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‘Dadaji’ (literally grandfather, metaphorically a wise man) was not just a physicist. He earned his doctorate from Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, working under Sir Rutherford. Amongst his many seminal works were path-breaking researches on white dwarfs and thermodynamics. His genius was in making things simple for the grasp of a common man. Sometimes one does not know whether to address his abilities in the past or present tense. Thankfully, the future has yet to unfold. It is Dadaji’s fusion of Quantum Physics and Vedanta that transcends through time and space. Two words that would perhaps best characterise him are omnipotence and omnipresence.
I am aware of his simultaneous presence in two locations. Scenic Udaipur and the wooded parts of Delhi University, as those are two places where he lived and that I have been associated with. In Udaipur, he would be with his grown up school buddies demystifying their mysteries. How could a man rise above the mundane? Just raise the atomic number of existence. Do as the alchemists did - making gold out of a lower metal by tinkering its atomic state. The choice is simple. Either seize or abdicate that power? He would then delve upon the psychology of sleep. From dream state to rapid eye movement to deep sleep. The human body and mind can both be energised to metamorphose from a lower to a higher state of existence. Again, the path need not be linear. Generally it is three-dimensional: ‘Bhakti’ (Devotion), ‘Gyaan’ (Knowledge) and ‘Dhyaan’ (Contemplation to enhance intuitive powers). He wears his erudition very lightly.
Dadaji’s storytelling sessions are nothing short of mesmerising. As the old wise men briskly walked along the Lake Fatehsagar ‘paal’ (bund) the sun was already down, the parakeets silenced and with the darkness came the fireflies, enacting a surreal drama. Dadaji never missed the message. Whenever you see this, please remember that only after you have subdued the ‘chanchal’ (restless) in you would your inner-self start glowing, he would say.
The ridge next to the university campus has forever been the natural refuge from the hustle and bustle of Delhi. The vice regal lodge and the telescope tower of the Physics department were always very reassuring landmarks. If Dadaji was illuminating and igniting bright young minds, it would generally be well past the ‘langurs’ (black-faced monkeys) having stopped foraging the flora of an offering from the last vestige of the Aravallis – one of the oldest rock formations in the world. That was perhaps the common denominator for his simultaneous presence at the two locations. The langurs would be back at their resting spots atop their favourite trees. It was just then the time for the bats, masters of the night skies, to be out. Some of the youngsters who walked past this benign looking old man deeply engrossed in conversation with young students - their antennas were not receptive enough to register the enlightening opportunity that just whizzed past them - they were rather wary of the flying foxes as a potential source of rabies. Dadaji always marvelled how well-tuned these two creatures were to the laws of nature. Do you really need to distance yourself from nature to develop your thinking faculty and thereby progress the frontiers of knowledge, he would marvel.
Would quantum physics be a good foundation for a quant role at the Wall Street, Dadaji? “Ha,” he would say, “so you wish to be a black swan spotter? I’m not sure whether you need to have a better understanding of ornithology or quantum dynamics, but remember what Vedanta has to say. ‘Hamsa’ (the swan) also connotes ‘I am He’ (the ultimate power).” If we were to bring in the Oriental philosophies including Zen (origin from the Sanskrit ‘Dhyana’), the yin and yang co-exist. Even if the existence of a black swan was unknown till the discovery of the down-under, it did not mean the black swan didn’t exist. The idea was beyond our comprehension. The good and the evil co-exist. They are but two sides of the same coin.  Not only could a highly charged human intellect manifest itself physically at multiple locations but also in shades of white and black all at once.
“In his famous equation outlining the equivalence of mass and energy, Einstein proved that the energy in any particle of matter is equal to its mass or weight multiplied by the square of the velocity of light. The release of atomic energies is brought about through annihilation of the material particles. The “death” of matter has given birth to an Atomic Age. “
“Masters who are able to materialise and dematerialise their bodies and other objects, and to move with the velocity of light, and to utilise the creative light rays in bringing into visibility any physical manifestation, have fulfilled the lawful condition: their mass is infinite.”
“Maya (from the Vedas) is the magical power of illusion that underlies phenomenal worlds.  Satan (Old Testament) or Maya is the Cosmic Magician who produces multiplicity of forms to hide the One Formless Verity. In God’s plan and play, the sole function of Satan or Maya is to attempt to divert man from Sprit to matter, from Reality to unreality.”
He tends to quote all these from Swami Paramhansa Yogananda who influenced his philosophy significantly.
“Is hacking a virtue or vice, even if it means getting to the bottom of truth?” An omnipotent or an omnipresent spirit would have access to timeless information stored in the repository of the universe, he would say. Soon we shall be able to listen to the sounds of inter stellar space. By the way I am told it is bird like. Before too long we will be able to decipher fundamental secrets of unimaginable immensity. Please do expand your perspective by expanding your mind. Our physical boundaries need not restrict our reach.
Let us not entangle ourselves in a limited time space, let us not identify our spirit with our body and ego, and let’s reclaim the unified space.

