Moshiach and Quantum Field Theory
by Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
One of the essential themes of Rosh Hashana is accepting God as our ultimate ruler. “Say before me verses of kingship, so I should reign over you.” One of the explanations for the sounding of the Shofar is “like trumpets being sounded at the coronation of the King”.
“It will be on that day that God will be one and His name one” refers to the times of Mashiach (the ultimate destination for the Universe) when “the knowledge and awareness of God will fill the universe like the waters fill the oceans.”
The ultimate goal is to overcome the physical veneer of materialism and the coarseness of a very deceiving world and recognize the true essence and source of everything: God Almighty.
I feel very strongly that this awareness that God is one and the source of everything is already becoming pretty clear and evident to those who want to “open their eyes and see” in the most recent discoveries of Quantum Mechanics. This awareness that we are all united as one and an expression of the One God’s wisdom and kindness is highly comforting and personally strengthening since if everything is God, then as the Yiddish rhyme goes, “Everything must be good.”
Let’s go on a journey into Quantum Mechanics, and I will demonstrate what I am talking about.
Quantum mechanics has some problems. It cannot explain some things, and we get the wrong results.
First, quantum mechanics is not relativistic; it will give you wrong results if the quantum object moves near the speed of light. Schrodinger’s equation doesn’t obey Einstein’s theory of special relativity. The practical consequence is that it doesn’t incorporate a speed limit. The speed of light is needed to make causality work. For example, It allows for two measurements to influence each other faster than light, which would mean that there would be some reference frame in which the future could affect the past, breaking causality.
(This is another discussion of how, at the essence Quantum level of our souls and through the Mitzvah of Teshuva – repentance, one can transform past deeds to positive merits in the present tense!)
A second problem with quantum mechanics is that it only tells how a particle evolves. It does not tell you how it is created or annihilated, so it can’t account for beta decay due to the weak nuclear force where neutrons transform into a proton, an electron, and an antineutrino. In this case, quantum mechanics breaks down because it doesn’t work if we change the number of particles. In the case of the beta decay I just described, the down quark of a neutron decays into an up quark, changing the neutron to a proton. At the same time, it emits an electron and an antineutrino with a mediating W boson. Quantum mechanics can’t describe this change to other particles. This is where Quantum Field Theory and the age-old mystical teachings fall into place, explaining things that quantum mechanics cannot explain.
What is Quantum Field Theory (QFT)?
It’s a mathematical framework combining classical fields like magnetic, special relativity, and quantum mechanics. There is a “field” for every particle in the standard model. So in our beta decay example, there would be a field for the quarks, the W boson, the electron, and the anti-neutrino.
All these potential energy fields exist and extend out in all of space-time. In other words, the fields are always there and exist everywhere, including inside your body. Your body is an extension of these unseen energy fields, and although they exist everywhere and you can’t see them, they are very much real and everywhere.
They are teeming with “virtual” particles. These are particle anti-particle pairs that get created and destroyed. So, for example, the down quark field will always have some spontaneous creation of down quarks and anti-down quarks, which get created and annihilated almost instantly; they come in and out of existence constantly.
This scientific description is precisely how the books of Chassidus and mysticism describe the most fundamental expressions of physical energy from the essence of “The Source,” from which all this comes – God Almighty.
These virtual particles can’t be measured, but nature allows them to be created by letting them borrow energy from the vacuum as long as that energy is put back into the vacuum. This happens so quickly that it’s as if nature doesn’t register them as real measurable particles. In the words of Chassidus, “They (these first excitations of the unseen energy fields) extend out and don’t extend out.”
These fields are a kind of like an ocean. Just like the ocean wave has some turbulence, the fields always have a sort of turbulence, even in their ground state of minimal energy. This turbulence is due to the virtual particle creation and annihilation.
In these turbulent seas, if there’s enough energy, a large wave can be created that can be measured. These are the real particles. So in the up Quark field, for example, an up quark will be created if there’s energy of 2.3 Mega electron volts or Mev, which is the mass of one up quark. Two quarks will be created if there’s an energy of 4.6 MAV. A particle is nothing more than an excitation in this field. Ultimately, all particles and all mass are merely an expression of this energy. In His infinite wisdom, God Almighty decides when and, how, and in what sequence these excitations express themselves out of these “Fields” of energy.
These excitations are quantized, not continuous, so the fields can only create particles in integer increments. They cannot, for example, have one and a half up quarks, only two or three quarks, Etc.
Now, a mediating boson field can transfer energy between two fields. This is considered an interaction or a force. Matter particles can’t interact on their own without a mediating boson. So, while in quantum mechanics, there’s no way for the neutron to split its energy into three different particles, a proton, an electron, and an anti-neutrino, in Quantum Field Theory, this can be done via energy exchange between the fields. You start with the fields of all the different particles, which are always there, and you finish with the fields of the identical particles.
Some of them have more or less energy after the exchanges of energies, depending on the interaction. In our beta decay example, you start with the down Quark field; this field transfers its energy to the up Quark field and the W boson field. The W boson field then transfers its energy almost immediately to the electron and anti-neutrino fields.
We started with one particle in the down Quark field and ended up with three particles simply by the fields exchanging energy. Although the number of particles changed, the total energy is always conserved. If you add up all the masses and kinetic energy at the beginning, they will add up to all the masses and kinetic energy at the end. In other words, the energy of the fields is the same before and after the energy has changed.
When discussing the core elements of the Universe, Maimonides says precisely the same thing. All core elements and fundamental building blocks of the universe interchange with each other so that, in the end, all energy is always conserved.
By explaining Quantum mechanics through this explanation of Quantum fields, we can mathematically account for and model the creation and annihilation of particles and the mechanism of Force exchange. This theory is free of causality violations and is fully relativistic.
However, even this modification of quantum mechanics is not perfect; it’s missing gravity. More on that God willing, in an upcoming article based off course on the teachings of Chassidus.
Quantum Field Theory tells us that the Universe and everything in it, including us and all living things, the whole planet, every star, every galaxy, and even stuff outside the visible Universe, are all essentially one. We are all, and everything that is, an extension and the identity of this one background of Quantum (unseen and never detected) “Fields” which is essentially an expression of the all-pervasive and source of wisdom behind all the intricate equations of Quantum Mechanics and of science in general, God Almighty.
Our thoughts, dreams, and ideas are composed of excitations in the same Quantum fields, and all these fields extend to all of space and all of time. The Universe is made of the same basic stuff, and we are all simply a series of excitations.
When someone says we’re all one, connected to the Universe, this is not just a fanciful idea but has a real physical meaning. When someone says pray for me, think of me, do a good deed with me in mind, all this has very real implications.
When our Holy books tell us that there is nothing else but Him alone in the seven heavens above and in all four directions, QFT and science give us a tangible scientific way to appreciate an age-old concept of truth and reality.
We cannot hide or escape God because He is everything. Our thoughts are instantly connected with God, and His response can come faster than the speed of light since there is no separate space He must travel.
If and when we meditate on the above, we can experience tremendous uplifted spiritual awareness where infinite possibilities are a real likelihood and the miracle of every moment is truly appreciated.