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Integrative Sciences to Maximize Global Flourishing


 
 
 
 
 
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Physics

Physics {originating from the Greek translation, "nature" or "knowledge of nature"} is the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of physics, distinguished from that of chemistry and biology, includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms. Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion and behavior through space and time, and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.

Over the last two millennia, physics, chemistry, biology, and certain branches of mathematics were a part of natural philosophy, but during the scientific revolution in the 17th century, these natural sciences emerged as unique research endeavors in their own right. Physics intersects with many integrative areas of research, such as biophysics and quantum chemistry, and the boundaries of physics are not rigidly defined. New ideas in physics often explain the fundamental mechanisms studied by other sciences and suggest new avenues of research in academic disciplines such as mathematics and philosophy. Breakthroughs in physics often enable advances in new technologies.

Physics covers a wide range of phenomena, from elementary particles {quarks, neutrinos, and electrons} to the largest superclusters of galaxies. Included in these phenomena are the most basic objects that compose all other things, which is why physics is often referred to as the "fundamental science". Physics aims to describe the various phenomena that occur in nature in terms of simple phenomena. It aims to connect the things that are observable to humans, to root causes, and then connect those causes together.

The ancient Chinese observed that certain rocks were attracted to one another by an invisible force. This effect was later called magnetism, which was studied in the 17th century. Before the Chinese discovered magnetism, the ancient Greeks recognized objects, such as amber, that when rubbed with fur would cause a similar invisible attraction. This was also studied in the 17th century and came to be known as electricity. Physics had come to understand two observable "root causes" in nature {electricity and magnetism}. Later work in the 19th century revealed that these two forces were different aspects of a single force — electromagnetism. This process of "unifying" forces continues today. Physicists are determined to find the ultimate {Theory of Everything}.

Classical Physics

Physics became a separate science when early modern Europeans used experimental and quantitative methods to discover what are now considered to be the laws of physics.

Major developments in this period include the replacement of the geocentric model of the solar system with the heliocentric Copernican model, the laws governing the motion of planetary bodies determined by Johannes Kepler between 1609 and 1619, pioneering work on telescopes and observational astronomy by Galileo Galilei in the 16th and 17th Centuries, and Isaac Newton's discovery and unification of the laws of motion and universal gravitation. Newton also developed calculus, the mathematical study of change, which provided new mathematical methods for solving physical problems.

The discovery of new laws in thermodynamics, chemistry, and electromagnetics resulted from great research efforts during the Industrial Revolution as energy needs increased. The laws comprising classical physics remain widely used for objects on everyday scales traveling at non-relativistic speeds, since they provide a very close approximation in these situations, and theories such as quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity simplify to their classical equivalents at these scales. However, inaccuracies in classical mechanics for very small objects and very high velocities led to the development of modern physics in the 20th century.

Classical physics includes the traditional branches and topics that were recognized and well-developed before the beginning of the 20th century — classical mechanics, acoustics, optics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism. Classical mechanics is concerned with bodies acted on by forces and bodies in motion and may be divided into statics {study of the forces on a body or bodies not subject to an acceleration}, kinematics {study of motion without regard to its causes}, and dynamics {study of motion and the forces that affect it}; mechanics can also be divided into solid mechanics and fluid mechanics {known together as continuum mechanics}, the latter include branches like hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, and pneumatics. Acoustics is the study of how sound is produced, controlled, transmitted and received. Important modern branches of acoustics include ultrasonics, the study of sound waves of very high frequency beyond the range of human hearing; bioacoustics, the physics of animal calls and hearing, and electroacoustics, the manipulation of audible sound waves using electronics.

Optics is the scientific study of sight and the behavior of light, or the properties of transmission and deflection of other forms of radiation. It's concerned with visible light but also with infrared and ultraviolet radiation, which exhibit all of the phenomena of visible light except visibility, i.e., reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, dispersion, and polarization of light. Heat is a form of energy, the internal energy possessed by the particles of which a substance is composed; thermodynamics deals with the relationships between heat and other forms of energy. Electricity and magnetism have been studied as a single branch of physics since the intimate connection between them was discovered in the early 19th century; an electric current gives rise to a magnetic field, and a changing magnetic field induces an electric current. Electrostatics deals with electric charges at rest, electrodynamics with moving charges, and magnetostatics with magnetic poles at rest.

Modern Physics

Modern physics is the post Newtonian conception of physics. It began in the early 20th century with the work of Max Planck in quantum theory and Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. Both of these theories came about due to inaccuracies in classical mechanics in certain situations. Classical mechanics predicted a varying speed of light, which could not be resolved with the constant speed predicted by Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism; this discrepancy was corrected by Einstein's theory of special relativity, which replaced classical mechanics for fast-moving bodies and allowed for a constant speed of light. Black body radiation provided another problem for classical physics, which was corrected when Planck proposed that the excitation of material oscillators is possible only in discrete steps proportional to their frequency; this, along with the photoelectric effect and a complete theory predicting discrete energy levels of electron orbitals, led to the theory of quantum mechanics taking over from classical physics at very small scales.

Quantum mechanics would come to be pioneered by Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger and Paul Dirac. From this early work, and work in related fields, the Standard Model of particle physics was derived. Following the discovery of a particle with properties consistent with the Higgs boson at CERN in 2012, all fundamental particles predicted by the standard model, and no others, appear to exist; however, physics beyond the Standard Model, with theories such as supersymmetry, is an active area of research. Areas of mathematics in general are important to this field, such as the study of probabilities and groups.

Classical physics is concerned with matter and energy on the normal scale of observation, while much of modern physics is concerned with the behavior of matter and energy under extreme conditions or on a very large or very small scale. For example, atomic and nuclear physics studies matter on the smallest scale at which chemical elements can be identified. The physics of elementary particles is on an even smaller scale since it's concerned with the most basic units of matter; this branch of physics is also known as high-energy physics because of the extremely high energies necessary to produce many types of particles in particle accelerators. On this scale, ordinary, commonsense notions of space, time, matter, and energy are no longer valid.

The two chief theories of modern physics present a different picture of the concepts of space, time, and matter from that presented by classical physics. Classical mechanics approximates nature as continuous, while quantum theory is concerned with the discrete nature of many phenomena at the atomic and subatomic level and with the complementary aspects of particles and waves in the description of such phenomena. The theory of relativity is concerned with the description of phenomena that take place in a frame of reference that's in motion with respect to an observer; the special theory of relativity is concerned with relative, uniform motion in a straight line and the general theory of relativity with accelerated motion and its connection with gravitation. Both quantum theory and the theory of relativity find applications in all areas of modern physics.

Prerequisites

Mathematics provides a compact and exact language used to describe of the order in nature. This was noted and advocated by Pythagoras, Plato, Galileo, and Newton.

Physics uses mathematics to organize and formulate experimental results. From those results, precise or estimated solutions, quantitative results from which new predictions can be made and experimentally confirmed or negated. The results from physics experiments are numerical measurements. Technologies based on mathematics, like computation have made computational physics an active area of research.

The distinction between mathematics and physics is clear-cut, but not always obvious, especially in mathematical physics.

Ontology is the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being. It's a prerequisite for physics, but not for mathematics. It means physics is ultimately concerned with descriptions of the real world, while mathematics is concerned with abstract patterns, even beyond the real world. Thus physics statements are synthetic, while mathematical statements are analytic. Mathematics contains hypotheses, while physics contains theories. Mathematic statements only have to be logically true, while predictions of physics must match observed and experimental data.

The distinction is clear-cut, but not always obvious. For example, mathematical physics is the application of mathematics in physics. Its methods are mathematical, but its subject is physical. The problems in this field start with a "mathematical model of a physical system" and a "mathematical description of a physical law" that will be applied to that system. Every mathematical statement used for solving has a hard-to-find physical meaning. The final mathematical solution has an easier-to-find meaning, because it's what the solver is looking for.

Physics is a branch of fundamental science, not practical science. Physics is also called "the fundamental science" because the subject of study of all branches of natural science like chemistry, astronomy, geology, and biology are constrained by laws of physics, similar to how chemistry is often called the central science because of its role in linking the physical sciences. For example, chemistry studies properties, structures, and reactions of matter {chemistry's focus on the atomic scale distinguishes it from physics}. Structures are formed because particles exert electrical forces on each other, properties include physical characteristics of given substances, and reactions are bound by laws of physics, like conservation of energy, mass, and charge. Physics is applied in industries like engineering and medicine.

Applied Physics

Applied physics is a general term for physics research that's intended for a particular technological or practical use. An applied physics curriculum contains courses in an applied discipline, like geology or electrical engineering. It differs from engineering in that an applied physicist may not be designing something in particular, but rather is using physics or conducting physics research with the aim of developing new technologies or solving a problem.

The approach is similar to that of applied mathematics. Applied physicists use physics in scientific research. For instance, people working on accelerator physics might seek to build better particle detectors for research in theoretical physics.

Physics is used heavily in engineering. For example, statics, a subfield of mechanics, is used in the building of bridges and other static structures. The understanding and use of acoustics results in sound control and better concert halls; similarly, the use of optics creates better optical devices. An understanding of physics makes for more realistic flight simulators, video games, and movies, and is often critical in forensic investigations.

