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A Girl in a State of Superposition

In my recent post Secrets of the Talking Ass I discussed the phenomenon of Bein HaShmashot (twilight or dusk), which is neither day, nor night, nor both, nor neither, but rather a unique state having its own unique status and laws associated with it. What is interesting about Bein HaShmashot from our point of view is that it is uncannily similar to a quantum-mechanical state of superposition. As we discussed in that blog, an electron can be in a state of superposition of having its spin be up and down (with angular momentum directed clockwise and counterclockwise) or a photon in a state of superposition of horizontal and vertical polarization, or the Schrödinger cat in a state of superposition of being alive and being dead. Just as Bein HaShmashot the cat is neither [...]

On the Nature of Time and the Age of the Universe

Presented at the International Torah and Science Conference in Miami International University on December 18, 2005 Alexander Poltorak   Introduction. This is the third in a series of articles, in which I attempt to sketch various approaches to reconciling a cosmological age of the universe currently estimated at 13.75 billion years with the Jewish tradition setting this age at less than six thousand years (5770 as of the day of this writing, to be exact). The first article [1] tackled this problem from the point of view of Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics suggesting that there were two distinct forms of existence—physical and proto-physical—and that the first conscious observers, Adam and Eve, collapsed the universal wavefunction, bringing the world from amorphous proto-physical existence into tangible physical existence.  This approach leads to two distinct [...]

Matos-Massei – Annulment of Vows

A story is told about a bachur (an unmarried young man) who came in the 60s to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for the yechidus (private audience) telling the Rebbe that he wanted to go college. Those days, American colleges, by and large, were not exactly institutions of higher learning but, more often, venues for drugs, sex, and rock and roll. The Rebbe strongly advised the visitor against going to college, but the young man was hell-bound on going through with his plan. The Rebbe said to him, “Even if you don’t care about the spiritual dangers and impurity of such a place, I do! And you and I are connected. Why are you dragging me along with you?!” The moral of that story is simple—chasidim and their Rebbe are entangled together. Wherever a chasid [...]

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