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Quantum physics changed the classic conception of the Newtonian “clockwork universe.” This first class in a series introduces the idea of scale, and relates it to the most basic of all Kabbalistic models, the four letters of the divine name.

Scaling Laws & the Quantum World

Scaling Laws & the Quantum World

What Defines Real: Lesson 1

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Scaling Laws & the Quantum World : What Defines Real: Lesson 1

Quantum physics changed the classic conception of the Newtonian “clockwork universe.” This first class in a series introduces the idea of scale, and relates it to the most basic of all Kabbalistic models, the four letters of the divine name.
Torah & Science
Rabbi Asher Crispe is the Executive Director of Interinclusion.org, celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and Torah thought. He is a world-renowned lecturer on Chassidic and Kabbalistic philosophy.
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S September 9, 2014

There is a video about scientists finding that when they did an experiment to find whether an atom is solid, it first acted as a wave instead of a solid. When they tried to measure it, it then acted as a solid. Basically, it's natural state is Not solid, but when observed or measured it looks solid. They found that the physical world is basically an illusion, or a projection coming from a source that holds the information. Of course, being scientists, they think the source is in space, but we know that the source is Torah Reply

Michoel Katzenelson somewhere, USA June 18, 2012

More to the point, perhaps, pt2/2 (cont'd from pt1/2)

The error comes about by attempting to draw a parallel from something that precedes what we think of as existence to something that is already existing and differentiated. Not having the facts straight complicates the picture, but I think this is the core of the issue.

Now, perhaps the quantum vacuum would be a more interesting area to explore in this context. It has the capacity to spontaneously (or with a little poking) generate particles (perhaps analogous to the final Heh). But even so, I think any comparisons of this sort will still come up against similar issues. Reply

Michoel Katzenelson somewhere, USA June 18, 2012

More to the point, perhaps, pt1/2 Here is some further comments on the video.

The departure point for Asher seems to be the concept that everything comes about and exists from the sequence of four letters in the divine name (see Ramchal, for example). One finds that the first letter Yud is often compared to a point with expansion Heh, emanation Vav, and at the final expansion Heh, the multiplicity of created things. In other words, in the Kabalah picture we go from simple to differentiated.

The Kaballah picture is very far from subatomic particles and atoms. Assembling an atom is more like pouring stuff into a pot, except that it organizes itself in specific ways because of various interactions. The stuff that goes in is not simple either, protons and neutrons have stuff inside also. Even the electron has extent and it is a very different kind of thing from a proton. Ask yourself if that scenario evenly remotely parallels the "model" that goes from Yud to Heh. But then why should it?

cont'd Reply

M Katzenelson Somewhere, USA June 12, 2012

Point particle? The Yud denotes the subatomic particles? And, they are points?! And, the first unit that is comprehensive of all of the point particles is the atom?!!

If he means nucleons, well, the atom combines them (and electrons). But, the nucleons are certainly not point particles.

If he means elementary particles, well not all of them are found in the atom and the first structure that combines them is not the atom. Its a hadron.

So, rather than having one step from point particle to atom, we actually have to go from elementary particle to baryon (a family of hadrons), to nucleus, and then to atom.

And, the atom is not at all a "comprehensive house". The nucleons only have two flavors of quark for example. In fact it seems there are a lot of elementary particles that are not found in the atom.

With that we see that the "model" is not a model, at least not for this.

There is no such thing as a point particle. Its a perhaps often used idealization, but its not real. Reply

Ted Feit Burbank, USA via chabadburbank.com June 8, 2012

Scaling Laws and QUantum WOrld This is an excellent introduction to atomic and quantum physics for a lay person. While I think the connections between quantum mechanics and kabbalah are mostly metaphorical, it is neat that the reciprocal of the fine structure has the gematria equivalent of 137. Reply

Art Greenfield Cocoa, Florida via jewishbrevard.com June 8, 2012

Scaling Laws & Quantum World Hi Asher, I am friends with a nice Jewish theoretical physicist named Dr. Jack Sarfatti. He is one of the physicists who studied Uri Geller's abillities at Stanford Research Institute and found that his abilities are a part of what Einstein theorized about Quantum Entanglement and Signal Nonlocality. Einstein called it, "Spooky action at a distance." Modern physics has proven that mental telepathy, telekinesis, remote viewing, and more are real phenomena. Reply

Dr. Elyas F. Isaacs, Ph.D. New York, NY June 7, 2012

Newtonian "Mechanics", A "Clockwork Universe" Exactly who said Newton's Calculus produced a "clockwork" universe?? Any good mathematician knows that the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus relies on notions of the "infinitesimal" being the limit of an "infinite" sequence of divisions of some metric space and for simple cases, "R". Mere humans cannot understand "infinite" processes but only imagine their reality and accept the abstraction of the resultant outcome being the limit value and for differential calculus called the "derivative". However, in a nutshell it is really quite a bit more involved than this.
[Member: Joint Weekly Colloquia at Columbia University, the CUNY Graduate Center, and NYU|Courant. Reply

Stephen Moore Los Angeles via chabadsb.org June 6, 2012

Great lesson "Nothing happens until something moves." - Albert Einstein Reply

TZVI LANG Brooklyn, NY via chabadcamarillo.com June 4, 2012

wonderful!! Reply

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