Thursday, 23 February 2012 00:06

Multiselves

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Abstract:

Extrapolating from Quantum mechanics, especially Hugh Everett’s many worlds interpretation of the double slit experiments, this paper says that there are many of each human being, each in a different universe. This idea is not exactly new for David Deutsch of Oxford University (Physics Department) in his book, The Fabric of Reality, writes that there are many of him, each in the possible infinite universes required by Quantum Mechanics.

Multiselves

By Ozodi Thomas Osuji

I have come to the conclusion that we have four levels of selves: The God self (this is the one self all creation shares; I call it Unified Spirit Self); The son of God (this is a part of the unified spirit self, our real self in spirit); The separated ego self in a higher state (a self in light form); and The lower separated ego self (a self in body; the self we on earth are aware of).

I will use quantum mechanics and Hinduism to explain the four levels of self. To do so I must explain quantum mechanics and Hinduism (this is an over simplified explanation; if you want detailed explanation you have to take courses in both classical and new physics and Hinduism).

Quantum mechanics (along with Einstein’s Special Relativity and General Relativity) is called new physics; it is a twentieth century phenomenon.  Before the twentieth century what we had is now called classical physics.

To understand new physics it is necessary to understand old physics so let me begin by saying a few words about classical physics.

The Ancient Greeks had some understanding of their world. Democritus and other empirically oriented Greek observers, for example, concluded that there is an irreducible part of nature they called atoms.  Folks like Plato and Aristotle, on the other hand, made global statements about nature that no one could verify hence do not fall under the purview of what we now call science (for an idea to be scientific it must be generally observable by anyone who chooses to observe it, verifiable, replicable in experimental situations and be falsifiable).

The Greeks, like other ancient people, developed technologies to adapt to their world although they did not always understand the science behind such technologies.  One of the few exceptions to this situation was Archimedes understanding of the science of buoyancy, why things float on water (If you jump into a river or ocean you are likely to drown unless you can swim, so how is it that ships and boats can carry heavy loads and still float on water).

Like other ancient people, Greeks speculated about the nature of the stars and their role in human lives. Pythagoras, for example, conjectured that the earth is the center of the universe and that the stars surrounded it, an idea the Christian Church later embraced.

Is the earth the center of the universe? Pythagoras and later the Christian Church assumed that whoever created human beings made them special and placed them in the center of his creation. When the ancients looked up in the sky they saw a firmament that seemed constructed around the earth; everything seemed to orbit the earth while the earth seemed to remain stationary (in the morning the sun rose in the East and in the evening it set in the West giving the appearance of moving around the earth).

This was pretty much where things stood until 1543 when a Polish Catholic reverend gentleman called Nicolas Copernicus wrote a book saying that in his opinion the sun was the center of the universe (not just the center of the solar system). Copernicus reached that conclusion without positing proof of it or showing how to prove his thesis.

Real science began in 1610 when Galileo Galilee used telescopes to observe the heavens and reached a conclusion that is not only empirical but could be verified by anyone who chose to do so (the scientific method requires positing a thesis that any one following it can verify as true).

Galileo said that the sun is the center of the solar system (with the then known six planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn…orbiting it…late, additional planets were discovered, Uranus and Neptune and Pluto).

For all intents and purposes Galileo is considered the father of modern science. Before and after him, there were philosophers speculating about phenomena but those did not offer proof of their theses.

Francis Bacon had emphasized the need to base knowledge on only observation not just speculation, Rene Descartes had argued that people seem to be operating on a mechanical basis but that there is another side to them, spirit, hence dualism; other philosophers such as Pascal, Leibnitz and Spinoza, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, George Berkeley, John Locke,  Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Feuerbach, Nietzsche, James, Bergson and so on had useful ideas on the nature of the world but those are strictly speaking not science for they did not verify their theses beyond just flinging them out there.

Galileo’s thesis that the earth orbited the sun was perceived by the Catholic Church as removing man and his world from the center of things hence heretical. He was arrested, tried and escaped death from the inquisition by renouncing and recanting what his own eyes had shown him to be the truth. Giordano Bruno who insisted that the earth is not the center of creation was burned in the inquisitors’ fire.

Galileo died in 1642, the year Isaac Newton was born, up north in what was by then Protestant England and far from the reach of the Catholic Inquisition.  Building on Galileo, Newton posited his three laws of motion and gravitation.  He showed how objects in space stay where they are due to their gravitational force.

