Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon that even Albert Einstein couldn’t get his mind around. Traveling faster than the speed of light, he called it, “Spooky action at a distance,” and hated it because he didn’t believe anything was faster than light. He was wrong. John Bell proved it correct through his experiments, now called Bell’s Theorem.
WWWSo, what is it, and how does it work? It’s about two separate particles that act as one no matter how far apart they are. For instance, two electrons that are very close together and interact by vibrating in unison are then inexplicably linked, each becoming aware of the other—a change in quantum spin in one electron will cause the other to change its spin also, instantaneously, even if they’re light-years apart! Michio Kaku explains it this way, “As you separate these two coherent particles, an umbilical cord, an invisible umbilical cord, starts to develop between these two particles such that if you wiggle one particle then the other is aware of the fact that its partner is being wiggled.”
WWWScience knows this is the reality; is fact. But what is this force that befuddled Einstein? How do we understand immediate response from one entity to another that ignores distance?
CONSCIOUSNESS AFFECTS THE PHYSICAL It’s called the Double Slit Experiment, which astounded and baffled scientists. What it involves is shooting electrons—tiny particles of matter— against a flat surface with a narrow vertical slit cut into it. In back of this surface is a flat screen where those electrons that pass through the slit form a pattern on the screen mirroring the slit. Nothing surprising here. But then a second slit is cut into the surface where they expected to see a similar pattern on the screen mirroring the two slits. Not so. Instead It formed a wave pattern similar to what a liquid would form as it passed through the slits forming several fuzzy slits of varying intensities.
WWWHow could this be? How could individual bits of matter form a wave pattern? So the scientists tried to outsmart the electrons by shooting them out one at a time, where they couldn’t interfere with each other; but again, each single electron still formed a wave pattern. They were baffled; and in order to see how this was happening, the researchers set-up a measuring device to observe the particles as they passed through the slits. The result was astonishing. The electrons changed their behavior and reverted to the pieces of matter they actually are, and formed two slit patterns on the screen.
WWWWhat this means is that the mere act of observing these quantum particles change their behavior; that conscious observation plays a role in how particles act, as if they were aware of being observed; suggesting that these micro pieces of matter are actually non-physical waves of possibilities. Quantum mechanics is telling us that consciousness is a player in the physical world—a force we do not yet understand. Below is a short entertaining video detailing the experiment, imparting a strong sense of just how enigmatic this revelation is.
In doing the research on this subject, I had two surprises; one, that the discovery of other galaxies came as late as the 1920’s, expanding the size of the known universe beyond imagination. And the other was that although he’s given credit for it, Edwin Hubble was not the first to make the incredible discovery that these galaxies are receding outward at an accelerated rate—the farther away the galaxy the faster it’s moving away from us—in other words the universe is expanding faster and faster. The first to discover this was George Lemaitre, a Belgian priest and cosmologist, two years earlier than Hubble. WWWThis new knowledge brought with it a huge conundrum for scientists—what force is causing this phenomenon? Why aren’t the galaxies static or collapsing in on each other due to the gravitational forces of all the galaxies? Add to that, astronomers know that by its gravitational effect, dark matter exists; or invisible matter, which is about 3/4 of all matter in the universe, and despite that, the universe is expanding at an astounding pace. Since scientists have no idea what this intangible force is, they named is Dark Energy.
WWWWAn article from the Smithsonian states, “Astronomers have compiled evidence that what we’ve always thought of as the universe—me, you, this magazine, planets, stars, galaxies, all matter in space—represents a mere 5 percent of what’s actually our there. The rest for want of a better word, dark: 25 percent is something they call dark matter, and 70 percent is something even more mysterious, which they call dark energy.”A WWWMichael S. Turner, University of Chicago cosmologist expresses the magnitude of this discovery when he exclaims that dark energy is, “the most profound mystery in all of science.” So it seems, the more we learn, the deeper the mystery.
SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY MERGING? The best and most concise definition I found for “spiritual,” is “immaterial reality,” a non-physical aspect of the universe. Are these forces we’ve just explored a small window into spirituality? Are these forces connections from the physical to the immaterial? We know they’re real because science is experiencing them, and they are unlike other intangible forces like magnetism, electricity and radiation because we know what they are and how they work; we can even measure them with pinpoint accuracy. How can we measure the force of consciousness, of quantum entanglement, and dark energy when we don’t have a clue as to what they are, let alone how they work?
WWWThese are large and intriguing questions that so far, defy explanation. Two of the forces are from the super-tiny quantum world, and one is from the unfathomable vastness of the universe itself. In terms of time, in a 14 billion year-old universe, man is barely a fetus, and so it becomes palpable that the questions posed here are yet too far beyond us to even approach the truth of this mysterious, awesome and majestic existence.