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Published: Jun.5.2014

Consciousness And The Quantum Field

Charles (Chuck) Lear
Adjunct Professor of Physics
Weber State University, Ogden, Utah

At the 2012 SSE Annual Meeting we introduced an integrated set of hypotheses showing how quantum mechanics, and other relevant physics, may form a basis for consciousness and emergent self-awareness. None of the hypotheses are original, but their integration is. In the present work we seek to expand and sharpen this paradigm based on recent investigations of quantum field theory. We will overview the original work and strengthen and expand some of the shallower explanations with an eye to making a stronger case for the original hypotheses. We will merely touch upon some of the supporting physics that remains unchanged. The original fundamental principles were five-fold. (1) We first replace the classical wave-particle duality with a wave-event complementarity in which persistent objects are instead seen as transitory events. Such events may be characterized as raising and lowering operations on a field which add or subtract quanta of potential for spin or momentum. They may be regarded as events in consciousness. (2) We then suggest that time reversal of cause and effect allows a measurement to affect the prior state of a system. Retrocausality in nature is a major sticking point in the Wheeler-Feynman absorber theory, which requires that every electromagnetic interaction forward in time (retarded wave) is accompanied by a time reversed causal advance wave. We have proposed a way out of the cosmologically based dilemma. Retrocausality supports the event hypothesis and also supports déjà vu type consciousness. (3) We then call on wave phase coherence and “indistinguishability of identical particles” as a basis for emergent integration of such events into self-identity. The quantum field aspect here is that to support coherence in photonic wave functions there needs to be a formal equivalence of the Dirac equation for electrons and the Maxwell equation for photons. We have identified a potential equivalence. (4) Next, the emergent quantum state of a system depends on how it is measured or observed. Such observation may be conscious, leading to what we call conscious observational causality. This was covered in the previous work. Finally, also unchanged from previous work, (5) local decreases in system entropy allow highly ordered states to emerge as a result of the conscious observation process. These five principles result in an orderly integration of consciousness and material processes. We show how wave-event complementarity may be represented by a mathematical device in the form of binary exchange operators which allow combinations of two types of events fitting an elementary definition of bipolar conscious interaction in living nature (yin-yang, etc). Combinations of bipolar events lead to more complex interactions, including a mathematical description of the quantum spin matrices and thence to models of spacetime and momentum space. Phase coherence and conscious observational causality show how self-identity emerges and results in high level ordering of living systems.