Ghosts have been a concept since antiquity. Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled from 1351-1334 BCE, was said to be cursed by priests and doomed to walk forever. To this day people claim to have encountered the ghost of Akhenaten in the deserts of Egypt.
Ghost stories have been around since humans have developed the concept of the soul. In almost every culture or religion, the concept of the spirits of the dead returning to greet the living have presented themselves in the chronology of written documentation.
Skeptics maintain that ghosts are nothing more than the imagination running wild caused by emotional stress or fear. Believers in the supernatural realm argue that ghosts are real but transcend our understanding of physical reality.
Science doesn’t typically tread in the waters of the supernatural. Astronomer Alex Filippenko said that the belief in God or the supernatural isn’t a question for science. Can science, however, shed some light on these ghostly ideas?
Quantum Mechanics is the go to branch of science that people often use to attempt to explain something that exceeds our understanding of classic reality. This theory, sure enough, will be no exception.
Many people claim to have seen or heard ghosts at some point in their lives. If a few people throughout history claimed that they have seen a ghost or some unexplained creature moving about and then vanishing, it would be easy to say those people were crazy and move on. But what do you do when so many people, for so long, attest that they have encountered a ghost?
Are all these people crazy? Are they all lying? Are they all being submerged into an ancient concept and reigniting the flames of fantasy? It’s an interesting question. And I think it’s one that deserves attention not only from psychologists and pseudo-scientists, but from physics as well.
Enter Schrodinger’s Equation. “The simple act of observing or measuring a particle forces it into an energy state. Unobserved, a particle may take any energy state available to it, but when a sentient observer is introduced, the particle becomes locked.” What this suggests, in quantum mechanics, is that a given reality only becomes definite when it is being observed. Observation at this level can determine the outcome of an atom or a particle. This will be the basis of the quantum ghost theory.
The Quantum Ghost Theory in English
In basic English the quantum ghost theory is simple. It theorizes that the ghost you are seeing isn’t in your imagination, and it isn’t a spirit from the dead either. The ghost you are seeing may be, in theory, an actual entity that you are creating by observing a situation (say a scene of an unsolved murder) and with such intense emotional input (energy) are actually manipulating the physical world around you.
Humans are convinced of their understanding of physical reality. The truth is, the stronger our microscopes get and the larger the particle accelerators become, the more we start to realize that our understanding of the universe is rather incomplete.
Sir Isaac Newton, in his theory of universal gravitation, theorizes what is happening between the Earth and the Sun that keeps them bound together in an orbital dance. He wouldn’t, however, extend his theory to what was actually causing gravity to exist in the first place.
Where did gravity come from? To this day, gravity remains a theory. Similarly, the theory of the quantum ghost, though understandably far-fetched, is actually a possible explanation to the ghost phenomenon.
We may lack some understanding of the components that would solidify the idea, but that in itself doesn’t discredit the theory entirely. If there is any truth to the quantum ghost theory, it would certainly explain why when the murder is solved, the ghosts typically go away — because the mind no longer has a need to enter distress.
The human brain is the most complex thing that we know to exist in the Universe. It’s extraordinary what it’s capable of. It may surprise you how little we actually know about the human mind and its potential, however. You know you are conscious, but what is consciousness?
Neuroscience still cannot prove where consciousness comes from. Does the mind have the power to actually change the universe that it’s observing? Quantum theory suggests that it can. It says that the universe cannot actually exist without mind entering into it.
If there is a place where some tragic event unfolded or where some murderous villain was slain, the human mind, according to the theory, can enter into such a state of emotion (fear, panic,etc.) that it can actually generate disturbances in the quantum field.
It can change the temperature in the room, it can cause EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon), and it can create physical entities we know as ghosts.
In theory, if ghosts do exist, they’re not existing in your mind, they’re existing because of your mind.
That might even be scarier than the traditional concept of ghosts, but alas, it’s only a theory and is not evidenced in tested science.