With the standard consensus that the laws of physics are universal and don't change with time, physics can be used to study things that would ordinarily be uncertain. For example, in the study of the origin of the earth, one can reasonably model earth's mass, temperature, and rate of rotation, as a function of time allowing one to extrapolate forward or backward in time and so predict future or prior events. It also allows for simulations in engineering which drastically speed up the development of new technologies.

Scientific Method, Theory and Experiment

Physicists use the scientific method to test the validity of a physical theory. By using a methodical approach to compare the implications of a theory with the conclusions drawn from its related experiments and observations, physicists are better able to test the validity of a theory in a logical, unbiased, and repeatable way. To that end, experiments are performed and observations are made in order to determine the validity or invalidity of the theory.

A scientific law is a concise verbal or mathematical statement based on repeated experimental observations that describes some aspect of the universe, or expresses a fundamental principle of a theory, such as Newton's law of universal gravitation.

Theorists seek to develop mathematical models that both agree with existing experiments and successfully predict future experimental results, while experimentalists devise and perform experiments to test theoretical predictions and explore new phenomena. Although theory and experiment are developed separately, they're strongly dependent on each other. Progress in physics frequently happens when experimentalists make a discovery that existing theories can't explain, or when new theories generate experimentally testable predictions, that inspire new experiments.

Physicists who work at the interplay of theory and experiment are called phenomenologists, who study complex phenomena observed in experiment and work to relate them to a fundamental theory.

Theoretical physics is a branch of physics that employs mathematical models and abstractions of physical objects and systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. This is in contrast to experimental physics, which uses experimental tools to probe these phenomena. It has historically taken inspiration from philosophy; electromagnetism was unified this way. Beyond the known universe, the field of theoretical physics also deals with hypothetical issues, like parallel universes, a multiverse, and higher dimensions. Theorists invoke these ideas in hopes of solving particular problems with existing theories. They then explore the consequences of these ideas and work toward making testable predictions.

Experimental physics expands, and is expanded by, engineering and technology. Experimental physicists involved in basic research design and perform experiments with equipment like particle accelerators and lasers, where those involved in applied research often work in industry developing technologies like magnetic resonance imaging {MRI} and transistors.

Nuclear and Particle Physics

Particle physics is the branch of physics that deals with the properties, relationships and interactions of subatomic particles. It studies the elementary, or discrete, constituents of matter and energy and the interactions between them. Particle physicists design and develop the high energy accelerators, detectors, and computer programs necessary for this research. The field is also called "high-energy physics" because most elementary particles don't occur naturally but are created only during the high-energy collision of other particles.

Currently, the interactions of elementary particles and fields are described by the Standard Model. The model accounts for the 12 known particles of matter {quarks and leptons} that interact via the strong, weak, and electromagnetic fundamental forces. Dynamics are described in terms of matter particles exchanging gauge bosons {gluons, W and Z bosons, and photons}. The Standard Model predicts a particle known as the Higgs boson. In July 2012 CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics, announced the detection of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson, an integral part of a Higgs mechanism.

Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies the constituents and interactions of atomic nuclei. The most commonly known applications of nuclear physics are nuclear power generation and nuclear technology, but the research has provided application in many fields, including those in nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging, ion implantation in materials engineering, and radiocarbon dating in geology and archaeology.

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Atomic, molecular, and optical physics {AMO} is the study of matter–matter and light–matter interactions on the scale of single atoms and molecules. The three areas are grouped together because of their interrelationships, the similarity of methods used, and the commonality of their relevant energy scales. All three areas include both classical, semi-classical and quantum treatments; they can treat their subject from a microscopic view, in contrast to a macroscopic view.

Atomic physics studies the electron shells of atoms. It's concerned with the structure of the atom, its energy states and its interactions with particles and fields. Current research focuses on activities in quantum control, cooling and the trapping of atoms and ions, low-temperature collision dynamics and the effects of electron correlation on structure and dynamics. Atomic physics is influenced by the nucleus, but intra-nuclear phenomena such as fission and fusion are considered part of nuclear physics.

Molecular physics is the study of the physical properties of molecules, the chemical bonds between atoms and the molecular dynamics. Its most important experimental techniques are the various types of spectroscopy and scattering. The field is closely related to atomic physics and overlaps with theoretical chemistry, physical chemistry and chemical physics. It focuses on multi-atomic structures and their internal and external interactions with matter and light. Optical physics is distinct from optics in that it doesn't focus on the control of classical light fields by macroscopic objects, but on the fundamental properties of optical fields and their interactions with matter in the microscopic realm.

Condensed Matter Physics

Condensed matter physics is the branch of physics that studies the physical properties of condensed phases of matter, where particles adhere to each other. Physicists in this field work to understand the behavior of these phases by using physical laws, like quantum mechanics, electromagnetism and statistical mechanics. In particular, it's concerned with the "condensed" phases that appear when the number of particles in a system is extremely large and the interactions between them are strong.

The most familiar examples of condensed phases are solids and liquids that arise from the bonding by way of the electromagnetic force between atoms. More exotic condensed phases include the superfluid and the Bose–Einstein condensate found in certain atomic systems at very low temperature, the superconducting phase exhibited by conduction electrons in certain materials, and the ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic phases of spins on atomic lattices.

Condensed matter physics is the largest field of contemporary physics. Historically, condensed matter physics grew out of solid-state physics, which is now considered one of its main subfields. Condensed matter physics has a large overlap with chemistry, materials science, nanotechnology and engineering.

Astrophysics

Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy concerned with the physical nature of stars and other celestial bodies, and the application of the laws of physics to the interpretation of astronomical observations. Astrophysics and astronomy apply the theories and methods of physics to the study of stellar structure, stellar evolution, the origin of the Solar System, and related problems of cosmology. Because astronomy is vast, astrophysicists apply many disciplines of physics, including mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and atomic and molecular physics.

The discovery, by Karl Jansky in 1931, that radio signals were emitted by celestial bodies initiated the science of radio astronomy. Most recently, astronomy has been expanded by space exploration. Perturbations and interference from the earth's atmosphere make space-based observations necessary for infrared, ultraviolet, gamma-ray, and X-ray astronomy.

Physical cosmology is the scientific study of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of the universe and is concerned with fundamental questions about its origin, formation and evolution, as well as the scientific laws that govern these areas. Cosmology as a science originated with the Copernican Principle, which implies that celestial bodies obey identical physical laws to those on earth, and Newtonian mechanics, which first allowed us to understand those physical laws.   

Albert Einstein's theory of relativity plays a central role in all modern cosmological theories. In the early 20th century, Hubble's discovery that the universe is expanding, as shown by the Hubble diagram, prompted rival explanations known as the steady state universe and the Big Bang.

Religious or mythological cosmology is a body of beliefs based on mythological, religious, and esoteric literature and traditions of creation myths and eschatology.

Physical cosmology is studied by scientists, such as astronomers and physicists, as well as philosophers, such as metaphysicians, philosophers of physics, and philosophers of space and time. Because of this shared scope with philosophy, theories in physical cosmology may include both scientific and non-scientific propositions. Cosmology differs from astronomy in that the former is concerned with the universe as a whole while the latter deals with individual celestial objects. Modern physical cosmology is dominated by the Big Bang theory, which attempts to bring together observational astronomy and particle physics; more specifically, a standard parameterization of the Big Bang with dark matter and dark energy.

The Big Bang was confirmed by the success of Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the discovery of the cosmic microwave background in 1964. The Big Bang model rests on two theoretical pillars: Albert Einstein's general relativity and the cosmological principle. Cosmologists have recently established the ΛCDM model of the evolution of the universe, which includes cosmic inflation, dark energy, and dark matter.

Numerous possibilities and discoveries are anticipated to emerge from new data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope over the upcoming decade and vastly revise or clarify existing models of the universe. In particular, the potential for a tremendous discovery surrounding dark matter is possible over the next several years. Fermi will search for evidence that dark matter is composed of weakly interacting massive particles, complementing similar experiments with the Large Hadron Collider and other underground detectors.

 

The Effect of Vibrational Frequency on Matter

 
 

The Observer Effect

In physics, the observer effect is the theory that observing a situation or phenomenon necessarily changes that phenomenon. This is often the result of instruments that, by necessity, alter the state of what they measure. It's not possible to see any object without light hitting the object, and causing it to reflect that light.

An unusual version of the observer effect occurs in quantum mechanics, as demonstrated by the double-slit experiment. Physicists found that even passive observation of quantum phenomena {by changing the test apparatus and passively 'ruling out' all but one possibility}, can actually change the measured result. A famous example is the 1998 Weizmann experiment. The "observer" in this experiment — a sophisticated electronic detector — wasn't human. Such findings have led to the belief that an instrument and a conscious observer {or mind} can directly affect reality.

According to RC Henry, a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at John Hopkins University, in a 2005 essay: “A fundamental conclusion of the new physics acknowledges that the observer creates the reality.”

A key focus of measurement in quantum mechanics is the wave function collapse, where several interpretations assert that measurement causes a discontinuous change into an eigenstate of the operator associated with the quantity that was measured, a change that's not time-reversible. Once one has measured the system, one knows its current state; and this prevents it from being in one of its other states — it has de-cohered from them without prospects of future strong quantum interference. This means that the type of measurement one performs on the system affects the end-state of the system.

