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quantum mechanics or quantum theory, branch of mathematical physics that deals with the emission and absorption of energy by matter and with the motion of material particles. Because it holds that energy and matter exist in tiny, discrete amounts, quantum mechanics is particularly applicable to ELEMENTARY PARTICLES and the interactions between them. According to the older theories of classical physics, energy is treated solely as a continuous phenomenon (i.e., WAVES), and matter is assumed to occupy a very specific region of space and to move in a continuous manner. According to the quantum theory, energy is emitted and absorbed in a small packet, called a quantum (pl. quanta), which in some situations behaves as particles of matter do; particles exhibit certain wavelike properties when in motion and are no longer viewed as localized in a given region but as spread out to some degree. The quantum theory thus proposes a dual nature for both waves and particles, with one aspect predominating in some situations and the other predominating in other situations. Quantum mechanics is needed to explain many properties of matter, such as the temperature dependence of the SPECIFIC HEAT of solids, as well as when very small quantities of matter or energy are involved, as in the interaction of elementary particles and fields, but the theory of RELATIVITY assumes importance in the special situation where very large speeds are involved. Together they form the theoretical basis of modern physics. (The results of classical physics approximate those of quantum mechanics for large scale events and those of relativity when ordinary speeds are involved.) Quantum theory was developed principally over a period of thirty years. The first contribution was the explanation of BLACKBODY radiation in 1900 by Max PLANCK, who proposed that the energies of any harmonic oscillator, such as the atoms of a blackbody radiator, are restricted to certain values, each of which is an integral (whole number) multiple of a basic minimum value. In 1905 Albert EINSTEIN proposed that the radiation itself is also quantized, and he used the new theory to explain the PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT. Niels BOHR used the quantum theory in 1913 to explain both atomic structure and atomic spectra, showing the connection between the energy levels of an atom's electrons and the frequencies of light given off and absorbed by the atom. Quantum mechanics, the final mathematical formulation of the quantum theory, was developed during the 1920s. In 1924 Louis de BROGLIE proposed that particles exhibit wavelike properties. This hypothesis was confirmed experimentally in 1927 by Clinton J. Davisson and Lester H. Germer, who observed DIFFRACTION of a beam of electrons. Two different formulations of quantum mechanics were presented following de Broglie's suggestion. The wave mechanics of Erwin SCHRÖDINGER (1926) involves the use of a mathematical entity, the wave function, which is related to the probability of finding a particle at a given point in space. The matrix mechanics of Werner HEISENBERG (1925) makes no mention of wave functions or similar concepts but was shown to be mathematically equivalent to Schrödinger's theory. Quantum mechanics was combined with the theory of relativity in the formulation of P.A.M. DIRAC (1928), which also predicted the existence of ANTIPARTICLES. A particularly important discovery of the quantum theory is the uncertainty principle, enunciated by Heisenberg in 1927, which places an absolute theoretical limit on the accuracy of certain measurements; as a result, the assumption by earlier scientists that the physical state of a system could be measured exactly and used to predict future states had to be abandoned. Other developments of the theory include quantum statistics, presented in one form by Einstein and S.N. Bose (Bose-Einstein statistics, which apply to BOSONS) and in another by Dirac and Enrico FERMI (Fermi-Dirac statistics, which apply to FERMIONS); quantum electronics, which deals with interactions involving quantum energy levels and resonance, as in LASERS; quantum gravitation, the quantum theory of gravitational fields; and quantum field theory. In quantum field theory, interactions between particles result from the exchange of quanta: electromagnetic forces arise from the exchange of PHOTONS, weak nuclear forces from the exchange of W AND Z PARTICLES, strong nuclear forces from the exchange of gluons, and GRAVITATION from the exchange of gravitons.
Matrix Mechanics in Quantum Theory
German physicist Werner Heisenberg, developed a different mathematical analysis known as matrix mechanics. According to Heisenberg's theory, the analysis was not an equation but a matrix: an array consisting of an infinite number of rows, each row consisting of an infinite number of quantities. Matrix mechanics showed that there were an infinite number of matrices that represented the position and momentum of an electron inside an atom.
We only need to turn to the arbiters of reality--mainstream scientists--to find this confirmed. The ability to observe phenomena, they now believe, is inextricably linked to the phenomena themselves. Having lost faith in the notion of a material explanation for existence, these quantum physicists and systems mathematicians have begun to look at the ways reality conforms to their expectations, mirroring back to them a world changed by the very act of observation. As they rely more and more on the computer, their suspicions are further confirmed: This is not a world reducible to neat equations and pat answers, but an infinitely complex series of interdependencies, where the tiniest change in a remote place can have systemwide repercussions.
