There is a consensus that our brain is the most beautiful and mysterious thing in the universe.
It’s today’s ball. We enthusiastically highlight the false promises of the Internet of Thought and mistake neuroscience as a cornerstone of AI.
We seem intrigued by the slightly inflated expectations for this area of my focus. This is the only way to understand how intelligent and educated people allow themselves to say things like “my brain feels,” “my brain knows,” or “my brain decides,” so as to understand that whoever feels, knows, and decides is me, an example that emerges from the brain’s encounter with the world, a part subtracted from Logic as if unimportant.
This was not always the case. Three to four generations ago, psychoanalysis triumphed over the West, but what really moved public opinion was physics. So the corn was one, beautiful and luxurious.
The idea that the universe does not operate according to the laws of Newtonian mechanics, but as predicted by the theory of general relativity, was expounded by Arthur Eddington and Frank Dyson, In an experiment conducted in Sobralin Ceará, 1919.
In a kind of radical reversal of trend, quantum mechanics advanced models and concepts surprising even to Einstein, who incidentally won the Nobel Prize in 1921 for the photoelectric effect, part of the central framework of quantum mechanics.
The history of this region is one of the counterintuitive chronological predictions. Observation creates facts, while things can be in more than one place at once. The scale of rethinking all that exists was enormous and led to the inventions of the laser caliber (1960) as well as paradigm shifts in fields such as philosophy and biology, where Schrödinger set precedents with His treatment of the origin and performance of life (1944).
Quantum mechanics was the fantasy under the mathematical cover of reality. Its popularity was driven by the New Age from 1975 onwards, who saw in the story of particles that are also waves a way to give ballast and cosmic depth to their trading practices and strategies.
It did not take long for the first quantum teachers to appear, as well as the first quantum theories of consciousness, whose greatest mystery would be the development of the subject without any mathematics.
All this naturally led to the exhaustion of public opinion. The prejudices arising from psychology’s appropriation of common sense have become a distortion of this branch of physics’ ability to produce value for those inhabiting the realm of billions of atoms, while issues that once inspired major debates have become taboo, as physicist Sean Carroll tells us.
My hypothesis is that this is starting to change.
Confirmation of the central predictions of quantum mechanics, identification of quantum phenomena in environmental conditions and, above all, the development of techniques based on their principles suggest that a new quantum wave is forming and that it may be larger than the quantum wave. One original copy. For good and bad. This is how much hypothesis is all about.
Paparazzi filming Quantico in Glasgow
Among its most famous principles is that indeterminism, at the atomic and subatomic level, sets the tone.
Things do not have specific states. They are not just particles or energy, but wave functions that are, in some situations, more suitable for the first concept, and in others, for the second.
Wave functions assume non-deterministic results. The electron has a certain chance of spinning up or down. While this spin is not measured, the electron has quite a bit of both.
That is, we not only know which one is its final spin, but this knowledge arises from the collapse of the wave function produced by the spin register, making things work again in the classical way. over here There is an explanation in 3 minutes.
Just as things can exist in this superposition state described above, they can also be tangled each other. For example, recording the spin of electron A affects the recording of electron spin B, even if it is on the other side of the galaxy.
These principles are well established from a mathematical point of view. What has changed is the ability to be experimentally logged and generate applications, even outside of physics.
The idea that particles act like waves It was introduced by Schrödinger in 1926. Despite being one of the most important equations of the twentieth century, the controversy over its descriptive role for the basic properties of reality has never ceased.
Only in 2015a group of physicists from the University of Queensland (Australia) were able to provide relevant evidence in favor of Ontology of the wave function, which also served to explain its collapse, increasing the importance of uncertainty as a property of things and quantum mechanics as the best possible alternative to classical mechanics.
In 2010, it was introduced The first evidence that quantum entanglement applies to macroscopic objectsbut only in 2015 This phenomenon has been fully explained experimentally. It took another four years for it to become possible Take a picture of yourself.
Next year, 15 trillion atoms were intertwined A fifth state of matter (a Bose-Einstein condensate) has been shown. This condensation is a state in which several atoms begin to act as a kind of superatomic, allowing for the recording of macroscopic quantum phenomena.