An experimentally studied situation related to this is the quantum Zeno effect, where a quantum state would dissolve if left alone, but doesn't dissolve because of its continuous observation. The dynamics of a quantum system under continuous observation are described by a quantum stochastic master equation known as the Belavkin equation. Further studies have shown that even observing the results after the photon is produced leads to collapsing the wave function and loading a back-history as shown by delayed choice quantum eraser.

The uncertainty principle is frequently confused with the observer effect. The uncertainty principle describes how precisely we can measure the position and momentum of a particle at the same time — if we increase the precision in measuring one quantity, we're forced to lose precision in measuring the other. An alternative version of the uncertainty principle, more in the spirit of an observer effect, fully accounts for the disturbance the observer has on a system.

 
 

Quantum Physics

Quantum mechanics {also known as quantum physics or quantum theory}, including quantum field theory, is a fundamental theory in physics that describes nature at the smallest scales of energy, levels of atoms and subatomic particles.

Classical physics is a set of fundamental theories that describes nature at the macroscopic scale. Most theories in classical physics can be derived from quantum mechanics as an approximation valid at the large, macroscopic scale. Quantum mechanics gradually arose from theories to explain observations that couldn't be reconciled with classical physics. The modern theory is formulated in various, specifically developed mathematical formalisms.

Important applications of quantum theory include quantum chemistry, quantum optics, quantum computing, superconductivity, lasers and transistors. Explanations for many biological and physical phenomena are rooted in the nature of the chemical bond, most notably the macro-molecule DNA.

Quantum Mechanics and Classical Physics

Predictions of quantum mechanics have been verified experimentally to an extremely high degree of accuracy. According to the correspondence principe between classical and quantum mechanics, all objects obey the laws of quantum mechanics, and classical mechanics is an approximation for large systems of objects {or a statistical quantum mechanics of a large collection of particles}. The laws of classical mechanics follow from the laws of quantum mechanics as a statistical average at the limit of large systems or large quantum numbers.

Quantum coherence is an essential difference between classical and quantum theories. Quantum interference involves adding together probability amplitudes, where classical "waves" infer that there's an adding together of intensities. For microscopic bodies, the extension of the system is much smaller than the coherence length, which gives rise to long-range entanglement and other nonlocal phenomena characteristic of quantum systems. Quantum coherence isn't typically evident at macroscopic scales, though an exception to this rule can occur at extremely low temperatures {approaching absolute zero} at which quantum behavior may manifest itself macroscopically. This is aligned to the following observations:

  • Many macroscopic properties of a classical system are a direct consequence of the quantum behavior of its parts. For example, the stability of bulk matter {consisting of atoms and molecules which would quickly collapse under electric forces}, the rigidity of solids, and the mechanical, thermal, chemical, optical and magnetic properties of matter are all results of the interaction of electric charges under the rules of quantum mechanics.

  • While the seemingly "exotic" behavior of matter posited by quantum mechanics and relativity theory become more apparent when dealing with particles of extremely small size or velocities approaching the speed of light, the laws of classical, often considered "Newtonian", physics remain accurate in predicting the behavior of the vast majority of "large" objects {on the order of the size of large molecules or bigger} at velocities much smaller than the velocity of light.

Applications

Quantum mechanics has had enormous success in explaining many of the features of our universe. Quantum mechanics is often the only theory that can reveal the individual behaviors of the subatomic particles that make up all forms of matter {electrons, protons, neutrons, photons, and others}. 

Quantum mechanics is also critically important for understanding how individual atoms are joined by covalent bonds to form molecules. The application of quantum mechanics to chemistry is known as quantum chemistry. Quantum mechanics can also provide quantitative insight into ionic and covalent bonding processes by explicitly showing which molecules are energetically favorable to others and the magnitudes of the energies involved. Most of the calculations performed in modern computational chemistry rely on quantum mechanics.

In many aspects, modern technology operates at a scale where quantum effects are significant.

Electronics

Many modern electronic devices are designed using quantum mechanics. Examples include the laser, the transistor {and microchip}, the electron microscope, and magnetic resonance imaging {MRI}. The study of semiconductors led to the invention of the diode and the transistor, which are indispensable parts of modern electronics systems, computers and telecommunication devices. Another application is for making laser diode and light emitting diode which are high-efficiency sources of light.

Many electronic devices operate under the effect of quantum tunneling. It even exists in light switches. The switch wouldn't work if electrons couldn't quantum tunnel through the layer of oxidation on the metal contact surfaces. Flash memory chips found in USB drives use quantum tunneling to erase their memory cells. Some negative differential resistance devices also use the quantum tunneling effect, such as resonant tunneling diode. Unlike classical diodes, its current is carried by resonant tunneling through two or more potential barriers. Its negative resistance behavior can only be understood with quantum mechanics: As the confined state moves close to Fermi level, tunnel current increases. As it moves away, current decreases. Quantum mechanics is necessary for understanding and designing these electronic devices.

Cryptography

Researchers are currently seeking robust methods of directly manipulating quantum states. Efforts are being made to more fully develop quantum cryptography, which will theoretically allow guaranteed secure transmissions of information.

An inherent advantage yielded by quantum cryptography when compared to classical cryptography is the detection of passive eavesdropping. This is a natural result of the behavior of quantum bits; due to the observer effect, if a bit in a superposition state were to be observed, the superposition state would collapse into an eigenstate. Because the intended recipient was expecting to receive the bit in a superposition state, the intended recipient would know there was an attack, because the bit's state would no longer be in a superposition.

Quantum Computing

A more distant goal is the development of quantum computers, which are expected to perform certain computational tasks exponentially faster than classical computers. Instead of using classical bits, quantum computers use qubits, which can be in superpositions of states. Quantum programmers are able to manipulate the superposition of qubits in order to solve problems that classical computing can't do effectively, like searching unsorted databases or integer factorization. IBM claims that the advent of quantum computing may progress the fields of medicine, logistics, financial services, artificial intelligence and cloud security.

Another active research topic is quantum teleportation, which deals with techniques that transmit quantum information over arbitrary distances.

Macroscale Quantum Effets

While quantum mechanics primarily applies to the smaller atomic regimes of matter and energy, some systems exhibit quantum mechanical effects on a large scale. Superfluidity, the frictionless flow of a liquid at temperatures near absolute zero, is one example. So is the closely related phenomenon of superconductivity, the frictionless flow of an electron gas in a conducting material {an electric current} at sufficiently low temperatures. The fractional quantum Hall effect is a topological ordered state that corresponds to patterns of long-range quantum entanglement. States with different topological orders {or different patterns of long range entanglements} can't change into each other without a phase transition.

Quantum Theory

Quantum theory also provides accurate descriptions for many previously unexplained phenomena, like black-body radiation and the stability of the orbitals of electrons in atoms. It has also given insight into the workings of many different biological systems, including smell receptors and protein structures. Recent work on photosynthesis has provided evidence that quantum correlations play an essential role in this fundamental process of plants and many other organisms. Classical physics can often provide good approximations to results otherwise obtained by quantum physics, typically in circumstances with large numbers of particles or large quantum numbers. Since classical formulas are much simpler and easier to compute than quantum formulas, classical approximations are used and preferred when the system is large enough to render the effects of quantum mechanics insignificant.

Free Particles

In quantum mechanics, a free matter is described by a wave function. The particle properties of the matter become apparent when we measure its position and velocity. The wave properties of the matter become apparent when we measure its wave properties, like interference. The wave–particle duality feature is incorporated in the relations of coordinates and operators in the formulation of quantum mechanics. Since the matter is free {not subject to interactions}, its quantum state can be represented as a wave of arbitrary shape and extending over space as a wave function. The position and momentum of the particle are observables. The Uncertainty Principle states that both the position and the momentum can't simultaneously be measured with complete precision. However, one can measure the position {independently} of a moving free particle, creating an eigenstate of position with a wave function that's very large {a Dirac delta} at a particular position x, and zero everywhere else. If one performs a position measurement on such a wave function, the resultant x will be obtained with 100% probability {i.e. with full certainty, or complete precision}. This is called an eigenstate of position. If the particle is in an eigenstate of position, then its momentum is completely unknown. If the particle's in an eigenstate of momentum, then its position is completely unknown. In an eigenstate of momentum having a plane wave form, it can be shown that the wavelength is equal to h/p, where h is Planck's constant and p is the momentum of the eigenstate.

 

An Intro to Quantum Mechanics & Metaphysics

 
 

Transrational Reality

Transrational, or "transrational reality," refers to the experience of objective, nonpersonal, nonrational phenomena occurring in the natural universe, information and experiences that don't readily fit into the standard cause and effect logical structure; experiences that are typically labeled and dismissed as superstition, irrational or extreme. It differs from the supernatural and the rational in that it doesn't directly oppose or affirm logical sense or reason. A transrational experience isn't pathological. The transrational doesn't engage with the question of how to sensibly fit an experience into a rational framework, instead, allowing the experience to remain as it was experienced or witnessed, uninterpreted by rational sense-making and meaning-making. The experience is what it is and is taken on its own terms.

