Swami Vivekanada Yoga Anusandana Samsthana BST 503
Yoga Research Foundation Science & Consciousness
Science Block -2
Each Soul is potentially Divine. The goal of life is to
manifest that Divinity within by controlling nature
internal and external. Do it by Work or Worship or
Philosophy or Psychic control, by one or more or all of
these and be FREE….”
a) Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekanada Yoga Anusandana Samsthana BS T 503
Yoga Research Foundation Science and Consciousness
Unit 1 Transition from Philosophy to science
Unit 2 Scientific Revolution
Unit 3 Quantum Theory
Unit 4 Ancient Philosophy and Modern Physics
UNIT 1 TRANSITION FROM PHILOSOPHY TO SCIENCE
1.2 Transition from Philosophy to science
1.3 Christianity to Aristotle to modern Science
The main development of philosophy in Europe took place in 6th century BC. Many
philosophers came and made their contribution. Among them, few are Thales,
Heraclitus, Parmenides, Socrates and Plato. One important thing to note is that some of
their views were quite similar to our ancient philosophy. The main transition to science
took place by the effort of Aristotle in 384-322 BC and the later successor Archimedes
gave it firm foundation.
In this unit we will see the development of philosophy and science in the early stage in
1.2 TRANSITION FROM PHILOSOPHY TO SCIENCE
The Greeks believed in fate and laws of cause and effect. Greece was at that time not a
single country but it had several kingdoms like Sparta, Macedonia, all were city states.
And each had a king. They had very good trade relations with Egypt. Egypt was at that
time trading in slaves, captured from Ethiopia. These slaves were sent to Greece.
Therefore the Greeks gradually became lazy. The women folk had more time on their
hands. The men were neglected. The men would wonder out of their house, meet in
market places, gossip and return home. But this seemingly inconsequential fact gave rise
to great people like Aristotle, Plato and Thales.
Philosophy is not for empty stomachs. Great Philosophers need a lot of leisure time to
think. The philosophers of ancient Greece were well fed and had enough leisure .They
would go to the market place, stand on a high platform and would deliver discourses on a
subject of his interest. People would gather around him and there would be enquiries,
question and answers. The issues discussed would be the same as those of the great
What were these issues?
Issues were, “what is the origin of the world?’’ Why are we born in this world? ‘What is
that thing in us called consciousness?’
One of the most prominent of such philosophers who gathered disciples around him was
Thales. He believed that everything in the world was made up of air. He also believed
that there was something called rebirth or reincarnation. Where did he get this idea of
rebirth from? From Egypt. The Egyptians got it from the Buddhists. The only difference
was that the Buddhists did not preserve the body, while the Egyptians preserved the body
He was followed by a philosopher called Heraclitus. He made a very interesting
comment. Life is double edged. There is terrible aspect called war and a benign aspect
called peace. One should accept both as inevitable. He also said that the whole world is
made up of water. His other comments are:-
• Nothing in life is permanent.
• Change is the rule of life.
• You don’t step into the same river twice.
These comments are very similar to Vedantic comments.
He was followed by Parmenides. He accepted everything that Heraclites said. He was the
person who said there was consciousness. He said, you don’t step into the same river
twice but that applies to the water not the river. The river is abstract’.
What is there in the physical body that is abstract?
There is something in human life that is abstract called Soul! This idea was derived from
He was followed by Socrates. Socrates questioned everything. He was an analytical
Philosopher. But if everything is analyzed one loses the entity. Socrates was sentenced to
death for polluting the youth with new and revolutionary ideas and for declaring that
human beings have individual soul. He had remarked that we should not give much
importance to the body because it is like a chariot. The intelligence is the charioteer. This
idea is very close to the Upanishad message.
His most prominent disciple Plato (427-347 BC):
Plato took down the dialogues of Socrates which have been passed down to us. He made
a comment, ‘The whole world is full of idea’. This is similar to Goudapada Karika in
Mandukya Upanishad which states; ‘The whole world is the creation of the mind’.
Nobody knows where the seed of this idea came from.
Sir James Jeans: In the 20th Century a scientist and an astronomer, made the same kind of
remark. He said; ‘the whole world is nothing but a mathematical idea. If God exists he
must be a mathematician.’
What Plato said around 2400 years ago is now being echoed by modern science. Plato
commented that the whole world is made up of ideas. Then where is the reality of
tangible world. The world is unreal.
No proper study of Greek Philosophy has been made from vedantic perspective. Only the
western perspective is given to us. Up to Plato one can trace an unbroken vedantic
tradition (i.e. 4th century B.C).The major issue of philosophy being the study of
Aristotle (384-322 BC):
He was the first Greek who did not bother much about Philosophy. He asked; what is this
world? What is reality? He wrote a book called; “Physique’’ which later became Physics.
He is considered the king of science in Europe for a period of unbroken 2000 years.
Modern science started with Aristotle. This is the transition period.
The firm foundation to Modern Science was given by a later successor Archimedes. In
the middle of the 4th century BC; philosophers very slowly started losing interest in
philosophical speculation. Aristotle got the motivation from two people, Leucippus and
Democritus. Democritus was the first person to formulate the idea of democracy which
was later worked upon by Plato in his famous book; The Republic.
The two philosophers who began thinking in lines of Atomism were again Leucippus and
Democritus. What did the atomists actually say? Everything which is visible and tangible
is made up of atoms, the lowest indivisible particle. The statement was similar to the one
made by John Dalton thousands of years later. They also went one step ahead and
enquired if there was anything behind matter. This was the very foundation of scientific
thinking. Thales of Miletus who said that the universe is made up of one fundamental
element is the father of science. Leucippus and Democritus said the universe is made up
of fundamental entities called atoms. This is something with which Socrates and Plato did
not agree with. They said even matter is made up of ideas.
Is matter made up of atoms or is matter a set of ideas? The same controversy exists even
today. This dichotomy led to scientific enquiry.
1.3 CHRISTIANITY TO ARISTOTLE TO MODERN SCIENCE
Jesus was born – 1 CE. He lived for a period of 33 years and was crucified in CE 32-33.
A few years later, a person came to the scene called Saul, who was Jewish under Saul’s
persecution escaped to Qumran in Jordan Valley by the side of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
They were all decimated by 60C.E.
There was a power struggle between Saul who was a sycophant of the Romans and an
oppressor. He saw a vision of Christ and converted to Christianity and be became Paul.
Between him and early Christians represented by James. James was assassinated in 63
A.D. Paul took over Christianity. He started modern Christianity. He made it an
organized religion. Paul became a very powerful figure with the help of the Romans and
some political elements.
