however,
the quantum theory can be understood completely in terms of the
assumption that the quantum field has no sources or other forms of
dependence on the particles. We shall in chapter 14, section 14.6,
go into what it would mean to have such a dependence and we
shall see that this would imply that the quantum theory is an
approximation with a limited domain of validity." p.30
By the term "back-action" I mean that the quantum wave field is "directly
affected by the conditions of the particles". It is qualitatively obvious that such a
direct dependence is the counter-force or reaction to the quantum force. The
combination of the quantum force of wave on particle with the counter-force or
back-action of particle on wave forms a feed-back control loop which is able to
control the formerly uncontrollable guidance of the particle by its wave. This
results in a distortion of the statistical patterns of orthodox quantum mechanics.
This is the mechanism of intent or free will. Henry Stapp in the July 15. 1994 Physical
Review A (p.18) has a theory with some of these features. If we accept the
postulate that the quantum wave is "pre-mind", then the direct affect of the
particles of matter on their attached wave is a change in that wave that is an
internal representation or map of the material environment in the sense of models
of artificial intelligence. It is this change in the "active information" wave form that
is homomorphic to the external material configurations that constitutes the
dynamic stream of perception and consciousness or qualia that is our most
immediate sense of self and being in the world in conformity with David
Chalmers's criteria.
The relevant particles are probably the electrons whose spatial displacement
controls the conformations of the protein dimers in the microtubules. It is their
collective, perhaps Frohlich electric-dipole, wave form pumped far from thermal
equilibrium which, I conjecture, is the physical substrate of our mental experience.
All forms of life must have back-action in the sense defined above. Back-action is
a necessary condition for the existence of any form of living matter in this theory.
Having come this far, things really start to get interesting. Going to Bohm and
HileyÕs "section 14.6" we find:
"Other changes of this sort that might be considered would be to
make the Schrodinger wave equation nonlinear and to introduce
terms that would relate the Schrodinger wave function to the
particle positions. É One way to make SchrodingerÕs equation
dependent on the particle positions (so that there would be a
two-way relationship between wave and particle) can be seen by
considering equation (14.1). In this equation, we regard Rn as the
actual position of the nth particle. From the same arguments as
apply to the GRW (Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber ) approach, it would
follow that the overall wavefunction would tend to collapse
towards the actual particle positions, so that in a large scale system,
the empty wave packets of our interpretation would tend to
disappear." pp.345-6.
David Albert in his book The Quantum Theory of Experience and in his recent
Scientific American article advocates a GRW theory. Here we see that the GRW
theory is one realization of a deeper idea of direct back-action of particle on
wave. The new Nanopoulos theory is a form of GRW in which the back-action is
coming from the quantum foam of virtual black holes, baby universes and
superstring states. Nanopoulos thinks his way of looking at the problem is a deeper
explanation of PenroseÕs orchestrated "auto-collapse" of the wavefunction of the
brain that he says forms the qualia in the stream of consciousness.
It is important to realize that the idea of the mind doing a quantum computation
requires that there be no collapse or decoherence whilst the computation is in
progress. The GRW theories postulate that the decoherence time depends
inversely as the number of particles N that form the quantum computing
hardware unit. GRW introduce ad hoc two new fundamental constants of Nature
of 10^-5 cm or 100 nanometers for the scale of collapse, and 10^16 sec or a
billion years which divided by N gives the decoherence time beyond which
quantum computing deteriorates. Nanopoulos gives a more fundamental
derivations of the decoherence time in terms of the masses of the particles. If we
use the Nanopoulos formulae and my hypothesis that the human quantum
biocomputing unit is at the electron level rather than the proton level, then the
decoherence time for the number of electrons in our bodies is of the order of 100
years or approximately one human lifetime. If we use protons as the basic unit, the
decoherence time is a factor of 10^20 shorter for the same number of particles.
This means one has to use a much smaller number of protons to get the same
decoherence time as one would get for electrons. Using protons and a
decoherence time of 1 second gives an estimate for the basic unit of our
experience. The numbers for this computed by Nanopoulos and Penrose need to
be compared. One can imagine that the continuity of our long-term memory that
lasts a lifetime is at the electron level in our microtubules while our more
immediate short-term moment-to-moment experiences are at the proton level
having to do with hydrogen bonds. The coupling between short-term and
long-term memories would then have to do with the interaction of hydrogen
bonds with the controlling electrons in the protein dimers of the microtubules.
One last wild idea before ending this rough first draft. LetÕs play with a
cosmological connection in the GRW model since Nanopoulos has already linked
the "quantum friction" of the fundamental decoherence time to the quantum
gravity foam. Suppose, the basic decoherence time is the Hubble size of the
universe divided by the speed light of about 10 billion years presently. This means
that the basic decoherence time at the big bang before inflation was the Planck
time of 10^-43 sec which is not unreasonable. Let us further suppose that the
spatial scale of collapse, which does not appear to be in NanopoulosÕs theory is
the geometric mean between the Planck distance of 10^-33 cm and the Hubble
size of the universe multiplied by the square of the dominating gauge force
coupling constant. Why the square of the coupling constant? Because that is
what happens in the basic Feynman diagram for any interaction force between
two sources via the exchange of a virtual boson. Every thing that happens is a
composite of such Feynman diagrams in standard field theory. Well if we do this,
we get about 10^-5 cm for the present epoch which agrees with GRW using the
fine structure constant for QED and we get the Planck scale of 10^-33 cm at the
big bang since all the coupling constants grand-unify to 1 before they get to the
Planck scale in the standard ideas on the subject. So first homework problem - is
there anything in astronomy which would falsify this idea? Can it explain the
missing-mass problem and the apparent presence of stars older than the
universe? It makes a very interesting prediction. It says that, in an open universe
(e.g. Freeman DysonÕs "Time Without End") things get more and more quantum
mechanical as the expanding universe gets older and older. That is larger and
larger numbers of particles preserve their nonlocal quantum connections to each
other over longer and longer coherence times, and therefore show
macroscopic quantum effects over wider and wider spatial separations in the far
future of the universe even though the density of particles may be decreasing to
zero asymptotically. This is a prediction for the "Mind of God" (e.g. end of
HawkingÕs book, A Brief History of Time) because, on the basis of my idea that the
act of quantum computing requires the suspension of decoherence, eventually
all the matter in the universe will be quantum mechanical on the cosmological
scale. If back-action is present, direct faster-than-light (FTL) communication
between distant regions of matter in the open universe can happen. EberhardÕs
theorem prohibiting such communication using nonlocal quantum connectivity
only works in the limit of zero back-action. In this wild idea all the matter of the
open immortal universe becomes part of a Vast Active Living Intelligence (i.e.
Phillip DickÕs VALIS) or cosmological brain whose quantum wave function is the
"Mind of God" in HawkingÕs sense. This model is different from Frank TiplerÕs Omega
Point which requires a closed universe. My model is consistent with I.J. GoodÕs
notion of "GOD(D)" that he introduced about fifteen years ago. Good worked
with Alan Turing breaking the Nazi War Code.
Related papers
Nobel Prize Physicist, Brian Josephson on the use of quantum nonlocality by living
matter.
Cramer's Back From The Future Theory of the Quantum
Fred Hoyle's Back From The Future Cosmology
Bohm's Particle Theory in pdf needs Acrobat or Amber.
Bohm's Way to the Quantum Field
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