Cognitive Sciences

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary, scientific study of the mind and its processes. It studies thought, learning, and mental organization, which draws on aspects of psychology, linguistics, philosophy and computer modeling. It examines the nature and function of cognition "pertaining to the action or process of knowing". Cognitive scientists study intelligence and behavior, with a focus on how nervous systems represent, process and transform information. Mental faculties of concern to cognitive scientists include language, perception, memory, attention, reasoning and emotion; to understand these faculties, cognitive scientists incorporate fields such as linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience and anthropology. The typical analysis of cognitive science spans many levels of organization, from learning and decision making to logic and planning; from neural circuitry to modular brain organization. The fundamental concept of cognitive science is that thinking can best be understood in terms of representational structures in the mind and computational procedures that operate on those structures. 

A central principle of cognitive science is that a complete understanding of the mind can't be attained by studying only a single level. Studying a particular phenomenon from multiple angles creates a comprehensive understanding of the processes that occur in the brain to give rise to a particular behavior. Cognitive scientists work collectively in hope of understanding the mind and its interactions with the surrounding world much like other sciences do. The field regards itself as compatible with the physical sciences and uses the scientific method as well as simulation or modeling, often comparing the output of models with aspects of human cognition. Many, not all, who consider themselves cognitive scientists hold a functionalist view of the mind — the view that mental states and processes should be explained by their function, what they do. The term "cognitive" in "cognitive science" is used for "any kind of mental operation or structure that can be studied in precise terms."

Artificial Intelligence

One major contribution of AI and cognitive science to psychology has been the information processing model of human thinking in which the metaphor of brain-as-computer is taken literally. Artificial intelligence {AI} involves the study of cognitive phenomena in machines. One of the practical goals of AI is to implement aspects of human intelligence in computers. Computers are also widely used as a tool with which to study cognitive phenomena. Computational modeling uses simulations to study how human intelligence may be structured.

Attention, Sensory Acuity and Synthesis

Attention is sustained concentration — sometimes seen as a spotlight, or the capacity to select important information — on a specific stimulus, sensation, idea, thought, or activity, enabling one to use information processing systems optimally in handling vast amounts of information. Attention is often thought of in terms of span and intensity. Sensory acuity is the sharpness and relative capacity of the senses to access, analyze and synthesize information. Synthesis is the process of integrating information into larger, sophisticated wholes.

Language Processing

The ability to learn and understand language is a complex process. Language is acquired within the first few years of life, and all humans under normal circumstances are able to acquire language proficiently. A major driving force in the theoretical linguistic field is discovering the nature that language has in the abstract in order to be learned in such a way. Some of the driving research questions in studying how the brain itself processes language include: 1. To what extent is linguistic knowledge innate or learned? 2. Why is it more difficult for adults to acquire a second language than it is for infants to acquire their first language? 3. How are humans able to understand novel sentences?

The study of language processing ranges from the investigation of the sound patterns of speech to the meaning of words and whole sentences. Linguistics divides language processing into orthography, phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Many aspects of language can be studied from each of these components and from their interaction. The study of language processing in cognitive science is closely tied to the field of linguistics. Linguistics was traditionally studied as a part of the humanities, including studies of history, art and literature. In the last fifty years, more researchers have studied knowledge and use of language as a cognitive phenomenon.

Learning and Development

Learning and development are the processes by which we acquire knowledge and information over time. Infants are born with little or no knowledge, yet they rapidly acquire the ability to use language, walk, and recognize people and objects. Research in learning and development aims to explain the mechanisms by which these processes might take place.

A major question in the study of cognitive development is the extent to which certain abilities are innate or learned. This is often framed in terms of nature and nurture. The nativist view emphasizes that certain features are innate to an organism and are determined by its genetics. The empiricist view emphasizes that certain abilities are learned from the environment. Although both genetic and environmental input is needed for a child to develop, considerable debate remains about how genetic information might guide cognitive development. In the area of language acquisition, some have said that specific information containing universal grammatical rules must be contained in the genes, while others have stated that genes determine the architecture of a learning system, but that specific "facts" about how grammar works can only be learned as a result of experience.

Perception

Perception is the ability to assimilate information via the senses, and process it. Vision and hearing are two dominant senses that allow us to perceive the environment. Some questions in the study of visual perception include: 1. How are we able to recognize objects? 2. Why do we perceive a continuous visual environment, even though we only see small bytes of it at a time? One tool for examining visual perception is by studying how people process optical illusions.

Behavioral Studies

In order to have a description of what constitutes intelligent behavior, one must study behavior. This research is closely tied to that in cognitive psychology and psychophysics. By measuring behavioral responses to various stimuli, one can understand how those stimuli are processed. Lewandowski and Strohmetz review a collection of innovative uses of behavioral measurement in psychology including behavioral traces, behavioral observations, and behavioral choice. Behavioral traces are pieces of evidence that indicate a behavior occurred, but the actor isn't present. Behavioral observations involve the direct witnessing of the actor engaging in the behavior. Behavioral choices are when a person selects between two or more options.

  • Reaction time. The time between the presentation of a stimuli and an appropriate response can indicate differences between two cognitive processes.

  • Psychophysical responses. Psychophysical experiments are a psychological technique, which has been adopted by cognitive psychology. They involve making discernments about physical properties. Correlation of subjective scales between individuals can show cognitive or sensory biases as compared to actual physical measurements.

  • Eye tracking. This method is used to study a variety of cognitive processes, most notably visual perception and language processing. The fixation point of the eyes is linked to an individual's focus of attention. By monitoring eye movements, we can study what information is processed at a given time. Eye tracking allows us to study cognitive processes on extremely short time scales. Eye movements reflect online decision making during a task, and they provide us with insight into the ways those decisions are processed.

Brain Imaging

Brain imaging analyzes activity in the brain while performing various tasks. This allows us to link behavior and brain function to help understand how information is processed. Different types of imaging techniques vary in their temporal {time-based} and spatial {location-based} resolutions. Brain imaging is often used in cognitive neuroscience.

  • Single photon emission computed tomography and Positron emission tomography. SPECT and PET use radioactive isotopes, which are injected into the subject's bloodstream and taken up by the brain. By observing which areas of the brain take up the radioactive isotope, we can see which areas of the brain are more active than other areas. PET has similar spatial resolution to fMRI, but it has extremely poor temporal resolution.

  • Electroencephalography. EEG measures the electrical fields generated by large populations of neurons in the cortex by placing a series of electrodes on the scalp of a subject. This technique has an extremely high temporal resolution, but a relatively poor spatial resolution.

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging. fMRI measures the relative amount of oxygenated blood flowing to different parts of the brain. More oxygenated blood in a particular region is assumed to correlate with an increase in neural activity in that part of the brain. This allows us to localize particular functions within different brain regions. fMRI has moderate spatial and temporal resolution.

  • Optical imaging. This technique uses infrared transmitters and receivers to measure the amount of light reflectance by blood near different areas of the brain. Since oxygenated and deoxygenated blood reflect light to different degrees, we can study which areas are more active {i.e. those that have more oxygenated blood}. Optical imaging has moderate temporal resolution and poor spatial resolution.

  • Magnetoencephalography. MEG measures magnetic fields resulting from cortical activity. It's similar to EEG, except it has improved spatial resolution since the magnetic fields it measures are not attenuated by the scalp as the electrical activity measured in EEG are.

Computational Modeling

Computational models require a mathematically and logically formal representation of a problem. Computer models are used in the simulation and experimental verification of different specific and general properties of intelligence. Computational modeling helps us understand the functional organization of a particular cognitive phenomenon. There are two basic approaches to cognitive modeling. The first is focused on abstract mental functions of an intelligent mind and operates using symbols, and the second, which follows the neural and associative properties of the human brain, is called subsymbolic.

  • Symbolic modeling evolved from the computer science paradigms using the technologies of Knowledge-based systems, as well as a philosophical perspective. They were developed by the first cognitive researchers and later used in information engineering for expert systems. Since the early 1990s it was generalized in systemics for the investigation of functional human-like intelligence models. Recently, in the context of cognitive decision making, symbolic cognitive modeling is extended to socio-cognitive approach including social and organization cognition interrelated with a sub-symbolic non conscious layer.

  • Subsymbolic modeling includes Connectionist|neural network models. Connectionism relies on the idea that the mind|brain is composed of simple nodes and that the power of the system comes primarily from the existence and manner of connections between the simple nodes.

  • Other approaches include: 1. The use of dynamical systems theory 2. Techniques that correspond symbolic models to connectionist models {Neural-symbolic integration or hybrid intelligent systems}. 3. Bayesian models, often drawn from machine learning.

These approaches tend to be generalized to the form of integrated computational models of a synthetic|abstract intelligence, in order to be applied to the explanation and improvement of individual and social|organizational decision-making and reasoning.

Cognitive science has given rise to models of human cognitive bias and risk perception, and has been influential in the development of behavioral, finance and economics. It has also given rise to a new theory of the philosophy of mathematics, and many theories of artificial intelligence and influence. It has made its presence known in the philosophy of language and epistemology as well as constituting a substantial wing of modern linguistics. Fields of cognitive science have been supportive in understanding the brain's particular functional systems {and functional deficits} ranging from speech production to auditory processing and visual perception.

NeuroScience

Neuroscience {or neurobiology} is the scientific study of the nervous system. It's a multidisciplinary branch of biology that deals with the anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology and physiology of neurons and neural circuits. It also drawn upon other fields like pharmacology, psychology and medicine.