Now, Paul required a philosophical structure for Christianity to attract the people. Paul
was in a fix and did not know how to interpret the teaching of Jesus in the form of ethics,
logic and metaphysics. Therefore he took Greek philosophy from Aristotle, lock, stock
and barrel and grafted it with the teachings of Jesus. There were quite a few oppositions.
It was in the 4th century CE that the Bishop Eusebius who was in Rome played a master
stroke. The emperor at the time was Constantine. He had a wife who terrorized the early
Christians. But somehow Eusebius was able to convince Constantine to convert to
Christianity. Eusebius also went to his wife and told her that one of the basic tenets of
Christianity is rebirth. People are reborn to allow for their sins committed in their past
lives. Constantine’s wife asked a straight question. ‘will I be reborn for my sins and
tyranny?’ Eusebius had to reply in the affirmative. The queen said that she would have
nothing to do with Christianity. Fusain was in a catch 22 situation. Either he had to
practice Christianity or compromise. He compromised. What ever was found undesirable
by the royal lady in Christianity was thenceforth deleted.
Hence Aristotle’s philosophy and science was accepted and propounded by Christianity.
Although there was a person by the name of Aristarchus of Samos who had commented
about heliocentric (sun-centered universe) theory which easily explained retrograde
motion of the planets and which could not be explained by Aristotle’s physics who
considered the universe to be geo centric (earth centered). But still Aristotle’s geo centric
theory prevailed because the bible reflected the same in the chapter of Genesis.
Aristotle’s statement was that the earth was the center of the universe and everything
revolves around it. This is reflected in the Bible. God made man in his own image.
Therefore man alone has a soul. Animals and plants do not. God’s representative is man
who lives on this planet earth. Therefore this planet is the best place in the whole
universe. And that is why the earth is the center of the universe. Aristotle’s physics
completely coincided with the thinking of early Christianity. Hence his logic, physics and
ethics found acceptability. This held sway till the 15th century, (from 4th to 15th century).
Around 1000 years. This is known as the dark ages of Science. There was no proper soil
for science to grow.
It was Ancient Greek thought which dominated Europe up until the scientific revolution.
The big issue for the Greeks was trying to explain how and why things moved. Since they
believed everything happened for a reason, they thought there had to be an explanation
for any motion at all. It was overturning this idea that was Isaac Newton's greatest
The Impact of Aristotle: Aristotle (384-322 BCE)
Aristotle, 384-322 BCE A great thinker in ancient Greece, he set ways of thinking for
thousands of years.
He remained supreme in logic until the 19th century.
He was rediscovered in Europe in 13th century and he greatly affected scientific thought.
Science was only a part of what he did. He is also important as a founder of political
science, literary criticism, biology, pure philosophy.
The Ptolemaic system
Ptolemy (2nd Century CE)
Ptolemy, 90-168AD (Claudius Ptolemaeus) He was a Greek astronomer based in
Alexandria in Egypt.
Ptolemy's Almagest was basis of pre-modern astronomy. He based his system on
Aristotle's theories. [Note that Ptolemy was 400 years later than Aristotle].
Aristotle needed the Earth to be center of Universe. Ptolemy explains everything else by
cycles and epicycles - 80 in all. The whole universe revolves around the Earth.
In this system it was not quite clear what the planets and stars were. The system was quite
small. There was no real notion that the Sun was star and the Earth a planet.
The simple issues of ancient Greek thoughts like “what is the origin of the world?’’ Why
are we born in this world? etc. lead them to think philosophically. The Greeks develop
the early philosophy in Europe. With the time there comes the need of science to better
understanding and direct use in physical world. Aristotle and Archimedes made good
contribution in sciences as well as philosophy. We can see the emphasis on perfection in
both Aristotle and Ptolemy; the emphasis on the perfect sphere, and perfect motion in
1a. Modern Christianity was developed by Paul and the philosophical structure was made
with the help of ___________________ logic and Greek philosophy.
1b. Egypt got the idea of rebirth from _______________ .
2a. Heraclites made a comment “ Nothing is life is permanent”.
2b. Aristotle made contribution in transition from philosophy to logic.
3a. How the Christianity accept the Aristotle philosophy?
ho was Ptolemaic?
1. a Aristotle
1. b Buddhists
2. a True
2. b True
3. a Paul started modern Christianity. Paul required a philosophical structure for
Christianity to attract the people. Therefore he took Greek philosophy from Aristotle,
lock, stock and barrel and grafted it with the teachings of Jesus. And thus Christianity
accepted the Aristotle philosophy.
3.b Ptolemy, 90-168AD (Claudius Ptolemaeus) He was a Greek astronomer based in
Alexandria in Egypt.
UNIT 2 SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
2.2 Origins of the Scientific Revolution
2.3 Development of Mechanics and Thermodynamics
The Scientific Revolution was the prelude to the wider movement we call the
Enlightenment. Why is it a "Revolution"?
It was very slow, taking almost 150 years, but it completely altered old ways of thinking.
It was also one of the most exiting adventures of the human mind.
The main revolution started with Nicholas Copernicus and Tycho Brahe. Johannes Kepler
and Galileo Galilei gave better understanding of universe and planetary motion. With the
effort of Isaac Newton the revolution accelerated due to addition of mechanics.
In this unit we will see how scientific revolution started and proceeded.
2.2 ORIGINS OF THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543):
With Copernicus the Scientific Revolution starts.
Nicholas Copernicus: The Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies, 1543.
He was a Polish priest who studied in Renaissance Italy at the University of Padua -
Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine and Theology made up the curriculum. The idea of a
heliocentric [sun-centered] universe was a mental breakthrough, but did not offer
explanations for the other things, such as motion, that Aristotle's' view of the world did.
Copernicus' theory was based on very conservative mathematics and not on observation
as such. Recall Platonists' obsession with simplicity and perfection. It was simpler to
explain heavenly motion if the Sun was at the center. Copernicus offered it as a
hypothesis. His way reduced the number of spheres from 80 to 34. He was still loyal to
Ptolemy's system in many ways.
Copernicus was obsessed with perfect circular motion. He was wrong; he thought that
planets moved in a perfect circle (not so), due to Platonic mathematics. But the important
thing was Copernicus' mental breakthrough. He was wrong but was the stimulus for
future scientists to come up with something better.
Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) Danish Royal Astrologer:
Brahe set new standards in observation without a telescope. (There were no street lights
or pollution and it was easier to see sky then than now.) He disbelieved Copernicus
because his observations showed that planets did not move in perfect circles.
In 1572-73 a new star appeared (the Crab Nebula?) and in 1577 a new comet. This went
right through any supposed crystal spheres. Neither event sat well with the idea of perfect
unchangeable heavens. Brahe thus junked the idea of perfect circular motion, and the idea
of fixed spheres in the heavens.
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630):
He was a student of mathematics and astronomy and a student of Brahe.
