The universe may be conscious, say prominent scientists


A proto-consciousness field theory could replace the theory of dark matter, one physicist states. 

What consciousness is and where it emanates from has stymied great minds in societies across the globe since the dawn of speculation. In today’s world, it’s a realm tackled more and more by physicists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists. There are a few prevailing theories. The first is materialism. This is the notion that consciousness emanates from matter, in our case, by the firing of neurons inside the brain.

Take the brain out of the equation and consciousness doesn’t exist at all. Traditionally, scientists have been stalwart materialists. But doing so has caused them to slam up against the limitations of materialism. Consider the chasm between relativity and quantum mechanics, or Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and you quickly start to recognize these incongruities.

The second theory is mind-body dualism. This is perhaps more often recognized in religion or spirituality. Here, consciousness is separate from matter. It is a part of another aspect of the individual, which in religious terms we might call the soul. Then there’s a third option which is gaining ground in some scientific circles, panpsychism. In this view, the entire universe is inhabited by consciousness.

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Subhash Kak: ‘It is wrong to assume that consciousness is just a computation’

  • The curriculum needs to move away from rote learning to critical thinking to deal with the AI challenge
  • Each generation needs to reinvent itself and that cannot be done by mimicking other societies

Subhash Kak, who was recently awarded the Padma Shri for science & engineering-technology, says India needs to move from rote learning to critical thinking. Each generation needs to reinvent itself, says the Regents professor emeritus, Oklahoma State University, US, whose research covers the fields of neural networks, cryptography and quantum computing.

Kak, who has written 20 books, including six books of poems, says what sets humans apart from intelligent machines is awareness, and it is “wrong to assume that consciousness is just a computation”.

“My research has led me through various pathways, some of which touch on ancient wisdoms and others on modern science,” writes Kak, who is also a Vedic scholar, in his book The Circle Of Memory: An Autobiography (2016).

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New theory of quantum mechanics shows matter is not in the eye of the observer

The measurement problems has plagued theoretical physics for nearly 100 years

The mystery of why quantum matter jumps from a wave-like state to a well-defined particle when it is observed has puzzled scientists for nearly a 100 years.

Known as ‘the measurement problem’ it is widely seen as the major complication in quantum theory and has led even well-respected scientists to suggest that the human mind may be having some kind of telepathic influence on the fabric of the universe – our thoughts actually shaping reality around us.

But physicist Jonathan Kerr, who has studied quantum mechanics for 35 years from his cottage in Surrey, believes he has solved the riddle, and the answer is more prosaic than some might have hoped.

He thinks that it is actually impossible to measure anything without a tiny interaction taking place and it is that ‘bump’ that tells the particle where it is in space and fixes its form.

Kerr, the nephew of the late author Judith Kerr, has just published a book on his theory and an article is due to appear in a well-respected peer reviewed journal soon. The idea was first posited by some scientists in the 1990s but it has been an unfinished until now.

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‘Time is elastic’: Why time passes faster atop a mountain than at sea level

The idea of ‘absolute time’ is an illusion. Physics and subjective experience reveal why.

  • Since Einstein posited his theory of general relativity, we’ve understood that gravity has the power to warp space and time.
  • This “time dilation” effect occurs even at small levels.
  • Outside of physics, we experience distortions in how we perceive time — sometimes to a startling extent.

Place one clock at the top of a mountain. Place another on the beach. Eventually, you’ll see that each clock tells a different time. Why? Time moves slower as you get closer to Earth, because, as Einstein posited in his theory of general relativity, the gravity of a large mass, like Earth, warps the space and time around it.

Scientists first observed this “time dilation” effect on the cosmic scale, such as when a star passes near a black hole. Then, in 2010, researchers observed the same effect on a much smaller scale, using two extremely precise atomic clocks, one placed 33 centimeters higher than the other. Again, time moved slower for the clock closer to Earth.

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Researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip

On a hillside above Stanford University, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory operates a scientific instrument nearly 2 miles long. In this giant accelerator, a stream of electrons flows through a vacuum pipe, as bursts of microwave radiation nudge the particles ever-faster forward until their velocity approaches the speed of light, creating a powerful beam that scientists from around the world use to probe the atomic and molecular structures of inorganic and biological materials.

Now, for the first time, scientists at Stanford and SLAC have created a that can accelerate electrons—albeit at a fraction of the velocity of that massive instrument—using an infrared laser to deliver, in less than a hair’s width, the sort of energy boost that takes microwaves many feet.

