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Mind and Matter IV Quantum Physics III Mind over Matter III There is no source of deception in the investigation of nature which can compare with a fixed.

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Presentation on theme: "Mind and Matter IV Quantum Physics III Mind over Matter III There is no source of deception in the investigation of nature which can compare with a fixed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mind and Matter IV Quantum Physics III Mind over Matter III There is no source of deception in the investigation of nature which can compare with a fixed belief that certain kinds of phenomena are impossible. —William James

2 Topics for today Quantum Physics III – Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (1927) Mind over Matter III – Sudden whitening of hair or skin – False pregnancy – Stigmata and related phenomena 2

3 Topics for today Quantum Physics III – Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (1927) Mind over Matter III – Sudden whitening of hair or skin – False pregnancy – Stigmata and related phenomena 3 Quantum mechanics and common sense contradict each other; in almost all cases, when physicists are able to test which is “correct”, quantum mechanics wins and common sense loses. It’s a crazy world we live in. One gets the idea that we are missing something fundamental in our understanding of the universe. Alex, of Indiana, posted to NYTIMES.COM (Science Times, 3 June 2014)

4 Some events in the early history of quantum physics 1905 – Quanta of light (later: “photons”) – Einstein 1911 – Model of the atom with orbiting electrons – Rutherford 1913 – Model of atom with quantum orbits – Bohr 1923 – Scattering of electrons by photons – Arthur Holly Compton ( ) 1924 – Wave nature of electrons – Louis de Broglie ( ) 4

5 Electron wave interference pattern photograph (1927) 5

6 Some events in the early history of quantum physics 1905 – Quanta of light (later: “photons”) – Einstein 1911 – Model of the atom with orbiting electrons – Rutherford 1913 – Model of atom with quantum orbits – Bohr 1923 – Scattering of electrons by photons – Arthur Holly Compton ( ) 1924 – Wave nature of electrons – Louis de Broglie ( ) 1926 – The wave function – Erwin Schrödinger ( ) 6

7 Some events in the early history of quantum physics 1905 – Quanta of light (later: “photons”) – Einstein 1911 – Model of the atom with orbiting electrons – Rutherford 1913 – Model of atom with quantum orbits – Bohr 1923 – Scattering of electrons by photons – Arthur Holly Compton ( ) 1924 – Wave nature of electrons – Louis de Broglie ( ) 1926 – The wave function – Erwin Schrödinger ( ) 1927 – The uncertainty principle – Werner Heisenberg ( ) 7

8 Werner Heisenberg ( ) 8

9 Was a student at Gottingen, age 20 in 1922 when Niels Bohr came to lecture They talked, Bohr invited him to take a walk W 105Bf Later, Heisenberg went to Copenhagen to be a postdoc with Bohr 9

10 Uncertainty principle Asserts a fundamental limit to the precision of measurement Comes in different forms The basic one: The more precisely the position of a particle is determined, the less precisely its speed (and momentum) can be known – and vice versa: The more accurately you measure the speed, the more uncertain you will be about its position – Momentum: mass times velocity Similar to but not the same as the observer effect The basic problem: – You can’t measure the position without affecting the velocity – You can’t measure the velocity without disturbing the position 10

11 More on the uncertainty principle “In fact, the observation of any property makes a ‘complementary’ quantity uncertain. … Energy and the time of observation are another complementary pair. The bottom line is that the observation of any property disturbs things enough to prevent refutation of quantum theory’s assertion that the observation creates the property observed” —Kuttner & Rosenblum (2011: 134) 11

12 Trying to observe very small objects I Problem: They are very small So small that we need to use very small units of measurement – Nanometer (nm): One billionth of a meter One millionth of a millimeter One thousandth of a micrometer – Angstrom unit (Å): One tenth of a nanometer How small is an atom? – Diameters range from 0.6 to 6.0 Å or 0.06 to 0.6 nm – atom : golf ball :: golf ball : Earth 12

13 Trying to observe very small objects II How small are they? How small is an atom? – atom : golf ball :: golf ball : Earth How small is an atomic nucleus? – The diameter of an atom is more than 10,000 times the diameter of its nucleus – Nucleus : atom :: grain of rice : Great Pyramid To see something we need light waves – Basic problem: They are very large in comparison to atoms and electrons 13

