THE LIBRARY

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LIBRARY:There  are three  other  doors in  the back  of the movie  theater  I haven’t mentioned. One has a sign saying, “Men’s Room;” another says “Ladies Room;” and above the third door is a sign saying, “Library,” and that door is never closed. In between groups, or as I began to realize the particular group I belonged to at the time wasn’t going to produce what they were offering and my membership was coming to an end, I would go into this Library and read, looking for new inspiration and hope. I’ve mentioned in passing some of the titles and authors I spent time with, and I had the chance to study many of the texts written by the founders and leaders of various groups, saving  me  the  trouble  of  actually  joining  that  group  in  order  to  discover  its inconsistencies and contradictions. Most of the books in the Library aren’t worth mentioning, at least in this discussion. But  there  is  some  very  important  information  I  discovered  while  reading  you  should know about, if you don’t already – information absolutely critical to anyone wishing to change their reality. So I’m going to make a big jump right now from philosophy and religion to science, from  metaphors  and  analogies  to  cold,  hard  scientific  experiments.  The  subject  is quantum  physics  and  what  has  become  known  (and  widely  misunderstood)  as  the “Holographic Universe” – monumental  discoveries made in the last few decades which literally change everything we have believed about our physical universe. Don’t  worry.  I’m  not  going  to  get  scientifically  technical  or  say  something  any Human Adult couldn’t understand. But if you are still not satisfied with any of the groups you’ve joined – if you’re looking around trying to find out why none of the groups have produced anything close to what you want to experience and what you think is possible to experience  – then you  should spend the next  few chapters in the Library with me;  and bring your computer. I want to say at the outset I am not an expert in quantum physics, so I have invited the real experts – Ph.D.’s in physics, professors of quantum physics at major universities worldwide,  authors  of  many  books  –  to  speak  to  you  directly  by  using  a  lot  of  their written quotes and video interviews. Basically, I want to assure you that what you will be reading will not be my opinions, but those of the people who really know what they’re talking about. I’ve included a number of links to videos to watch, and I strongly suggest you visit those links and watch those videos as you read. Okay. Here we go… * * We’ve known for a long time – at least, I was taught in school more than fifty years ago  –  the  physical  world  around  us  is  not  as  “solid”  as  it  looks  and  feels.  In  fact,  the universe is made up of mostly empty space.

LIBRARY:This becomes very clear when we take a ride on a rocket into outer space and see so much  “nothing”  between  a  few  particles  of  matter  called  stars  and  galaxies.  As  the technology has improved and we have gone deeper and deeper into “inner space” as well, we find the same thing in the atomic and sub-atomic worlds – mostly “nothing.” The very best and most fun way to experience this for yourself is to watch a nine- minute  video  called  Powers  of  Ten,  from  the  office  of  Charles  and Ray  Eames,  which they produced for IBM in 1977. You can watch it here. There  have  been  other  videos  made  along  the  same  lines:  Cosmic  Voyage (1996, produced  for  IMAX  and  narrated  by  Morgan  Freeman),  and  Cosmic  Zoom (1968, produced by the National Film Board of Canada.) The  most  important  thing  to  see  in  these  videos  is  that  “outer  space”  and  “inner space” look very much alike; there’s hardly anything there except empty space. For example, if you took the nucleus of a hydrogen atom and blew it up to the size of a basketball, the electron that defines the outermost “edge” of that atom would be twenty miles away from the nucleus. And in between? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Just empty space. “Within all the atoms and molecules – all the space within them – the particles take  up an insignificant amount of the volume of an atom.”1 “In fact, the universe is mostly empty.”2 So… the first thing we have to understand is that matter is not “solid,” even though it looks and feels that way to us. “Matter is not what we have long thought it to be.”3 Matter is, in fact, full of LIBRARY:empty space. * * The Powers of Ten video ends at the limit of our understanding at that time (1977), looking at a single proton in the nucleus of a carbon atom. But  as  the  technology  improved  over  the  years,  and  scientists  were  able  to  dive deeper and deeper into “inner space,” they discovered the very small particles they found did not behave as they were supposed to, at least not according to all the laws of physics we had believed for the last hundreds of years. The most famous experiment that caused a real commotion is called the Double Slit. It  was  actually  first  done  with  light  in  1801  by  an  English  scientist, LIBRARY: Thomas  Young. Young demonstrated that light was not actually a particle, as had been believed forever, but acted like a wave instead. Then in 1961, this same experiment was performed with electrons rather than light 4, and finally in 1974 with just one electron at a time5. Since then it has been repeated and refined and repeated again, over and over, with the same result every time. In  September  2002,  this  Double  Slit  experiment  was  voted  “the  most  beautiful experiment”6 by  readers  of  Physics  World,  and  noted  quantum  physicist  Richard Feynman  has  said  “all  of  quantum  mechanics  can  be  gleaned  from  carefully  thinking  through the implications of this single experiment.”7 That’s how important this experiment is, and how much it has changed everyone’s thinking of how the world works. So  let’s  take  a  look  at  how  this  experiment  is  done  and  why  its  results  are  so startling….

