Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quantum Mechanics & The Dice - predictability, probability, Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr and other odds and ends......

Einstein, Heisenberg and Bohr
When you think you know enough you look for Predictability.
When you think you don’t know enough you look for Probability.
When you think you know nothing you look for Divinity.

Quantum Mechanics.
According to Heisenberg’s theory of Quantum Mechanics, the nature of things alters by the very act of observation by someone. At the level of sub-atomic particles, Heisenberg suggests that it is impossible to determine a particle’s position and speed, because the mere observation of the particles radically affects their behavior. But I knew this for the longest time…

The Women Sub-particle – The nature of a young woman changes if she is observed by a man. All sorts of questions and thoughts pass through her – She blushes and fidgets, thinking “I must be hot!”, or wondering “Is he going to talk to me or not? What is taking him so long?” The nature of woman changes even more if she is observed by another woman – “Why is she staring at me? Is she looking at my shoes now? “Oh my God! Do I have a tear somewhere?” “Do I know her?” “Is she judging me???”

The Men in prayers Sub-particle – The nature of man changes if he is observed in prayers. It is a subtler change compared to women, less obvious and almost unconscious. The posture straightens, the head lowers more in modesty and the eyelids tremble in ostentatious piety. Hehehe. It happens to the best of us sometimes. We want to be humble of course, but end up appearing to be humble. Not the same thing.

The Dice Quarrel
Okay, enough jokes, back to the serious stuffs. Einstein was terribly unhappy with the messy-probability idea of Heisenberg because for him, accuracy and predictability was the natural and elegant form of the processes of nature. So if we cannot predict the weather or the fall of a dice, it is simply because we do not know enough about the factors that affect such events. As Einstein famously commented on the improbability of the improbability theory of the Universe – “God does not play dice!” One day, Niels Bohr (another proponent of Quantum Mechanics) was heard to have retorted, “Stop telling God what to do with His dice!”

An Interesting Postscript - I talked to Heche and Fifi over lunch about Quantum Mechanics, and they laughed over the Dice Quarrel. Later Fifi dropped us off at the office, and as we were about to alight the steps what did I notice but a dice on an empty parking space. The improbability of it! But it DID happen. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Towards God and towards us. God is not asking all of us to be superhuman geniuses. He has given us the intellect that we might use it, and He has given us a heart and conscience, that we might direct our intellect in the best direction. And what is the best direction? I think that direction points towards Him. And in a contradictory and quantum mechanical way, I think it also points towards us.

Something to ponder over, sunshine.

Wa min Allah at-taufiq

Footnote: I got all these interesting information from a wonderful BBC documentary on Einstein. Click Here if you are interested.

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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