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Consciousness, Physics, and the Holographic Paradigm

Essays by A.T. Williams

Part I:  Sneaking Up On Einstein

In physics, as elsewhere, the map is not the territory.
- A.T. Williams


Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5 Section 6

Chapter 5

Section 4:  Beyond The Borderland

Looking back at Einstein's 1905 annus mirabilis a century later it is clear that the 19th century paradox of imponderable matter (radiant energy) which occupied space yet could not be weighed presented a profound challenge to classical physics and 20th century science per se. The emotional confession in Einstein's Autobiographical Notes quoted in Section 3 of this chapter confirms the magnitude of the fundamental mystery imponderable matter presented to the theoretical and experimental physicists who were pushing beyond the macroscopic borderlands of Newton and 19th century science in an effort to make unknown, microscopic materiality understandable.

Science per se is the progressive accumulation of knowledge and 21st century high energy particle collider experiments are presently pushing beyond known science into the new borderland of subnuclear territory. Moreover, if the universal principle of energy recently discovered by this author is correct, then classical physics, quantum mechanics, and contemporary particle physics per se can logically be seen as limited in scope and application. Thus, the scientific community now has an unparalleled opportunity to discover and investigate the comprehensive, fundamental, primordial energy domain; the irreducible foundation of omnipresent reality just-as-it-is.

Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958), recipient of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of the Exclusion Principle, also called the Pauli Principle," describes the physicists' approach to new theoretical problems:

    If new features of the phenomena of nature are discovered that are incompatible with the system of theories assumed at that time, the question arises, which of the known principles used in the description of nature are general enough to comprehend the new situation and which have to be modified or abandoned.35

That is precisely the situation Einstein faced as he was granted a Diplom on 28 July 1900 by the Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule in Zürich;36 (renamed ETH, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in 1911, or Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)37. Many aspects of fin de siècle (end of the 19th century) physics had yet to be ferreted out and revealed by members of the scientific community. Electric charge was poorly understood. Atoms were thought by many scientists to be theoretical constructs with no physical reality. Science per se was in a state of transition and transformation not seen since the upheavals produced by Isaac Newton's Principia in the late 17th century and Clerk Maxwell's classical interpretation of Michael Faraday's electric and magnetic concepts in the mid-19th century.

Albert Einstein would soon become a major figure in the scientific maelstrom of new science. But young Albert did not face the challenge of early 20th century science alone. As a student Einstein's unconventional thought processes were already seeking novel, innovative concepts with the help and cooperation of compatible classmates like Marcel Grossman and an intelligent, complaisant student from Serbia three-and-a-half years older than himself named Mileva Marić (English: pronounced Marich; German: Maritsch).

Mileva Marić:

Mileva Marić 1896

Mileva Marić (1875-1948) was born on 19 December 1875 in Titel, Hungary (later Yugoslavia, now Serbia-Montenegro), north of Belgrade with developmental dysplasia (dislocation) of the left hip. The family home was in Kać, near Novi Sad. Educated in Ruma, Novi Sad, Sremska Mitrovica, Šabac, and Zagreb schools Mileva excelled in mathematics and physics as a student. Preparing for further studies at the University of Zürich, Switzerland – one of the first European universities to accept women studying for an academic degree – she first attended the Höhere Töchterschule in Zürich during the 1894-1896 sessions.

After receiving her Matura (graduation certificate) in 1896 Mileva studied medicine at the University of Zürich during the summer session. Returning to the study of science she entered the fall session at the Zürich Polytechnikum (ETH) that same year. Mileva Marić thus became the only woman among the male mathematics and physics students in Section VI A at the ETH, one of whom was young 17 year old Albert Einstein.38

Albert and Mileva began their personal relationship with a passion for science that progressed to a passion for each other. The couple was married on 6 January 1903, six months after Albert began work at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern, Switzerland.39 Tragically, the marriage became unimaginably psychologically destructive for Mileva and ended in divorce 16 years later.40

Personal letters were the primary means of communicating when separated by distance in that era. Some of the correspondence from the beginning of their relationship to the divorce and beyond was saved by Mileva. Following her death in 1948 the letters she saved were inherited by their eldest son, Hans Albert Einstein (1904-1973), then passed down to the members of his family when he died in 1973.41

The Mileva/Albert relationship produced 3 children. Their first child, a daughter called Lieserl (the diminutive of Elizabeth), was born out of wedlock in the Marić family home near the end of January 1902.42 The second child and oldest son, Hans Albert, was born on 14 May 1904.43 The third child and younger son, Eduard, was born in July 1910.44

With the exception of Mileva, Albert, and Mileva's immediate family, Lieserl's existence remained a closely held family secret until Hans Albert's daughter Evelyn revealed Mileva's unique collection of letters in 1985.45 There are hints but no explanation of precisely why Lieserl never became an accepted member of Albert Einstein's family.

