AN INTERPRETATION OF QUANTUM MECHANICS THAT ANSWERS THE QUESTION
"WHAT ARE MAGNETISM, GRAVITY, LIFE AND CONSCIOUSNESS?"
After reading Bruno Maddox's article "Blinded by Science" in the May 2008 issue of the science magazine "Discover", I just can't resist writing down some ideas that flow on from Blinded by Science's article about the nature of magnetism. The beginning of this particular train of thought of mine could be said to lie with the deep fascination Albert Einstein felt when he was first shown a magnet as a child. Together with May 2008's Blinded by Science, this challenged me to find an acceptable answer to the question "What is Magnetism?" Naturally, I then started to ponder Einstein once more (this time in connection with his Theory of General Relativity and its statements about gravity). Einstein's theory never told us exactly what gravity is - and Isaac Newton, who discovered over 340 years ago that the same force which causes an apple to fall also keeps the Moon in orbit around Earth, didn't know what gravity was either. So once again I felt challenged, and I decided I'd try to find a plausible answer to the query "What is Gravity?" A few months after these events, I found myself in hospital - and when I got home, I started reading Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". These latest incidents prompted me to continue my "What is ..." questions (this time I wanted to know "What is the nature of Life and Consciousness?"). I couldn't believe the answer came suddenly to Victor Frankenstein - the topic appears infinitely too complex for that. But appearances are deceptive - and the answer (which is perfectly consistent with the natures of magnetism and gravitation) partly came to me after merely a minute or two (it took me a whole day to write the answer in more complete form). This sudden revelation is no doubt deceptive too, since in reality the desire to know what life and consciousness are has been festering at the back of my mind for at least 30 years.
WHAT IS MAGNETISM?
If you read May's Blinded by Science, you'll notice that the rest of this paragraph borrows virtually every word from that article I thought this would make a fun introduction to my ideas on "What is Magnetism?". Here are a few words from one of Mr. Maddox's fellow "Dummies" who no longer has a seat at the dinner table for science (so my words are purely mental exercise intended to give me and my fellow Dummies some satisfaction in this gloomy vale of misery and mystery).
The origin of magnetism may lie with electromagnetic force (this sounds weird - but if you read on, you'll see that I'm not talking nonsense). It might all begin with a string of zeros and ones that produces a computer-generated hologram. That hologram includes 1) all frequencies and waves - optical, sound, electrical, magnetic, etc. etc., 2) the wave-particle duality of matter (and of light), and 3) randomness (which can also be termed mutation).
Such a hologram would ultimately be supremely flexible, bestowing digital qualities on space-time and everything in them - and making it difficult to determine precise position, especially if it was generated in a dimension outside our experience. However, people and objects could retain the appearance of solidity and definite location - and of separation (both in time and space, despite the reality of all time and space co-existing in one "place" or cyberplace). On a computer screen; events happen here, there, before, now and after though all "space-time" on the screen is united by the underlying computer code into a "grand unification" or "theory of everything". The code would mean there is hidden order even where chaos reigns, and randomness ("God playing dice with the universe", as Einstein put it) might be a way of overcoming the total inflexibility of pre-programming and introducing a measure of free will into the universe.
Since a magnet and a piece of metal are both parts of this unification, the former can move the latter without touching it (this feat is "spooky action at a distance", to use another Einstein expression). Why doesn't anybody seem to care how it is possible for magnets to do what they do? I dunno - maybe it's because magnets have precious little to do with emotions, sex or money. When the appropriate strings of ones and zeros establish all the magnetic fields in the universe, the randomness factor might allow the generation of other, "manmade" magnetic fields (eg when Michael Faraday was experimenting with electricity and magnets, or when modern engineers build turbines and generators). In this Internet-like Grand Unification, there might be a computer link (hypertext connection) between electricity and magnetism: then a less obvious link unifying electromagnetism and the weak force: and so on until we discover the theory of everything.
If this unification of the universe has always existed, how could the effects of its future development from electronic and holographic technology become apparent to Pliny, Augustine, Faraday, Einstein and presentday physicist Steven Weinberg? Time travel - in the form of future technology being implemented in the distant past - would have to be a reality ... I can't think of any other mechanism. But if the unification of the universe is real, then all space AND TIME within it would be unified and time travel would obviously be possible.
WHAT IS GRAVITY?
