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Oct 22, 2008

Quantum Physics and Spirituality

www.TheisticScience.org · Physics Approach · Talk Index


Are Quantum Physics and Spirituality related?

Click here to view slides

Published version in 'New Philosophy'

Ian Thompson, Physics Department, University of Surrey, U.K.

Article based on a talk given to the Swedenborg Scientific Association, 20 April 2002.

It is particularly valuable to discuss questions concerning quantum physics and spirituality together, in order to see the connection between them from the New Church standpoint. There is an urgent reason for discussing this link, because there are people who want to identify these things. There is a widespread feeling that somehow that they are connected, but some ‘new age’ people want to say that quantum physics tells us about spirituality. We know from Swedenborg that the connection is not quite so simple, so we need to understand in more detail what is going on.

Quantum Physics and Wave-particle Duality

To review where quantum physics comes in, I will remind those of you who have taken physics courses in which quantum physics has been introduced, of some of the problems we have. One of the problems is that the particles discovered in modern physics are not just little lumps that travel around, but behave as waves. The electrons, which we think of as a prime example of a little particle, can be scattered with interference patterns: diffracted through slits, around corners, or from crystals. They can be reflected as a wave. Furthermore, these waves are probability waves, so we do not say that an electron is definitely in one place, but that it has or is a distribution of probabilities. The form of this distribution can be worked out accurately in quantum physics, which makes very precise predictions. But only the probabilities are predicted: physics does not tell us exactly where the particle is. This is one of the puzzles: to understand why and how particles behave as waves.

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3 Comments:

At 9:58 PM , Blogger †w¦† said...

I haven't actually read any of that, I'm just responding to the initial question...in my usual glib way.

So: Are Quantum Physics and Spirituality related?

Quantum physics IS spirituality.

(or at least a type-of, or part-of a persons spirituality)

 
At 11:16 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

This is interesting to me in that it deals with this issue in a physical, rather than metaphysical, manner.

The spiritual is physical.

When I read the Tao of Physics, 20 yrs ago, it gave me an insight into this, and changed my entire view.

 
At 8:26 PM , Blogger †w¦† said...

It's become a very cheapened word, I know that much. I'm actually disgusted with myself for using it three effing times in one useless comment.

For me, it must ultimately pertain to a way of seeing that is beyond further description...& your stark second line led me back to that 'understanding'.

Thankee ¦:¬)_

 

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