Saturday, November 21, 2015

What Is Nothing Like?

When we as young children begin our journey of consciousness, we discover by about age two the belief that the lonely dark nothing of empty space is something after all. That belief in the nothing of empty space anchors further discovery and helps us discover the way the world of objects works. The discovery that the nothing of space is really something not only anchors further discovery for survival, but provides purpose and meaning far beyond survival.

But we begin life by sensing objects and light, not space, and objects and light are actually what reality is all about, not really space. When we no longer sense an object, we come to believe that an empty space now exists where that object was. This belief in empty space allows us to know that the object still exists and is simply now hidden by other objects or by some distance away from us and that is why we no longer sense the object. We come to believe that space exists even though we never sense space directly and even though empty space is simply the lack of an object that is now hidden from view or sensation.

We sense objects and learn their objective properties like color, texture, mass, time delay, and so on and can agree with others about those objective properties. Each object in the universe exists with a well-defined and measurable time delay from us and various time delays from other objects. These time delays are all equivalent to spatial distances from us and other objects and that is how we keep track of objects. We use particular objects called landmarks to provide reference frames for locating other objects, but there is really never any lack of objects in our perception or even anywhere in the universe. In other words, the notions that we have about continuous empty space and time are just that...convenient notions that help us to keep track of objects.

There is a long history of discourse in philosophy about the nature of the nothing of empty space. Why is there something rather than nothing? is a question in a recent book by philosopher Jim Holt, "Why Does the World Exist?" The history of nothing ranges from Zeno in ancient Greece up through modern times with Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. Since we neither sense nor measure the nothing of empty space, there is actually no way to answer such an inexplicable question and this book simply continues the endless discourse about the nature of nothing. The world is existence and so the question reduces to the identity of existence existing and the nature of this identity is obvious.

Philosophy, after all, is an endless discourse about the nature of the universe. Philosophy asks and attempts to answer many inexplicable questions since it is not always clear which questions we can answer. Why there is something rather than nothing is an existential question that has no answer other than the identity; the universe exists because it exists. There is no sense to a discourse about nothing except that nothing is a convenient way to keep track of a lack of objects. Just like the zero of our number system, the notion of the nothing of empty space provides a way of keeping track of a lack of objects of certain kinds. However, there is simply no sense to the absolute lack of all objects including a universe since the universe is what defines what exists and we are an inextricable part of the existence of that universe.

Reality exists as objects, light, and time and with discrete matter, time delay, and action; from just these three axioms all reality emerges. When we sense a red object, in addition to its red color that many others agree is red, we have feelings about that red object that are unique to us. Our unique lifetime of experience with red objects and unique development mean that the red object results in a feeling about the object that is unique for each person. It could be that the red color is an illusion, for example, or that we may see all objects as red because we happen to lack other pigments in our retina.

So it is very important for consciousness to have some kind of anchor as a belief in nothing, which is simply the belief that objects continue to exist even when we no longer see or sense them. After all, when an object hides other objects or when objects are simply out of our immediate perspective or simply be too far away to sense, we say then that there is empty space between us and some background behind where the object was. However, objects simply do not disappear and reappear according to common classical reality.

In our quantum reality, though, objects as matter waves always exist in superposition states and there is a coherent phase that somehow links their futures together. It is quantum phase coherence that provides a kind of glue that binds the universe of both charge and gravity together. Knowing the state of a matter wave provides information on the complementary coherent states of that matter wave everywhere else in the universe as well.

Although instantaneous information transfer cannot occur, quantum entanglement does make it seem like matter-wave information transfers instantaneously across the universe. However, the information about a matter wave state is simply received or felt by each of two quantum observers across the universe and those quantum observers do not transfer or communicate that information across the universe in a classical and deterministic sense of cause and effect.

If two quantum observers know about each other's complementary matter wave phase coherence, they will feel and come to know the complementary events even across the universe. However, the observers do need to know before hand about the common source that created those two events and have discovered the way the universe really works. In other words, there is a quantum bond between the two observers across the universe as a result of the coherence of a common matter wave. These two observers will then have complementary feelings about those two events that they will simply not be able to understand without a lot of prior knowledge.

Quantum Feeling

Even though we as observers might look at and objectively agree with other observers about the sources in the world, how observers subjectively feel about sources is unique to our each lifetime of experience and development. Observers look at and otherwise sense sources and have learned about the objective properties of color, size, mass, etc. and are confident that other observers will agree with the same objective properties. This objective reality of sources is a very common intuition that observers share with each other and observers typically share that objective reality as part of a classical reality.

Sharing stories about the objective properties of sources helps observers survive because they can then depend on other observers as a source of experience to better predict the action of sources and people. Observers do not need to experience the red color of an apple to know that an apple can be red. They can simply look it up on the internet. In principle, all objective reality is knowable and so observers can discover everything about their objective reality. However, there are limitations to what observers can discover about their own subjective reality.

How observers subjectively feel about a source like a red apple is very different from how the apple objectively appears to other observers . This is because even though observers can agree with other observers that an apple is red, the subjective feeling that observers have about a red apple comes from their own unique lifetime of experience with red sources and their unique development of retinal pigments and sensitivity to the light that they see as red. The subjective feeling that observers have about the red color of a source is a fundamental limitation. An observer of themselves as a source is unique to each observer and those immediate subjective sensations can actually be any number of illusions and perception mistakes and therefore not objective at all.

