THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE
Quantum Theory without Any Math
by Chongo in collaboration with José
Over ten years in the making. Real science for those interested in what is genuinely true about the founding principles of nature. Includes descriptions of the most elusive topics in quantum physics, explained in tangible, concrete terms, and in a manner that requires no prerequisite education whatsoever. If you can read, and you are willing to grasp two very simple “old” ideas (those of perpendicular and infinity) and imaging them in what may be an altogether “new” way, then you have all the conceptual foundation necessary for building an accurate understanding of nature’s “universal” ways by means of grasping the best description of these ways ever conceived, namely, theoretical physics. Theoretical physics is the “truest” description of nature (which means the physics that models reality more accurately than any other way) that has ever existed. Empower your intellect by learning about this accurate description of nature, because anyone who can read can come to understand physical theory.
“In the few years that began the last century, Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity revolutionized the world of physics by showing that Newton’s description of natural laws did not describe nature’s motions accurately. About this same time, a wholly new model, ‘Quantum Mechanics’, expressed the individual wave character of all energy. Like no others before, these two descriptions of nature together changed our understanding of the smallest to the largest, forever, enduring now over a century of testing, with exquisite and unparalleled accuracy and precision.
“The consequences of these two giant leaps in science have had immense repercussions in our everyday life, from atomic bombs to nuclear energy, from computers to lasers, cell phones and microwave ovens. Now, after a century of success, widespread, common understanding of these wonderful tools is still limited to the few. This work attempts to change that and advance overall understanding by describing the basic principles of relativity and quantum mechanics conceptually, without resorting to mathematics. Nature’s founding principles are explained, using only words.
“This conceptual, non-mathematical description of theoretical physics is intended as a first step toward lifting the veil of vagueness and mystery that surrounds a most worthwhile endeavor called science. This veil is a mere illusion; it exists only in our imagination and in the resolute stubbornness of our unyielding traditions, to our great, overall disadvantage. This illusion serves, no less than it has throughout the course of all human history, only as a very enduring and persistent barrier to knowing what is genuinely true in nature, just as it excludes beholding what can be most beautiful and most lasting in it. Seeing through this illusion reveals the stunning beauty that lies hidden beneath.
“No mysteries need stand between us and our understanding anything. If we simply choose to learn for ourselves the truths that science has worked so tirelessly, often at enormous living sacrifice, to identify, anyone can explain to themselves or, with time, to anyone else, the founding principles underlying nature’s magnificent designs, irrespective of any formal education. Simply choosing is the only real step that we must make. Any step that follows is always easier than any before.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Prologue . . i
II. Explaining Reality . . 6
IV. Real Reality and The Rhythm of Quantum Mechanics . . 38
V. Two Slots and Two Universes . . 57
VII. The Decisions of Nature . . 89
We live in a quantum universe. And, there is a reason why we do: we must. For were our universe any other kind of universe, then ‘we’ would not exist in it, nor would anything. Fortunately for us, our universe is a quantum universe. And because it is, ‘something’, each one of us, is here in it, very alive, along with everything required that allows us to be. This book is a description of the principles upon which our quantum universe operates, an explanation of why these principles are what they are, but most of all, an exploration into the reasons why these principles must be what they are and why they can be no others.
In understanding this description, we can uncover the stunning beauty that lies beneath everything we observe, removing the myths and misunderstandings that have, now even up into these modern times, always stood between us and what is really true about anything. Understanding the principles upon which a quantum reality is based can introduce anyone who simply wishes to know what is truest in nature, to a completely new way to see the universe, and possibly even a new way to consider physical existence.
Understanding the principles upon which a quantum universe is based can reveal why the smallest fundamental particles of nature (which includes every last bigger thing that is made of these particles) are actually finite partial ‘representations’ (projections) of something that is not finite at all, but infinite. In this way, we can see that a particle and a wave are two aspects of the very same thing, and thereby discover why physical existence is simply a shape and how all motion is just the shape of the universe changing, as we and everything living roll down a one-way road called time, observing the contours of this shape with each moment of our journey. By describing physical reality in this new way, we can ultimately discover the very nature of our awareness, and thus discover the true nature of all awareness anywhere; as well as its enormous significance in very real, very physical and indeed very tangible and understandable terms. Using the conclusions made by physical science, namely, the Theory of Relativity and then the Theory of Quantum Mechanics, the book you are holding in your hand will explain exactly 'what' life is, precisely 'why' life is, and most importantly, why life absolutely must be, for there to be anything existent at all!
