Consciousness & Space-Time Reality

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RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR

Most physicists aver that mind and matter, energy and human consciousness, are intimately intertwined. They explain why the simple idea of vacuum, or empty space, is also the real energy field, out of which all perceivable matter is formed — apart from various levels of manifestation, including the ‘get-up-and-go’ fields in which human thought and instinct exist.

This view is endorsed by research, in conjunction with the exploration of the vacuum itself — to bring profound and fascinating technological changes, aside from virtually unlimited supplies of safe and cheap energy. The idea holds a remarkable premise for the unifying concept of the formative human mind as the universe’s hidden creation mechanism — a sublime strategy that links energy, mind and consciousness. It would, therefore, not surprise us, if our present view of the universe is seen as erroneous, before long, or when future generations view the universe as one distinct entity — where human consciousness is the primary reality, with its physical structure being the acquired prospect.

It goes without saying that Albert Einstein’s landmark theory of relativity — not to speak of quantum hypothesis — forms the two major branches of physics. However, the portrait of physical reality that they offer appears ironic, despite the fact that both modern physics and cosmology perceive physical reality and the universe in a frame as relevant and contextual as any that science, by itself, espouses.

Picture this: the wave-particle duality, a paradox that is central to either fold. Besides, one could take account for experiments on neutrons, which have been aimed at a target via a ‘pair of slits’ in a screen. They show definitive interference patterns, even when individual neutrons are bombarded sparingly. What’s strange too is that any undertaking to determining which ‘slit’ a neutron passes through destroys the interference pattern. The outcome? Most quantum physicists have given up the endeavour to form pictures of reality. They have dropped attempts too to form a full causal explanation of micro-physical phenomena, while being more comfortable dealing with accurate theoretical predictions of experimental results through conceptual maths.

Some physicists have produced counter-interpretations too — the space-time description of micro-events, including the possibility of a deeper understanding of physical reality. In other words, the motion of a particle is affected, not only by the usual classical potential, but also by quantum potential having dramatic effects for extremely small particles. Though this explanation is causal, it is not completely precise as it throws ajar the creative operation of underlying and yet subtle levels of reality.

Recent advances in cosmology have explained gravitation, for instance, in the context of time-space continuum. They have also provided for the possibility of a universe rapidly expanding from the initial big bang, while continuing its expansion indefinitely, or eventually, after billions of years, followed by the big crunch. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, stars apparently disintegrate back into their own gravitational fields — a black hole, or small area, of extremely high density, while incorporating a singularity with zero volume, where gravitation is so intense that no light can escape from a black hole. Today, there’s definitive observational evidence for the existence of black holes. Also, singularities — associated with the big bang and black holes — are primed as regions where space-time goes out of existence.

Not long ago, it was fanciful to surmise what had precisely happened before the big bang. Not anymore. Today, we are linking ideas from relativity and quantum theory. This has led to a new possibility — postulating theories like inflationary cosmology, which provide fairly plausible pictures of possible events that may have happened before the big bang. Yet, a huge challenge remains —finding the true unification of general relativity and quantum theory.

The celebrated thinker and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Everything factual is already theory.” It is ditto, for our scientific advance, including the emergence of the hologram, a laser-produced picture, in its all-new avatar. All the same, with all their scintillating grandeur around, aimed for humanity’s gain, we have got to keep our fingers crossed and monitor excitedly about ‘science-in-waiting.’ This is simply because we are quickly moving into a different era — the ‘age of new technology,’ whose origins already exist. This is yet again not scientific dazzle, but a realistic metaphor that bids fair to a primal, also resourceful, embodiment of possibility.

It would be interesting too to highlight that the hologram of the future may not be just about patterns though — one which we perceive as the configuration of wholes, or elements that compose them. “It will be recognised,” as complexity experts Howard Sherman and Ron Schultz explain, “that within every level of synthesis the patterns are the same.” In other words, the hologram will not be as composite with all its shades of commonplace essentialities. Because, we are all aware of one inescapable fact: anything that is new, in our rapidly changing world, is often thought to be immeasurable — a ‘fantasy’ without well-defined constructs. Yet, the fact is — you were, for instance, not a computer geek when you started using the gadget on your own. Now, you can’t do without it.

There’s more to our whole, new world of thoughtful advance than what meets the eye. You get it — without much deliberation. Because, we are on the verge of breaking major scientific stories — howsoever clouded they may seem. We have zeroed-in on onto a timeframe where information can be stored within and distributed by light. We call it the photon age, the charge of the information-bearing ‘light brigade,’ to be precise.  As Sherman and Schultz, again, observe, there’s yet another dimension to it — one that can be simulated by waves of gravity, thanks again to Einstein, who bequeathed us explicitly decipherable components vis-à-vis the dispersal of electromagnetic waves. The solitary deviation is that they have not as yet been ‘strapped and buckled,’ because such waves have ironically not been used. They have only been considered in ‘relative’ terms by quantum physicists — who, however, can’t do without them in their own calculations.

This, as you’d deduce, calls for nothing short of a ‘quantum’ leap in seizing our future. Of a future which is in conformity with the nature of an emergent universe and the laws of the cosmos. To pluck a gem from mathematician and theoretical physicist, Roger Penrose, “There’s… a feature… completely unique to general relativity. [That is] that objects in orbit about each other radiate energy in the form of gravitational waves. These are light waves, yet ripples in ‘space-time,’ rather than ripples in the electromagnetic field. Such waves can take energy away from the system at a rate that can be calculated according to Einstein’s theory.”

The inference is simple: Einstein’s mighty theory reduces uncertainty and ambiguity. More importantly, its whole genesis also makes new observations possible. Now, you know its import — how the philosophy of ideas and the technological essence of science have constituted what we take pride in calling our epoch ‘the information age.’ Its net result has been more than remarkable, also incredible — a reduction in uncertainty. Yet, a logical fact of life hangs in balance, despite our glorious appointment with history. There are simply no shortcuts, or huge leaps, in the mind-boggling world of science, howsoever great our technological advance. Call it science’s own limiting dynamics, or what you may.

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