14 Waves and objects: Comparative sizes Infra-red wavelength : width of a silk fiber Visible light wavelength : diameter of a large virus cell Ultraviolet wavelength : diameter of small virus cell X-ray wavelength : diameter of an atom 14

15 Wavelengths of light 15

16 Trying to observe very small objects III As small as or smaller than the waves needed for observation To observe things we need waves – typically, light waves Wavelengths of light – nm But atoms are less than 1 nm in diameter What happens if the objects are smaller than the waves needed to observe them? – Ans.: they are disturbed by the energy of the waves » W 109M,L » W 112 B » W 115T 16

17 Heisenberg vs. Schrödinger Heisenberg’s version of quantum mechanics came out at about the same time as Schrödinger’s They criticized each other Schrödinger: “I was discouraged, if not repelled, by what appeared to me a rather difficult method of transcendental algebra, defying any visualization” Heisenberg: “The more I ponder the physical part of Schrödinger’s theory, the more disgusting it appears to me.” A few months later, Schrödinger proved that the two theories were logically identical, just different mechanical representations. Schrödinger’s version is now considered more mathematically tractable 17

18 Later development of the uncertainty principle I It is now thought that the disturbance caused by measurement only partly explains the phenomenon The uncertainty also exists in the particle itself, – even before the measurement is made In fact, the modern explanation of the uncertainty principle, extending the Copenhagen interpretation first put forward by Bohr and Heisenberg, depends even more centrally on the wave nature of a particle From Wikipedia 18

19 Later development of the uncertainty principle II Just as it is nonsensical to discuss the precise location of a wave on a string, particles do not have perfectly precise positions after all Likewise, just as it is nonsensical to discuss the wavelength of a "pulse" wave traveling down a string, particles do not have perfectly precise momenta Moreover, when position is relatively well defined, the wave is pulse-like and has a very ill-defined wavelength – Hence very ill-defined momentum Conversely, when momentum (and thus wavelength) is relatively well defined, the wave looks long and sinusoidal, and therefore it has a very ill-defined position From Wikipedia 19

20 The observer effect Similar to, but not the same as, the uncertainty principle Measurements of certain systems cannot be made without affecting the systems Heisenberg offered such an observer effect at the quantum level as a physical "explanation" of quantum uncertainty But it turns out that the uncertainty principle is inherent in the properties of all wave-like systems – Hence it arises in quantum mechanics simply because of the wave- like properties of all quantum objects 20

21 The observer effect in other areas Anthropology The Hawthorne effect Ornithology Medical diagnosis Anatomy 21

22 Topics for today Quantum Physics III – Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (1927) Mind over Matter III – Sudden whitening of hair or skin – False pregnancy – Stigmata and related phenomena 22 The whole history of science shows us that whenever the educated and scientific men of any age have denied the facts of other investigators on a priori grounds of absurdity or impossibility, the deniers have always been wrong. —Alfred Russel Wallace ( )

23 Sudden whitening of the hair I Has occurred even within a few hours Usually after a severe fright Cases have been reported for centuries – In medical literature Reviews of the literature: – H. S. Barahal, in Psychiatric Quartery, 14 (1940) – A.J. Ephraim, in Archives of Dermatology, 79 (1959) – I. Stevenson (1997) – In non-medical historical literature Review of the literature: – J. W. Jelinek, Sudden whitening of the hair, Cutis 11, (1973) In most cases the change is permanent 23

24 Sudden whitening of the hair II: A dramatic case Reported by D.P. Parry, a surgeon – Sudden whitening of the hair, Dublin Medical Press 45-46, 332 (1861) A Bengali prisoner, “stupefied with fear” Hair turned from glossy black to grey within half an hour Similar dramatic cases are recorded in the literature How to explain? – One hypothesis: Dark pigmented hair suddenly fell out, leaving behind white pigmented hair that was already present – Could account for some cases, but not those in which the attending physician reported that there was no appreciable hair loss 24

25 Sudden change of skin pigmentation Affects patches of skin Numerous cases are reviewed by – Ian Stevenson (1997) with photographs – J. W. Jelinek (1973) 25

