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"Light is the only reality." Amit Goswami
Dr. Gerald L. Schroeder, M.I.T. nuclear physicist and Hebrew scholar, discusses light and relativity
The "Lynx Arc" is 1 million times brighter than the well-known Orion Nebula. It is the biggest, brightest, and hottest star-forming region ever seen in space, 12 billion light-years from Earth.
Hyatt Carter: "What is it about the nature of light that causes a great mystic to say, There is no more worthy, more glorious, or more potent work, than to work with light. Why is it that Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman felt an enchantment that would last for a lifetime when he heard his high-school physics teacher say: Light always follows the path of the beautiful? What is it about the nature of light that prompted Albert Einstein, early in his career, to say, For the rest of my life I will reflect on what light is!? Why is it, throughout human history, that the divine presence has so often been imaged as light?"
Albert Einstein: "What if one were to run after a ray of light? ... What if one were riding on the beam? ... If one were to run fast enough would it no longer move at all?"
American Museum of Natural History web site: "So why can't you travel faster than light? The faster an object travels, the more massive it becomes. As an accelerating object gains mass and thus becomes heavier, it takes more and more energy to increase its speed. It would take an infinite amount of energy to make an object reach the speed of light."
Charles Hinton, mathematician: Believed that light was a "vibration of the fourth spatial dimension."
Ole Romer, Danish astronomer, 1676: calculated the speed of light by measuring differences in timings between eclipses of Jupiter's moons.
T. Lee Baumann, M.D., God at The Speed of Light: "If an object actually reaches the speed of light, time stops completely ... you can travel anywhere in the universe and you never age! Hence, it is striking but photons, and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation, are timeless."
John Gribbin, astrophysicist: An electromagnetic wave is "everywhere along its path (everywhere in the universe) at once; or you can say that distance does not exist for an electromagnetic wave... everything in the universe, past, present, and future, is connected to everything else, by a web of electromagnetic radiation that 'sees' everything at once."
T. Lee Baumann, M.D., God at The Speed of Light: "What are the ramifications for a form of energy that is timeless and travels? ... light consists of unlimited energy... The resulting energy calculations of the atom are also infinite. Physicists currently resort to a controversial technique known as normalization to eliminate the infinities from equations. This approach utilizes a method of cancellation of the infinities from both sides of an equation."
Amit Goswami, professor of physics, Univ. of Oregon: "Light is the only reality."
Gerald Schroeder, MIT physicist: Regarding the "Double-Slit' experiment and its utterly unforeseen results: "Even if the photon is infinitely extended, in the time it travels from the photon gun to the open slit, it cannot have 'felt' the second slit, checked to see if the second slit was open or closed, communicated that information to the portion passing through the first slit and then decided where on the screen it was permitted to land and where it was forbidden... This is bizarre... the end of the line for causality [i.e. "cause and effect" because, here, identical conditions did not produce identical results]."
Gary Zukav: "... how did the photon know that the other slit was closed? ... There is no definite answer to this question. Some physicists, like EH Walker, speculate that photons may be conscious!... We have little choice but to acknowledge that photons, which are energy, do appear to process information and to act accordingly."
Amit Goswami, professor of physics, Univ. of Oregon: Regarding the "delayed choice" experiment: "[P]hotons seem to respond even to our delayed choice instantly and retroactively. A photon travels one path or both paths, exactly in harmony with our choice. How does it know?"
Niels Bohr, physicist, Nobel laureate: "Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it."
T. Lee Baumann, M.D., God at The Speed of Light: "There are several theories that attempt to explain [instantaneous communication among photons]... John Cramer advanced one such theory in an article in the Reviews of Modern Physics in 1986... he suggested that this observed form of communication is achieved by an 'offer wave,' which is extended into the future. This wave is then returned in the form of a 'confirmation wave,' which travels backward in time, containing the necessary information for the [photon] to adjust to its surroundings.
Freeman Dyson, physicist: "Thirty-one years ago, Dick Feynman told me about his 'sum over histories' version of quantum mechanics. 'The electron does anything it likes,' he said. 'It just goes in any direction, at any speed, forward or backward in time, however it likes, and then you add up the amplitudes and it gives you the wave function.' I said to him 'You're crazy.' But he isn't."
T. Lee Baumann, M.D., God at The Speed of Light: Regarding "Bell's Inequality" experiment and photons: "These results indicate that our actions on Earth are causing changes in other parts of the universe... prove that particle/wave communication occurs nonlocally [i.e. atemporally, faster than the speed of light]."