This is the story of the Theory of Quantum Mechanics, described in a very simple manner, without any mathematical notation. This theory can lead us to see why the universe is the way it is, by the necessity which is ‘implied’ by another theory, the Theory of Relativity, but which is absolutely REQUIRED by quantum theory. That necessity is the necessity for an observer in a universe, an observer who is ‘alive’ and who is ‘aware’ of something, anything. The presence of an observer and the fact that no observer is preferred (by the laws of nature) over any other lead not only to the inevitability of relativity for describing space and time, but to the inevitability of quantum mechanics too, for describing those things which lie within relativity’s space and time. Quantum mechanics is an outcome of a universe characterized by constant and ongoing observation. The chapters that follow will explain how observation and the life that observation implies are a most natural and inescapable consequence of any physically ‘real’ universe. Most amazingly, living observers emerge because they absolutely must emerge, for the sake of a very naturally occurring and absolutely unavoidable 'inevitability', the all-encompassing one that we call “existence.”
“Through their understanding of what a true surface really was, a set of collapsing probability waves leading to physical reality, they could not help but be led to what would now be the rather obvious, yet somewhat elusive reality that observing was one thing, while ‘being’ the thing that is observed, was another altogether. Distinguishing one, observing, from the other, being the thing observed, these physicists would have discovered something called ‘quantum mechanics’. But realizing this would seem wholly logical in hindsight …
“Eventually, their new understanding would lead some very observant two-dimensional physicists to look beyond their ‘imagined’, stipulated surface, and consider instead, their true surface, and that it ‘consisted’, exclusively, of these probability waves (amplitudes) for reality itself, and of nothing else but these waves alone! Recognizing this, they would recognize that they themselves were the very actualization of these waves of ‘possibilities’, because life would be the nexus of physical existence, as observed photons. It is then that they would realize that they themselves, that is, that their very awareness of their own existence, were these very photons of their (true) surface. Thus by understanding what quantum mechanics revealed: what they, as their awareness of existence, were, two-dimensional science would finally explain ‘time’, in real physical terms, instead of the abstract mathematical ones that their classical models (e.g. relativity) included.
“Equipped with an understanding of the two (relativity and quantum mechanics) … they could begin to really explain their two-dimensional world, and thereby begin to explain what, how, and, most significantly, why everything, including each one of them, was. And, they would be most certain that they had arrived at a true, accurate explanation, because they would at long last understand that in their very beauty, their most stunning beauty (by allowing for and thus encompassing all beauty, and most of all, encompassing the capacity for its appreciation), the principles underlying physical reality could be no other way. They would clearly understand how such principles were absolutely ‘unavoidable’ for a logically consistent and meaningfully coherent reality, which are two apparently necessary requirements for the ‘real’ existence that we and all things living observe, a reality which would ‘unavoidably’ lead to life, because life would be an absolutely inescapable necessity for existence. At last, there would exist a model as a body of ideas called a theory, and a meaningful interpretation of that theory (one that includes gravity, it MUST), a model encompassing ALL physical phenomena (including gravity) and explaining, in physical terms, ALL the great mysteries of two-dimensional physics and two-dimensional reality, including an explanation for two-dimensional life itself.”
“A 'snapshot' (pixel) describes wave function collapse well for organisms with eyes, like we humans, or cats (or mice), or dogs, or any other life form that can see. But what if we have our eyes closed, or are asleep, and aren't seeing – what then? Does the wave function still collapse? Since a detector can turn what we may not be able to see or sense, into sound or motion that we can, and which can also awaken us from the deepest sleep, then the answer can only be yes. This means that we need not see something for the wave function to collapse. We need not even be awake, and, by implication, need not even be conscious, either. We don't even need to hear it; for we could know it collapsed by radiated heat instead – or, by its absence. We need only to sense something, anything, and the wave function collapses, consistent with the observation.
“The complexity that is life, sensing the wave function somehow, is all that is needed, to collapse it. The level of complexity for this sensing is irrelevant. The observer need not see, or even be able to. It need not hear, either. It need only feel – or think (or dream), since thinking (or dreaming) is observing (photons) too. And, just as importantly, it need not be human either, nor ‘be’ anything at all, in particular, except one single, very, very important thing: 'alive', and THAT IS ALL!”
© 2008 C. Tucker (Chongo)
All rights reserved.
This book is dedicated to the memory of a committed thinker, physicist, mathematician, a very conscientious human being, a scientist, a world-class rock climber, a skilled outdoorsman, as well my tutor, collaborator, and best friend, José. His understanding of nature led to my ultimate understanding of it which will hopefully, eventually lead to many other people’s understanding of it too.
We can all thank José.