26 False pregnancy: pseudocyesis (I) Known to physicians since the time of Hippocrates – Hippocrates reported 12 cases Numerous cases reported in the medical literature – Bivin & Klinger (1937) reviewed 444 cases from 18 th and 19 th centuries – Murray & Abraham (1978) reviewed 68 additional cases – DeVane, Vera, Buhi & Kaira (1985), five more cases – Whelan & Stewart (1990), six more cases – Signer et al. (1992), six more “Pseudocyesis provides a valuable opportunity for exploring the mysterious no-man’s land between mind and body” (Ramachandran & Blakeslee, Phantoms in the Brain, 1998) 26

27 False pregnancy: pseudocyesis (II) Schofbach, Fried & Rakoff (1952) studied 27 cases occurring between 1937 and 1952 In all 27 cases at least one doctor concurred with the woman’s belief that she was pregnant 27

28 False pregnancy: pseudocyesis (III) Commonly occurring symptoms – Abdominal enlargement – Cessation of menstruation – Sensation of fetal movements Sometimes felt also by the doctor – Nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms – Breast changes, including secretions – Labor pains – Enlargement of uterus – Changes in cervix 28

29 False pregnancy: pseudocyesis (IV) Attempts at explanation – “the usually accepted mechanism is that the symptoms generated by the individual…reduce anxiety” (O’Grady & Rosenthal 1989) – a “depressive mechanism induces neuroendocrine changes through cortical or limbic connections at the level of the hypothalamus” (Whelan & Stewart 1990) These are more description than explanation The underlying mechanism remains unknown But “the role of psychogenic factors in the control of the neuroendocrine system is becoming one of the most exciting areas of psychosomatic medicine” (Murray & Abraham, 1978) 29

30 Stigmata (I) Marks on the sites of wounds of Jesus at his crucifixion – Often with bleeding Hundreds of cases, from 13 th century to the present Subject profiles: – Usually young, single females – Usually Catholic and very religious 30

31 Stigmata (II) Locations of marks – Palms and backs of hands – Soles and top of feet – Often but not always also on the side (corresponding to spear wound) – Less common, on head (crown of thorns) back (lashings) shoulders (from the cross being carried) – Still less common Bloody tears 31

32 Stigmata (III) Types of marks in different cases – Red marks – Blisters – Bleeding from unbroken skin – Bleeding lesions Afterwards, – Wounds disappear rapidly – No infection or inflammation Timing – Usually on Fridays – Often repeating for years Accompanying phenomena – Altered state of consciousness Ecstatic state or trance 32

33 Stigmata (IV) Best-known cases – St. Francis of Assisi (13 th century) – Louise Lateau – Gemma Galgani – Padre Pio (Italy) – Thérèse Neumann (Germany) Investigated by many physicians Was also reported to eat only communion wafers 33

34 Stigmata (V): Thérèse Neumann ( ) Lived in Bavaria all her life A nun in the Third Order of St. Francis Blinded after a fall in 1919 – Eyesight restored in 1923 after praying novenas Diagnosed with appendicitis in 1925 – Recovered after praying while being prepared for surgery Began displaying wounds of Jesus in 1926 – Wounds on hands and feet, and above heart – Blood coming from eyes – Wounds on head (crown of thorns) The stigmata reappeared on Good Friday every year 34

35 Thérèse Neumann 35

36 Stigmata (VI) More recent case (Lifschutz 1974) – A 10-year-old girl in California, deeply religious – No signs of psychopathology – The stigmata appeared for a period of 19 days up to Good Friday of 1972 – The last time was on Good Friday, 1972 The phenomena – Bleeding, hands, feet, forehead – No lesions: blood oozed from unbroken skin – A physician who was present “observed the blood [on her palm] increase in volume four fold” Contributing mental factors – Read a book about the crucifixion one week before – Saw a movie on the crucifixion three days after reading the book 36

37 Stigmata (VII): The case of Anna Maria T. (Italy) Reported by M. Margnelli in Journal of Scientific Exploration, 1999 Timing of the stigmata – First appeared in 1990 – Ms. T. was 64 years old – First appearance when, while praying, she had a vivid vision of Jesus approaching her and taking her by the hands – Appeared on first Friday of every month – Lasted two to three days – Then disappeared, leaving no scars The marks – Only on palms – Red rounded blotches – Sometimes, blisters 37