An observer's objective reality discovers sources with properties that conform to classical and realist notions of space and time with largely separate Cartesian sources that only occasionally interact. This is the world of gravity and of Einstein's relativity and is an observer's outer life. In contrast, the subjective reality of observer unique feelings is a source of inner life that is a quantum reality that incorporates phase coherence. Quantum phase coherence relates sources to each other in ways that sometimes seem to violate the classical and realist notions of discrete Cartesian sources. However, it is the inner reality of quantum phase coherence that augments and completes the limitations of an outer reality of the purely classical realism of gravity and relativity.

Although there has been many discussions about what a neural packet of brain matter might be like [see Tegmark 2014, Tononi 2004, Hopfield 1982], there has also been suggestion that quantum uncertainty and entanglement cannot play any role in the neural packets of our brains. [Tegmark 2000] This latter conclusion is based on the the very short dephasing times that occur for neural spikes of action potentials, whose dephasing times on the order of several milliseconds are many orders of magnitude shorter than the dephasing time of a moment of thought, which is around one second.

Of course, there are others who have ventured into the ring of quantum consciousness [Penrose 1989, Stapp 1984, Hameroff 2004] and who have proposed various quantum schemes for the neural matter of our brains. Unfortunately, no one seems to have yet resolved the matter with any kind of measurement like an EEG spectrum.

Given the spectral nature of EEG brain waves, it would seem reasonable to associate the measured EEG mode line widths with the dephasing time of thought. Quantum aware matter packets will dephase with the EEG dephasing time and therefore are the modes of quantum aware matter packets. Spectral line widths of light and acoustics represent both the presence of chaos as well as the dephasing times for the spectral modes of the science of spectroscopy. Associating EEG spectral widths to neural packets dephasing instead of action potential dephasing now means that the mind, despite some chaos, does indeed function as a quantum computer.

Linewidths for the quantum states of spectroscopy are functions of both homogeneous as well as heterogeneous dephasing and dephasing times reflect the lifetime and linewidth of a quantum resonance. Assuming EEG spectral linewidths are truly representative of the homogeneous dephasing times of neural packets means that brain aware matter does indeed represent quantum superposition states. Aware matter particles are not electrons or ions but are rather fermion aware matter particles of bilateral entangled neurons.

In order to qualify as a quantum computer, the brain must show the superposition logic of qubits, which include quantum phase. In digital logic, a bit of information is either 0 or 1 and all computers are based on just such a digital logic as well as internet data packets. In contrast to digital logic, neural logic involves a qubit as a superposition of two states [||, | ] that are like the polarization of light, parallel and perpendicular. Although single qubits will also only be either || or  | , qubits entangle other qubits and that entanglement transmits twice the information of just two digital bits.

This is because two entangled qubits not only carry the numbers 0 to 3 as [||,||], [||, | ],[ | ,||],[ | , | ], the two qubits also carry a binary phase factor that transmits 4 to 7 as [||,||+ | ], [||,||- | ],[ | ,||+ | ],[ | ,||- | ]. Just like light polarized at 45 degree is a superposition of 0 and 90, a qubit can exist as a coherent superposition of states and that superposition doubles its information content.

Moreover, the superposition of qubits in neural packets means that neural matter exists as high order states of coupled neural pairs as aware matter. That is, we can entangle the coherency of our neural packets with those of other people and sources and that coherency is part of our feeling. When I imagine going for a walk in the park, I form a superposition of many possible futures for that walk and yet I only realize a particular future when I actually am walking. Each of the other possible futures is also a part of my reality as memory but those other futures become decoherent with a rate of the aware matter lifetime of about 1 s.

Aware matter as a Quantum Material
The quantum wave equation for aware matter is particularly simple and so the wavefunction is simple as well. The EEG spectrum will be sinc functions (sin x / x), which is the Fourier transform of the aware matter wavefunction.
ma = aware matter particle mass, ~3.2e-30 kg (matter equivalent energy of two synaptic impulses)
Ña = aware matter action constant, ma / 2π / f
n = order of mode for aware matter source, 1 to 64
t = time, s
fa = aware matter source frequency, ~0.5 Hz
ya = aware matter wavefunction
ya with dot = time derivative of ya

This simplicity comes from the fact that aware matter binding energy is equivalent to its resonance energy and when that happens for a quantum matter, the quantum wave functions, ya, are mathematically very simple superpositions of electrical impulse frequencies. Therefore the proportionality is related to the mode frequency as shown and there is a reaction time, ta, which should be around 0.5 s and is the linewidth of the mode. Thus, we do not expect the EEG modes to be transform limited but rather EEG modes will have the linewidth of a single human thought.

There are many obvious ways to test the aware matter hypothesis and indeed, there may already be information out there that shows that aware matter could not exist. However, it is really fun to imagine how such a simple quantum material as aware matter becomes not only a part of our lives, but a part of every neural life. The existence of aware matter would be the unifying force behind all sentient life.

Although observers can in principle know everything about the objective properties of sources, much of knowledge also comes from observer subjective feelings about themselves as a source. Although observers can understand many of their subjective feelings with rational thought, observers do have feelings that are beyond rational thought. Such feelings are a part of observer quantum aware matter and are subject to quantum uncertainty and therefore are quantum feelings.