The scope of neuroscience has broadened over time to include different approaches used to study the molecular, cellular, developmental, structural, functional, evolutionary, computational, psychosocial and medical aspects of the nervous system. Neuroscience has also given rise to other disciplines like neuroeducation, neuroethics and neurolaw. The techniques used by neuroscientists have also expanded from molecular and cellular studies to individual neurons to imaging of sensory and motor tasks in the brain. Recent theoretical advances in neuroscience have also been aided by the study of neural networks.

Modern Neuroscience

The scientific study of the nervous system has increased significantly during the second half of the twentieth century, due to advances in molecular biology, electrophysiology, and computational neuroscience. This allows neuroscientists to study the nervous system in every aspect: how it's structured, how it works, how it develops, how it malfunctions, and how it can be changed. It has become possible to understand, in detail, the complex processes occurring within a single neuron. Neurons are cells specialized for communication. They're able to communicate with neurons and other cell types through specialized junctions called synapses, at which electrical or electrochemical signals can be transmitted from one cell to another. Many neurons extrude a long, thin filament of protoplasm called an axon, which can extend to distant parts of the body and are capable of rapidly carrying electrical signals, influencing the activity of other neurons, muscles, or glands at their termination points. A nervous system emerges from the assemblage of neurons that are connected to each other.

In vertebrates, the nervous system can be split in two parts, the central nervous system {brain and spinal cord}, and the peripheral nervous system. In many species — including all vertebrates — the nervous system is the most complex organ system in the body, with most of the complexity residing in the brain. The human brain alone contains around one hundred billion neurons and one hundred trillion synapses; it consists of thousands of distinguishable substructures, connected to each other in synaptic networks whose intricacies have only begun to be unraveled. The majority of the approximately 20,000–25,000 genes belonging to the human genome are expressed specifically in the brain. Due to the plasticity of the human brain, the structure of its synapses and their resulting functions change throughout life.

Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

The study of the nervous system can be done at multiple levels, ranging from the molecular and cellular levels to the systems and cognitive levels. At the molecular level, the basic questions in molecular neuroscience include the mechanisms by which neurons express and respond to molecular signals and how axons form complex connectivity patterns. At this level, tools from molecular biology and genetics are used to understand how neurons develop and how genetic changes affect biological functions. The morphology, molecular identity, and physiological characteristics of neurons and how they relate to different types of behavior are also of considerable interest.

The fundamental questions in cellular neuroscience are the mechanisms of how neurons process signals physiologically and electrochemically. These questions include how signals are processed by neurites — thin extensions from a neuronal cell body, consisting of dendrites {specialized to receive synaptic inputs from other neurons} and axons {specialized to conduct nerve impulses or action potentials} and somas {the cell bodies of the neurons containing the nucleus}, and how neurotransmitters and electrical signals are used to process information in a neuron. Another major area of neuroscience is directed at questions of the development of the nervous system. These questions include the patterning and regionalization of the nervous system, neural stem cells, differentiation of neurons and glia, neuronal migration, axonal and dendritic development, trophic interactions, and synapse formation.

Computational neurogenetic modeling is concerned with the development of dynamic neuronal models for modeling brain functions with respect to genes and dynamic interactions between genes.

Neural Circuits and Systems

At the systems level, the questions in systems neuroscience include how neural circuits are formed and used anatomically and physiologically to produce functions like reflexes, multisensory integration, motor coordination, circadian rhythms, emotional responses, learning, and memory. In other words, they address how these neural circuits function and the mechanisms through which behaviors are generated. For example, systems level analysis addresses questions concerning specific sensory and motor modalities: how does vision work? How do songbirds learn new songs and bats localize with ultrasound? How does the somatosensory system process tactile information? The related fields of neuroethology and neuropsychology address the question of how neural substrates underlie specific animal and human behaviors. Neuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology examine interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine and immune systems, respectively.

Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience

At the cognitive level, cognitive neuroscience addresses the questions of how psychological functions are produced by neural circuitry. The emergence of powerful new measurement techniques like neuroimaging {e.g., fMRI, PET, SPECT}, electrophysiology, and human genetic analysis combined with sophisticated experimental techniques from cognitive psychology allows neuroscientists and psychologists to address abstract questions such as how human cognition and emotion are mapped to specific neural substrates. Although many studies still hold a reductionist stance looking for the neurobiological basis of cognitive phenomena, recent research shows that there's an interesting interplay between neuroscientific findings and conceptual research, soliciting and integrating both perspectives. The neuroscientific identification of multiple memory systems related to different brain areas has challenged the idea of memory as a literal reproduction of the past, supporting a view of memory as a generative, constructive and dynamic process.

Neuroscience is also allied with the social and behavioral sciences as well as nascent interdisciplinary fields like neuroeconomics, decision theory, social neuroscience, and neuromarketing to address complex questions about interactions of the brain with its environment. A study into consumer responses for example uses EEG to investigate neural correlates associated with narrative transportation into stories about energy efficiency.

Ultimately, neuroscientists want to understand every aspect of the nervous system, including how it works, how it develops, how it malfunctions, and how it can be altered or repaired. The specific topics that form the main foci of research change over time, driven by an ever-expanding base of knowledge and the availability of increasingly sophisticated technical methods. Over the long term, improvements in technology have been the primary drivers of progress. Developments in electron microscopy, computers, electronics, functional brain imaging, and most recently genetics and genomics, have all been major drivers of progress.

Integrative neuroscience makes connections across these specialized areas of focus.

Flow Psychology

In the 1970s Csíkszentmihályi began studying flow, a state of absorption where one's abilities are well-matched to a creative task. Flow is characterized by intense concentration, loss of self-awareness, a feeling of being perfectly challenged {neither bored or overwhelmed}, and a sense of "time flying". Flow is intrinsically rewarding; it can also assist in the achievement of goals and the improvement of skills. Anyone can experience flow, in different realms, like play, creativity, and work. Flow is achieved when the challenge of the situation meets one's personal abilities. A mismatch of challenge for someone moderately skilled results in anxiety; insufficient challenge for someone highly skilled results in boredom.

In positive psychology, flow is defined as a peak state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best. Time dilates {speeds up or slows down}, creativity, wellbeing and satisfaction are amplified and we become fully immersed in the deep Now. In essence, flow is characterized by complete and total absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one's sense of space-time.

In flow, the prefrontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex {parts of the brain responsible for higher cognitive function, executive decision making, morality, will and self consciousness} shuts down. We shift outside of ourselves and become free of our inner critic which allows us to enter transcendental states of superconsciousness where creativity and action merge. In flow, our brain can't distinguish past from present and future because the prefrontal cortex is also responsible for calculating time. This is called transient {temporary} hypo {to slow down or deactivate} frontality {prefrontal cortex}.

In flow, happiness {as demonstrated by Csíkszentmihályi in one of the world's largest psychological studies ever conducted} creativity and risk taking increased along with five of the most potent pleasure and performance chemicals in the brain. In a ten-year study by McKinsey, top executives reported being 500% more productive and 500% more creative when they were in a flow state. This means they were able to accomplish in one day what they would have accomplished in five, operating in a steady state. Learning speed and confidence also increased by 200-500%. Flow can be activated and trained under specific preconditions.

Jeanne Nakamura and Csíkszentmihályi identify the following six factors as encompassing an experience of flow:

  1. Intense and focused concentration on the present moment

  2. Merging of action and awareness

  3. A loss of reflective self-consciousness

  4. A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity

  5. A distortion of temporal experience, one's subjective experience of time is altered

  6. Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to as autotelic experience

Those aspects can appear independently of each other, but only in combination do they constitute a so-called flow experience. Additionally, psychology writer Kendra Cherry has mentioned three other components that Csíkszentmihályi lists as being a part of the flow experience:

  1. "Immediate feedback"

  2. Feeling that you have the potential to succeed

  3. Feeling so engrossed in the experience that other needs become negligible

Just as with the conditions listed above, these conditions can be independent of one another. 

Flow theory proposes three conditions that have to be met to achieve a flow state:

  1. One must be involved in an activity with a clear set of goals and progress. This adds direction and structure to the task.

  2. The task at hand must have clear and immediate feedback. This helps the person negotiate any changing demands and allows them to adjust their performance to maintain the flow state.

  3. One must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and their own perceived skills. One must have confidence in one's ability to complete the task at hand. A balance between opportunity and capacity.

However, it was argued that the antecedent factors of flow are interrelated, as a perceived balance between challenges and skills requires that one knows what he or she has to do {clear goals} and how successful he or she is in doing it {immediate feedback}. Thus, a perceived fit of skills and task demands can be identified as the central precondition of flow experiences.

In 1987, Massimini, Csíkszentmihályi and Carli published the 8-channel model of flow shown here. Antonella Delle Fave, who worked with Fausto Massimini at the University of Milan, now calls this graph the Experience Fluctuation Model. The Experience Fluctuation Model depicts the channels of experience that result from different levels of perceived challenges and perceived skills. This graph illustrates one further aspect of flow: it’s more likely to occur when the activity at hand is a higher-than-average challenge {above the center point} and the individual has above-average skills {to the right of the center point}. The center of this graph {where the sectors meet} represents one's average levels of challenge and skill across all activities an individual performs during their daily life. The further from the center an experience is, the greater the intensity of that state of being {whether it’s flow, anxiety, enjoyment or relaxation}.

flow.jpeg
 

Schaffer {2013} proposed 7 flow conditions:

  1. Knowing what to do

  2. Knowing how to do it

  3. Knowing how well you are doing

  4. Knowing where to go {if navigation is involved}

  5. High perceived challenges

  6. High perceived skills

  7. Freedom from distractions

Schaffer also published a measure, the Flow Condition Questionnaire {FCQ}, to measure each of these 7 flow conditions for any given task or activity.

