Science & Spirituality Dr. Fred Alan Wolf and Quantum Spirituality - P2/3    
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This leads naturally into the simple recognition of the great spiritual wisdom. There is only one mind because mind separated into separate parcels of space and time makes no sense from the point of view of quantum physics. And the theory of entanglement is one of the indications of the truth of that statement.

Welcome, thoughtful viewers, to Science and Spirituality on Supreme Master Television. This program is part two of a three-part series featuring an interview with a popular quantum physicist, author and lecturer from the United States, Dr. Fred Alan Wolf.

Dr. Wolf earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California – Los Angeles, USA in 1963. He has lectured across the world, conducted extensive research in his field, written many award-winning books such as “Taking the Quantum Leap” and “The Spiritual Universe,” and served as the resident physicist on the Discovery Channel program “The Know Zone.” Dr. Wolf has appeared in popular films such as “What The Bleep Do We Know” and “The Secret.”

He is known for explaining the complex laws of quantum physics in an engaging way so that non-scientists can better understand them and see how they relate to spiritual principles. His fascinating work has sparked the interest of many to deeply inquire into the very nature of existence and the mind.

Last week Dr. Wolf explained what led him to become interested in the relationship between quantum physics and spirituality. Today he provides his perspective on fascinating subjects ranging from the nature of reality, to the quantum entanglement theory to how quantum computers could possibly develop their own consciousness in the future.

A good question is what is reality? And what does it mean to talk about reality in any significant way? Clearly there seems to be some boundaries between what we call “what’s real.” You have your reality, I have my reality. That seems to be the case. However when you begin to look deeply into this question of quantum physics, and how mind enters into it, we cannot find a boundary from one mind to the next. We cannot find anything which distinguishes your mind from my mind. We have the experience of such a distinguishing going on.

But if you really look at it, and I look at you, and I say to myself, “That’s a human being,” but I don’t have any experience of you other than what I am experiencing from my natural senses, I’m not inside your head looking out your eyeballs, so I don’t know what you’re seeing, I don’t know what you’re smelling or tasting. I can imagine what those things are, but I don’t have an experience of that.

So that’s a tendency to say that well since we seem to have separate bodies, we must have separate minds. But according to what we understand about mind, it doesn’t have any place where you can make the compartmentalization take place. In fact Erwin Schrödinger one of the founders of quantum physics, actually came up with a proof that there wasn’t any separation between various minds even though it appears that there are.

That would bring us into the quantum entanglement theory. Can you explain that?

Well, in quantum entanglement it can involve mind, of course, but what it involves is what happens after what is called an interaction. When things interact we usually have a picture of an interaction as something coming together and flying apart, bindle-bangle, that’s an interaction. And the question then becomes if I know what’s going on before the interaction can I say what’s going on after the interaction?

Now if these were billiard balls, classical snooker, or some game like that and you hit a ball and bounce it against another ball, the snooker players and billiard ball players know how to control that. So they can say given that I push the white ball with a certain amount of momentum and hit it a certain way, it’s going to hit the red ball and it’s going to fall over this way and everything is correlated – co-related – correlated; (it’s the) same word.

In other words, I have control the initial conditions which are the ball I am trying to hit which is at rest on the green maze table and the little white ball I am hitting with my cue. I have control over the position and the momenta of both objects so I could predict what the position and momenta of the two objects are after they hit and fly apart. Momenta being mass times velocity or the movement of the object as it goes flying off in a given direction – that’s called momentum.

Anyway that’s fine but in quantum physics we have no such control. We don’t know exactly the position and momenta of each object to begin with; but once they interact they become what is called entangled. They become a correlation which means since we don’t know exactly where they are the question arises: What do we know of these objects?

And the question then is answered with this answer. We do know that if you measure the position of the object on the left after the interaction you can predict the position of the object on the right after the interaction. But if you decide to measure the momentum of the object on the left after the interaction you could predict the momentum of the object on the right after the interaction.

But you cannot predict both the position and the momenta of either object after the interaction. Even if you measure both at the same time you cannot determine what the other object is going to have. Entanglement tells us that they are correlated provided you ask one question but not both. It’s a kind of a funny kind of 20 questions thing that you can’t ask all the questions at once. So you can’t determine the answers to all of them.

There seems to be a buzz going around about quantum computing. (Yes) What’s going on in this field?

Well, let me explain as basically as I can about the difference between a quantum computation and a normal computation. Computers are very simple basic tools that are very complicated because the very basic tool is multiplied by a zillion times. The basic tool is simply up or down, on or off, zero or one: that’s the tool. In other words, it’s a switch. All computers are a bunch of switches.

Think of a switch as something which you can throw as going down or up, up/down, two switch positions and that is an ordinary computer, a whole bunch of these things, billions of them. And that’s how it works. Basically, change the positions of the switches; there are two possible positions here, there is another one over here, two more – that’s four possible positions.

They can be both up; they can be both this way; they can be like this; or they can be like this. Now put three of them in, that means two (possible positions) times three (switches) which is eight (possible positions) and so forth … so two to the power of how many different switches there are is the power of the computer. It could be very large. Two to the power of ten is already more than a thousand so you can see that you could get a lot of different possibilities.

Now we come to a quantum computer. It’s also made of switches but all these positions in between are allowed and can be computed in combination with the other ones. So there is an infinite variety in each switch of possible positions. So you have as many as different possible positions this has multiplied by as many switches as there are and you have a quantum computer. Of course, because they are so flimsy in a way, they are not very robust; you have to really isolate them to make sure that you don’t make them snap.

Now the thing which makes quantum computation of interest is that even though there are all these different positions possible when you make computations, when you don’t actually observe what’s going on (very important, you don’t look). When you actually observe any one of these switches what you instantly get is this (up) or that (down), but never anything in-between.

Is that because of the observing effect?

That’s exactly it.


So what a quantum computer does: it has way of observing, or bringing in the observer and the question is whether the machine can observe its own state or not. It’s still an open question. I will lend a little bit of speculation here. If it’s possible that we can build a self-observing quantum computer it would be as conscious as a self-observing human being.

It will also think about God and questions like that. A thinking, really conscious being in a computer – a being essentially able to do what we can do, which is to make things snap one way or the other. But it’s the possibilities which all these different possible positions can add up because what we have in quantum physics is something called “superposition possibilities.”

If one switch is like this and the one next to it is like that, then the two add together like making vectors – you have one like this, one like that, and you can add them up and you get a whole bunch of different vectors going in all different directions and you get many, infinitely many different possibilities.

Whereas with only this kind of computer (up or down, on or off), it’s either this adds with this one makes that one, or it goes down. You don’t get any in-betweens and therefore you don’t get any states associated with any of the in-betweens; whereas in quantum computers you can actually get something associated with the in-betweens provided you don’t look at what’s going on in-between.

It’s a very fascinating field. It’s one of the biggest fields in thinking today in quantum physics. Almost all the papers appearing right now have different aspects of quantum computation because it affects everything.

We would like to again thank Dr. Fred Alan Wolf for explaining complex quantum physics concepts in a highly engaging manner and offering his insights on science, consciousness and spirituality. Bright viewers, please join us next Monday on Science and Spirituality for the conclusion of our three part interview with Dr. Wolf.

For more details on Dr. Fred A. Wolf, please visit Books, CDs, and DVDs by Dr. Wolf are available at the same website

Thank you for your company today on our show. Coming up next is Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News here on Supreme Master Television. May the wonders of the universe forever inspire us all.
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