From Yijing to Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics


In the quest and search for a physical theory of everything from the macroscopic large body matter to the microscopic elementary particles, with strange and weird concepts springing from quantum physics discovery, irreconcilable positions and inconvenient facts complicated physics – from Newtonian physics to quantum science, the question is- how do we close the gap? Indeed, there is a scientific and mathematical fireworks when the issue of quantum uncertainties and entanglements cannot be explained with classical physics. The Copenhagen interpretation is an expression of few wise men on quantum physics that was largely formulated from 1925 to 1927 namely by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. From this point on, there is a divergence of quantum science into the realms of indeterminacy, complementarity and entanglement which are principles expounded in Yijing, an ancient Chinese knowledge constructed on symbols, with a vintage of at least 3 millennia, with broken and unbroken lines to form stacked 6-line structure called the hexagram. It is premised on probability development of the hexagram in a space-time continuum. The discovery of the quantization of action meant that quantum physics could not convincingly explain the principles of classical physics. This paper will draw the great departure from classical physics into the realm of probabilistic realities. The probabilistic nature and reality interpretation had a significant influence on Bohr’s line of thought. Apparently, Bohr realized that speaking of disturbance seemed to indicate that atomic objects were classical particles with definite inherent kinematic and dynamic properties (Hanson, 1959). Disturbances, energy excitation and entanglements are processual evolutionary phases in Yijing. This paper will explore the similarities in quantum physics and the methodological ways where Yijing is pivoted to interpret observable realities involving interactions which are uncontrollable and probabilistic and forms an inseparable unity due to the entanglement, superposition Transgressing disciplinary boundaries in the discussion of Yijing, originally from the Western Zhou period (1000-750 BC), over a period of warring states and the early imperial period (500-200 BC) which was compiled, transcribed and transformed into a cosmological texts with philosophical commentaries known as the “Ten Wings” and closely associated with Confucius (551- 479 BC) with the Copenhagen Interpretation (1925-1927) by the few wise men including Niel Bohr and Werner Heisensberg would seem like a subversive undertaking. Subversive as the interpretations from Yijing is based on wisdom derived from thousands of years from ancient China to recently discovered quantum concepts. The subversive undertaking does seem to violate the sanctuaries of accepted ways in looking at Yijing principles, classical physics and quantum science because of the fortified boundaries that have been erected between Yijing and the sciences. Subversive as this paper may be, it is an attempt to re-cast an ancient framework where indeterminism, complementarity, non-linearity entanglement, superposition and probability interpretation is seen in today quantum’s realities.

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David Leong
Charisma University (Alumnus)


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