Books by Csikszentmihályi suggest that enhancing the time spent in flow makes our lives more happy and successful {which produces more creativity and flow}. Flow experiences are predicated to lead to positive effects as well as optimal performance. For example, undesirable behavior was reduced in young adults after two years of enhancing flow through activities.

People who have experienced flow, describe the following feelings:

  1. Being completely involved in what they were doing ― focused, concentrated

  2. A sensation or feeling of ecstasy ― being outside of everyday reality

  3. Great inner clarity ― knowing what needed to be done, and how well they were doing it

  4. Knowing that the activity was doable ― that their skills were adequately matched to the task

  5. A sense of serenity and certainty ― no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego

  6. Timelessness ― thoroughly focused on the present moment, hours seemed to pass by the minute

  7. Intrinsic motivation ― whatever produced flow was it’s own reward

Researched Benefits of Flow

  • 3 days of heightened creativity following a flow state {Harvard}

  • 430% increase in innovative problem solving and solution orientation {University of Sydney}

  • 490% increase in learning speed, confidence and skill acquisition {Advanced Brain Monitoring and DARPA}

  • 500% increase in top executives productivity and creativity {Mc Kinsey}

 

Images of our Milky Way Galaxy & Neural Networks in the Human Brain

 

Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context. It studies conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as thought. It's an academic discipline of immense scope and diverse interests, that when taken together, seek an understanding of the emergent properties of the brain and the variety of epiphenomena they manifest. As a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.

Psychologists explore behavior and mental processes, including perception, cognition, attention, emotion {affect}, intelligence, phenomenology, motivation {conation}, brain functioning, and personality. This extends to interaction between people, such as interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas. Psychologists of diverse orientations also consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some — especially clinical and counseling psychologists — at times rely on symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hub science", with psychological findings linking to research and perspectives from the social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, humanities, and philosophy.

Biological

Psychologists generally consider the organism the basis of the mind, and therefore a vitally related area of study. Psychiatrists and neuropsychologists work at the interface of mind and body. Biological psychology, also known as physiological psychology, or neuropsychology is the study of the biological substrates of behavior and mental processes. Key research topics in this field include comparative psychology, which studies humans in relation to other animals, and perception which involves the physical mechanics of sensation as well as neural and mental processing. For centuries, a leading question in biological psychology has been whether and how mental functions might be localized in the brain.

The contemporary field of behavioral neuroscience focuses on physical causes underpinning behavior. For example, physiological psychologists use models to study the neural, genetic, and cellular mechanisms that underlie specific behaviors such as learning and memory and fear responses. Cognitive neuroscientists investigate the neural correlates of psychological processes in humans using neural imaging tools, and neuropsychologists conduct psychological assessments to determine specific aspects and extent of cognitive deficit. The biopsychosocial model is an integrated perspective toward understanding consciousness, behavior, and social interaction. It assumes that any given behavior or mental process affects and is affected by dynamically interrelated biological, psychological, and social factors.

Evolutionary psychology examines cognition and personality traits from an evolutionary perspective. This perspective suggests that psychological adaptations evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments. Evolutionary psychology offers complementary explanations for the mostly proximate or developmental explanations developed by other areas of psychology: meaning, it focuses mostly on ultimate or "why?" questions, rather than proximate or "how?" questions. "How?" questions are more directly tackled by behavioral genetics research, which aims to understand how genes and environment impact behavior.

Cognitive

Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes like perception, attention, reasoning, thinking, language, learning, memory, problem solving and creativity. Much of the work derived from cognitive psychology has been integrated into various other modern disciplines of psychological study, including educational psychology, social psychology, personality psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and economics. It studies cognition, the mental processes underlying mental activity. Classical cognitive psychology is associated with a school of thought known as cognitivism, who look for an information processing model of mental function, informed by functionalism and experimental psychology.

On a broad level, cognitive science is an interdisciplinary enterprise of cognitive psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, researchers in artificial intelligence, linguists, human–computer interaction, computational neuroscience, logicians and social scientists. Computer simulations are sometimes used to model phenomena of interest.

Technological advances also renewed interest in mental states and representations. English neuroscientist Charles Sherrington and Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb used experimental methods to link psychological phenomena with the structure and function of the brain. The rise of computer science, cybernetics and artificial intelligence suggested the value of comparatively studying information processing in humans and machines.

Social

Social psychology is the branch of psychology that deals with social interactions, including their origins, their effect on the individual and how humans relate to one another. Social psychologists study topics such as the influence of others on an individual's behavior, and the formation of beliefs and attitudes. Social cognition fuses elements of social and cognitive psychology in order to understand how people process, remember, or change social information. The study of group dynamics reveals information about the nature and potential optimization of leadership, communication, and other phenomena that emerge at least at the microsocial level. In recent years, many social psychologists have become increasingly interested in implicit measures, mediational models, and the interaction of both person and social variables in accounting for behavior.

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis is a system of psychological theory and therapy that studies the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the mind and bringing repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind by techniques like dream interpretation and free association. It comprises a method of investigating the mind and interpreting experience; a systematized set of theories about human behavior; and a form of psychotherapy to treat psychological or emotional distress, especially those originating in the unconscious mind. This school of thought originated in the 1890s with Austrian medical doctors including Josef Breuer {physician}, Alfred Adler {physician}, Otto Rank {psychoanalyst}, and most prominently Sigmund Freud {neurologist}. Freud's psychoanalytic theory was largely based on interpretive methods, introspection and clinical observations. It became well known because it explored topics like sexuality, repression, and the unconscious. These subjects were largely taboo at the time and Freud provided a catalyst for their open discussion in society. Clinically, Freud helped pioneer the method of free association and a therapeutic interest in dream interpretation.

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, influenced by Freud, elaborated a theory of the collective unconscious — a primordial force present in all humans, featuring archetypes which exerted a profound influence on the mind. Jung's vision formed the basis for analytical psychology.

Existential Humanistic Theories

Humanistic psychology developed in the 1950s as a movement in academic psychology, in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. The humanistic approach sought to glimpse the whole person, not just fragmented parts of the personality or isolated cognitions. Humanism focused on uniquely human issues, such as free will, personal growth, self-actualization, self-identity, death, aloneness, freedom, and meaning. It emphasized subjective meaning, rejection of determinism, and concern for positive growth rather than pathology. Some founders of the humanistic school of thought were American psychologists Abraham Maslow, who formulated a hierarchy of human needs, and Carl Rogers, who created and developed client-centered therapy. Later, positive psychology opened up humanistic themes to scientific modes of exploration.

The American Association for Humanistic Psychology, formed in 1963, stated:

Humanistic psychology is primarily an orientation toward the whole of psychology rather than a distinct area or school. It stands for respect for the worth of persons, respect for differences of approach, open-mindedness as to acceptable methods, and interest in exploration of new aspects of human behavior. As a "third force" in contemporary psychology, it's concerned with topics having little place in existing theories and systems: i.e., love, creativity, self, growth, organism, basic need-gratification, self-actualization, higher values, being, becoming, spontaneity, play, humor, affection, naturalness, warmth, ego-transcendence, objectivity, autonomy, responsibility, meaning, fair-play, transcendental experience, peak experience, courage, and related concepts.

In the 1950s and 1960s, influenced by philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and Martin Heidegger and, psychoanalytically trained American psychologist Rollo May pioneered an existential branch of psychology, which included existential psychotherapy: a method based on the belief that inner conflict within a person is due to that individual's confrontation with the givens of existence. Swiss psychoanalyst Ludwig Binswanger and American psychologist George Kelly may also be said to belong to the existential school. Existential psychologists differed from more "humanistic" psychologists in their relatively neutral view of human nature and their relatively positive assessment of anxiety. Existential psychologists emphasized the humanistic themes of death, free will, and meaning, suggesting that meaning can be shaped by myths, or narrative patterns, and that it can be encouraged by an acceptance of the free will requisite to an authentic, albeit often anxious, regard for death and other future prospects.

Austrian existential psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl drew evidence of meaning's therapeutic power from reflections garnered from his own internment. He created a variation of existential psychotherapy called logotherapy, a type of existentialist analysis that focuses on a will to meaning {in one's life}, as opposed to Adler's Nietzschean doctrine of will to power or Freud's will to pleasure.