Gary Zukav: "Superluminal [i.e. faster than the speed of light] quantum connectedness [i.e. apparent communication among photons/particles] seems to be, on the surface at least, a possible explanation for some types of psychic phenomena... In this sense, Bell's theorem could be the Trojan horse in the physicists' camp ... [getting them to discuss] types of phenomena which, ironically, they do not believe exists."
T. Lee Baumann, M.D., God at The Speed of Light: Regarding the dual nature of light, that of wave and particle: "A 'particle' acts as a wave in the absence of an observation device, but travels as an intact particle when the detector is present. Some scientists maintain that the universe exists primarily as waves, coalescing into particles only under the act of observation... Physicists have coined the phrase 'collapse of the wave function' to describe this transformation of wave into particle... a wave is capable of splitting into two halves; a particle cannot."
John Gribbin, astrophysicist: "What you find in such a situation [with a detector in place] is that each electron is always seen to be a particle, travelling through one hole or the other. It behaves like a little bullet. And, lo and behold, the interference pattern [of waves partially canceling each other out] disappears. Instead, the pattern on the screen becomes the pattern produced by little bullets travelling through each hole independently... The act of observing the electron wave makes it collapse and behave like a particle at the crucial moment when it is going through the hole."
"One of the main quantum facts of life is that we radically change whatever we observe... King Midas never knew the feel of silk or a human hand after everything he touched turned to gold. Humans are stuck in a similar Midas-like predicament: we can't directly experience the true texture of reality because everything we touch turns to matter."
Nick Herbert, physicist
John Gribbin, astrophysicist: Regarding the "Beryllium Ions" experiment at the US Nat'l Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO: "[I]f it were possible to monitor the ions all the time then none of them would ever change. If, as quantum theory suggests, the world only exists because it is being observed, then it is also true that the world only changes because it is not being observed all the time... A watched quantum pot ... never boils. And experiments ... bear this out."
T. Lee Baumann, M.D., God at The Speed of Light: "At the time of observation, the wave collapses into a particle... the state of the entity changes into what we recognize as 'reality.' As an example, the light we perceive exists in waveform until it is observed with the eye. Somewhere between the cornea and the brain, the light wave is converted into a particle. Hence, metaphysical reality exists as waveforms; our perception of reality is as particles."
Dale Short, on author T. Lee Baumann: "In God at the Speed of Light, Baumann introduces ... an analogy.... King Midas never knew the feel of silk or a human hand after everything he touched turned to gold. Humans are stuck in a similar Midas-like predicament: we can't directly experience the true texture of reality because everything we touch turns to matter. In other words, our everyday lives are technically an illusion. The objects and surfaces that we perceive as real are only the temporary intersection of our consciousness with the 'true' universe, made entirely of energy. 'Which raises the question of this wooden floor,' Baumann adds, tapping it with his heel. 'If we weren't here looking at it, would this floor still exist? Well, it would, but it exists only as a nebulous, ill-defined mass of wave forms. It's not until some type of measurement or observation occurs, and you have what's called "the collapse of the wave function," that the nebulous mass of waves solidify into concrete, particulate matter.'"
Sir James Jeans (1877-1946): "The tendency of modern physics is to resolve the whole material Universe into waves and nothing but waves; these are waves of two kinds; bottled up waves which we call matter and unbottled waves which we call radiation or light. If annihilation of matter occurs, the process is merely that of unbottling imprisoned wave energy and letting it fall to travel through space. These concepts reduce the whole Universe to a world of light, potential and existence, so that the whole story of creation can be told with perfect accuracy and completeness in the six words, God said, 'Let there be light'.''
"Einstein's crucial breakthrough about the nature of light, made in 1905, can be summed up in a deceptively simple statement: The speed of light is constant. So what does this sentence really mean? Surprisingly, the answer has nothing to do with the actual speed of light, which is 300,000 kilometers per second (186,000 miles per second) through the 'vacuum' of empty space. Instead, Einstein had an unexpected—and paradoxical—insight: that light from a moving source has the same velocity as light from a stationary source. For example, beams of light from a lighthouse, from a speeding car's headlights and from the lights on a supersonic jet all travel at a constant rate as measured by all observers—despite differences in how fast the sources of these beams move."
American Museum of Natural History web site