For example, biographer Milan Popović writes, "A century ago, the social stigma of this out-of-wedlock pregnancy would have forced Mileva to withdraw from the university, effectively ending her academic career."46 Indeed, the Albert/Mileva togetherness may have tainted her academic success at the ETH. Without mentioning her pregnancy to her close friend Helene Savić in the Fall of 1901 Mileva wrote, "I have finished my studies, although, thanks to [Professor Heinrich] Weber's concerns, I have not yet managed to obtain a doctorate. I have put up with a lot from him and will on no account go back to him again."47

Albert was very aware of the negative consequences fathering an out of wedlock child might have on his Swiss civil service employment and any future scientific career. Sometime after the birth of Lieserl in January 1902 and prior to their marriage in January 1903 an undocumented event occurred in their relationship which Mileva adamantly refused to reveal to anyone, not even to Helene Savić. Einstein biographer Peter Michelmore writes:

    Friends had noticed a change in Mileva's attitude and thought the romance might be doomed. Something had happened between the two, but Mileva would only say that it was "intensely personal." Whatever it was, she brooded about it and Albert seemed to be in some way responsible. Friends encouraged Mileva to talk about her problem and to get it out in the open. She insisted that it was too personal and kept it a secret all her life – a vital detail in the story of Albert Einstein that still remains shrouded in mystery.
    Mileva married Albert despite the incident. She knew her love for the man was strong enough to survive. She did not think of the shadow her "experience" would cast over their life together.48

A September 1903 letter to Mileva suggests not only that relinquishing Lieserl was the price Mileva had to pay for marriage to Albert, but also that Albert was concerned about the possibility of Lieserl's parentage being traced back to him. The letter further suggests that the incident reported by Michelmore was the crucial event during which Albert Einstein stopped being Albert, the lover, and became Einstein, the scientist. He writes,

    I'm not at all angry that my poor Schnoxl must be on the nest. What's more, I am even delighted about it and have already been pondering whether I should not see to it that you get a new Lieserl, so that you won't be deprived of that which is every woman's right. ...
    How is Lieserl registered? We must take great care, lest difficulties arise for the child in the future.

    Keine Rede davon, daß ich böse bin, daß der arme Schnoxl brüten muß. Ich bin sogar froh darüber und habe mich schon besonnen, ob ich nicht sonst dafür sorgen soll, daß Du ein neues Lieserl kriegst, daß Dir nicht vorenthalten sei, was doch das Recht aller Frauen ist. ...
    Als was ist denn das Lieserl eingetragen? Wir müssen sehr Sorge haben, daß dem Kinde nicht später Schwierigkeiten erwachsen.49

The quantity and quality of Mileva's theoretical, mathematical, and scientific contributions to Albert's published papers are a source of controversy among scientists and historians to this day. Many books and articles have been written since the existence of the personal letters saved by Mileva was revealed by Hans Albert's daughter Evelyn in 1985. But the true extent of Mileva's participation may never be known. In their own unique ways Mileva and Albert were very private people. While they were alive neither of them publicly revealed the hidden secrets of their life together. And each of them wanted it that way.

Sneaking up on Einstein:

The attempt to sneak up on – and to ultimately surpass – Einstein has been attempted many times by many individuals over the past one hundred years. His published papers have been examined in every small detail, corrected, improved, adapted, and extended by countless numbers of theoretical and experimental physicists. Thus the questions arise:  Isn't sneaking up on Einstein counterproductive at this late date? Hasn't all of the usable information already been gleaned from his corpus of work by now? The answer to both questions is, of course, no.

That being the case, how does one sneak up on – and productively surpass – Einstein at the beginning of the 21st century? As we shall see, the answer to this question is provided by Einstein himself. First, a review of the fundamental theoretical principles to which he adhered and his personal view of the authority attributed to established fundamental concepts in physics.

In his inaugural address to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1914, Einstein explained his understanding of the theoretician's methodology:

    The theorist's method involves his using as his foundation general postulates or "principles" from which he can deduce conclusions. His work thus falls into two parts. He must first discover his principles and then draw the conclusions which follow from them. For the second of these tasks he receives an admirable equipment at school. If, therefore, the first of his problems has already been solved for some field or for a complex of related phenomena, he is certain of success, provided his industry and intelligence are adequate. The first of these tasks, namely, that of establishing the principles which are to serve as the starting point of his deduction, is of an entirely different nature. Here there is no method capable of being learned and systematically applied so that it leads to the goal. The scientist has to worm these general principles out of nature by perceiving in comprehensive complexes of empirical facts certain general features which permit of precise formulation.
    Once this formulation is successfully accomplished, inference follows on inference, often revealing unforeseen relations which extend far beyond the province of the reality from which the principles were drawn. But as long as no principles are found on which to base the deduction, the individual empirical fact is of no use to the theorist; indeed he cannot even do anything with general laws abstracted from experience. He will remain helpless in the face of separate results of empirical research, until principles which he can make the basis of deductive reasoning have revealed themselves to him.50