38 Stigmata (VIII): The case of Anna Maria T. (cont’d) Ms. T. was closely observed by the author (Margnelli) for 5 months Physiological and psychological measurements: – MMPI and Rorschach tests – Color and infrared photographs When stigmata were present And when not present – Various physiological reactions Comparative measurements were made between – Stigmatic areas and surrounding skin – Stigmatic areas when stigmata present and when absent Findings: Differences in – Temperature of skin – Blood flow in skin – Electrodermal response Psychological tests showed no signs of psychopathology 38

39 Phenomena similar to stigmata (I) Autoerythrocyte sensitization (AES) Described by O. Ratnoff, – Stigmata: Where mind and body meet, Medical Times 97, (1969) A rare condition, usually affecting women Occurs subsequent to a severe physical trauma Symptoms – Bruising, pain, inflammation, swelling or other internal bleeding – Occur at time of emotional stress – Symptoms can be induced by injecting small amounts of their own blood into patients Reservations about the comparison – Stigmatics do not exhibit bruising or inflammation 39

40 Phenomena similar to stigmata (II) Somatic repetitions of traumatic experiences Reviews: – R. L. Moody, 1948 – Ian Stevenson (Psychiatry, U of Virginia), 1997 Illustrative cases – A 31-year-old man: (Needles 1943) Bleeding on palms of hands in stressful situations – A man (Hadley, ) Bleeding from armpits, no visible wounds Four to five days every month for seven months 40

41 Phenomena similar to stigmata (III) A teen-age girl, with bleeding on the back (Lifschutz 1957) At age 13, her father had “scratched her down her back with his fingernails, leaving three long scars” Four years later, after she had left home (wounds long healed) – Father announced that he was coming to visit The scars began to bleed – Same thing happened on several subsequent occasions Similar cases (Dunbar 1954) – A woman who developed red spots on neck Her neck had been painfully squeezed on an earlier occasion – A woman with a bruise and swelling on an arm When recalling beatings by husband 41

42 Phenomena similar to stigmata (IV) A woman with swelling, bruising, and bleeding (R. L. Moody, 1948) – Bruises on left buttock – A red, bleeding mark on left shoulder – Bleeding from a scar left from a childhood accident – Had been beaten repeatedly as a child by her father – Observed on thirty separate occasions while recalling her traumas 42

43 Phenomena similar to stigmata (V): Dream induced Physiological response to a dream (Tuke, 1884) A man dreamed he had been hit in the chest with a stone “The vivid shock awoke him, and then he found that there was on his chest…a round mark, having the appearance of a bruise” The next day it was swollen Went to doctor for treatment 43

44 Phenomena similar to stigmata (VI): Induced by dream or by near death experience An Indian man with typhoid fever (Ian Stevenson, 1997) Thought he had died and that while in the “other realm” – Was struggling to return to life – Persons there had subdued him by cutting off his legs at the knees Upon recovery from typhoid fever, – “was found to have some unusual horizontal scars in the skin across the front of both knees” – the “scars” persisted and were photographed by Stevenson several years later 44

45 Phenomena similar to stigmata (VII): Sympathetic reaction Several cases recorded by Ian Stevenson (1997) – Observing wounds received by a loved one induce similar wounds in the observer Sometimes with bleeding In one case, swelling and pus that had to be drained (fingers) – A mother who had witnessed her child’s fingers being severed A sympathetic mother (Rantasalo & Penttinen, 1959) – On four occasions when her three children were being vaccinated Developed blisters on her arm 45

46 How to explain stigmata and similar phenomena Like the phenomena of quantum mechanics, they remain unexplained Attempt by R.L. Moody (1946): – “neural pathways undoubtedly exist by which psychic contents may be projected onto the body in a highly specific manner” – Problem: such neural pathways have not been identified Ian Stevenson (1997) – “We have no understanding of how the brain could instruct local blood vessels and other tissues to represent the various forms in the skin” Unlike the phenomena of quantum mechanics, they are ignored/overlooked/avoided by many investigators 46

47 “It’s a crazy world we live in” 47 Quantum mechanics and common sense contradict each other; in almost all cases, when physicists are able to test which is “correct”, quantum mechanics wins and common sense loses.* It’s a crazy world we live in. One gets the idea that we are missing something fundamental in our understanding of the universe. Alex, of Indiana, posted to NYTIMES.COM (Science Times, 3 June 2014) * So also with mind-body phenomena

48 48 T h a n k s f o r y o u r a t t e n t i o n !


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