Personality

Personality psychology studies the enduring patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion — commonly called the personality — in individuals. Theories of personality vary across different psychological schools and orientations. They carry different assumptions about issues like the role of the unconscious and the importance of childhood experience. According to Freud, personality is based on the dynamic interactions of the id, ego, and super-ego. In order to develop a taxonomy of personality constructs, trait theorists, in contrast, attempt to describe the personality sphere in terms of a discrete number of key traits using the statistical data-reduction method of factor analysis. Although the number of proposed traits has varied widely, an early biologically-based model proposed by Hans Eysenck, the 3rd mostly highly cited psychologist of the 20th Century {after Freud, and Piaget}, suggested that at least three major trait constructs are necessary to describe human personality structure: extraversion–introversion, neuroticism-stability, and psychoticism-normality. Raymond Cattell, the 7th most highly cited psychologist of the 20th Century {based on the scientific peer-reviewed journal literature} empirically derived a theory of 16 personality factors at the primary-factor level, and up to 8 broader second-stratum factors {at the Eysenckian level of analysis}, rather than the "Big Five" dimensions. Dimensional models of personality are receiving increasing support, and a version of dimensional assessment has been included in the DSM-V. However, despite a plethora of research into the various versions of the "Big Five" personality dimensions, it appears necessary to move on from static conceptualizations of personality structure to a more dynamic orientation, where it's acknowledged that personality constructs are subject to learning and change across one's lifespan.

The Unconscious Mind

Study of the unconscious mind, a part of the psyche outside of the awareness of the individual that influences thoughts and behavior was a hallmark of early psychology. In one of the first psychology experiments conducted in the United States, C. S. Peirce and Joseph Jastrow found that subjects would choose the minutely heavier of two weights, even if consciously uncertain of the difference. Freud popularized this concept, with terms like "Freudian Slip", meaning an uncensored intrusion of unconscious thought into one's speech and action. His 1901 text The Psychopathology of Everyday Life catalogues hundreds of everyday events which Freud explains in terms of unconscious influence. Pierre Janet advanced the idea of a subconscious mind, which could contain autonomous mental elements unavailable to the scrutiny of the subject.

The unconscious mind has maintained its importance in psychology. Cognitive psychologists have used a "filter" model of attention, according to which much information processing takes place below the threshold of consciousness, and only certain processes, limited by nature and by simultaneous quantity, make their way through the filter. Copious research has shown that subconscious priming of certain ideas can covertly influence thoughts and behavior. A significant hurdle in this research is proving that a subject's conscious mind has not grasped a certain stimulus, due to the unreliability of self-reporting. For this reason, some psychologists prefer to distinguish between implicit and explicit memory. In another approach, one can also describe a subliminal stimulus as meeting an objective but not a subjective threshold.

The automaticity model, which became widespread following exposition by John Bargh and others in the 1980s, describes sophisticated processes for executing goals which can be selected and performed over an extended period of time without conscious awareness. Some experimental data suggests that the brain begins to consider taking actions before the mind becomes aware of them. This influence of unconscious forces on choice naturally bears on philosophical questions of free will. John Bargh, Daniel Wegner, and Ellen Langer are some prominent contemporary psychologists who describe free will as an illusion.

Motivation

Psychologists like William James initially used the term motivation to refer to intention, in a sense similar to the concept of will in European philosophy. With the steady rise of Darwinian and Freudian thinking, instinct also came to be seen as a primary source of motivation. According to drive theory, the forces of instinct combine into a single source of energy which exerts a constant influence. Psychoanalysis, like biology, regarded these forces as physical demands made by the organism on the nervous system. However, they believed that these forces, especially the sexual instincts, could become entangled and transmuted within the psyche. Classical psychoanalysis conceives of a struggle between the pleasure principle and the reality principle, roughly corresponding to id and ego. Later, in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud introduced the concept of the death drive, a compulsion towards destruction and the psychic repetition of painful events.

Hunger, thirst, fear, sexual desire, and thermoregulation all seem to constitute fundamental motivations for animals. Humans also seem to exhibit a more complex set of motivations —though theoretically these could be explained as resulting from primordial instincts — including desires for belonging, self-image, self-consistency, truth, love, and control.

Motivation can be modulated or manipulated in many different ways. Researchers have found that eating, for example, depends not only on the organism's fundamental need for homeostasis — an important factor causing the experience of hunger — but also on circadian rhythms, food availability, food palatability, and resources. Abstract motivations are also malleable, as evidenced by such phenomena as goal contagion: the adoption of goals, sometimes unconsciously, based on inferences about the goals of others. Vohs and Baumeister suggest that contrary to the need-desire-fulfilment cycle of animal instincts, human motivations sometimes obey a "getting begets wanting" rule: the more you get a reward such as self-esteem, love, or money, the more you want it. They suggest that this principle can even apply to food, sex, and sleep.

Development

Mainly focusing on the development of the human mind through the life span, developmental psychology seeks to understand how people come to perceive, understand, and act within the world and how these processes change as they evolve.

Genes and Environment

Experimental and quasi-experimental behavioral genetic research uses genetic methodologies to disentangle and understand the nature and origins of individual differences in behavior. More recently, the availability of microarray molecular genetic or genome sequencing technologies allows researchers to measure participant DNA variation directly, and test whether individual genetic variants within genes are associated with psychological traits and psychopathology through methods including genome-wide association studies. One goal of this research is similar to that in positional cloning and its success in Huntington's: once a causal gene is discovered biological research can be conducted to understand how that gene influences the phenotype. One major result of genetic association studies is the general finding that psychological traits and psychopathology are highly polygenic, where a large number {on the order of hundreds to thousands} of genetic variants, each of small effect, contribute to individual differences in the behavioral trait or propensity. Active research continues to understand the genetic and environmental bases of behavior and their interaction.

Research

Quantitative psychological research lends itself to the statistical testing of hypotheses. Although the field makes abundant use of randomized and controlled experiments, such research can only assess a limited range of short-term phenomena. Thus, psychologists also rely on creative statistical methods to glean knowledge from clinical trials and population data. These include the Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient, the analysis of variance, multiple linear regression, logistic regression, structural equation modeling, and hierarchical linear modeling. The measurement and operationalization of important constructs is an essential part of these research designs.

Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is the scientific study of "what makes life most worth living" or "the scientific study of positive human functioning and thriving on multiple levels that include the biological, personal, relational, cultural and global dimensions of life". Positive psychology is concerned with eudaimonia, "human flourishing and prosperity" and identifying what holds the greatest value in life — the factors that contribute to a well-lived, fulfilling experience.

Positive psychology began as a new field of psychology in 1998 when Martin Seligman chose it as the theme for his term as president of the American Psychological Association. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Christopher Peterson are regarded as co-initiators of this development. It encourages an emphasis on happiness, well-being and optimism, thus creating the foundation for what is now known as positive psychology.

Positive psychologists have suggested a number of ways in which individual happiness can be fostered. Marriage, family, friends and wider networks through work or social organizations are of particular importance, while physical exercise and the practice of meditation can also contribute to happiness. Happiness may rise with increasing financial income, though it may plateau or even fall when no further gains are made.

 In Flourish, Seligman presented that a "meaningful life" can be considered in 3 different categories. The resulting acronym is PERMA: 

Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and purpose, and Accomplishments. It's a mnemonic for the five elements of Martin Seligman's well-being theory:

  • Positive emotions include a wide range of feelings, not only happiness and joy. Included are emotions like excitement, satisfaction, wonder and awe, amongst others. These emotions are frequently seen as connected to positive outcomes, such as a longer life and healthier social relationships.

  • Engagement refers to involvement in activities that draw and build upon one's interests. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains true engagement as flow, a state of deep effortless involvement, feeling of intensity that leads to a sense of ecstasy and clarity. The task being done needs to call upon higher skill and be a bit difficult and challenging yet still possible. Engagement involves passion for and concentration on the task at hand and is assessed subjectively as to whether the person engaged was completely absorbed, losing self-consciousness.

  • Relationships are essential in fueling positive emotions, whether they're work-related, familial, romantic, or platonic. As Dr. Christopher Peterson puts it, "Other people matter." Humans receive, share and spread wellbeing to others through relationship. Relationships can be strengthened through positive reinforcement.

  • Meaning is also known as purpose, and prompts the question of "why". Discovering and being compelled by a clear "why" puts everything into context from work to relationships, creativity and other parts of life. Finding meaning is learning that there's something greater than one's self. Despite potential challenges, working with meaning drives people to continue striving towards a desirable goal.

  • Accomplishments are the pursuit of success and mastery. Unlike the other parts of PERMA, they're sometimes pursued even when accomplishments don't result in positive emotion, meaning or relationship. That being noted, accomplishments can activate other elements of PERMA, such as self-value. Accomplishments can be individual or community-based, pleasure, or work-oriented.

Each of the five PERMA elements were selected according to three criteria:

  1. It contributes to well-being.

  2. It's pursued for its own sake.

  3. It's defined and measured independently of the other elements.

The development of the Character Strengths and Virtues {CSV} handbook represented the first attempt by Seligman and Peterson to identify and classify positive psychological traits of human beings. The CSV provided a theoretical framework to assist in understanding strengths and virtues and for developing practical applications for positive psychology. This manual identified 6 classes of core virtues, underlying 24 measurable character strengths.

The organization of the 6 virtues and 24 strengths is as follows:

  1. Wisdom and knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective, innovation

  2. Courage: bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality, zest

  3. Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence

  4. Justice: citizenship, fairness, leadership

  5. Temperance: forgiveness and mercy, humility, discernment, self control

  6. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, trust, humor, spirituality

Biology

Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical composition, function, development and evolution. Modern biology is a vast field, composed of many branches and specialized fields of study. Despite the scope and complexity of biology, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it to a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation of new species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis.