Einstein's unenthusiastic attitude toward the excessive authority attributed to established theoretical concepts was as uncompromising as his attitude toward the science of physics itself. Max Born (1882-1970), Einstein's friend and contemporary, co-founder of quantum mechanics and a recipient of the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics, wrote:

    In an obituary that Einstein wrote for Ernst Mach, he says:  'concepts which have proved useful for ordering things easily assume so great an authority over us, that we forget their terrestial origin and accept them as unalterable facts. They then become labelled as "conceptual necessities", "a priori situations", etc. The road of scientific progress is frequently blocked for long periods by such errors. It is therefore not just an idle game to exercise our ability to analyse familiar concepts, and to demonstrate the conditions on which their justification and usefulness depend, and the way in which these developed, little by little, from the data of experience. In this way they are deprived of their excessive authority. Concepts which cannot be shown to be valid are removed. Those which had not been coordinated with the accepted order of things with sufficient care are corrected, or they are replaced by new concepts when a new system is produced which, for some reason or other, seems preferable'.51

Einstein's innovative theoretical concepts were essentially developed to prove the atomic structure of matter within the limits of classical physics, including the conservation of mechanical energy and the conservation of mass, while maintaining strict Newtonian determinism (the mechanistic clockwork universe of the 18th and 19th centuries).

During the development of quantum mechanics Max Born discovered the statistical interpretation (probabilistic indeterminism) of Erwin Schrödinger's quantum mechanical wave function in 1926. And, in a fateful philosophical decision, Niels Bohr linked the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory to classical physics through the principle of complimentarity in 1927.

One result of Bohr's complimentarity principle is that the new physics of the 21st century CE must simultaneously surpass the limitations of quantum mechanics as well as the limitations of classical physics in order to successfully advance beyond contemporary Newtonian-Einsteinian-quantum theoretical physics.

Continued in Section 5:  The Energetic Atom and Nonmaterial Energy Interfaces


Reference Notes (Click on the Note number to return to the text):

35  Schilpp, Paul Arthur, editor. Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist; p. 149. Open Court, La Salle, Illinois, 1949; 1951. Reprinted 1969, 1970. ISBN  0-87548-286-4

36  Einstein, Albert. Anna Beck, translator. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein (CPAE), vol. 1, The Early Years: 1879-1902; English Translation, Doc. 67, pp. 140-141. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1987.  ISBN 0-691-08475-0

37  Einstein, Elizabeth Roboz. Hans Albert Einstein: Reminiscences of His Life and Our Life Together; p. 9. The University of Iowa, Iowa City IA, 1991. ISBN  0-87414-083-8

38  Einstein, Albert. John Stachel, ed. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein (CPAE), vol. 1, The Early Years: 1879-1902; original documents, p.380 Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1987.  ISBN 0-691-08407-6

39  CPAE, vol. 5, Doc 4. (Mileva's Serbian family name, Marić, is recorded as "Marity" on the marriage certificate. "Marity" is the Hungarian spelling of her family name.)

40  CPAE, vol. 9, Doc 6.

41  Einstein, Elizabeth Roboz. Hans Albert Einstein: Reminiscences of His Life and Our Life Together. The University of Iowa, Iowa City IA, 1991. ISBN  0-87414-083-8

42  CPAE; vol.1, Doc 134.

43  CPAE; vol.5, Doc. 19.

44  CPAE; vol 5. Doc 217.

45  Highfield, Roger & Carter, Paul. The Private Lives of Albert Einstein; pp. 278-281. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994.  ISBN 0-312-30227-4

46  Popović, Milan. In Albert's Shadow: The Life and Letters of Mileva Marić, Einstein's First Wife; pp. 6-7. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 2003.  ISBN 0-8018-7866-X

47  Ref. 46, p. 78.

48  Michelmore, Peter. Einstein: Profile of the Man, p. 42; Apollo Editions, New York NY, 1962.  Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 62-17989

49  CPAE, vol. 5, Doc 13.

50  Einstein, Albert. Sonja Bargmann, translator. Ideas and Opinions, p. 221. Wings Books, New York NY, 1954. ISBN 0-517-00393-7. (cf. CPAE, vol. 6, Doc 3; Mein Weltbild, pp. 123-124. Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Munich, Germany, 2001. ISBN 3-548-34683-9.)

51  Born, Max. Irene Born Newton-John, translator. The Born-Einstein Letters, p. 159. Walker Publishing Company, New York NY, 1971.  ISBN 0-8027-0326-7 (cf. Ref. 35, pp. 175-176; CPAE, vol. 6, Doc 29.)


Back to Chapter 5, Section 3:  The Chicken or The Egg

Index:  Consciousness, Physics, and the Holographic Paradigm

Last Edit:  June 22, 2006.

Comments and suggestions welcome.

This paper is a work in progress.
Please check for the latest update before quoting in other venues the concepts and hypotheses presented here.
Thank you.


Copyright © 2003-2008 by Alan T. Williams. All rights reserved.