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Monday, November 28, 2022

Does Consciousness Change the Rules of Quantum Mechanics?


Does consciousness change the rules of quantum mechanics?

Maybe our understanding of quantum entanglement is incomplete, or maybe there is something fundamentally unique about consciousness.

In the past few years, scientists have shown that macroscopic objects can be subjected to quantum entanglement. Pondering the limits of quantum entanglement allows us to consider how quantum mechanics can be unified with physics on a larger scale. There might be something unique about our role as conscious observers of the world around us.

Elizabeth Fernandez

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This is the fourth article in a four-part series on quantum entanglement. In the first, we discussed the basics of quantum entanglement. We then discussed how quantum entanglement can be used practically in communications and sensing. In this article, we take a look at the limits of quantum entanglement, and how entanglement on the large scale might even challenge our very basis of reality.

We can all agree that quantum entanglement is weird. We don’t worry too much about it, though, beyond some of its more practical applications. After all, the phenomenon plays out on scales that are vastly smaller than our everyday experiences. But perhaps quantum mechanics and entanglement are not limited to the ultra-small. Scientists have shown that macroscopic (albeit small) objects can be placed in entanglement. It begs the question: Is there a size limit for quantum entanglement? Carrying the idea further, could a person become entangled, along with their consciousness? 

Asking these questions not only lets us probe the limits of quantum mechanics, but it could also lead us to a unified theory of physics — one that works equally well for anything from electrons to planets. ... ' 

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