From the ages of Galileo and Newton, modern physics was emerging with the development of the so called Classical Mechanics, an incredibly successful theory that describes the movements of physical objects from stars and planets to balls and rocks with full determinism and precision.

But with the beginning of the 20th century a new form of science was being discovered, a science of uncertainty and spookiness which was later called Quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is a theory that describes the smallest bits of our universe ‘’the elementary particles’." Once we look very close into the matter, we find it made of atoms and these atoms are composed of tiny bits which we call elementary particles which behave in very strange ways.

This makes the Quantum theory very strange or even as Einstein once called it ‘’spooky’’ where a particle can literally exist in two places at once and nothing is certain.

So, is our consciousness as many people claim explained by the classical physics where everything is certain and predictable? Is it just neurons in our brains processing information classically just like artificial intelligent machines processing 0s and 1s, playing chess or solving mathematical equations? Are we biological robots and consciousness is just an illusion as many people claim?

Not all scientists think so.

Quantum shift

Starting from the 70s and 80s scientists have been claiming that some features of human consciousness cannot be explained by the conventional computational neuronal processing in the brain and have been trying to fill the gap of our understanding of consciousness by introducing Quantum mechanics to the science of consciousness, what is now being called Quantum consciousness.

Quantum consciousness is not a single idea; people have different opinions about how Quantum mechanics could be making us aware and conscious, the most famous of all is a theory by the English physicist Roger Penrose and Stewart Hameroff called Orch-or, which proposed that the fundamental bits of our consciousness are not the neurons but more fundamental Quantum bits(‘’Qubits’’) called microtubules.

These are tiny molecules that exist deep inside the cells of our brain, which obey the laws of quantum mechanics and behave according to its rules. They are possibly the source that give human beings their conscious awareness (and possibly other animals). Penrose also proposed that Quantum theory is incomplete and that the theory of everything (if exists) will include a theory of consciousness and possibly life. It was recently discovered that these Qubits produce frequencies in the Quantum scale and Penrose and Hameroff claimed that this discovery backs up their theory.

Other Theories

A theory of consciousness called Holonomic brain theory proposed by David Bohm and Karl Pribram suggested that the brain could in some sense work like a hologram where the information is stored as interference patterns resulting from quantum waves produced by vibrations in the structure of the brain.

Another theory called Quantum Brain Dynamics tries to explain consciousness within the framework of quantum field theory where consciousness itself is considered a quantum field. Many other quantum ideas were proposed trying to explain consciousness, but until today the science of consciousness is still in its infancy and the question of ‘’what is consciousness’’ is far from being fully answered.

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