The Double-Slit Experiment - Deepstash

The Double-Slit Experiment

  • Quantum Guru Niels Bohr worked with physicist Pascual Jordan in the 1920s and conducted the now-famous experiment which involved tracking the path of a light beam through vertical slits and the outcome being displayed on a screen.
  • As light is a kind of wave, an interference happens, and it turns into alternate bright and dark stripes on the resulting screen, depending on if they are reinforced or cancelled out.
  • Oddly, when a ‘detector’ is placed in the slits, helping the observer know if light has passed through it, there is no interference. Nature seems to be changing its behaviour depending on whether it is observed or not.

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MORE IDEAS FROM The strange link between the human mind and quantum physics

An advanced version of the double-slit experiment by Physicist John Wheeler in the 70s made things even more interesting.

He proved that the mere intention or planning of measuring an outcome of the path of light changes its behaviour as if it knows that a conscious entity is planning to look at the outcome.

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The 1994 book Shadows Of The Mind by physician Stuart Hameroff suggests that the neurons of our brain and most of our cells contain protein strands called microtubules which may be responsible for quantum-level cognition. However, this process is easily nullified by its interaction with the surrounding environment and is known as decoherence.

The fact that the nerve signals or electrical impulses have interaction possible at the quantum level in the brain and is easily destroyed by outside influence, runs parallel to the earlier ‘Double-Slit’ experiment.

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The phenomena of telekinesis and telepathy fall in line with the almost supernatural communication between atoms.

Scientists are wary to explain consciousness, build a theory around it, or even mention it alongside quantum physics and the idea of 'Quantum Consciousness' is disturbing for many, and is regarded as 'mystical woo'.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that science is now reluctantly encountering consciousness, something it had long avoided.

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Physicists argue that objectivity might as well be an illusion, and consciousness has to be put in the picture of its worldview.

The two puzzles of Science, Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics, might as well be closely related, with one arising because of the other.

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Consciousness And Quantum Physics

Understanding consciousness and how it fits in the universe is a perennial puzzle for decades. Some call it the holy grail of science.

Quantum physics is able to describe the atomic and subatomic level particles and their properties in ways never before understood, and science is beginning to understand a possible link.

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Certain drugs like Lithium can treat mental disorders, like bipolar disorder, due to it affecting the neural networks of the brain, something that wasn’t known previously.

Many factors bring us to the intriguing idea that the brain’s neural network and quantum mechanics are closely related, and consciousness is imbibed inside, making science finally encounter consciousness at the unlikeliest place.

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Modern science is hesitant to talk about consciousness due to it opening a pandora’s box, putting their previously ‘bulletproof’ theories under suspicion.

Quantum Theory had a similar ‘uh oh’ moment when it was found that the behaviour of atomic level particles changes when we (a conscious observer) are looking at it, or not. This is known as the Observer Effect.

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Various experiments and studies on diverse subjects like bird migration and green plants show signs of natural quantum-level effects in nature, including our brain and cells.

Certain molecules called ‘Posner molecules’ can resist the decoherence for a short while, influencing how the brain works at a quantum level.

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Quantum physics - a simple explanation

Quantum physics is the field of physics that explains how everything works.

It is the best description of the nature of the particles that make up matter and the forces with which they interact. If you want to explain how photons on light turn to electrical current in a solar panel, or how the sun keeps burning, you'll need to use quantum physics.

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Nowadays, people worry about a “desert scenario,” where no new particles will be found for many decades to come, if ever.

This point of view is wrong.

The first two decades of this century have been pretty successful for physics:

  1. the discovery of the Higgs particle
  2. the detection of gravitational waves
  3. the first image of a black hole

95 Percent of the universe is missing. 

The aim of physics is to understand in a precise, mathematical way all manifestation of matter and energy in the universe.

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Wave Particle Duality

Matter and light have properties of both waves and particles simultaneously. The results of quantum mechanics make it clear that waves exhibit particle-like properties and particles exhibit wave-like properties, depending on the specific experiment. Quantum physics is, therefore, able to make descriptions of matter and energy based on wave equations that relate to the probability of a particle existing in a certain spot at a certain time.

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