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Schrodinger, Erwin - What is Life - Energy



Type of spiritual experience


Schrödinger’s equation describes how the quantum state of a system changes over time.  Quantum states are describable mathematically using ‘wavefunctions’ and ‘state vectors’ and are capable of being used for so called ‘atomic level’ systems, but also ‘macroscopic systems’ – systems found at lower levels than the atomic.  Schrödinger's equation along with other mathematical descriptions such as those in Heisenberg's matrix mechanics, provide a mathematical model for the minutely infinitesimally small.  A level undetectable by any instruments-  will probably never be detectable by any instruments.

The Bohr Model was developed by Niels Bohr.  He conceived of the ‘atom’ as a series of levels or spheres [much like a planetary system].   Heisenberg extended the model to conceive of it as a matrix. Underlying this was a form of energy which they conceived of as ‘waves’.  This energy and the energy in the definition are the same. 

The following quote from Schrodinger shows that all these physicists were not ‘physicists’ at all because they knew they were not dealing with the physical – with form or particles…

A description of the experience

Erwin Schrödinger – What is Life?

How does the living organism avoid decay? 

The obvious answer is by eating, drinking, breathing and assimilating (plants).  The technical term is metabolism.  The word means exchange.  Exchange of what?  That the exchange of material should be the essential thing is absurd.  Any atom of nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur etc is as good as any other kind, what could be gained by exchanging them? 

For a while in the past our curiosity was silenced by being told that we feed upon energy… Needless to say this too is absurd.  For an adult organism the energy content is as stationary as the material content.  Since any calorie is worth as much as any other calorie, one cannot see how a mere exchange could help.

What then is that precious something contained in our food which keeps us from death? That is easily answered.  Every process, event, happening – everything that is going on in Nature means an increase of the entropy of the part of the world where it is going on.  Thus a living organism continually increases its ‘positive entropy’ …. It can only keep alive by continually drawing from its environment ‘negative entropy………

What is entropy?

At the absolute zero point of temperature (-273 degrees C) the entropy of a substance is zero.  When you bring the substance into any other state by slow reversible little steps …. The entropy increases…..

How could one express the marvellous faculty of a living organism by which it delays the decay into equilibrium – death?  We said before ‘It feeds on negative entropy’

Thus the device by which an organism maintains itself stationary at a fairly high level of orderliness (low level of entropy) is by continually ‘sucking’ orderliness from its environment

The source of the experience

Schrodinger, Erwin

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