On the face of it, gravity could be defined as the warping or curvature of space (accurately, space-time). But why should space-time be curved? Think of it as the product of a computer simulation. Then its shape and structure must be determined by a string of zeros and ones. But why should we consider the possibility that space-time results from a string of zeros and ones? If you're openminded and imaginative, it's enough to say "Why not consider the possibility?" But it won't hurt to add some comments of mine:
These comments refer to "The Day Before Genesis" (Discover magazine, April 2008). It seems to me that the layout of a few pages in this issue makes sense of our Big Bang. First, the statement "Black Holes Reveal Time Travel" (p. 53) indicates that the series of panels on p. 56 can be formed into a loop with the picture of the cosmic microwave background next to the one of modern galaxies and clusters. This loop can be constructed because space-time that permits time travel cannot be purely linear but is warped and curved. In this scenario, travel in one direction means the cosmic microwave background precedes the modern galaxies and clusters. But travelling in the other direction means modern galaxies and clusters precede the cosmic microwave background.
When we loop the universe, what is within and outside the loop? I suspect the answer is also on p. 56 viz. branes. If they're in physical contact with our brane, we'd find that there is actually only one universe with one set of laws of physics. Visualizing the loop on p. 56 with the view of the pages' layout making sense of our Big Bang suggests the outside of the loop contains whatever I see when I turn to the next page (58) ... and I see galaxies arranged in a map of our universe. The interior of the loop would contain whatever I see when I turn to the previous page (55). Is that our Milky Way galaxy on p. 55?
How interesting! What could it mean if the Milky Way (or indeed, any other relatively nearby cosmic structure) is not only part of the loop of modern galaxies and clusters but also inside that loop? Does it mean quantum indeterminacy not only compels science to think of subatomic particles as not having precise locations, but will also compel science to oneday think of galaxies as not having exact positions? Surely "galactic indeterminacy" would unite general relativity and quantum theory, possibly producing a universe in which space and time themselves do not exist as we understand them but are flexible and indeterminate properties "emerging" from something else.
Thousands or millions of years from now, progress in electronics and science might make it possible to journey back 13.7 billion years in this time machine we call the universe and construct a computer-generated hologram corresponding to the lumps in the extremely young universe which evolved into modern galaxies and clusters. If you believe there is intelligent and adventurous life anywhere in this universe, this would be a perfectly natural outcome of millennia of progress - there's absolutely nothing incredible or supernatural about it! That hologram includes 1) all frequencies and waves - optical, sound, electrical, magnetic, etc. etc., 2) the wave-particle duality of matter (and of light), and 3) randomness (which can also be termed mutation).
So gravity evolves from being a force that attracts objects in the cosmology of Newton to the warping or curvature of space-time in Einstein's cosmology to space-time's curves being the product of BITS (BInary digiTS - 1's and 0's). (Gravity really can be defined as the warping or curvature of space-time, but my hope is to enhance this definition by adding understanding of the nature of space-time.)
LIFE AND CONSCIOUSNESS
What is the difference between a living organism and a newly dead organism? Motion exists in the bodily parts, and as signals between brain cells, of one but there is no motion in the other. As we have seen in earlier sections of this article, each of us lives in two worlds ... that of our everyday senses/experiences and, because we live in a Grand Unification possessing "zero separation", that of the mysterious 5th-dimensional cyberspace where our multi-universal computer-generated hologram is constructed. So our minds have a lot to do - we need to explore the wonders and miracles of the 5-D holographic world, and also reconcile that with this old world, so it too will come to be full of wonders and miracles. And its a good thing that we live in 2 worlds. If we were restricted to the 5-D holographic world, we would pervade all existence. Nothing from what we think of as "out there" could stimulate our brain cells and make us conscious. But like characters in a cosmic SIMS or SECOND LIFE game, we have individuality in our second world and brains that can become conscious of the first (holographic) world.
In our 4-D world (3 dimensions of space length, width and depth plus 1 dimension called time), motion exists universally and at quantum (subatomic) scales, and is absolutely essential. In 5-D cyberspace, there is no movement and every bit of space/instant of time exists like an individual frame of a movie (when these are displayed in rapid succession, what we call motion comes into being). Let's consider ordinary, visible light and that vacuum it travels through: space. Quantum particles like the photons which compose light are not separate from space itself. The universe would not merely be a vast collection of the countless photons, electrons and other quantum particles within it, but would be a unified whole that has particles and waves built into it, just as a computerised hologram would have seemingly separate points built into its union of digital zeros and ones. It's necessary to suggest how this unified whole could appear to us as an infinity of different and separate entities (not only in space but also in time). If light and space were unified in a digitised hologram, the apparent velocities of light and space's expansion would differ because light would be a subroutine embedded in the main space program.
