Subatomic particles have free will

By | March 26, 2009

Subatomic particles have free will

If humans have free will, then so do subatomic particles such as electrons, say American mathematicians.

“If experimenters have a certain freedom, then particles have exactly the same kind of freedom,” wrote mathematicians John Conway and Simon Kochen, of Princeton University in New Jersey, in a recent paper published in Notices of the AMS. “Indeed, it is natural to suppose that this latter freedom is the ultimate explanation of our own,” they said.

… “Conway and Kochen prove that the randomness does not depend on anything. They prove that the outcomes of these quantum random events are really completely independent of anything that has happened in the past,” The U.S. mathematicians based their deductions on three unassailable theorems, which also happen to rhyme: ‘spin’ – measuring a quantum property called spin of an elementary particle; ‘twin’ – that a pair of particles are correlated; and ‘min’ – that an experimenter’s choice of what to measure cannot be communicated faster than the speed of light.

If experimenters are free to choose between experiments – that is, the choice of experiments is not predetermined by past events – then the particle must also decide how to act on the spur of the moment.  …

via Subatomic particles have free will | COSMOS magazine.

It sounds absurd, but if true … I believe this would mean the Universe is conscious.   Does not a “will” require consciousness?

What is consciousness? Consciousness is what it is like to have a mental model of yourself.

What is a mental model? It is a representation in your brain of something outside (or inside) of yourself.

How does the brain represent something? Sensory inputs (including thoughts) are stored in long term memory. These memories are the brain’s representations, it’s models of everything, you, your computer, Mars, the Moon, Captain Kirk, maple syrup… everything you have ever known.

An aware system is one in which the model has sensors which connect it to and cause it to change with the thing that is being modeled.

A self-aware or conscious system is one which feeds back upon itself by having a smaller model of itself modeling the larger external world.  Consciousness is aware and self aware … and aware it is self aware.

Consensus consciousness may be more than a social phenomena. It may be physical actor.  This idea that we can “manifest” (with a time delay) what we set our minds on, excites me. Still, my scientific training says this is only superstition, that thoughts, by themselves, do not change reality.

And yet… I can not explain the unpredictability of sub atomic particles.   I imagine, rationally, that there must be some as yet undiscovered type of Brownian motion going on… invisible bombardments…

5 thoughts on “Subatomic particles have free will

  1. Wilson da Silva

    I am writing to request that you modify (or take down) a posting on your site which has copyrighted content from our company, and which appear on your site without our authorisation.

    Netiquette is to publish the first few paragraphs of our story with a hyperlink back to the full story on our site. In this way, we get to know which stories are popular, and do more of those. If we get too few page views, then we don’t do those sort of stories anymore – and everyone misses out.

    The article is: “Subatomic particles have free will” (above). You’ve also used a picture from a photolibrary, which we do not own but have rented. This leaves you open to a separate copyright violation by the photolibrary.


    Wilson da Silva

  2. Xeno Post author

    Hi Wilson,
    Nice to meet you.

    I’ve changed out the picture (60,000 to choose from) and I have done more editing to shorten the excerpt. Let me know if this is acceptable.

    It is my understanding that the Fair Use provision of US copyright law allows me to post excerpted and/or news related content without authorization. Still, I’m happy to comply with any DMCA requests for removal or modification.

    I think your marketing department has the facts backward. Blogosphere links support web sites such as yours. I believe if you check your stats for referrers you’ll see that I am increasing your page views, not decreasing them. Of my 3,000 to 9,000 readers per day, many who have never heard of COSMOS will now be turned on to your magazine because of this interesting article. It is a good deal for both of us, for all of us. Some call it a generating a buzz, others call it getting the word out.

    Kind regards,


  3. Julissa Monath

    Super Webseite – Hab ne kleine. Mein Ego ist auch gegenwärtig dabei meinen eigenen kleinen Blog zu programmieren und ich finde dein Template klasse. Wo kann man das Template runterziehen?

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