If you throw a ball up you give it kinetic (motion) energy that makes it go up but soon the force you had given it is exhausted and it falls back to the earth (unless you can figure out a way to make your ball travel at a velocity that can escape the earth’s gravitational pull on it to fall down; the earth’s escape velocity is 7 miles per second or 25, 000 miles per hour…rockets must travel at that speed to avoid falling back to the earth but once they enter space, go beyond earth’s gravitational pull on objects to it they can then travel at whatever speed they are programmed to travel). Newton published his ideas in 1687 (in his book, Principia mathematica).

From 1687 to 1800 the Western world was pretty much ruled by Newton’s mechanics (laws of motion). In the nineteenth century discoveries were made on the nature of heat (heat is called thermos, dynamics means motion, hence the laws of thermodynamics) and other aspects of physics, chemistry, biology and geology. By the end of the 19th century science knew a lot about mechanics, heat, light, electricity, magnetism and sound.

In 1803 Thomas Young performed experiments showing that light behaves as wave (the double slit experiment).  Around the same time Dalton resurrected the Greek idea that nature has an irreducible part called atom (Boyle had posited the law of gases in the eighteenth century). In 1859 Charles Darwin posited the idea that we were not created at once but evolved over a great length of time, evolving from simpler organisms to more complex ones (in 1785 James Hutton showed that the earth is a lot older than the six thousand years that the Church said it was; the study of rocks, especially sedimentary rocks showed that they formed over millions (now known as billions) of years.  Michael Faraday discovered electricity. In the 1860s James Clark Maxwell unified the equations of electricity and magnetism. In the late nineteenth century Ludwig Boltzmann made important contributions to kinetic theory and statistical mechanics and thermodynamics.  In 1897 J.J Thompson discovered the electron.

At the end of the nineteenth century some scientists in fact believed that all the great discoveries in science had been made and that the rest is taking care of details, mopping up operations. If only they knew what the twentieth century had in store for science.

In 1900 Max Planck studying blackbodies radiation discovered that light has quanta (units or particles), as opposed to the traditional belief that light is wave. In 1905 Albert Einstein wrote five papers that changed the world, including his special relativity theory and a paper on the photoelectric effect of light (it is for this paper that he won the Nobel Prize, not for his relativity papers).  His paper essentially proved that light acted as balls (that is, particles) for they knocked off electrons on a hot surface. This is another demonstration that light acted as particles and is not just wave.

In 1911 Ernest Rutherford at Cambridge University bombarding gold foils with light discovered that inside the atom is something that was making his light particles bounce off, a thing that he called nucleus. So, the atom is not the final indivisible part of nature after all.

In 1913 Neils Bohr speculated that the electron orbited the nucleus, sort of like the earth orbited the sun. In the 1920s Rutherford speculated that the nucleus may be composed of more than protons, that it may also have neutrons.

In 1932 James Chadwick discovered that the nucleus inside the atom is not just made of protons but also neutrons (protons and neutrons are collectively called nucleons).

How small is the atom?  Millions of atoms will fit into a period (.)!  That which is already that small has inside it electrons, protons and neutrons.  Incredible. But, wait, for later in the 1950s and 60s we learned that protons and neutrons are made of other parts, quarks.  There are all kinds of quarks but for our present purposes protons and neutrons are not the smallest part of matter.

The various super colliding superconductors that smash elementary particles (such as protons and neutrons) have revealed many sub particles, so much so that folks have stopped counting; there is a veritable zoo of particles inside the atom.

In 1924 Louis Broglie showed that electrons behaved pretty much as the photons of light. Later in the 1920s attempts to explain how all these particles inside the atom behave was made; these attempts are called quantum mechanics (the study of matter at the smallest levels of its manifestation, as opposed to Newtonian physics that studied large objects, such as the universe). Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Pauli, Dirac, Born and others offered explanations of how particles behaved; they offered mostly mathematical, not empirical explanations.

Heisenberg posited what is called uncertainty principle. In brief, it says that we cannot ascertain both the position and the momentum of particles, such as electrons inside the atom.

Reinterpreting the double slit experiment of Thomas Young, Bohr posited that particles behaved as either wave or particles depending on the experimental instruments (this is called complementarity principle).  In Thomson’s double slit experiment it was shown that because of the interference of particles as they went through the two slits that they are wave. Bohr showed that what is really going on is that if you shot one particle through one slit that it goes through it as a particle but if you shoot the same one particle towards two slits it seems to divide itself into two particles and go through both slits and interfere with each other as the two make a mark on the paper behind the slits.  In other words, particles behave as particles and also behave as wave, not either or but whichever one the experimenter seem to want it to behave like.