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Teoria quântica que diz que duas realidades podem coexistir é comprovada em experimen

A física quântica, como sabemos, é um reino totalmente diferente e estranho da física. Lá, coisas estranhas e inimagináveis no nível normal da física acontecem, como o entrelaçamento quântico e outros fenômenos. E por incrível que pareça, as coisas acabaram de ficar mais estranhas. Um experimento acaba de comprovar uma questão que tem intrigado os cientistas que estudam este campo da física há anos: será que duas versões da realidade podem existir ao mesmo tempo? Os físicos dizem que a resposta para essa pergunta é afirmativa – pelo menos no mundo quântico.

O experimento colocou em prática uma teoria: dois indivíduos observando o mesmo fóton poderiam chegar a diferentes conclusões sobre o estado desse fóton – e, no entanto, ambas as suas observações estariam corretas. Pela primeira vez, os cientistas replicaram as condições descritas neste experimento mental. Seus resultados, publicados em 13 de fevereiro, confirmaram que, mesmo quando os observadores descreviam estados diferentes no mesmo fóton, as duas realidades conflitantes poderiam ser ambas verdadeiras.

“Você pode verificar as duas”, confirma Martin Ringbauer, um dos co-autores do estudo e pesquisador de pós-doutorado do Departamento de Física Experimental da Universidade de Innsbrück, na Áustria.

Mas como isso é possível?

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Astrophysicist Says He Knows How to Build a Time Machine

Astrophysicist Ron Mallett believes he’s found a way to travel back in time — theoretically.

The tenured University of Connecticut physics professor recently told CNN that he’s written a scientific equation that could serve as the foundation for an actual time machine. He’s even built a prototype device to illustrate a key component of his theory — though Mallett’s peers remain unconvinced that his time machine will ever come to fruition.

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Scientists Find First Observed Evidence That Our Universe May Be a Hologram

Physicists finds evidence from just after the Big Bang that supports the controversial holographic universe theory.

An international study claims to have found first observed evidence that our universe is a hologram.

What is the holographic universe idea? It’s not exactly that we are living in some kind of Star Trekky computer simulation. Rather the idea, first proposed in the 1990s by Leonard Susskind and Gerard ‘t Hooft, says that all the information in our 3-dimensional reality may actually be included in the 2-dimensional surface of its boundaries. It’s like watching a 3D show on a 2D television.

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Electronics at the speed of light

Illustration of how electrons can be imagined to move between two arms of a metallic nanoantenna, driven by a single-cycle light wave. Credit: University of Konstanz

A European team of researchers including physicists from the University of Konstanz has found a way of transporting electrons at times below the femtosecond range by manipulating them with light. This could have major implications for the future of data processing and computing.

Contemporary electronic components, which are traditionally based on silicon semiconductor technology, can be switched on or off within picoseconds (i.e. 10-12 seconds). Standard mobile phones and computers work at maximum frequencies of several gigahertz (1 GHz = 109 Hz) while individual transistors can approach one terahertz (1 THz = 1012Hz). Further increasing the speed at which electronic switching devices can be opened or closed using the standard technology has since proven a challenge. A recent series of experiments—conducted at the University of Konstanz and reported in a recent publication in Nature Physics—demonstrates that electrons can be induced to move at sub-femtosecond speeds, i.e. faster than 10-15 seconds, by manipulating them with tailored .

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Earth’s Magnetic North Pole Keeps Moving Towards Siberia at a Mysteriously Fast Pace

Our planet is restless, and its poles are wandering. Of course, the geographic north pole is in the same place it always was, but its magnetic counterpart – indicated by the N on any compass – is roaming towards Siberia at record-breaking speeds that scientists don’t fully comprehend.

It’s worth stating that while the pace is remarkable, the movement itself isn’t. The magnetic north pole is never truly stationary, owing to fluctuations in the flow of molten iron within the core of our planet, which affect how Earth’s magnetic field behaves.

“Since its first formal discovery in 1831, the north magnetic pole has travelled around 1,400 miles (2,250 km),” the NOAA’s National Centres for Environmental Information (NCEI) explains on its website.

“This wandering has been generally quite slow, allowing scientists to keep track of its position fairly easily.”

That slow wander has quickened of late. In recent decades, the magnetic north pole accelerated to an average speed of 55 kilometres (34 miles) per year.

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