Also in 2010, The first consistent display of the effect Casimira macroscopic force acting in a vacuum, contradicts the idea that nothing comes out of nowhere (“ex nihilo nihil fit”), which Parmenides rose to the role of universal truth 2500 years ago. we Last few yearsPractical demonstrations of the effect applied to nanotechnology are beginning to emerge.
The most relevant aspect of these experiments is not to prove what was meant to be called into question, but to promote the transition into the field of evidence-based science.
This radically changes the relationship with public opinion, funding agencies, investors, and scientists from other regions, opening the way to a new utopian circle of quantum mechanics, the thesis presented here.
For example, one of the most famous quantum phenomena is tunneling, the ability of a particle to cross impenetrable barriers, predicted by Oscar Klein (1929). Only in 2019 did clear evidence appear It’s a real thing and only in 2020 was that possible Measure the time it takes for a particular form of digging tunnels.
In the same way, teleportation on the infralilliputian scale, so to speak, gained fame from a study by Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen (1935), and became an interesting topic again in the 1990s, due to the publication of important theoretical study. It took another 24 years for it to become possible Instant transmission of a particle of light to a satellitewhich is essential for building quantum communication networks.
In 2019 the kilogram became quantumwhile NASA Activate his atomic clock in deep space. That was two years before the debut quantum random number generatorwhich is already used in games and web 3.0 projects.
One of the main indicators of the impact of a type of scientific knowledge on society as a whole is its incorporation into other areas. Freud developed his psychological model as a kind of economics, Influenced by British economists The second half of the nineteenth century, such as Joshua Bingyu, Jeffrey Hinton and Yan Likon Invented deep learning Inspired by Patricia Churchland’s connectivity theory of brain functioning. The perceived importance of a related field tends to reflect its broader popularity at a particular historical moment.
In the 1940s, Schrödinger laid the foundations for Quantum biologystarting with a new definition of life as one that can avoid the fall of thermodynamic equilibrium by maintaining the homogeneous negative entropy that characterizes open systems.
Entropy is the degree of disorganization of a system; The path of no return to the universe, which changes configuration like a tidy house giving way to chaos. And life, in turn, manifests itself in the opposite direction, especially from a genetic point of view.
This insight influenced the discovery of DNA and many other developments, while quantum biology as an independent area of investigation has fallen somewhat behind, only gaining new momentum recently. The bottom line is to question the existence of room-temperature quantum processes, which causes the wave function to collapse almost instantly.
Currently, the prevailing skepticism is being challenged by empirical evidence.
For example, when a plant captures a photon of light, it has the challenge of preventing it from dissipating. How do you do it? One hypothesis is that energy transfer is enhanced by quantum coherence, according to Columbia University scientists. He claims he showed up in 2018.
It is worth noting that this discovery It did not lead to a consensus on the importance of quantum coherence in plants. So the discovery of these bacteria chlorobium lukewarm It uses quantum principles to protect its active processes from the harmful effects of oxygen It caused an uproar when it was posted; In this case, it seems clear that they have an essential role.
Something similar happened to German researchers Show that migratory birds use the Earth’s magnetic field as a GPS systemWith the help of quantum entanglement, in proteins in the retina (2018). This was the conclusion Confirmed in 2021.
Currently, many other biological phenomena are being rethought under the same inspiration, including smell and some neurological processes.
One Semen 2022 study Expand the range of topics dear to biology, in which quantitative interpretations gain the ground, by noting that mutations can appear in DNA as a function of quantitative tunneling in the guanine-cytosine (GC) nucleotide pair.
Amount of everything, everything
The hypothesis that quantum mechanics in the zeitgeist cauldron in the next decade includes more recent empirical evidence for its theoretical models, the promotion of the thesis playing an important role in biology and the growth of public interest it has all generated. .
Another strong evidence that we’re headed in this direction is the frenzy of quantum computing, which has been driving big tech companies and investment funds.
This will be the topic of the next article in this series. Click + at the top of the page so you don’t miss it. until that time.
I am grateful to Professor Paolo Artaxo for his careful reading and guidance, and to Helio Schwarzman for defining the topic and for the dialogue that has lasted over a year on it.
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