LIBRARY:We’re going to start by taking small pieces of matter, like little BB’s, and shooting a stream of them out of a gun against a barrier that has a single slit in it. Behind the barrier is a sensitive screen, so when a BB hits it, it makes a mark, like this…. Most of the BB’s hit the barrier, but the ones that go through the slit hit the screen and make a pattern just like the shape of the slit. All that makes perfect sense. So now we’ll add a second slit in the barrier… …and shoot the BB’s at it again; and we get what we’d expect to get: a pattern of two slits on the screen. Okay, so far so good. Now, what would happen if we sent waves of water toward the screen instead of firing BB’s at it? With just one slit in the barrier, part of the wave goes through the slit and forms a pattern  on the  screen  that  looks a  lot  like  the  BB pattern  with  only  one slit.  The  most intensity on the screen is where the top of the wave hits, directly in line with the slit. But  if  we  put  a  barrier  with  two slits  in  it  between  the  waves  and  the  screen,  a completely different thing happens. When the water goes through both slits, the new waves created  by the slits on the other side of the barrier hit each other on the way to the screen.

LIBRARY:When the top of one wave hits the bottom of another wave, they cancel each other out. This is called “destructive interference.” You can easily see this when you drop two pebbles in a pond some distance apart and watch what happens when the ripples meet. So when  we  send  waves  through  a  barrier  with  two  slits,  we  get  what  is  called  an “interference pattern” on the screen, like this…. The  bright  lines  on  the  screen  are  where  the  tops  of  the  waves  joined  each  other (constructive interference) and then made it to the screen. The dark spaces in between are where  the  top  of  one  wave  hit  the  bottom  of  another  wave  (destructive interference), canceling them both out and never making it to the screen. So, when we send “particles of matter,” like the BB’s, through two slits, we get two definite patterns on the screen that look like the slits they came through. When we send “waves” through two slits, we get an interference pattern on the screen. Simple enough. Now let’s try this experiment with electrons instead of BB’s…. We  have  always  thought  about  an  electron  as  a  really,  really  small  BB  whirling around the nucleus of an atom – a very small “particle of matter,” and solid, like a BB. So we would expect to see the same pattern on the screen we got when we shot BB’s; and we do when there is one slit in the barrier…. …and when we shoot a beam of electrons through two slits in the barrier, we would expect to get a pattern of two slits on the screen just like the BB’s. BUT WE DON’T! Instead, we get the same interference pattern we got when we sent “waves” through two slits. WAVES ELECTRONS Originally, scientists thought this might be because they were firing a lot of electrons toward the screen at one time, and maybe some of the electrons were crashing into each other on the other side of the barrier, canceling each other out and not making it to the screen. By 1974 they were finally able to develop a way to fire one electron at a time at  the screen, so there was no way possible for them to interfere with each other. But they still got an interference pattern. (To watch a short and well-done animated video of this Double Slit experiment from What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole, click here.) How is that  possible?  How is it  possible  to  send one  tiny particle  of “matter”  at  a time through two slits and have it form a wave interference pattern? LIBRARY:There was only one explanation that made any sense: An electron is a wave rather than a particle; it is not a solid piece of matter as we have always thought! More recent experiments have discovered the same thing holds true for the nucleus of an atom, not just the electrons. “Matter is not what we have long thought it to be. To the scientist, matter has always  been thought of as sort of the ultimate in that which is static and predictable…. We like  to think of space as empty and matter as solid. But in fact, there is essentially nothing to  matter whatsoever; it’s completely insubstantial. Take a look at an atom. We think of it  as a kind of hard ball. Then we say, ‘Oh, well no, not really…it’s this little tiny point of  really dense matter right at the center….’ But then it turns out that that’s not even right.  Even  the  nucleus,  which  we  think  of  as  so  dense,  pops  in  and  out  of  existence  just  as  readily as the electrons do.”8 So the very building  blocks of what we call  our “physical  universe” – the nucleus and  electrons  of atoms  –  are  not  just  particles  of matter,  but  in  fact  exist  as  waves.  In quantum physics this is called “wave-particle duality.” That blew everybody’s mind; but it’s not the end of the story….

FOOTNOTES 1. Tiller, William, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Stanford University. What the Bleep!?  – Down the Rabbit Hole – Back to reading 2. Hameroff, Stuart, M.D., Associate Director of the Center for Consciousness, University of Arizona. Id. – Back to reading 3. Satinover, Jeffrey, M.D., Ph.D., Teaching Fellow in Physics, Yale University. Id.  – Back to reading 4. Jönsson C., Electron diffraction at multiple slits, American Journal of Physics (1974) Volume 42, Issue 1, pp. 4-115 – Back to reading 5. The Merli-Missiroli-Pozzi Two-Slit Electron Interference Experiment – Back to reading 6. Physics World – Back to reading 7. Greene, Brian. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory – Back to reading 8. Satinover, Jeffrey. Id. – Back to reading

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