“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wave-Particle Duality and Bohr’s Complementarity: Paradox in Physics

One of my physics professors mentioned that the realms of his two greatest quests for truth, Christianity and physics, were both filled with paradoxes. I’ve already given many instances of paradoxes in Christianity. But consider the physical world as well. A particle is the same thing as a wave – matter/energy is both simultaneously, but only one characteristic (either one observes, a wave, or one observes a particle) can be observed at any moment. (This is closely related to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.) This concept of wave-particle duality influenced Niels Bohr as he developed his philosophy of complementarity, which states that a particle can have seemingly contradictory properties, but that we cannot observe both properties at once. The physical world, like Christianity, seems to bear the mark of paradox – perhaps here too we see a glimpse of the Creator.

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