A quantum interpretation of the homeopathic method is presented. It is shown that provided neither the medication itself, nor the patient is observed, a net effect is expected, even at homeopathic dilutions. The temporal dilution in homeopathic exercise is explained in terms of Heisenberg’s theory of energy-time indeterminacy. The results are fully compatible with thought experiments of the eminent physicist and cat specialist Erwin Schrödinger.
Homeopathic medicine contains fewer than one molecule per dose on average (2, 8). Such preparations are made by diluting the active ingredient in a solvent, usually water, and shaking, not stirring, vigorously at each step. Though Bond (1) found evidence that shaking has a different effect from stirring a liquid, few scientists accept the “memory of water” theory (2, 8) used to explain the effect of a fraction of a molecule on a patient (5). In the pages of this distinguished journal, there has been a lively discussion of the effect of extreme time-dilution in the case of homeopathic exercise (4, 7). It is proposed that exercise in the order of minutes down to nanoseconds per month shows distinct health benefits. This paper shows that quantum mechanics gives a sound basis to explain these phenomena.
Quantum theory and spatial dilution.
The famous thought experiment of Erwin Schrödinger describes how according to quantum mechanics a cat may be in an indeterminate state between living and dead, until a conscious observation is made. Likewise, Reitz (6) has shown that the location of a cat inside or outside a garage is unspecified until the creature is observed. This phenomenon explains the curious “tunneling” of electrons and even entire cats (6) through a region of space in which they cannot exist. If we take the case of a homeopathic dilution of a single molecule over N flasks of solvent, quantum mechanics tells us that the molecule is not located in a particular flask until a conscious observation is made. In quantum parlance, the “wave function” of the particle is said to “collapse” into a specific state (or flask) due to the act of observing.
Incidentally, this is why cats resent people staring at them: the constant collapse of theirwave function is a strain on their delicate senses.
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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Centre for High Performance Computing,
University of Groningen, Landleven 1,
9747 AN Groningen, The Netherlands