Key Quantum principles from an agricultural perspective.
The particle-wave duality.This is fundamental, the quantum principle that matter can express itself both as particle and as wave. It is relevant for electromagnetic techniques as it enables us to accept that electromagnetic fields are simply part of everyday reality. The tangible plant and the visible animal – their mass – also and always consist of vibrations and frequencies. Both particles and waves always complement each other. This theory induced the design of various devices that indeed influence plant and animal life.
The uncertainty principle was formulated by Werner Heisenberg, one of the first pioneers of quantum physics. It says that no matter how much you try, you can never simultaneously get a precise measurement of both the speed (momentum) and the position of a particle. The more we focus on the speed, the less certain you can be about its location, and vice versa. This principle is important for the awareness that
a) you cannot record everything from the physical reality with measurements and
b) that the future is not completely fixed. According to Hans Peter Dürr – former head of the Max Planck Institute in Germany – this leaves open an option of human influence on further evolution of matter and nature (pers.comm. 2006).
The observers-effect deals with the discovery that photons or electrons behave like a wave phenomenon if not observed and behave like particles as soon as they are being observed. In the stadium of ‘wavicle’, both options of continuing as wave and becoming particle remain open until they are observed. Observing by itself therefore apparently affects the behaviour of photons and electrons. It is said that the potentials of the wavicle then ‘collapse’ into a particle. This observers-effect might offer a foundation under the experienced fact that attention, mind power or love, indeed affects plants or animals. People with ‘green fingers’ are good observers.
In the meantime, the entanglement principle has been proven -‘loophole-free’ by Hanson & Hensen of the University of Delft (Nature, October 2015). Quantum physicist Hans-Peter Dürr formulates what this means. “The cosmos is a whole unit, or everything is connected with everything, also things and events.” In fact, Schrödinger has suggested that entanglement is not one of the interesting aspects of quantum theory, but the aspect. In 1975, theoretical physicist Henry Stapp called Bell’s theorem “the most startling discovery of science.” (In this theorem, Bell formulated the research set-up to prove or reject the phenomenon of entanglement.)
The principle of entanglement might offer an explanation for techniques that treat crops, fields and herds at a distance, such as radionics or Eco-intention. The physician Goswami however refers to the non-locality of consciousness as a possible explanation for distance healing.
In his book ‘What is Life’ (1944), one of the leading quantum physicists, Edwin Schrodinger introduced the concept of ‘order’ that is required to guide processes in living systems. Absorbing nutrients, water and air is not the total picture. He suggested that life ‘sucks order’ from its environment. This order is invisible. Einstein’s protégé David Bohm stated that quantum mechanics shows that reality is an undivided whole in which everything is strongly connected with each other, with prevailing limitations of space and time being transcended. He puts forward the idea that there is an ‘implicit order‘ (the hidden, unobservable physical universe, sometimes also called implicate order) from which the ‘explicit order’ (which we do observe and perceive) originates. The folding and unfolding of these forms of order are the cause of the diversity of the quantum world.This concept of an implicit order may come close to the concept of an immaterial quantum information field.
Other principles have been suggested in literature. Like ‘superposition’or the ‘tunneling-effect’. Those principles a.o. are used by Al-Khalili and McFadden in their explanation of the high efficiency of the photosynthesis process.
All these quantum principles may well offer an acceptable foundation for various phenomena and practices in agriculture and horticulture, that are not yet well understood.
The concepts of information and order are crucial for agriculture. Therefore, a short quote from Schrodinger’s ‘What is Life?’, which is still very relevant nowadays. In chapter 7 he reflects about the fundamental difference between animate (alive) and inanimate matter: “The unfolding of events in the life cycle of an organism exhibits an admirable regularity and orderliness, unrivalled by anything we meet with in inanimate matter. We find it controlled by a supremely well-ordered group of atoms, which represent only a very small fraction of the sum total in every cell. Moreover, from the view we have formed of the mechanism of mutation we conclude that the dislocation of just a few atoms within the group of ‘governing atoms’ of the germ cell suffices to bring about a well-defined change in the large-scale hereditary characteristics of the organism. These facts are easily the most interesting that science has revealed in our day. We may be inclined to find them, after all, not wholly unacceptable. An organism’s astonishing gift of concentrating a ‘stream of order’ on itself and thus escaping that the decay into atomic chaos – its gift of ‘drinking orderliness’ from a suitable environment -seems to be connected with the presence of the ‘aperiodic solids’, the chromosome molecules, which doubtless represent the highest degree of well-ordered atomic association we know of – much higher than the ordinary periodic crystal – in virtue of the individual role every atom and every radical is playing here. To put it briefly, we witness the event that existing order displays the power of maintaining itself and of producing orderly events.”