Life and death depend on which dimension the body and brain are associated with. If the 4th; there is movement of joints, beating of the heart, electrochemical signalling in axons and dendrites and synapses, and so on. If the 5th, there is no motion the body is dead and the brain is dead. But things are strangely complicated when you live in a Unification possessing zero separation ... Physicists predict that the singularity at the heart of a black hole has zero volume. Since there is zero separation in space, a person's heart also has zero volume. Since locations in time are relative, a persons heart does not possess zero volume at just time A or time B, but always. We can adapt the quantum mechanical thought experiment known as Schrodingers Cat in which the cat exists and does not exist at the same time. In general, quantum mechanics does not predict a single, definite result for an observation. Instead, it assigns a probability to each outcome as in, for example, the quantum mechanical thought experiment known as Schrodingers Cat in which the cat exists and does not exist at the same time (a hammer which might or might not be triggered by a source of radioactivity to break a bottle of poisonous gas both kills and doesnt kill the cat - and all these things are placed in an airtight box). This adaptation says your (and my) heart beats and does not beat at the same time. The strange complexities of living in a Unification possessing zero separation go on and on while it may be useful to think of each of us as existing in 2 worlds (the 4th and 5th dimensions), these 2 worlds would be in the same place in a Unification possessing zero separation. If our hearts are both beating and not beating at the same time, you and I are already alive and dead simultaneously and life/death DO NOT depend on associating the body/brain with one particular dimension, but on balancing their association with all dimensions.
Locating consciousness in the activity of the brain absolutely strangles the hope that we might survive the death of our bodies - unless time travel can be removed from the realm of memory and imagination, and demonstrated to be scientifically valid in actuality. People who have long since died could have their minds downloaded into reproductions of their bodies after death perhaps thanks to time traversing medical/scientific/electronics personnel - then use time travel to be alive long before birth (or to be alive and present at their time of death, thus appearing to possess consciousness that continues uninterrupted after death ie appearing to have what is called a soul). Compressing the known science into a few lines, I believe the theory leading to time-travels exhibition is -
Particles and the local universe can be regarded as closed loops of electromagnetic energy. These could be called strings or superstrings or Mobius loops (a Mobius loop can be visualised as a strip of paper which is given a half-twist of 180 degrees before its ends are joined). Remember that the top, side and bottom of each loop each consist of a miniaturised, fractal version of electromagnetic pulses forming length, width and depth (a fractal is a geometric structure having an irregular or fragmented appearance which is of a similar character at all magnifications - the word "fractal" was coined in 1975 by French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot). The 3 familiar dimensions of length, width and height along, for example, the top of a loop would have a 4th dimension (time) perpendicular to them (on the side of the twisted paper ... or electromagnetic loop). And there would also exist a 5th dimension called hyperspace, at right angles to the 4th and 180 degrees from the length/width/height along the loops top. The previous parts of this paragraph can be likened to astronomys picture of the 3+1 dimensions of space-time existing on the surface of a balloon which is expanding from an inner hyperspatial point (not in space-time) where the Big Bang occurred. These loops unite space and time into space-time (popularly associated with Albert Einstein, though originally conceived by his university teacher Dr. Hermann Minkowski); and the famous scientist Stephen Hawking says time can be thought of as another space dimension, so literal time travel is a possibility. With literal time travel, people who have long since died can be resurrected by having their minds downloaded into reproductions of their bodies (establishing colonies throughout space and time would prevent overpopulation).
Thus, individual consciousness is connected with space-time. If the connection is permanent, consciousness would no longer be restricted to finite brains and its link to everything in space-time would make it free of all limitations when we learn how to use that link. By either adapting physical brains/bodies or repeating the downloading of minds (in order to bestow immortality), or using some version of the ideas scientists have proposed about cosmic holograms and cosmic computers (to unify the universes mental, spatial and temporal aspects), the consciousness-spacetime connection could indeed be made a permanent one. Unification of personal consciousness with space-time (and thus, everyone else) would also enable annihilation of the concept of "self" and "other", as brain scans of Buddhist monks demonstrate to be possible.