Quanta are simply the discontinuous aspect of physical reality or in other words the smallest packets of mass and energy that govern all the interactions occurring at the micro scale. Quantum mechanics is the incredibly successful theory that describes the mathematical interactions of energy and matter that occur at this microscopic scale.
So, why is this description of how quanta behave weird and what does this have to do with spirituality? To begin with, quanta are difficult to localize. That is, they appear to exist not in one place but can be found most anywhere or in a sense can spread throughout all of space-time. Secondly, depending on how they are observed quanta may behave like particles at times and like waves at other times. Therefore, until they are actually observed or measured quanta have no definite properties but are thought to exist in all possible states simultaneously. These are virtual rather that real states. It is not until a quantum is observed that it takes on one state or another. Somehow, conscious observation fixes a quantum in a real states but it is normally impossible to predict which of the possible states will emerge from the “quantum soup.” The quantum seems to choose its ultimate state. Thirdly, even in their real state quanta cannot be pinned down exactly. For example, the better we know the position of a quantum particle the less we know its speed. Hence, there is always uncertainty in measuring quanta. Finally, quanta that share the same state when created are linked or entangled no matter how far apart they travel from one another and this connection is instantaneous and not limited by the speed of light. In addition, this connection between quanta occurs not only in the domain of small particles but also applies to complex systems or experimental setups. When one of the quanta in the system is observed all the other quanta shift from the virtual to the real state. Continue reading