The term “quantum” didn’t really make sense to me until the last year or so. I’ve been fascinated with quantum mechanics for a long time, but I didn’t really get why it was even called that. And then there was the show “Quantum Leap” which was about time travel and that really didn’t make it any clearer.
But something clicked for me when I was reading the biography Einstein by Walter Isaacson. Einstein helped discover the quantum nature of light. Basically, light is emitted in packets that are an exact value. No more, no less. It’s like looking at a jelly bean and knowing you can’t break the jelly bean into anymore pieces. That is the smallest amount of jelly bean you can have. There is no value between it and nothing. And no value between one jelly bean and two jelly beans. Quantized things jump from one state or amount to another, with no, or very little in between. Think about when we all learned about electrons back in middle school. Electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom, but they do at set distances from the nucleus. They can jump from one distance to another, but they can’t orbit anywhere in between those set distances. And when they go to an energy state that is lower than the one they are in, they emit energy in specific quantities (hence the word quantum).
Quantum mechanics is full of crazy stuff. Like definitive proof that things only appear like they do when we’re looking at them (when observed, particles collapse from a wave of possibilities into one possibility, the one you’re witnessing). And demonstrating how something we do in the present affects something that happens in the future. Or an action on a particle will affect another particle millions of light years away instantaneously (or what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” and was thought impossible b/c it means something is traveling faster than the speed of light).
These results sound impossible, but the effects have been replicated again and again and again. So far, every action predicted by quantum physics that has been able to be set up experimentally has been proven correct. It’s the most accurate theory physics has ever seen.
Binary code is based on the same principle. You either have a 1 or a 0, nothing in between. Two choices, on or off. No sort-of-on or sort-of-off. Either the switch is flipped or it’s not. And when a switch is flipped, it means something happens. And maybe it takes many, many switches flipping to the 1 or the 0 position for another, larger level switch to flip. And so on. (Keep this in mind for a fun thought experiment in Part II!)
Most of you probably think that quantum physics has nothing to do with you. Scientists hadn’t been able to extrapolate quantum physics to apply to large, real world motion….until now.
Published in Science, Quantum Correlation Between Distant Diamonds, takes the idea of quantum entanglement that has been proven again and again and demonstrates the same effect on two millimeter sized diamonds sitting 15 cm apart. In other words, quantum effects demonstrated at the macro level, or the realm of the naked eye.
Scientists at Rice University have published an amazing finding in the journal Nature Physics. It’s a complicated study, but it boils down to the fact that many things (in this case, electron-hole pairs created in a semiconductor) have been shown to act in coordination with each other all at once. Basically, a light is shined on a substance, and instead of emitting light randomly as it is absorbed and released by electrons, when the light is intense enough, it causes the electrons to sort of all line up together, spontaneously, and emit all their light at once. I like to think of this is it reaching “critical mass.” Once a certain thresh hold is reached, the flood gates let go. This is quantized because if you are looking at it like a time line, you have no light emittance…no light emittance…no light emittance and then BAM you have it all emitted at once. No in-between. Quantized.
Now that we have seen that quantum effects can be observed at the macro level, and that mass cooperation of seemingly disparate bodies can create a critical mass, we are prepared to examine how this affects us.
Critical mass is the idea that there is a tipping point—that if you get enough of a group of animals, people, or things, to take on or demonstrate an attribute, then that attribute will spread to the rest of the population almost instantaneously. You go from a critical mass of people doing something, to everyone doing it. Quantized.
A great examples of critical mass effects is the “10oth Monkey Effect.” In this article by Own Waters, he describes this:
The Hundredth Monkey Effect was first introduced by biologist Lyall Watson in his 1980 book, ‘Lifetide.’ He reported that Japanese primatologists, who were studying Macaques monkeys in the wild in the 1950s, had stumbled upon a surprising phenomenon.
The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.
An 18 month old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too. This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.
Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes — the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let’s further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.
Then it happened! By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!
A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea –Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes. Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.
To describe this in a “quantum way” would be to say that when a certain switch is flipped from on to off (100th monkey), this floods the consciousness grid of the planet (because we are all connected, all made of the same stuff) with the idea of washing sweet potatoes and it is suddenly available to everyone all at once. When only a few monkeys are washing potatoes, the idea is literally contained in a smaller area (as energy), but when a tipping point happens, the info jumps from a small area, to the next largest area and is literally available to more people’s consciousness.
I’m gonna go ahead an post this as Part 1 of a series of posts on quantum effects. It’s a big honkin’ subject that I know probably bores a lot of people, but it’s imperative if you want to understand the way the world is changing. And I firmly believe the changes are for the good.