Reality in Vedanta and Quantum Physics :Can the Twain meet?

published on October 18, 2010

MIT Samskritam & Samskrita Bharati Welcome you to a lecture on

Dr. Navaratna S. Rajaram
Center for Indic Studies
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

The definition of reality is a central issue of modern physics. The wave-particle duality that began with Max Planck and Albert Einstein at the beginning of the twentieth century, evolved into the “New Quantum Physics” of Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and others to the point the very existence of a physical world beyond the experiment and the mathematics came to be denied. This brought about a reaction by Einstein, SchrÃdinger and others who claimed that quantum mechanics was incomplete as long as it could not be part of an objective reality.

Physicists chose to ignore such metaphysical questions until Einstein drew attention to the resulting paradox by formulating a conceptual experiment known as the EPR. This suggested that quantum theory violates some fundamental laws of physics like the limit imposed by the velocity of light. This led to a mathematical result by John Stuart Bell that allows experimental study of the various aspects of these theories.

While these ideas have evolved over the past century as a result of experimental studies, Vedantic philosophers like Shankara and Madhva had examined the same questions of duality and reality from a metaphysical perspective. Madhva even created a science of reality under the name Tattva-viveka, in which he suggested that reality has a two-fold existence. This appears to foreshadow the experimental findings that laws of physics may be fundamentally different in the space-time world of relativity and the quantum world of atomic and subatomic particles.

While not necessarily offering a way out of the current impasse, the Vedantic approach does suggest an alternative way of looking at the pervasive duality and reality puzzle. In particular it forces a reexamination of the quantum postulates and the unsatisfactory state of their metaphysical foundation compared to relativity.

Saturday, October 23, 2010 – 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
(Lecture followed by Q&A)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Room 4-237

**Here is a link to the map of the building**

**Speaker Bio**
Dr. Navaratna S. Rajaram is a mathematical scientist who after more than twenty years as an academic and industrial researcher turned his attention to history and history of science. He has authored several acclaimed books on the anient world including Sarasvati River and the Vedic Civilization, and The Deciphered Indus Script (w/ Natwar Jha). His current research involves the use of natural history and genetics to study ancient origins as well as using Vedanta to understand problems in the metaphysics of quantum theory. He is an adjunct professor of science and philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Center for Indic Studies at Dartmouth, MA.

MIT Samskritam:

**Contact: **
Arvind Thyagarajan – [email protected]

Samskrita Bharati:
Email: [email protected]


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