Increasingly, scientists seem to be arriving at the conclusion that our world is an illusion. By this I mean that our three-dimensional view of the world is only the way we perceive the world, not the way the world really is.
It's all quite mind-boggling. This week, I read an article in Scientific American magazine that traces the work that's been done by physicists in this area since the 1920s and 1930s. The article ("Was Einstein Wrong?: A Quantum Threat to Special Relativity") appears in the March issue.
What it comes down to is this: our concept of space and time is just one fraction of reality. When we see a glass on a table, it's an illusion to think that the molecules of the glass exist only in a chain that links them to each other in the physical space we see before us. The very same particles may in fact exist in several vastly distant places at the same time. And we don't mean atoms like sodium found in a glass of water and in the ocean. What's meant here is the very same particle. The very same particle in the glass can take on many forms at the same time .
Science in the quantum world shows us that we see only what we see, not what is. Everything, the glass, you and me, simply may be manifestations of a ripple in a universal energy field.
These conclusions are not just thought experiments, but mathematical equations.
The new way that scientists are looking at our reality postulates, for example, that it may be possible to travel at speeds faster than the speed of light. This was unthinkable in the traditional world of physics. In quantum physics it means we could, in fact, receive a message before it was sent. In other words, time travel could be a reality not just a theory.
Our minds are slowly coming to terms with the concept that all existence is multi-dimensional and vastly more complex and fascinating than we ever imagined.
While Einstein once expressed his doubts about the uncertainty principles of quantum mechanics by saying, "God does not play dice," he privately worried quite a lot about the threat posed by the illusive nature of energy (both particle-like and wave-like at the same time). This duality concerned him because it calls into question our entire view of the measurable universe and the laws of physics as we know them. This duality cannot be dismissed.
Einstein may have been wrong not to embrace quantum mechanics publicly. And he may have been right about his worries and doubts, something the article's authors say is more proof of Einstein's genius.
For those of us whose minds are busy with the everyday issues of life on planet earth, these concepts have the potential to enrich our perspectives in amazing ways.
For related posts, see Intriguing possibilities in the convergence between science and spirituality and Are parallel universes real?
Thanks to Manu Mohan for the image above.
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