Something weird seems to be going on inside atoms.  Marie and Pierre Curie had earlier (1903) shown that when the nucleus decayed that it released radiation and sometimes transformed the atom to other elements (Uranium loose neutrons, electrons, neutrinos and become lead).  Elements do transform themselves to other elements and ultimately matter transforms itself to energy and energy to matter (proving Einstein’s famous equation of E=Mc2).

Emil Schrodinger’s cat experiment on superposition, an experiment later elaborated on by Hugh Everett into what is now called multiverse theory is particularly interesting. Everett posits that what happens when we observe the behavior of particles and come up with different results (wave or particles) is that those particles replicate themselves to form the conclusion we desire (wave or particles).  That is to say those particles split themselves into many other particles. He generalized from his observation of particles to suggest that the larger universe makes copies of itself. Our universe replicates itself into many universes, he says.  There are many universes, many worlds or multiverse.

In the 1930s Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner showed that the nucleus of the atom could be split apart.  If you bombarded the nucleus with neutrons you could cause chain reaction that split it and in the process release enormous energy.

As we learned, the nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons (of varying numbers, the numbers, called atomic number, and if you add the electron, the atomic weight, determining the nature of the element; for example, carbon has six protons and six neutrons in its nucleus and six electrons orbiting the nucleus).

Protons and neutrons are held together by what is now called the strong nuclear force; the weak nuclear force is responsible for the decay of the nucleus…nucleus do naturally decay and release energy, release neutrons, neutrinos, radiation, electrons etc. The other natural forces are the electromagnetic force (that keeps electrons orbiting nucleus and attaches electricity to magnets) and the gravitational force (that pulls matter towards themselves).

With the understanding that the nucleus could be split and release energy (seen and not seen, neutrinos are not seen yet they are released when the nucleus decays or is split) the race was on to split the atom.  Then came the second world war and folks realized that if Germany won the race and split the nucleus and released the energy in it that it could use it to devastating effect hence win the war.

Einstein and other scientists wrote Franklyn Delano Roosevelt, the President of the USA, urging him to make funds available to split the atom. Thus came about the Manhattan Project headed by Robert Oppenheimer. The best nuclear physicists and chemists in the country, indeed in the Allied countries were gathered at New Mexico, USA and put to work. Eventually, they succeeded in splitting the nucleus of uranium (a heavy element with 235 protons and neutrons in its nucleus and equal number of electrons orbiting the nucleus) at Alamogordo, New Mexico in 1945.

A few months later, in August 1945, America dropped atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and killed thousands of people and that forced the Japanese empire to sue for peace. Subsequent to her surrender, American forces under General McArthur occupied Japan.

(Uranium like many elements has isotopes; in an isotope situation the number of neutrons in the nucleus is not the same as the number of protons; there is uranium 235 and 238. Hydrogen, the simplest element, has three basic types, regular hydrogen with only one proton in its nucleus, an isotope with a proton and neutron in its nucleus, deuterium, and titanium with more neutrons in its nucleus.)

For the purposes of completion of the survey of the history of modern science let us backtrack a bit and talk about the other things going on in science during this all important period, the first half of the twentieth century.

Einstein in 1915 modified Newton’s law of gravitation by showing that space and time are one continuous variable, are not separated from each other, and that space is curved.

In the early 1920s the Russian mathematician, Alexander Friedmann, interpreting Einstein’s theory of General Relativity showed mathematically that the galaxies are moving away from each other.

In 1927 Edwin Hubble demonstrated by observation (redshift) that galaxies are actually moving away from each other.

If the galaxies are moving away from each other then they must have been at one time close to each other?  George Lemaitre wrote a paper saying that at one time all the galaxies and everything in space and time were in one spot, the cosmic egg before that egg shattered and spilled its contents out to form our universe.

The Russian Physicist, George Gamow, seized on Lemaitre’s speculations and tried to experimentally show how the universe could have begun in one spot.

