7 May 2006
Experiments in quantum physics revealed that the solid nature of physical matter is but an illusion of the senses. We now know that all matter is composed of molecules which are aggregations of yet tinier particles called atoms. Only within the last century has Western technology evolved to the point of being able to answer the question, “What are atoms?” It has now become common knowledge that atoms are further reducible to even smaller, subatomic particles called electrons, neutrons, and protons. All matter is composed of infinitely different arrangements of subatomic particles.
But what exactly is an electron? This question has caused feverish debate within the scientific community for nearly a century. Answering this fundamental question is a turning point in the understanding of the structure of all matter in the universe. In the early 20th-century, scientists noted that in certain experiments electrons appeared to have a predictable pattern of particle behavior. The confusion began to set in when other experiments demonstrated properties suggesting that the electrons behaved more like waves of light.
The famous example of the electron’s wave-like behavior is the “double-slit experiment”. The results of this experiment demonstrated that a single electron appeared to pass through two holes simultaneously. Waves, but not particles, can pass through two windows simultaneously. It appears that the electrons display behaviors of both waves and particles simultaneously. The electron is neither pure particle of matter nor pure energy. It displays elements of both.
The wave/particle quality of subatomic particles like electrons is a reflection of the energy-matter relationship first elaborated upon by Albert Einstein in the early 1900s. Einstein was initially thought to be crazy when he first presented his radical theories to the scientific community. It took more than 60 years for scientists to begin to validate what Einstein had told them. Now he is heralded as a genius. Matter and energy are now known to be interchangeable and interconvertible. But is it the interconversion of two wholly different substances? Is it possible that this is analogous to the change of the state of water (solid ice is vaporized into steam, or condensed steam (water) frozen back into ice)?
Consider the example of the photon or a quantum -- a very small unit of electromagnetic energy or light, becoming two particles -- electron and positron. At the point of conversion from energy to matter, the photon slows down to become particles. In doing so it attains some of the properties attributable to solids (i.e., mass) and yet still retains some of its wave-like properties. In a simplistic sense, a packet of light has been slowed down and “frozen”. Therefore, at the quantum level of subatomic particles, all matter is literally “frozen”, particularized energy fields (i.e. “frozen” light).
We, as human beings, are composed of the stuff of the universe which is actually “frozen” light. Mystics throughout the ages have referred to us as beings of light. It is only now that science has begun to validate the basic premise behind this statement. Just as light has particular frequencies, so does matter have frequency characteristics as well; the lower the frequency, the more dense the matter; the higher the frequency, the less dense, or more subtle the matter.
Energy systems, referred to as our subtle bodies, are actually composed of matter with different frequency characteristics than that of the physical body. It is an acknowledged principal within physics that the energy of different frequencies can coexist within the same space. This principle is demonstrated daily. We are constantly bombarded by radio and TV broadcasts which pass through our houses and bodies. This electromagnetic energy is undetectable by our eyes and ears because it exists beyond the energetic frequency sensitivity of our physical organs of perception. If, however, we turn on the TV set, these normally invisible energies become translated into energies of visible light and audible sound which are within our perceptual range of sensitivity. When we turn on the TV set, we do not see the image of one channel mixed with the image of the other channel. Since the energies are of slightly different frequencies they can coexist within the same space without interfering with each other. This principle of energies of different frequencies occupying the same space has the same implications for matter of different frequencies: because of their defferent inherent frequencies, physical and energetic (etheric) matter can coexist in the same space, just as radio and TV waves.
A very interesting fact about subatomic particles is that they come into existence only when we observe them; every time we look (give our attention) these particles blink into existence – they become visible particles of matter, and every time we turn our attention away from them they disappear – they become invisible waves of energy. Each particle is a wave at the same time, and it’s a wave until the moment of observation. So, a particle is literally created through the act of observation.
In the quantum world, particles are waves, and waves are particles. At this level, suddenly, all the rules of behavior with which we are familiar no longer hold true. No longer do we speak about “here or there”; in the quantum world we speak about “here and there”. A baseball hit against the wall with two windows cannot get out of the room by going through both windows at once. And yet an electron, a neutron, or even an atom, when faced with a barrier with two slits in it, will go through both of them at once. The impossibility of being at several locations at the same time is shattered by quantum theory.
Two subatomic particles are mysteriously linked together no matter how far away from each other they may be (miles or light-years), and behave in a concerted way: whatever happens to one of them immediately happens to the other one, regardless of the distance between them. Possibly a way to understand this phenomena is to think of two particles not as separate entities, but as parts of one system, and that system is unaffected by physical distance between its components.
The mysterious rules of the quantum world make no sense when viewed with an eye trained by our everyday experiences. Our everyday experiences do not equip us with the ability to understand what goes on in micro-cosm, which we do not experience directly. We must admit that our conceptions of reality in the universe are inadequate, and we must let go of all our preconceptions about the world derived from our experiences and our senses.
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