He put Brahe's observations into order. His method was to test hypothesis after
hypothesis until he came up with an answer that worked. Eventually he came up with the
idea that planets move in ellipses.
His Three Laws of Planetary Motion corrected Copernicus in light of Brahe's
observations. Note also the beginning of the use of the idea of scientists discovering laws.
Planets move in ellipses - of which Sun is one focus.
Kepler's Three Laws can be used to describe the motion of the Planets:
1. Planets move in orbits that are ellipses
2. The planets move such that the line between the Sun and the Planet sweeps out the
same area in the same area in the same time no matter where in the orbit.
3. The square of the period of the orbit of a planet is proportional to the mean distance
from the Sun cubed.
Kepler had no explanation of why this was the case. In fact he was involved in number
mysticism and explained it as part of the mystery of numbers.
The above rules were deduced empirically from the motions of the planet in the early
17th century, before Newton deduced the law of gravity and his laws of motion. When
Newton's laws are applied to the planets, Kepler's laws can be derived with certain
The old Aristotelian system was broken, but there was no new synthesis to replaces it.
Constructing a new, equally persuasive synthesis was the achievement of the Scientific
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642):
He studied at Padua, which was a hotbed of scientific discussion, on both the cause of
motion and the scientific method. Galileo was also a mathematician, and was also keen
on Archimedes (who was translated in 1543).
There are two main aspects of his work to note.
He used a telescope for better observation c. 1609. He was not however the first to do so.
He confirmed the heliocentric system. There were also surprises, like seeing the Moon
with scars on, seeing sun spots. This was in a supposedly perfect heaven. The difference
between Earth and the heavens was disappearing.
What was really important was that he tied in astronomy to motion on Earth, which had
also been the great achievement of Aristotle's system.
Motion on Earth
Galileo also did experiments about motion on Earth. Recall Aristotle's' notion of
There is the story of Galileo dropping objects from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to see if
heavy things really did fall faster as predicted by Aristotle. (Of course not. Gravity works
on each particle separately 1591.) This is probably not true, but Galileo did argue on the
basis of tying two objects together and asking if they would fall more quickly.
There is also the story of him watching a pendulum swing in Siena Cathedral.
1638 - Discourse on Two New Sciences at first passed Church Censors.
What Galileo did here was more important than the debate over astronomy.
He imagined motion without any of the constraints it faces in the real world - a thought
experiment which breaks the mold.
He based his theories on observation, but would go beyond observation to the truth, since
he recognized the constraints on simple observation.
Notion of inertia - a body continues to move unless it is stopped - vital. Not fully
developed by Galileo. He thought motion was naturally in a circular direction, rather than
a straight line. Also he still had the old medieval idea of impetus in his head.
Galileo still did not offer a convincing explanation of heavenly motion. But his
importance was that he attacked the whole Aristotelian system. He saw the need for an
entirely new view.
Isaac Newton (1642-1727):
A professor at Cambridge, Newton was quite possibly the greatest scientist who ever
lived. He was born the day Galileo died.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) and Principia Mathematica, 1687 (Mathematical Principles
of Natural Philosophy)
It brought together Galileo's discoveries about motion on Earth, and Kepler's discoveries
about motion in the heavens. He also brought together the Baconian stress on generating
laws by inductive arguing from experience and Descartes' stress on deducing new ideas
from things known well. To do this Newton had to invent calculus.
Newton provided an explanation for heavenly motion that was tied to observed properties
of motion on Earth. (Galileo + Kepler) and he generalized laws from these observations,
but based laws based on mathematics. Newton had read Descartes and in fact attacked
him, but uses his mathematical approach. (Bacon + Descartes)
A Better Synthesis than Aristotle
So at last there was a synthesis better than that provided by Aristotle. Newton accounted
for motion throughout the Universe.
Newton's explanation was based on idea of Inertial Movement and Gravity.
With the concept of inertia, you no longer had to explain motion; you only had to explain
change. All bodies moved as if every particle attracted every other particle with a force
proportional to the product of the two masses and inversely proportional to the square of
the distance between them.
1672 Jean Picard, a Frenchman observed Mars from Paris and Cayenne, and worked out
its altitude. This helped Newton in his calculations.
Newton could not explain why gravity existed. Newton still had room for God; and he
was very pious .
The Three Laws of Motion:
1. A body moves in a straight line unless impeded. ( Inertia ).
2. Every action has equal and opposite reaction.
3. Every body attracts every other body with a force proportional to the distance between.
Note that motion is normal, and does not need explaining. Also force can be conveyed
without physical touching. It is still not clear if Newton was correct here.
Newton also worked on Optics – (Opticks – 1704)
Newton was not, of course, "right". Einstein and Quantum Mechanics in the last century
have shown that, but his model was infinitely better than anything done before.
2.3 DEVELOPMENT OF MECHANICS AND THERMODYNAMICS
During the 18th century, the mechanics founded by Newton was developed by several
scientists and received brilliant exposition in the Analytical Mechanics (1788) of J. L.
Lagrange and the Celestial Mechanics (1799–1825) of P. S. Laplace. Daniel Bernoulli
made important mathematical studies (1738) of the behavior of gases, anticipating the
kinetic theory of gases developed more than a century later, and has been referred to as
the first mathematical physicist.
The accepted theory of heat in the 18th century viewed heat as a kind of fluid, called
caloric; although this theory was later shown to be erroneous, a number of scientists
adhering to it nevertheless made important discoveries useful in developing the modern
theory, including Joseph Black (1728–99) and Henry Cavendish (1731–1810). Opposed
to this caloric theory, which had been developed mainly by the chemists, was the less
accepted theory dating from Newton's time that heat is due to the motions of the particles
of a substance. This mechanical theory gained support in 1798 from the cannon-boring
experiments of Count Rumford (Benjamin Thompson), who found a direct relationship
between heat and mechanical energy.
In the 19th century this connection was established quantitatively by J. R. Mayer and J. P.
Joule, who measured the mechanical equivalent of heat in the 1840s. This experimental
work and the theoretical work of Sadi Carnot, published in 1824 but not widely known
until later, together provided a basis for the formulation of the first two laws of
thermodynamics in the 1850s by William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) and R. J. E.
Clausius. The first law is a form of the law of conservation of energy, stated earlier by J.
R. von Mayer and Hermann Helmholtz on the basis of biological considerations; the
second law describes the tendency of energy to be converted from more useful to less
The atomic theory of matter had been proposed again in the early 19th century by the
chemist John Dalton and became one of the hypotheses of the kinetic-molecular theory of
gases developed by Clausius and James Clerk Maxwell to explain the laws of
thermodynamics. The kinetic theory in turn led to the statistical mechanics of Ludwig
Boltzmann and J. W. Gibbs.