- Douglas Rushkoff - _Cyberia: Life In The Trenches Of Hyperspace_ (1994)
"dance of Shiva" is what scientists call the dance of particles as they arise and disappear out of "quantum foam".
"I believe it's the same value that attends the exploration of ordinaryrealities. There's analchemical saying that one should read the oldest books, climb the highest mountains, and visit the broadest deserts. I think that being imposes some kind of obligation to find out what's going on, and since all primary information about what is going on comes through the senses, any plant or any compound that alters that sensory input has to be looked at very carefully. I've often made the point that, chemically speaking, you can take a molecule that is completely inactive as a psychedelic, reposition a single atom on one of its rings, and suddenly it's a powerful
psychedelic. Now it seems to me that this is a perfect proof of the interpretation of matter and mind. The movement of a single atom from one known position to another known position changes an experience from nothing to overwhelming. This means that mind and matter, at the quantum-mechanical level, are all spun together. This means in a sense that the term 'extraordinary reality' is not correct if it implies a division of category from ordinary reality. It is simply that there is more and more and more of reality, and some of it is inside our heads and some of it is deployed out through three dimensional - Newtonian space."
McKenna - _Archaic Revival_
The Quantum Mechanical engine: Goodbye Einstein and of course Newton, hello non locality and basically the heart sutra of Buddhism. Form is emptiness...the next development is sure to be applying the quarks to the quirks of humans. In other words quantum physics will become metaphysics by the very nature of the FACT that no universe is apprehended without an observer=you..
And a new philosophy emerged
called quantum physics, which suggests that the individual's function
is to inform and be informed. You really exist only when you're
in a field sharing and exchanging information.
You createrealities you inhabit.
- Timothy Leary - _Chaos & Cyberculture_ (1994)
"NATURE ISN'T CLASSICAL, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you'd better MAKE IT QUANTUM MECHANICAL, and by golly it's a wonderful problem because it doesn't look easy." - Richard Feynman (1981)
"Which is to say that culture is not a reflex of political economy, but that society is now a reflex of key shifts in music theory and practice.... [Sampladelia is] the sound made by those early-twentieth-century discoveries in particle physics and relativity theory, the projection of the minds of Einstein, Heisenberg, and Bohr, their fateful explorations of liquid time, curving space, uncertainty fields and relativity theorems, into densely configured and fully ambivalent android music tracks"
- Arthur Kroker, _Spasm: Virtual Reality, Android Music and Electric Flesh_
If we accept that a successful
piece of art can support various levels of intellectual investment
from the viewer, a given piece will not have a single unchangeable
"meaning" for that individual. Rather, the meaning for that person
will be made up of a network of
shifting interactions between many perceptions of
the work. It is interesting to think about the mental space that these
interactions and perceptions take place in.
"Quantum particles are the dreams that stuff is made of."
- David Moser
Sociologists of knowledge, like Andew Pickering,
feel that physicists are often really "creating" many of the weird
they are studying, rather than just "finding" them out there. (That position is reflected by the Copenhagen Interpretation, which suggests that mind collapses the quantum wave function and creates the properties of the observed.)
Steve Mizrach aka Seeker1
QM has given rise to the modern semiconductor technologies behind the new computing and information infrastructure. When considered magickally, a workable interface between psi phenomena, consciousness, bioenergetics and synchronicity is established. We're getting quite near to where we've been trying to hasten us: the frontiers of science, where mathematics and mysticism almost visibly blur. Mathematics is the universal language of physicists, and as such perhaps the most powerful magickal language in daily use on this planet. A language in which 'work' 'force' 'power' 'acceleration' 'field strength' 'energy' 'mass' and 'current' all refer to well defined concepts, and observable quantities. Mathematics has provided the most effective magickal framework yet for enquiry into the nature and structure of matter (which we now know to be a form of energy, and vice versa.)
Some philosophers assert that consciousness arises from 'complex interactions' occurring between neurons, which could perhaps one day be reproduced on a computer... this is a 'Strong A.I.' viewpoint. Others are not so sure, and feel that consciousness and quantum mechanics may be tightly bound together. Many will be familiar with the phenomena termed 'synchronicity' by Carl Jung, in which seemingly 'random coincidences' take on a deep personal significance. Some have found that the practice of magick has rather increased the rate of these events... and that you may have found yourself encountering other folk in strangely similar situations. At the quantum level, reality is an indivisible, massively interconnected whole. Each nervous system is embedded into this whole in such a way as that its very functioning would appear to impinge on the fabric of the whole, spreading 'virtual vibrations' out across spacetime. As above, so below. Quantum structures within and without and a proven mechanism --- non local interactions --- for interfacing between the two. By acting so as to affect the patterns of interaction and vibration within our nervous systems we in so doing, affect the external quantum structure of the entire universe. In short, modern physics and magick would seem to be saying identical things.