About the Author: 
Praveen is a CEO of a non-life insurance company. A recognised thought leader, he has special fascination for mysteries of life and diversity.

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Quantum Theories

X is for ... X-ray

In 1923 Arthur Compton shone X-rays onto a block of graphite and found that they bounced off with their energy reduced exactly as would be expected if they were composed of particles colliding with electrons in the graphite. This was the first indication of radiation’s particle-like nature.

I is for ... Interferometer

Some of the strangest characteristics of quantum theory can be demonstrated by firing a photon into an interferometer: the device’s output is a pattern that can only be explained by the photon passing simultaneously through two widely-separated slits.

N is for ... Nonlocality

When two quantum particles are entangled, it can also be said they are “nonlocal”: their physical proximity does not affect the way their quantum states are linked.

U is for ... Uncertainty Principle

One of the most famous ideas in science, this declares that it is impossible to know all the physical attributes of a quantum particle or system simultaneously.

L is for ... Light

We used to believe light was a wave, then we discovered it had the properties of a particle that we call a photon. Now we know it, like all elementary quantum objects, is both a wave and a particle!

A is for ... Alice and Bob

In quantum experiments, these are the names traditionally given to the people transmitting and receiving information. In quantum cryptography, an eavesdropper called Eve tries to intercept the information.

K is for ... Kaon

These are particles that carry a quantum property called strangeness. Some fundamental particles have the property known as charm!

C is for ... Computing

The rules of the quantum world mean that we can process information much faster than is possible using the computers we use now.

Q is for ... Quantum biology

A new and growing field that explores whether many biological processes depend on uniquely quantum processes to work. Under particular scrutiny at the moment are photosynthesis, smell and the navigation of migratory birds.

A is for ... Act of observation

Some people believe this changes everything in the quantum world, even bringing things into existence.

C is for ... Cryptography

People have been hiding information in messages for millennia, but the quantum world provides a whole new way to do it.

M is for ... Multiverse

Our most successful theories of cosmology suggest that our universe is one of many universes that bubble off from one another. It’s not clear whether it will ever be possible to detect these other universes.

E is for ... Entanglement

When two quantum objects interact, the information they contain becomes shared. This can result in a kind of link between them, where an action performed on one will affect the outcome of an action performed on the other. This “entanglement” applies even if the two particles are half a universe apart.

R is for ... Radioactivity

The atoms of a radioactive substance break apart, emitting particles. It is impossible to predict when the next particle will be emitted as it happens at random. All we can do is give the probability that any particular atom will have decayed by a given time.

S is for ... Superposition

Quantum objects can exist in two or more states at once: an electron in superposition, for example, can simultaneously move clockwise and anticlockwise around a ring-shaped conductor.

W is for ... Wavefunction

The mathematics of quantum theory associates each quantum object with a wavefunction that appears in the Schrödinger equation and gives the probability of finding it in any given state.

M is for ... Many Worlds Theory

Some researchers think the best way to explain the strange characteristics of the quantum world is to allow that each quantum event creates a new universe.

Y is for ... Young's Double Slit Experiment

In 1801, Thomas Young proved light was a wave, and overthrew Newton’s idea that light was a “corpuscle”.

P is for ... Planck's Constant

This is one of the universal constants of nature, and relates the energy of a single quantum of radiation to its frequency. It is central to quantum theory and appears in many important formulae, including the Schrödinger Equation.

D is for ... Decoherence

Unless it is carefully isolated, a quantum system will “leak” information into its surroundings. This can destroy delicate states such as superposition and entanglement.

