Quantum Physics and Vedanta - Part 4/4

By Jayant Kapatker  •  May 7, 2015

De Broglie Hypothesis

We saw earlier that de Broglie, the French physicist, asserted that matter is both a wave and a particle. There was no clear explanation is to why this is so. Neither was any explanation offered as to the logical interaction between the wave and particle.

After understanding the seed, subtle and gross aspects of the universe from Vedanta, I think we are ready to answer the questions raised by the de Broglie hypothesis. The waveform of matter belongs to the subtle universe and the particle form of matter belongs to the gross universe. They both represent the same thing. Every living and nonliving physical object in this universe exists as a wave and as a particle. Vedanta teaches us that there is the fully functioning subtle universe where the different waveforms interact with each other to form complex waveforms. For example, the JPEG file for an image is in a subtle form, while the actual image you see on your on computer is the gross version of the JPEG file. This is a good way to understand the connection between the subtle and gross universes. The subtle universe creates the gross universe. The subtle universe operates within the individual and cosmic minds. We saw earlier that Maya Shakti converts the subtle waves to gross objects.

In conclusion, we may say that de Broglie proved the existence of the duality of physical objects in the Universe in the form of waves and particles. Vedanta completely agrees with this fact,
but it fills in the blanks by explaining the relationship between the ‘wave’ universe and ‘particle’

Schrodinger’s Wave Function

The Schrodinger wave function represents a system which consists of an observed system and an observing system. The observed system is a waveform representing micro or macro objects. In the presence of the observing system, the observed collapses to become a particle. If you now look at what is happening in our minds. The mind is the observed system and is made of ‘vrittis’ or waveforms representing complex objects and includes variables of time and energy. Atma is the observing system looking at what is happening in the individual mind. In the presence of Atma, the observed waveform in the mind collapses to project the world out there as a ‘particle’.

It would seem that the Schrodinger’s wave function is representing the wave function of what is happening in your mind. They are so similar in every way. This is the only correct conclusion. Schrodinger’s equation only deals with waveforms. We know from Vedanta that the wave forms operate in the subtle universe and this subtle universe resides either within the individual mind or the cosmic mind. The waveforms cannot operate ‘out there’ in an as yet non-existent physical entity; they can only operate within the mind. The locus of wave forms is in the mind. Simple wave functions for electrons, protons and other micro objects reside within the mind and also the complex wave functions for you, me and other macro objects also reside within the mind.

With this understanding, let us see if we can answer the questions which were raised earlier in the overview of the Schrodinger Wave Equation.

Answer 1:  For the Schrodinger’s wave equation to operate, the waveforms must be standing waves and not traveling waves. Standing waves need ‘walls’ to operate. As we saw earlier, we won’t find the ‘walls’ for the standing waves ‘out there’. The only place you find ‘walls’ for the standing waves is the individual mind or the cosmic mind. The waveforms bounce within this wall. Therefore the only place for Schrodinger’s wave equation to operate is the individual mind and the cosmic mind. This means that Schrodinger’s wave equation represents the ‘vrittis’ or waveforms operating within the mind.

Answer 2:
- What are the waves made of? According to Vedanta, the ‘vrittis’ in the mind are made up of mind stuff. Mind is part of the subtle body and is made up of subtle elements. Vedanta teaches us that the universe is made up 5 elements – Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These 5 elements come in both subtle form and gross form. The individual mind and the cosmic mind are made up of the subtle form of the 5 elements. Even the food we eat has a gross form and subtle form. The gross form of the food nourishes our body, while the subtle part of the food nourishes the mind or the subtle body.

- Atma is the light of Awareness. When the mind comes in touch with this light of Awareness, the mind becomes Conscious. The mind is completely filled with this Consciousness. This Consciousness is the underlying material  of the ‘vrittis’ within the mind. In the presence of this consciousness, the ‘Vrittis’ become active or ‘conscious’, in a manner of speaking.

- We saw earlier that standing waves cannot operate ‘out there’ in the space of the universe. The only place the ‘vrittis’ can operate is within the individual mind or the cosmic mind. In the wave/particle duality, it is quite clear that the wave creates the particle. The underlying cause of the ‘particle’ universe is the ‘wave’ universe. Maya Shakti projects the ‘wave’ universe as the ‘particle’ universe or the physical universe that we see.

Answer 3:  Science must clearly understand that the measuring system like the photographic plate in the double slit experiment does not have the power or mechanism to collapse the light wave into a photon. The photographic plate itself has a ‘wave’ component operating within the mind. Who collapses the waveform of the photographic plate? The only correct answer to that is Atma. Atma is the observer of all the activity within the individual and cosmic mind and Atma is only source with the power to collapse a wave function.

The other question which needs to be answered is, what is meant by collapsing of the wave? Science suggests that when the wave changes from a ‘wave’ to a ‘particle’, the wave collapses. As we have seen earlier, Vedanta has a 2 step process:
- Vrtti Vyapti
- Phala Vyapti

In Vedanta, this two-step process does not mean that the waveform collapses, but Atma becomes aware of what the vritti or waveform in the mind really means and represents. When science says that the waveform collapses, it really means that the observer is aware of what the waveform represents. For the observer to be aware of the observed, than both the observer and the observed must be conscious. If either one of them is not conscious, the observing process is not complete. Atma is the Self Aware Observer and the mind with its content is also conscious in the presence of the observer. This completes the cycle and therefore the Atma is aware of what is happening in the mind. This also means that the process of observing can only happen in the mind.

