Instead, the quantum world is about transformation. One state, known as the virtual state, transforms into the material state we know as the world ‘out there.’ The virtual state is invisible, and the first thing that emerges from it is energy, measured in waves. For a century physics has held that waves, which extend infinitely in all directions, ‘collapse’ to form particles that have a measurable place in time and space. But the past century hasn’t really gotten much further in explaining how this transformation takes place. Why would a wave collapse in the first place? How does it choose the time and place for a particle to appear?
The five senses turn to have abilities tne times greater than anyone ever supposed. We are
Quantum detectors-that simply by sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell we are participating in the finest fabric of nature and possibly can cause the quantum field to move at will.
There has been a major interpretation of this transformation act, which is the basic magic trick in nature, which holds that waves collapse because an observer peers in, and at the moment of observation, a particle pops up to be measured. From the outset this interpretation has felt like hocuspocus to many sceptics, even though it is the dominant explanation in physics. They base their scepticism on the fact that observation is a passive act. How can merely looking cause nature to build a new particle?
Now it seems that observation isn’t passive after all. The fact that the human eye can detect a single photon means that it interacts with the photon. The quantum detector is a quantum player. A single photon may not seem like much, but if four of our senses are also quantum players, the big picture is radically altered.
It has been more than 60 years since a prominent American physicist, John Archibald Wheeler, coined the term ‘the participatory universe,’ by which he meant that we are not like children peering into a bakeshop window with our noses pressed against the glass. There is no separation between the human and the cosmic. Wheeler intuited this on his own, and now hard science has added confirmation at the most basic level of nature.
In physical terms, turning our senses into quantum detectors greatly expands human potential, but it remains a mystery how far to take this breakthrough. Do we create our own reality? I’ve supported that idea for a long time and argue for it in a book You Are the Universe, co-written with physicist Menas Kafatos. Our central concept is that time, space, matter, and energy only exist in human life as human creations. We construct reality directly from our perceptions. Since the five senses are the organs of perception, the argument that perception can alter reality now has a quantum foundation.
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