This unit gives a brief idea of scientific revolution that turned the face of people from
philosophy to science.
1a. Every action has equal and opposite ____________ .
1b. Tycho Brahe was Danish royal ____________.
2a. Planets moves in perfect circular motion.
2b. A body moves in a straight line unless impeded.
3a. What is Scientific Revolution?
3b. Who mainly initiated the development in mechanics?
3a. The Scientific Revolution was the prelude to the wider movement we call the
Enlightenment. It was very slow, taking almost 150 years, but it completely altered old
ways of thinking. It was also one of the most exiting adventures of the human mind.
3b. Isaac Newton
UNIT 3 QUANTUM THEORY
3.2 Quantum Theory
3.3 Connection between the history of science and philosophy
3.4 The development of quantum Mechanics
The main pioneer of quantum theory was Max Plank. He advocated the discreet nature of
light and put the name ‘quanta’ later known as photon. Subsequently many models came
to understand atoms and composition of atoms, among them Bohr’s model will be
discussed here. With the effort of Heisenberg and Schrödinger, science has to understand
the dual nature of light and to some extent the ancient philosophy get supported. The
notion of observer and its effect on quantum particles is supported by science and to
understand it, science is also looking back the solution in ancient philosophy.
In this unit we will see the development of quantum theory and quantum mechanics.
3.2 QUANTUM THEORY
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, a famous scientist is reputed to have
expressed sympathy for his younger colleagues in physics. He said that all the great
discoveries had already been made and that all physicists had to look forward to be
calculating known answers to a precision of one or two more decimal points. He could
not have been more wrong. Within a period of three decades, physics was to undergo one
of the most dramatic revolutions in its history. The apparently solid, dependable classical
physics-based on the mechanics of Isaac Newton and the electromagnetism of James
Clerk Maxwell--were overthrown and replaced by an entirely new view of the world. One
of the two cornerstones of this new world view was quantum theory.
The architect of this new view was the German physicist, Max Planck. The problem that
led Planck to the quantum theory was one that had puzzled his predecessors for a number
of years: black-body radiation. The term black body refers to any object that absorbs and
radiates all frequencies of light. As early as 1860, Gustav Kirchhoff, one of Planck's
teachers, had devised methods for studying the radiation emitted by a black body.
Although collecting data for this phenomenon was relatively straightforward, no one had
been able to find a formula that correctly described these data.
For a long time, Planck too was unsuccessful in producing a theory of black-body
radiation based on principles of classical physics. Finally, and somewhat reluctantly, he
adopted a radically new approach. He assumed that energy was absorbed and emitted by
a black body not in a continuous spectrum, but in tiny discrete packages to which he gave
the name quanta. The word quantum in Latin means "how much?” Furthermore, he found
that the size of a quantum depended on only one factor, the frequency of the emitted
radiation, according to the formula E = mc2. In this formula, h is a constant of
proportionality equal to 6.625 x 10-27 erg second and is now known as Planck's constant.
Planck's quantum theory was such a departure from classical physics that many scientists
refused to consider it seriously. Planck himself thought that the quantum concept might
be nothing other than a mathematical trick that happened to solve a particularly difficult
physical problem. He hoped that he might eventually find a way that the quantum
concept might be absorbed into the laws of classical physics, but he was aware of the
possible consequences of his work. He is reported to have said to his son shortly after his
discovery, "Today I have made a discovery which is as important as Newton's discovery.
The true significance of the quantum theory did not become obvious for more than a
decade. Two events were crucial to its widespread acceptance. The first was Albert
Einstein's analysis of the photoelectric effect in 1906. Einstein showed that the release of
electrons from a metal exposed to light can only be explained if one assumes that the
light exists in the form of tiny, discrete particles, which he called light quanta and are
now known as photons.
The second event was the use (by Neil’s Bohr) of the quantum concept in the
development of his theory of atomic structure in 1913. Bohr suggested that the electrons
in an atom can travel only in specific, discrete orbits around the nucleus and that they can
move from one orbit to another only with the loss and gain of discrete quanta of energy.
Few conclusions of quantum theory are as follows:
1. Matter and radiation, matter consists of atoms.
2. Light is a form of radiation
3. Anything that oscillates in the E. M. F. (electro magnetic field) is a radiation. Sun’s
light is a radiation. The heat from the OHP (Overhead projector) is also a radiation.
4. An electromagnetic radiation has a wide spectrum. At one end of the spectrum is what
is called cosmic rays. At the other end of the spectrum are the heat waves.
5. Heat wave is a radiation in the form of waves of very low energy and electromagnetic
6. High energy radiation is very powerful and can penetrate even body cells. Cosmic rays
contained large amount of high energy radiation but it do not come on the earth because
of Ozone layer.
7. Matter is made up of atoms and on the other hand something called radiation in the
form of energy.
8. Every electromagnetic field has energy for example sunlight.
9. Matter has content while radiation has energy.
10. Quantum mechanics also deals with the matter and energy. It is basically interested in
how matter radiates e.g. glowing of tube light.
11. Light exhibit both type of characteristic called particle and wave. That means light
can exist as particle or as wave.
Major growth in quantum theory
The Bohr Model
A Planetary Model of the Atom
The Bohr atom
The Bohr Model is probably familiar as the "planetary model" of the atom illustrated in
the adjacent figure that, for example, is used as a symbol for atomic energy (a bit of a
misnomer, since the energy in "atomic energy" is actually the energy of the nucleus,
rather than the entire atom). In the Bohr Model the neutrons and protons (symbolized by
red and blue balls in the adjacent image) occupy a dense central region called the nucleus,
and the electrons orbit the nucleus much like planets orbiting the Sun (but the orbits are
not confined to a plane as is approximately true in the Solar System). The adjacent image
is not to scale since in the realistic case the radius of the nucleus is about 100,000 times
smaller than the radius of the entire atom, and as far as we can tell electrons are point
particles without a physical extent.
This similarity between a planetary model and the Bohr Model of the atom ultimately
arises because the attractive gravitational force in a solar system and the attractive
Coulomb (electrical) force between the positively charged nucleus and the negatively
charged electrons in an atom are mathematically of the same form. (The form is the same,
but the intrinsic strength of the Coulomb interaction is much larger than that of the
gravitational interaction; in addition, there are positive and negative electrical charges so
the Coulomb interaction can be either attractive or repulsive, but gravitation is always
attractive in our present Universe.)
But the Orbits Are Quantized.
Quantized energy levels in hydrogen
The basic feature of quantum mechanics that is incorporated in the Bohr Model and that
is completely different from the analogous planetary model is that the energy of the
particles in the Bohr atom is restricted to certain discrete values. One says that the energy
is quantized. This means that only certain orbits with certain radii are allowed; orbits in
between simply don't exist.
