The Will of a Particle. Originally from taoareyou.com:
One of the more controversial aspects of quantum mechanics is the probability factor. Basically, the properties of particles, such as position and momentum, are not known with certainly but rather estimated through complex mathematical formulas. Einstein took issue with this, resulting in the famous quote, “I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice.”
Of course Einstein was being metaphorical, since I don’t think he was professing his faith in a specific creator, but he was a man that did hold beliefs. He believed that all things have order and predictability. To him, relying on probability just meant that somewhere, some understanding was missing. Unfortunately, he died before he could find out what that was. Even today, that search has never been completed.
When I think about this subject, I cannot approach it with the highly trained mathematical mind, but instead, I begin my visualization from a super-massive perspective rather than a sub-atomic one. We look out at the universe. We see our solar system, planets orbiting the sun, distant stars within the galaxy, other galaxies, galaxy clusters and so on. Imagine if our consciousness was one that was looking down at our universe in the same manner we examine molecules. This consciousness would likely be able to make predictions about the galaxies’ movements, and perhaps identify even smaller atoms, what we call solar systems. Stars would be like tiny nuclei, planets would be like electrons zipping around them. Then this consciousness would look deeper and note even smaller particles that make up the planets.
Us. We are after all, technically a part of the planet. Every piece of us was at sometime before us being used in a different capacity. So how would the huge consciousness predictour movements? What mathematical formula or principle governs our choices and our actions? To it, would birth and death seem like parts of the Earth’s surface constantly bubbling in some chaotic manner? Could it understand the meaning of societies or would it see it as some quantum flux? What about our thoughts and emotions? Would it even be able to see that we have our own sub-atomic world of wonder?
Depending on perspective, we are particles. We like to think that we have no predictable formulas that apply to us. At best our actions can be broken down into probabilities. A profiler can look at different known factors and make predictions but they still cannot with certainty know in advance what we think or do. That is our individual will.
But does will apply to our particles observed in quantum mechanics? We have consciousness, an electron doesn’t. Right? This brings to mind Aristotle’s Metaphysics where he surmised, “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”. Electrons are particles that are part of who we are. Still, like the electron, we are also tiny particles in the greater body of the Universe. Yet we are conscious and make decisions that are at best a probability.
So is there a missing mathematical understanding that will link the world of quantum physics to the physics Einstein knew? Or is quantum probability the foundation of consciousness?