The only conclusion from all these answers is that Schrodinger’s Wave Equation represents the wave functions operating within the mind. In this regard both quantum physics and Vedanta are exactly the same.

Multi – Universes

We saw earlier, when the Time waveform combines with the waveform of any object, for example, the Sun, they will form a superimposed wave function of the Sun and Time. This combined waveform will have the potential timeline of the Sun. It will have the potential of the sun as of now, the sun which is 8 min old, and the sun as it was at its birth 4.6 billion years ago. The entire history of the sun is available in its potential form.

If 100 people from all over the universe are looking at the sun at the same time. What will happen? Each one of the 100 people will have the same combined vritti of the Sun and Time in their respective minds. Atma in each of the minds will be looking at the same combined waveform. For example person 1 in New Jersey, the combined wave form will collapse and he will see the Sun, which is 8 min old. His view of the Sun is unique; none of the other people can have the same view of the sun. It is only logical because Person 1 can occupy this unique space time position. The probability of this unique viewpoint is now one, the probability of any other person to have this unique viewpoint is now zero. This reasoning follows the collapsing of the Schrodinger probability wave function. If person 2 is in India, although the sun he is looking at is also around 8 min old, his perspective of the sun is unique, no one else can have the same view. The probability wave function for that viewpoint now collapses to one and the probability for anyone else to have the same view is zero. If person 50 is in a planet which is 1 million light years away from the Sun. He will also have the combined vritti, but when his probability wave function collapses he will be see the sun which is 1 million year old. If person 100 is in a planet which is 4.6 billion light years away and is looking at the sun through a powerful telescope. He will also have the same combined vritti of the Sun and Time. When his probability wave function collapses he will see the sun at its birth 4.6 billion years back. Each of the 100 people are creating their own universe with a unique look at the Sun. No two people can have exactly the same view of the sun.

The impression you get from quantum physics is that a wave collapses only once in this universe and all the other waves are collapsed in multiple universes. There is an inexplicability and mysteriousness here. This is a wrong impression created by quantum physics. We have shown that each individual person creates their own unique universe. If 100 people are looking at the same Sun, 100 parallel universes are being created, each with a unique view of the sun. If 1 million people are looking at the same exploding star, then 1 million parallel universes are being created.

This is correct understanding of what Multiple Universes means.

Classical Physics vs. Quantum Physics

Science tells us that the laws which operate in the classical world do not work in the quantum world and laws which operate in the quantum world do not work in the classical world. From this statement, it would seem both of them are functioning in different worlds. Why does this happen? What is the difference between these two worlds? According to Vedanta, there is a fully functioning subtle universe and a fully functioning gross universe. We saw earlier that the subtle universe is made up of ‘vrittis’ or waveforms operating with the individual mind and the cosmic mind. The gross universe is the universe which is made of ‘memory’ objects. In the gross or physical universe you only find ‘memory’ objects, you will not find any ‘now’ objects.

The focus of quantum physics is on understanding the wave/particle duality. This would mean that the focus of quantum physics is on the subtle universe, while the focus of classical physics is on the gross world. We know that the gross world is made up of ‘memory’ objects only, while the subtle universe is made up of ‘now’ objects. Therefore the focus of quantum physics is on ‘now’ objects while the focus of classical physics is ‘memory’ objects.

‘Memory’ objects and ‘now’ objects are very different. By studying the ‘memory’ objects, there is no way classical physics can learn about ‘now’ objects. A good example is viewing a recorded baseball game on your DVR. The recorded game being watched is like watching ‘memory’ objects on your TV. The players on the TV are all ‘memory’ objects. Now you are curious and you want to find out what these ‘memory’ players in the TV are being made of. By studying these ‘memory’ players you can never find out the players actually have 206 bones and all the other internal organs of the players. Only discovery you will make that the recorded players you are watching on TV are made of pixels and not the 206 bones. The ‘memory’ objects have this limitation and are completely different from ‘now’ objects.

It is for this reason that the laws of quantum physics do not apply to the gross/physical world, only the classical laws will work in the physical world. The same reasoning will apply to the subtle universe; the classical laws will not be suitable, only the quantum laws will work in the
subtle universe.


De Broglie had posited that any physical object has the wave/particle duality. It is both a wave and also a particle. This is exactly the same as the subtle/gross duality referred to in Vedanta. The subtle body, which is the mind is nothing but a pool of waves, while the gross body is the physical universe. Even Schrodinger’s wave equation is really talking about ‘vrittis’ or waves in the mind. The only place you can have waves is in the mind, there are no waves in the physical universe. The observing system which collapses the Schrodinger probability wave function is nothing but Atma, which is the underlying reality of everyone. All the waves in the mind collapse in the presence of Atma. From this we can conclude that Quantum Physics and Vedanta are talking about the same underlying reality.

It will be a good idea if Quantum Physics can incorporate these concepts from Vedanta, it will help Quantum Physics make a quantum leap in the right direction!

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