The English Physicist, Fred Hoyle made fun of speculations that the universe began in a big bang (a term he coined during a 1949 broadcast at the BBC). Instead, Fred Hoyle posited what he called a steady state universe, a universe that has always been around, with particles popping out in space, combining to form atoms, which combine to form stars and planets and molecules of biology, life etc.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the debate raged as to how the universe came into being. In 1965 two Bell scientists, Robert Woodrow Wilson and Arno Allan Penzias, noticed some noise in their listening instruments, their equipment was picking up sound that they could not explain. They consulted Robert Dicke of Princeton University and he suggested that they were picking up sound left over from the Big Bang (cosmic microwave background radiation).  Penzias and Wilson in one fell swoop proved that the universe began at a point in time.  The steady state universe of Fred Hoyle, Gold and Bondi was laid to rest (Mr. Hoyle never really accepted the Big Bang origin of the universe, but the train had moved on).

The current understanding of the origin of the universe is that 13.7 billion years ago, out of nowhere something the size of a particle (try to visualize the size of a particle, it actually has no size) materialized; got inordinately hot and exploded. It shattered and spilled its guts. Within the same second it transformed its heat to light (which are both wave and particles, remember). Photons of light (particles of light without mass) spread out. Space came into being. Time came into being.

In the same all important second of creation photons of light transformed themselves into electrons and thus electrons came into being (electrons have minor mass); the same photons transformed themselves into quarks; quarks combined into protons and neutrons.

By the end of the first minute of creation we have in existence photons (light), protons, neutrons and electrons.

Within the next three minutes protons and neutrons joined to form nuclei of the light elements (hydrogen…which is 75 percent of the universe, and helium, which is 25% of the universe…the other elements in the universe account for less than one percent of the universe).

At the end of the third minute of the creation of the universe there were unattached electrons, photons, nuclei of light elements in a sea of plasma.

During the next 400, 000 years the universe pretty much remained in this state of plasma. After 400, 000 years something incredible happened.  The expanding universe led to cooling of the tremendous heat that accompanied the Big bang and this lowered heat made it possible for nuclei to capture electrons and form the lightest elements, hydrogen and helium.

Light was freed and sped off (the cosmic microwave background radiation that Penzias and Wilson discovered was actually from the 400, 000 year mark of the universe, not from the big bang mark).  The universe existed in this form, that is, as cloud of hydrogen and helium gas, for the next millions of years.

Millions of years’ later space emerged in the see of hydrogen, helium gas.  The emergence of space in the cloud of gas led to gravity pulling clumps of gas inwards to form stars.

Stars are clumps of hydrogen that the pressure in their core lead to fusing hydrogen into helium (called nucleosynthesis) and in the process releasing heat and light, heat and light that work their way from the core of stars to their outside millions of years later and escape as the light we see as stars.

The process of star formation is complex and at any rate is beyond the scope of this paper but let it be noted that hydrogen is composed of one electron and one proton in its nucleus.  Through complex nucleosynthesis hydrogen fuses into an isotope of hydrogen, deuterium (aka heavy hydrogen) with a proton and a neutron in its nucleus and that combines with another deuterium to fuse helium. Helium has two protons and two neutrons in its nucleus and two electrons orbiting the nucleus.

Stars fuse hydrogen to helium.  The initial stars were massive in size. Within a few million years they exhausted their hydrogen and began fusing to other elements, such as carbon, oxygen until they reach iron.  When star fusing of elements reaches iron the heat in the star is not enough to fuse elements heavier than iron.

The star begins to expand in size and get hotter. At some point it explodes in a supernova (dies). During the tremendous heat accompanying the explosion heavier elements (such as gold, diamond, uranium etc.) are fused.

The fused elements are spilled into space.  Thus come into being a cloud (nebulae) of gas, dust and elements.

In time this cloud of debris from exploded stars experience space in it and clumps gather and are acted on by gravitation to form new stars and planets.

Our sun and its nine planets were formed 4.5 billion years ago from debris, gas cloud, elements etc. from dead massive stars.

As large stars shatter and spill their guts out their inner core collapses and forms either neutron stars or black holes. In the case of neutron stars all the elements in the core of the dead star are compressed into neutrons, a star that spins rapidly. In the case of black holes the matter in the core is so compressed and dense that not even light can escape from it (and its event horizon).

There are other types of stars, including Pulsars, quasars etc.)  It is beyond the scope of this paper to focus on the various types of stars.

For our present purpose, astrophysicists think that they have conclusive evidence as to how our universe came into being 13. 7 billion years ago.  Stars were formed; galaxies were formed (the earth was formed from the accretion and aggregation from debris from dead stars).


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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176