Wednesday, September 27, 2017
So for today’s class I had to go for a walk and bring an object I found on my walk to class. So I am bringing a hundred million million million objects.
Just think about that number for one minute. A million is a number that you can more or less get your head around. For example I’ve been in a football stadium with close to a hundred thousand people, so ten of those football stadiums. It’s possible. But a million of those? Are you still with me? Now can you imagine a million of those million millions?
Inside this grain of sand, which you can barely see from where you are sitting, are a hundred million million million atoms. And inside those atoms is a tiny little world of neutrons, protons and electrons - I didn’t look up how many, it’s around a hundred - more or less, it’s not important.
It is inside these subatomic particles that things get really interesting. Because at a subatomic level, we can no longer speak in terms of objects. ‘Things’ at a subatomic level can no longer simply be said to either exist or not exist. They are fluid. They move between states, they can simply disappear and reappear somewhere else, anywhere in the universe. They are possibilities, probabilities. When we try to observe them they change in response to way we set up the machines to observe them. We have no way of knowing what or how they are. They are instances, perhaps, of what John D.Caputo calls ‘perhaps’.
This is not some fancy story, this is quantum physics. And here is the thing: they are all connected. Each one of those quantum objects is ‘aware’ of each other quantum object in the universe, and, if you subscribe to the multiverse theory, every quantum object is connected to every other quantum object in the ten to the power of five hundred universes and the eleven dimensions, but perhaps you don’t believe in that.
That’s OK. You can believe what you want to believe. And you will.