The adjacent figure shows such quantized energy levels for the hydrogen atom. These
levels are labeled by an integer n that is called a quantum number. The lowest energy
state is generally termed the ground state. The states with successively more energy than
the ground state are called the first excited state, the second excited state, and so on.
Beyond an energy called the ionization potential the single electron of the hydrogen atom
is no longer bound to the atom. Then the energy levels form a continuum. In the case of
hydrogen, this continuum starts at 13.6 eV above the ground state ("eV" stands for
"electron-Volt", a common unit of energy in atomic physics).
Although this behavior may seem strange to our minds that are trained from birth by
watching phenomena in the macroscopic world, this is the way things behave in the
strange world of the quantum that holds sway at the atomic level.
Atomic Excitation and De-excitation
Atoms can make transitions between the orbits allowed by quantum mechanics by
absorbing or emitting exactly the energy difference between the orbits. The following
figure shows an atomic excitation cause by absorption of a photon and an atomic de-
excitation caused by emission of a photon.
Excitation by absorption of light and de-excitation by emission of light
In each case the wavelength of the emitted or absorbed light is exactly such that the
photon carries the energy difference between the two orbits. This energy may be
calculated by dividing the product of the Planck constant and the speed of light hc by the
wavelength of the light). Thus, an atom can absorb or emit only certain discrete
wavelengths (or equivalently, frequencies or energies).
Heisenberg and Schrödinger:
Werner Heisenberg was an author of a first book by scientists on physics and philosophy
in 1930. With Heisenberg and Schrödinger very slowly science goes back into the field
Until 1930, the interest was discovering to invent but in nineteen thirties scientist for the
first time asked the question, “What is the meaning of all this physics?” What is the
meaning of saying electrons vanish and reappear? What is the point in saying matter is a
wave? Is this beyond of our understanding or is there any meaning behind this whole lot?
And then Heisenberg said there is a limit to human knowledge.
Schrödinger said that the whole of the universe is a mere thought wave unless there is a
observer universe do not exist.
Thus slowly concept of consciousness and philosophy enter the realm of science.
3.3 CONNECTION BETWEEN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND
Up to middle of the 20th century, science was materialistic. It was all about comforts. But
in 1930 basic philosophical questions were automatically addressed by science. This is
even today not clear.
Combinations of quantum theory and wave mechanics give rise to Quantum mechanics.
Later Neil’s Bohr confessed that our job is not to understand nature but only to describe
it. One cannot understand nature this, the statement is very similar to the statement in
Vedanta. The universe is Maya.
Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976)
He came up with a particular theory, for which even today no exception has been found.
If one work in the field of physics, whatever may be the area, nuclear atomic, subatomic
physics, whatever it is, whatever you do, it has to accept and has to follow a particular
principle which was enunciated by him in 1926 when he was 25 years old and that was
the uncertainty principle.
Uncertainty principle (1926)
Heisenberg was born in Bavaria, in Munich. When he became young and completed his
undergraduate studies he sifted to Goettingen. Goettingen at that time was the
international center for mathematics. Some of the great mathematicians lived there.
Heisenberg went there and became a student of very famous professor Max Born. Max
Born has a very peculiar kind of history he produce 6 students who got noble prize in
physics and Heisenberg was one of them. Heisenberg took a particular project dealing
with quantum mechanics, could not make halfway until 1924. In 1924 Louis de Broglie
came up with the theory of the wave mechanics, matter in the form of waves. The topic
given to him was to put the de Broglie hypothesis in mathematical foundations. He
started working on it and developed mathematical equations which are known as Matrix
Wave Mechanics. Matrix is nothing but the mesh of columns and rows like Microsoft
excel in tabular fashion. Matrixes are supposed to satisfy a one property known as
A*b = b*A
This should be the expected result, but when Heisenberg wrote the equations of Matrix
Wave Mechanics, he observed something very unusual that the matrix did not follow the
commutations law. A*b-b*A = a finite quantity. Actually it should give zero. Because of
these unusual results he lost his sleep and in April 1926 started suffering from hay fever.
(Allergic fever from grass) then he was advised to go to Copenhagen in Denmark. There
he decided to work with Prof. Neil’s Bohr, but again he had a severe attack of hay
fever. Hence he was advised to go to One of Neil’s Bohr cottage. Heisenberg had no
work other than thinking until one day he comes up with a fantastic idea; He said to
himself my equations are not wrong, let’s accept the fact because these results appear to
be inevitable in quantum mechanics. Then he decided to work on it and thought to
himself what would be the consequences of these equations if I am right. That gave him
an upside down picture of physics. The whole of physics has to be rewritten. He didn’t
get sleep for three days and consulted Neil’s Bohr; he advised him publish your results
and be damned.
The results said that the claim of Laplace that the entire universe can be understood by a
super intelligence was wrong. Whatever you do, you would never be able to know to the
greatest accuracy possible what this universe is all about! There is a natural barrier
beyond which knowledge is not possible.
In the case of subatomic particles the position and moment can not be known to the same
accuracy. In the case of microscopic objects, distance to which the object is traveling can
be measured with absolute accuracy, x1 = mv1. But at subatomic label if x1 is measured
we commit a large amount of mistake in measuring mv1 (momentum) and vice Versa. If
you know and electron and direction, you don’t know where the electron is. This is not
because that we are not able to measure it accurately or we’re not in a position to design
an instrument but it is a natural law which says that there is a limit to sensory knowledge.
Philosophically he raised two issues:
Law of casualty is not valid at the subatomic level (force is the cause and motion is the
effect – Newton’s law of casualty)
At the subatomic level, these laws do not work and there is limitation to sensory
Why did he say that if you want to know where the object is, first of all, the object should
be visible. How can we make an object visible? The answer is by shining light on it.
Similarly to see where the electron is, one has to shine light on electron. But the moment
photon comes to electron, it knock’s it off. This is what is known as interaction. Photon
has to come and shine on the electron, in the process it comes and hits the electron. The
electron moves in one direction and the photon goes in another direction so we do not
understand the position of electron. Hence we never know the nature of subatomic
If you know a physical system whose energy can be measured to 100 % accuracy, the
time during which that energy has that value becomes infinite or hazy.
Now it becomes clear why the mind is considered as a quantum object. Try to focus your
mind and look to it. What happens? It just scatters. This is known as quantum behavior.
The important point here is - he’s not referring to inaccuracies which arise due to
instruments but inaccuracies which are inherent in nature.
Today’s biggest question is – can physics know reality at all. Heisenberg said, “no you
What is a vacuum? Does vacuum really exist? yes one can create a vacuum. Richard
Feynman said- If you can create an absolute vacuum, you’re going against Heisenberg.
