Quantum Reality and Concept of Śūnya: Need for an Integrative Approach

  • Surendra Singh Pokharna


Quantum physics used for microscopic particles of matter like electrons and light shows that they behave both like wave and particle, the two contradictory aspects in classical physics. Also quantum field theory used to explain properties of elementary particles necessitated the introduction of vacuum states with no particle but huge energy in flat space-time domain. But the curved space-time indicates a different scenario. Here one observes a vacuum state in one reference frame but shows a state with particles, when looked from a different reference frame. Quantum field theory to explain superfluidity and superconductivity shows a need to introduce a vacuum state with an order and elementary excitations. David Bohm’s concept of explicate and implicate orders in quantum physics to explain hidden variables brought a new dimension to look at the reality. This implicate order looks like another type of vacuum state. Prof. Adrain Klein from Israel has developed a model for sub-quantum physics (domain below the Planck level) and found that this domain does not have any matter; it just has information. This can be again treated as some kind of vacuum state. We find similar concepts in Jainism involving their theory of karma and their concept of two parts of the universe. One finds a similar concept known as “Form and Emptiness” by Nagarjuna of Buddhist tradition. Finally it is suggested that Jain theory of anekāntavāda (multiple truths) should be taken seriously by scientists. Actually since the process of measurement in quantum physics results into wave-function reduction in which one finds only one eigen state out of many, the process itself takes away information about other eigen states; hence it can be treated as vacuum state of some type. Penrose believes that human decision-making is neither deterministic nor random and nor is it computable; hence a Śūnya appears in our formalism at a very fundamental level, when we talk of any decision towards understanding the reality.

Even if we look at the classical physics, we find that the approach using the conservation laws defined for a closed isolated system implies ignoring interaction at a very basic level. This can be treated as another type of Śūnyat. While treating the biological, social and human systems as open systems implies one more type of Śūnya, here entropy/order and information are crucial for description of these systems, whereas other parameters like energy are secondary. Even in the process of measurement, one only looks at a few parameters of a system while ignoring other attributes which are treated as Śūnya. When one looks at the concept of logic in this whole scenario, one finds that Gödel’s incompleteness theorems imply our inability to understand even the simplest property of mathematical numbers.


Microscopic particles Superfluidity Superconductivity Vacuum state Explicate and implicate orders Sub-quantum physics Theory of karma Anekāntavāda 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Surendra Singh Pokharna
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.B-71, Pruthvi Tower, Jodhpur Char RastaAhmedabadIndia
  2. 2.Bhagawan Mahavir International Research Centre (BMIRC), Jain Vishwa Bharti, LadnunNagaurIndia
  3. 3.Science and Spirituality Research InstituteAhmedabadIndia

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