Consciousness and Physics

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Consciousness is a puzzling or touchy subject. It is emotional for some. We hardly question our religious belief about “Consciousness”. Every religion has simple solution for it. “AATMA” is a god given part and after death, it merges with GOD. We get allocation of Heaven or Hell based on our karma.

Science has different view on it. Mind has two parts – Consciousness (feeling of SELF) and memory. Man has develop deep understanding of working of memory, though consciousness is untouched. Trillions of independent biological cells or robots are connected so well through neurons. Neuron runs both the mind and consciousness. This whole machine (Body) is incomplete without this Consciousness. Its absence simply means DEAD.

Scientists at Oxford University have uncovered a region of the prefrontal cortex in the brain, which is completely unique to humans. In a ted video “Antonio Damasio: The quest to understand consciousness” , he says that this small portion of brain has two parts (he depicted green and red). If you damage one, you lose meaning of self and go in coma. It means you lose consciousness. If you damage other side of that, you may go completely in paralysis but you will remain conscious. It is that specific in mind.

Physics is tackling this issue with two theories. One theory says, consciousness is made of small particles which are smaller than electron (<10e-15) but bigger than plank length (10e-34). These particles interact with our body. They may adhere to this portion of brain – may be in millions of count. They can come and go in body easily because of their small size.

These millions of particles creates illusion of Consciousness (self). They run our emotions or ego. They grow in count as child grow and reduce once we stress our mind or we age. They change objects, may be man, may be animal, or may be tree. In a dying man, they may remain very few hundreds, just to support his blood circulation or neuron control. So dying may be daily process not a switch as religion says. Consciousness particles may be fundamental to nature like electron or quarks.

Another theory works on nucleus level. Nucleus remains in quantum entanglement, they dance together to form consciousness. It means two nucleus of phosphorus marry together and behave as partners. Such couples make a society in our mind. As recently as 10 years ago, Fisher’s hypothesis would have been dismissed by many as nonsense. In 1989, Roger Penrose proposed that mysterious protein structures called “microtubules” played a role in human consciousness by exploiting quantum effects.

Phosphorus nucleus spin may play crucial role in it. Its validation comes from depression treatment. No one knows why one Lithium isotope is so effective in bipolar depression. Bipolar depression is when consciousness gets in two opposite direction. Man thinks a situation in opposite ways -too good or too bad. Lithium dose breaks this thought process. It may be possible that its nucleus spin dance with consciousness (Phosphorus nuclei) and make it more balance.

Man feels direct impact of alcohol or Anaesthetics. These chemicals breaks nucleus entanglement state of atoms and man feels lost. There are many objection to this model. Main is decoherence of such entanglement states in biological environment.

I am firm believer of first model of physics. Both model thinks consciousness is matter with quantum properties. It follows quantum rules. We need to explore more as it is difficult to validate a theory.