There cannot be an absolute vacuum. It is like to reach absolute zero temperature.
As we know, atoms cannot move about but they vibrate and as the temperature becomes
lower and lower, the amplitude of vibrations become smaller and smaller. Absolute zero
temperature is where atoms are standing still. If atoms are standing still one can know
position and speed with 100% accuracy. This is against Heisenberg principle. Hence
Richard Feynman said one cannot attain absolute zero temperature or total vacuum.
Another interesting aspect: if you go to a bank where the Cashier is your friend. You
ask him for some money from the till and promised to give back the money before the
bank closes the same day. If your return the money on the time nobody will notice. This
is what happens in nature also. In nature particles come in to existence by energy from
vacuum, provided within a limited period of time the energy is giving back. And the
period of time during which the energy has to be given back is 10-43 seconds. Therefore,
Feynman says that there is nothing like a vacuum. This process has been going on all the
3.4 THE DEVELOPMENT OF QUANTUM MECHANICS
By the 1920s, most scientists had accepted the quantum theory of nature and, with it,
Planck's constant as one of the fundamental constants of nature, similar to the velocity of
light and the gravitational constant. They turned their attention next to the development
of mathematical systems on which they could build a new analysis of matter and energy.
Out of that effort grew first matrix mechanics, then wave mechanics, and finally, the
overarching new approach to the study of nature known as quantum mechanics.
At the start of the twentieth century, scientists believed that they understood the most
fundamental principles of nature. Atoms were solid building blocks of nature; people
trusted Newtonian laws of motion; most of the problems of physics seemed to be solved.
However, starting with Einstein's theory of relativity which replaced Newtonian
mechanics, scientists gradually realized that their knowledge was far from complete. Of
particular interest was the growing field of quantum mechanics, which completely altered
the fundamental precepts of physics.
Particles discovered 1898 - 1964:
1900 Max Planck suggests that radiation is quantized (it comes in discrete amounts.)
Albert Einstein, one of the few scientists to take Planck's ideas seriously, proposes a
quantum of light (the photon) which behaves like a particle. Einstein's other theories
explained the equivalence of mass and energy, the particle-wave duality of photons, the
equivalence principle, and special relativity.
Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden, under the supervision of Ernest Rutherford, scatter
1909 alpha particles off a gold foil and observe large angles of scattering, suggesting that
atoms have a small, dense, positively charged nucleus.
Ernest Rutherford infers the nucleus as the result of the alpha-scattering experiment
performed by Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden.
1912 Albert Einstein explains the curvature of space-time.
Neil’s Bohr succeeds in constructing a theory of atomic structure based on quantum
1919 Ernest Rutherford finds the first evidence for a proton.
James Chadwick and E.S. Bieler conclude that some strong force holds the nucleus
1923 Arthur Compton discovers the quantum (particle) nature of x rays, thus confirming
photons as particles.
1924 Louis de Broglie proposes that matter has wave properties.
1925 (Jan) Wolfgang Pauli formulates the exclusion principle for electrons in an atom.
Walther Bothe and Hans Geiger demonstrate that energy and mass are conserved in
Erwin Schroedinger develops wave mechanics, which describes the behavior of
1926 quantum systems for bosons. Max Born gives a probability interpretation of quantum
mechanics. G.N. Lewis proposes the name "photon" for a light quantum.
Certain materials had been observed to emit electrons (beta decay). Since both the atom
1927 and the nucleus have discrete energy levels, it is hard to see how electrons produced in
transition could have a continuous spectrum (see 1930 for an answer.)
Werner Heisenberg formulates the uncertainty principle: the more you know about a
1927 particle's energy, the less you know about the time of the energy (and vice versa.) The
same uncertainty applies to momenta and coordinates.
1928 Paul Dirac combines quantum mechanics and special relativity to describe the electron.
Quantum mechanics and special relativity are well established. There are just three
1930 fundamental particles: protons, electrons, and photons. Max Born, after learning of the
Dirac equation, said, "Physics as we know it will be over in six months."
Wolfgang Pauli suggests the neutrino to explain the continuous electron spectrum for
Paul Dirac realizes that the positively-charged particles required by his equation are
1931 new objects (he calls them "positrons"). They are exactly like electrons, but positively
charged. This is the first example of antiparticles.
James Chadwick discovers the neutron. The mechanisms of nuclear binding and decay
become primary problems.
Enrico Fermi puts forth a theory of beta decay that introduces the weak interaction.
This is the first theory to explicitly use neutrinos and particle flavor changes.
1933-34 Hideki Yukawa combines relativity and quantum theory to describe nuclear
interactions by an exchange of new particles (mesons called "pions") between protons
and neutrons. From the size of the nucleus, Yukawa concludes that the mass of the
conjectured particles (mesons) is about 200 electron masses. This is the beginning of
the meson theory of nuclear forces.
A particle of 200 electron masses is discovered in cosmic rays. While at first physicists
thought it was Yukawa's pion, it was later discovered to be a muon.
E.C.G. Stuckelberg observes that protons and neutrons do not decay into any
combination of electrons, neutrinos, muons, or their antiparticles. The stability of the
proton cannot be explained in terms of energy or charge conservation; he proposes that
heavy particles are independently conserved.
C. Moller and Abraham Pais introduce the term "nucleon" as a generic term for protons
Physicists realize that the cosmic ray particle thought to be Yukawa's meson is instead
a "muon," the first particle of the second generation of matter particles to be found.
1946-47 This discovery was completely unexpected -- I.I. Rabi comments "who ordered that?"
The term "lepton" is introduced to describe objects that do not interact too strongly
(electrons and muons are both leptons).
A meson that does interact strongly is found in cosmic rays, and is determined to be the
Physicists develop procedures to calculate electromagnetic properties of electrons,
positrons, and photons. Introduction of Feynman diagrams.
1948 The Berkeley synchro-cyclotron produces the first artificial pions.
Enrico Fermi and C.N. Yang suggest that a pion is a composite structure of a nucleon
and an anti-nucleon. This idea of composite particles is quite radical.
1949 Discovery of K+ via its decay.
1950 The neutral pion is discovered.
Two new types of particles are discovered in cosmic rays. They are discovered by
looking a V-like tracks and reconstructing the electrically-neutral object that must have
decayed to produce the two charged objects that left the tracks. The particles were
named the lambda0 and the K0.
Discovery of particle called delta: there were four similar particles (delta++, delta+,
delta0, and delta-.)
Donald Glaser invents the bubble chamber. The Brookhaven Cosmotron, a 1.3 GeV
accelerator, starts operation.
1953 The beginning of a "particle explosion" -- a true proliferation of particles.
Scattering of electrons off nuclei reveals a charge density distribution inside protons,
and even neutrons. Description of this electromagnetic structure of protons and
1953 – 57
neutrons suggests some kind of internal structure to these objects, though they are still
regarded as fundamental particles.
