Friday, April 2, 2010

Polls Archive 60 - Quantum and Macro a Continuum?

Poll 60: "The so-called 'dividing line' between the quantum and the macro realms is completely artificial, it is really all part of the same continuum." Poll ended March 17 2010. 93 % agreed, while the remaining 7 % disagreed.

This, of course, is one of the big ones. We keep reading mainstream science articles which suggest that the quantum world is completely separate from the physical world we see around us, but we also keep reading about scientists who have demonstrated quantum entanglement with larger and larger molecules. Where is the dividing line really, and why does it seem to keep moving more and more into our macro world? One of the commonly used arguments is that quantum effects have nothing to do with our "warm and wet" reality: but in entries like Creativity and the Quantum Universe and Holograms and Quanta, I've talked about (and provided links to) new observations and theories which suggest the natural world is using quantum effects for photosynthesis, migratory navigation, and perhaps even consciousness.

In addition, it does seem that this acceptance of a direct connection from the quantum to the macro world is being advanced more and more in leading theories of cosmology. As someone who has been beating that drum with this project for almost four years now, it's great to see the gradual shift in thinking that is happening.

The other part of this idea that I've been proposing, though, still remains to be embraced by the mainstream - in my book and in entries like The Fifth Dimension is Spooky, I've been insisting that the "strangeness" of quantum effects like entanglement and tunneling makes much more sense when we realize that our "now" is in the fifth dimension rather than the fourth. That additional degree of freedom that the fifth dimension provides, with it being at "right angles" to our spacetime, gives us a way to visualize how the spooky action at a distance that Einstein was so uncomfortable with only seems that way when we believe that our reality is confined to the limits of 4D spacetime.

I've talked before about how Einstein eventually embraced the theory proposed to him in 1919 by Kaluza, which says that the field equations for gravity and light are resolved at the fifth dimension for our 4D spacetime. Fully incorporating the implications of that statement into a reality where we realize that our 4D "now" is being observed one planck frame at a time from the wave function of possible paths which the fifth dimension provides gives, in my opinion, an intuitive way to understand the continuum between the the quantum and macro worlds which this poll question was examining.

And as I've been fond of pointing out, this also gives us a way to understand not just Everett's Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, but also why the fifth dimension from our perspective appears to be "curled up at the planck length": it's because of the tiny planck-length frames of the fifth dimension that we are moving within as we observe our 4D spacetime reality.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Fourth Spatial Dimension 101

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