G is for ... Gluon

These elementary particles hold together the quarks that lie at the heart of matter.

V is for ... Virtual particles

Quantum theory’s uncertainty principle says that since not even empty space can have zero energy, the universe is fizzing with particle-antiparticle pairs that pop in and out of existence. These “virtual” particles are the source of Hawking radiation.

B is for ... Bell's Theorem

In 1964, John Bell came up with a way of testing whether quantum theory was a true reflection of reality. In 1982, the results came in – and the world has never been the same since!

I is for ... Information

Many researchers working in quantum theory believe that information is the most fundamental building block of reality.

P is for ... Probability

Quantum mechanics is a probabilistic theory: it does not give definite answers, but only the probability that an experiment will come up with a particular answer. This was the source of Einstein’s objection that God “does not play dice” with the universe.

B is for ... Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

At extremely low temperatures, quantum rules mean that atoms can come together and behave as if they are one giant super-atom.

T is for ... Teleportation

Quantum tricks allow a particle to be transported from one location to another without passing through the intervening space – or that’s how it appears. The reality is that the process is more like faxing, where the information held by one particle is written onto a distant particle.

U is for ... Universe

To many researchers, the universe behaves like a gigantic quantum computer that is busy processing all the information it contains.

Z is for ... Zero-point energy

Even at absolute zero, the lowest temperature possible, nothing has zero energy. In these conditions, particles and fields are in their lowest energy state, with an energy proportional to Planck’s constant.

J is for ... Josephson Junction

This is a narrow constriction in a ring of superconductor. Current can only move around the ring because of quantum laws; the apparatus provides a neat way to investigate the properties of quantum mechanics.

L is for ... Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

At CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, this machine is smashing apart particles in order to discover their constituent parts and the quantum laws that govern their behaviour.

D is for ... Dice

Albert Einstein decided quantum theory couldn’t be right because its reliance on probability means everything is a result of chance. “God doesn’t play dice with the world,” he said.

S is for ... Schrödinger’s Cat

A hypothetical experiment in which a cat kept in a closed box can be alive and dead at the same time – as long as nobody lifts the lid to take a look.

W is for ... Wave-particle duality

It is possible to describe an atom, an electron, or a photon as either a wave or a particle. In reality, they are both: a wave and a particle.

Q is for ... Qubit

One quantum bit of information is known as a qubit (pronounced Q-bit). The ability of quantum particles to exist in many different states at once means a single quantum object can represent multiple qubits at once, opening up the possibility of extremely fast information processing.

O is for ... Objective reality

Niels Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum physics, said there is no such thing as objective reality. All we can talk about, he said, is the results of measurements we make.

F is for ... Free Will

Ideas at the heart of quantum theory, to do with randomness and the character of the molecules that make up the physical matter of our brains, lead some researchers to suggest humans can’t have free will.

H is for ... Hidden Variables

One school of thought says that the strangeness of quantum theory can be put down to a lack of information; if we could find the “hidden variables” the mysteries would all go away.

G is for ... Gravity

Our best theory of gravity no longer belongs to Isaac Newton. It’s Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. There’s just one problem: it is incompatible with quantum theory. The effort to tie the two together provides the greatest challenge to physics in the 21st century.

S is for ... Schrödinger Equation

This is the central equation of quantum theory, and describes how any quantum system will behave, and how its observable qualities are likely to manifest in an experiment.

H is for ... Hawking Radiation

In 1975, Stephen Hawking showed that the principles of quantum mechanics would mean that a black hole emits a slow stream of particles and would eventually evaporate.

R is for ... Reality

Since the predictions of quantum theory have been right in every experiment ever done, many researchers think it is the best guide we have to the nature of reality. Unfortunately, that still leaves room for plenty of ideas about what reality really is!

R is for ... Randomness

Unpredictability lies at the heart of quantum mechanics. It bothered Einstein, but it also bothers the Dalai Lama.

T is for ... Tunnelling

This happens when quantum objects “borrow” energy in order to bypass an obstacle such as a gap in an electrical circuit. It is possible thanks to the uncertainty principle, and enables quantum particles to do things other particles can’t.

A is for ... Atom

This is the basic building block of matter that creates the world of chemical elements – although it is made up of more fundamental particles.