C.N. Yang and Robert Mills develop a new class of theories called "gauge theories."
1954 Although not realized at the time, this type of theory now forms the basis of the
Julian Schwinger writes a paper proposing unification of weak and electromagnetic
Julian Schwinger, Sidney Bludman, and Sheldon Glashow, in separate papers, suggest
that all weak interactions are mediated by charged heavy bosons, later called W+ and
W-. Actually, it was Yukawa who first discussed boson exchange twenty years earlier,
but he proposed the pion as the mediator of the weak force.
As the number of known particles keep increasing, a mathematical classification
1961 scheme to organize the particles (the group SU(3)) helps physicists recognize patterns
of particle types.
Experiments verify that there are two distinct types of neutrinos (electron and muon
neutrinos). This was earlier inferred from theoretical considerations.
Few things are there in which science is unable to answer the behavior of quantum
particle and it is believed that even the smallest particles are having consciousness.
1a. Heisenberg gave the principle of _____________.
1b. Due to dual nature of light, light can be a particle as well as __________.
2a. Quantum theory mainly deals with subatomic particles.
2b. In Bohr’s model, electrons revolve around nucleus.
3a. What is dual nature of light?
3b. Is absolute vacuum possible.
3a. Light can be a particle as well as wave.
3b. No, it is not possible.
UNIT 4 ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY AND MODERN PHYSICS
4.2 Transition Period from Indian Philosophy to Greek Philosophy to modern
4.3 Ancient Philosophy and Modern Physics
Vedantas are considered as the origin of philosophy in the east. In west the origin of
philosophy started very late. The main difference is in the concept of consciousness. Now
modern physics is again forcing us to look back what is consciousness.
In this unit we will see the importence of ancient philosophy and few aspects of modern
4.2 TRANSITION PERIOD FROM INDIAN PHILOSOPHY TO GREEK
PHILOSOPHY TO MODERN SCIENCE
For the people who have studied Vedanta, Western Philosophy appears like child’s play –
scratching the surface. Western philosophy flounders in darkness because it did not
accept Super Consciousness. Consciousness changes our perception of philosophy.
Western philosophy does not accept Consciousness but puts more importence to the
material world. It is said in Vedanta that: the good lord created the human body with all
the sense organs pointing outward. Once in a way, a wise person shuts all the gates and
sees within the Divinity.
Why are Westerners fascinated by external nature and why not our ancestors? Why do
westerners always talk about the creation of the world and why for Vedatins the creation
the creation appear childish? Westerner’s science has discussed each and every minute or
rather second to second about the creation of the world.
For the eastern mystics, the world was not important, for them the inner self was reality.
For the westerners the world is real. The world was a mirage for our ancestors and they
were concerned about Pratiprasava not Prasava.
Even though Indian philosophy has influenced Greek and Egyptian philosophies, they
slowly start proceeding from introspection to the modern world. Plato was the last
philosopher to talk of immortality of the soul and Archimedes was a total materialist of
modern science. Then slowly speculations became rampant about the external world.
Why should we waste time with what the external world is all about? Why not follow our
own Vedanta, which says that tough the world is unreal, we have to live in this external
world. To study Vedanta we have to eat and for that we have to grow food and
agriculture is required, then for that we need tools and then come mechanics and we are
to know the laws of nature.
Even the highest persuits of philosophy like music, dance, drama and arts etc. requires a
way of life where we are to get rid of all the scares. That mean, when we are discussing
Vedanta, yoga and other, we should not try about how we are getting the food. Science
has to assume the existences of the external world and what the external world is made up
of is the quest of science.
When will science come to a close? Swami Vivekananda puts it in a very nice way:
“when we know that energy out of which all other energies are made and when we know
that fundamental aspect of matter of which all matter emanates, the quest has come to a
We all know famous Einstein equation,
Everything is energy. What is the primordial energy out of which the whole lord has
come? And this is the quest that is going on. It is in the beginning of time of all these
things that we encounter a wall and we can not penetrate the wall unless you have made a
hypothesis that there is something called consciousness which enter in to matter at that
stage. Here comes the linking of the two, i.e. the science and Consciousness.
4.3 ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY AND MODERN PHYSICS
One of the ancient cultures is the so-called Indic or Vedic. Today, the Upanishads are
accessible to everybody, and they pose very interesting questions. One of them is: 'What
is it that knowing which everything comes to be known?' The answer of the guru is:
Knowledge is of two types: parâ and aparâ (supreme knowledge and lower knowledge).
The lower knowledge includes the Veda-s, Vedânga-s, and Upanishad-s! The highest
knowledge is Self-realization.
Then comes the problem: Why is it that in spite of the scriptures and philosophies telling
us that we are not what we appear to be, and that what we see is fleeting-only an
empirical reality-we are not able to realize the transcendental reality within us? To
everyone who went to Ramana Maharshi with a question, he responded with another
question: 'Who are you?' Who are we? Our bio-data only records the name, age, sex,
address, height, weight, colour of the eyes, and so forth. Otherwise we are nobody!
The answer is given in the Katha Upanishad: The human body has a defect: the five
organs of knowledge are always turned outwards, and hence the human being is attracted
to the external world. Only the wise are bold enough to shut these organs of knowledge,
to look inward and find the inner reality. That is the distinction between ancient
philosophy and modern science.
Modern science looks out to understand the universe. The ancient wisdom says: Yes, we
are also interested in the world around us, as it has an empirical reality; we have to live in
it. But there is a greater, transcendental reality that can be understood only when we look
inward. Spirituality is the goal of ancient philosophy.
Unlike western philosophers, the yogis of ancient India say there is nothing else to be
done. When a son asks his father: 'I want to know all about Brahman; will you teach me?'
the father does not give a long lecture. He simply says: 'What is that out of which the
whole universe has come, in which it inheres, into which it dissolves? That is Brahman.'
And what is the son supposed to do? Meditate. Then he discovers, layer by layer, the
Einstein said that Sir Isaac Newton has always been the brightest jewel in the field of
science. Newton gave us a comprehensive picture of the universe that obeys natural laws.
But none of us actually perceives reality the way it is. This is a point that never occurred
to Newton. Today, physicists are thinking about it. It is through the filter of the mind that
we receive impressions from the external world. The way I look at the world is not the
way you do, because our mental processes are different. But does the universe have an
existence per se? Does it exist by itself? This is a deep philosophical problem that has
never been solved. For Newton said the external world is real; it remains real during the
time of observation; the observer does not influence it. The mathematical equations
depict a model, which is being repeatedly polished and corrected. But Newton created
confidence about understanding the universe, and was followed by a galaxy of
mathematicians, because mathematics was required to understand the external world.
The next revolution that came about was in the nineteenth century with James Clarke
Maxwell, and this was followed rapidly by other revolutionary discoveries. Very quickly
a generation gap developed between Einstein and younger scientists. One of them said:
Light sometimes behaves like matter, sometimes like a wave. Schrödinger came on the
scene and said: It is all waves-a set of waves; it is only when you look at it that it
congeals into matter. Research into the subatomic world was supported by the most
sophisticated mathematics. When Heisenberg came across the fact of an uncertainty
principle, which questions the very existence of the law of causality, he did not sleep for
three nights because he realized the consequences. He wrote to his professor, Neil’s
Bohr: 'What shall I do?' Neil’s Bohr said: 'Publish or perish.'
Schrödinger's theory amounted to saying: 'We are all mathematical waves. It is only
when the observer comes into the picture that the phenomenon automatically falls into
place. If I close my eyes, all of you are waves of possibilities. If I open my eyes, all of
you are solidified. In order to see whether this was true, a thought experiment was
generated-the famous 'double-click experiment'-and it was demonstrated once and for all
that a subatomic particle, like an electron or even a photon, behaves like a wave when it
is not being observed, and like a particle when observed. Many jokes have been made
about it: The electron is a particle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, a wave on
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and Sunday is a holiday. Another one: All subatomic
particles are like school children. When the teacher is present, they behave properly;
when she is absent, they run helter-skelter, like waves. There was intense debate after
Schrödinger revolutionized our way of thinking, which made him remark: 'Had I known
what would come out of my research, I would not have touched the subject.'
Many experiments have since been performed all over the world, including psychic
experiments. Slowly, physics is gathering into its fold parapsychology also. As Hamlet
said to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in
your philosophy.' It was only in 1981 and '82 that a team of three scientists in Paris
demonstrated once and for all that Einstein was wrong about quantum mechanics: the
observer is always a part of the observation.
Bishop Berkeley's famous problem poses a very interesting situation: 'In a distant forest,
during a thunderstorm, lightning strikes a tree. As the tree falls to the ground, does it
make a noise if there is nobody to hear it?' This is very difficult to answer. Does the
phenomenon occur at all in the absence of an observer? Does the universe have an
absolute reality? Later Bishop Berkeley answered the question in his own way: 'There is
always one observer. Why do you think it has to be a human observer?' Consciousness is
the observer and influences the phenomenon. John von Neumann stated: 'When I close
my eyes, the whole world is a wave of possibilities; when I open my eyes, consciousness
collapses these waves of possibilities into reality.'
The ancient Wisdom, however, did not give importance to cognition, but to the cognizer.
The perceiver being given a lot of attention, perception and the object of perception
became secondary. But the perceiver that Vedânta speaks of is Âtman or Brahman,
whereas for a scientist it is the mind or intelligence of the observer.
The Katha Upanishad defines 'consciousness': 'That which cannot be seen by the eyes,
but because of which the eyes are able to see; that which cannot be heard by the ears, but
because of which the ears are able to hear; that which cannot be thought of by the mind,
but because of which the mind is able to think.' If the mind is the observer in an
experiment and influences the observation or the result, the mind itself is participating;
and that which gives power to the mind is the super-consciousness. It is in the light of the
super-consciousness that the individual consciousness is able to perceive. So what the
physicists are talking about is one aspect of the phenomenon, while the Vedântins are
talking about another. What needs to be done in the twenty first century is to link them.
One cannot distinguish between two electrons except by the so-called 'spin property'. Let
us assume that there are two electrons side by side with the same spin-positive or
negative. Then one starts moving to the right and the other to the left. Suppose I interfere
and change the spin of the electron on the right. What happens to the electron on the left?
Common sense says: It will go merrily on its way. Quantum mechanics says: If you
influence one, the other is also influenced. In order to test this, time intervals of the order
of nanoseconds had to be measured, which was possible in the 1980s because of the
space and atomic energy programmes and the developments in computer technology.
When two photons or light particles with the same spin or polarization go, one to the
right and the other to the left, after they have traveled five or ten meters apart, the time
taken by light to go from the right to the left is forty nano seconds. But the experiment
showed that if the polarization of the photon on the right is changed, the other one
changes in ten nano seconds. No signal has traveled; almost as if by instinct, the second
photon realizes that the first photon has changed. This experiment has been repeated all
over the world.
Niels Bohr said that the whole universe is interconnected. When you interfere with one
part of the universe, the message goes immediately to the entire universe. But we do not
know how. Twentieth century physics has been asking questions about this, and the
answer is very simple: 'I don't know.' We just do not know what is happening. The most
exasperating statement in this connection was that of John Webb, a famous
mathematician: There appears to be a conspiracy on the part of Nature not to reveal her
secrets. To quote Neil’s Bohr again: The job of quantum mechanics is not to understand
Nature, but to describe it.
La Place said: Suppose there is a super intelligence to which all the information about the
initial conditions of all objects in the universe were given, by the help of Newton's laws
of motion, it would be able to predict for ever and for ever the future motions of all these
objects. Nature would have been understood. But the twentieth century man says: 'The
job of physics is not to understand Nature, but to describe it.' No wonder today most
people are puzzled and one of them even used the word 'mâyâ': the whole universe is a
mirage; it is unreal. Shankaracharya’s philosophy points out that the world has empirical
reality, but from the transcendental plane the empirical reality is unreal; from the
empirical plane, the world is real. When one is hungry, one must go to the kitchen and
have a meal. No one can say this is all fleeting, so let me not have dinner.
Physics is the most materialistic of all sciences. Biology deals with life, psychology with
the mind, but in physics, none of these has a place. In physics, there is a cold-blooded
analysis of inanimate matter. But now people are asking: Does the electron have
That is the reason why the Upanishads have suddenly attracted a lot of attention. Far
behind all the things that are apparent to us, that are seen on the outside, is the deep
mystery of the universe and the external world. And it appears almost as if the secrets of
the external universe lie within, and not outside.
In aspect experiment where two photons go opposite in direction and with same
polarization, if polarization of one is changed the other photon polarization also gets
changed automatically. It seems even the smallest particles like photons and electrons
also have connection or consciousness.
1a. Einstein said everything is made up of ____________.
1b. Schrödinger theory says that we all are ________________ wave.
2a. Indian philosophy is far ancient and advance than Greek philosophy.
2b. Modern physics have to accept consciousness.
3a. What is the famous quote of Neil’s Bohr about nature?
3b. What do you think, does the electron have consciousness?
3a. Neil’s Bohr said that the whole universe is interconnected. The job of quantum
mechanics is not to understand Nature, but to describe it.
3b. Yes, as I think.