Sub-disciplines of biology are defined by the scale at which life is studied, the kinds of organisms studied, and the methods used to study them: biochemistry examines the rudimentary chemistry of life; molecular biology studies the complex interactions among biological molecules; cellular biology examines the basic building-block of all life, the cell; physiology studies the physical and chemical functions of tissues, organs, and organ systems; ecology examines how organisms interact in their environment; and evolutionary biology examines the processes that produced the diversity of life.

Cell Theory

Cell theory states that the cell is the fundamental, structural|organizational unit of life, that all living things are composed of one or more cells, and that all cells arise from other cells through cell division. In multicellular organisms, every cell in the organism's body derives, ultimately, from a single cell. The cell is also considered to be the basic unit in many pathological processes. In addition, the phenomenon of energy flow occurs in cells in processes that are part of the function known as metabolism. Lastly, cells contain hereditary information {DNA}, which is passed from cell to cell during cell division. Research into the origin of life, abiogenesis, attempts to discover the origin of the first cells.

Evolution

A central organizing concept in biology is that life changes and develops through evolution, and that all life-forms have a common origin. The theory of evolution suggests that all organisms on the Earth, both living and extinct, have descended from a common ancestor or an ancestral gene pool. This universal common ancestor of all organisms is believed to have surfaced around 3.5 billion years ago. Biologists regard the ubiquity of the genetic code as definitive evidence in favor of the theory of universal common descent for all bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes.

The term "evolution" was introduced to the scientific lexicon by Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck in 1809, and fifty years later Charles Darwin posited a scientific model of natural selection as evolution's driving force. {Alfred Russel Wallace is recognized as the co-discoverer of this concept as he helped research and experiment with the concept of evolution}. Evolution is now used to explain the vast variations of life on Earth.

Darwin theorized that species flourish or die when subjected to the processes of natural selection or selective breeding. Genetic drift was embraced as an additional mechanism of evolutionary development in the modern synthesis of the theory.

The evolutionary history of the species — that describes the characteristics of the various species from which it descended — together with its genealogical relationship to every other species is known as its phylogeny. Widely varied approaches to biology generate information about phylogeny. These include the comparisons of DNA sequences, a product of molecular biology {genomics}, and comparisons of fossils or other records of ancient organisms, a product of paleontology. Biologists organize and analyze evolutionary relationships through various methods, including phylogenetics, phenetics, and cladistics.

Evolution is relevant to the understanding of the natural history of life forms and to the understanding of the organization of current life forms. But, those organizations can only be understood in the light of how they came to be by way of the process of evolution. Consequently, evolution is central to all fields of biology.

Genetics

Genes are a distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome, the order that determines the order of monomers in a polypeptide or nucleic acid molecule which a cell can synthesize. A gene is a unit of heredity and corresponds to a region of DNA that influences the form or function of an organism in specific ways. All organisms, from bacteria to animals, share the same basic machinery that copies and translates DNA into proteins. Cells transcribe a DNA gene into an RNA version of the gene, and a ribosome then translates the RNA into a sequence of amino acids known as a protein. The translation code from RNA codon to amino acid is the same for most organisms. For example, a sequence of DNA that codes for insulin in humans also codes for insulin when inserted into other organisms, such as plants.

DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes and is the carrier of genetic information. It's found as linear chromosomes in eukaryotes, and circular chromosomes in prokaryotes. A chromosome is an organized structure consisting of DNA and histones. The set of chromosomes in a cell and any other hereditary information found in the mitochondria, chloroplasts, or other locations is collectively known as a cell's genome. In eukaryotes, genomic DNA is localized in the cell nucleus, or with small amounts in mitochondria and chloroplasts. In prokaryotes, the DNA is held within an irregularly shaped body in the cytoplasm called the nucleoid. The genetic information in a genome is held within genes, and the complete assemblage of this information in an organism is called its genotype.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis is the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes. It's the ability of an open system to regulate its internal environment to maintain stable conditions by means of multiple dynamic equilibrium adjustments that are controlled by interrelated regulation mechanisms. All living organisms, whether unicellular or multicellular, exhibit homeostasis.

To maintain dynamic equilibrium and effectively carry out certain functions, a system must detect and respond to perturbations. After the detection of a perturbation, a biological system normally responds through negative feedback that stabilize conditions by reducing or increasing the activity of an organ or system. One example is the release of glucagon when sugar levels are too low.

Energy

Energy is the strength and vitality required for sustained physical and mental activity. The survival of a living organism depends on the continuous input of energy. Chemical reactions that are responsible for its structure and function are tuned to extract energy from substances that act as its food and transform them to help form new cells and sustain them. In this process, molecules of chemical substances that constitute food play two roles; first, they contain energy that can be transformed and reused in that organism's biological, chemical reactions; second, food can be transformed into new molecular structures {biomolecules} that are of use to that organism.

The organisms responsible for the introduction of energy into an ecosystem are known as producers or autotrophs. Nearly all such organisms draw their energy from the sun. Plants and other phototrophs use solar energy via a process known as photosynthesis to convert raw materials into organic molecules, such as ATP, whose bonds can be broken to release energy. A few ecosystems, however, depend entirely on energy extracted by chemotrophs from methane, sulfides, or other non-luminal energy sources.

Some of the energy that's captured produces biomass and energy that's available for the growth and development of other life forms. The majority of the rest of this biomass and energy are lost as waste molecules and heat. The most important processes for converting the energy trapped in chemical substances into energy useful for sustaining life are metabolism and cellular respiration.

Structural

Molecular biology is the study of biology at the macromolecular level {proteins and nucleic acids}. This field overlaps with other areas of biology, particularly those of genetics and biochemistry. Molecular biology is a study of the interactions of the various systems within a cell, including the interrelationships of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis and how those interactions are regulated.

The next larger scale, cell biology, studies the structural, functional, biological and physiological properties of cells, including their internal behavior, interactions with other cells, and with their environment. This is done at both the microscopic and molecular levels, for unicellular organisms such as bacteria, as well as the specialized cells of multicellular organisms such as humans. Understanding the structure and function of cells is fundamental to all of the biological sciences.

Anatomy is a branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts, such as organs and organ systems.

Genetics is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. Genes encode the information needed by cells for the synthesis of proteins, which in turn play a central role in influencing the final phenotype of the organism. Genetics provides research tools used in the investigation of the function of a particular gene, or the analysis of genetic interactions. Within organisms, genetic information is physically represented as chromosomes, within which it's represented by a particular sequence of amino acids, in particular, DNA molecules.

Developmental biology studies the processes of how organisms grow and develop. Developmental biology, originated from embryology, studies the genetic control of cell growth, cellular differentiation, and "cellular morphogenesis," which is the process that progressively gives rise to tissues, organs, and anatomy.

Physiological

Physiology is the scientific study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical processes of living organisms and how they interact and function as a whole living system. The theme of "structure to function" is central to biology. Physiological studies have traditionally been divided into plant physiology and animal physiology, but some principles of physiology are universal, no matter what particular organism is being studied. For example, what's learned about the physiology of yeast cells can also apply to human cells. The field of animal physiology extends the tools and methods of human physiology to non-human species. Plant physiology borrows techniques from both research fields.

Physiology studies how the nervousimmuneendocrinerespiratory, and circulatory systems, function and interact.

Evolutionary

Evolutionary research is concerned with the origin and descent of species, and their evolutionary change over time. Evolutionary biology is partly based on paleontology, which uses fossil records to answer questions about the mode and tempo of evolution, and partly on the developments in areas such as population genetics. In the 1980s, developmental biology re-entered evolutionary biology after its initial exclusion from the modern synthesis through the study of evolutionary developmental biology.

Ecological and Environmental

Ecology is the branch of biology that studies the distribution and abundance of living organisms, the interaction between them and their environment. An organism shares an environment that includes other organisms and biotic factors as well as local abiotic factors {non-living} such as climate and ecology. One reason that biological systems can be difficult to study is that so many different interactions with other organisms and the environment are possible, even on small scales. A microscopic bacterium responding to a local sugar gradient is responding to its environment as much as a lion searching for food in the African savanna. For any species, behaviors can be co-operative, competitive, parasitic, or symbiotic. Matters become more complex when two or more species interact in an ecosystem. Ecological systems are studied at several different levels, from the scale of the ecology of individual organisms, to those of populations, to the ecosystems and finally the biosphere

Insights from some of our World’s Greatest Minds

“As a man who has devoted his entire life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as the result of my research about atoms this much, there is no matter as such. What we think is matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force that holds everything together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

— Max Planck, Nobel Prize Award Winning "Father of Quantum Physics"

“We couldn’t even imagine a universe that didn’t contain us because it’s the act of us observing the universe that makes it as it is. We’re tiny specs of the universe looking at itself and building itself in a participatory universe. The act of us looking and searching and expecting to find something will always create something for us to see.”

— John Wheeler, Professor at Princeton University

"We must not only cut asunder the snare of the mind and the senses, but flee also from the snare of the thinker, the theologian, the church-builder, the meshes of the Word and the bondage of the Idea. All these are within us waiting to wall in the spirit with forms; but we must always go beyond, always renounce the lesser for the greater, the finite for the Infinite; we must be prepared to proceed from illumination to illumination, from experience to experience, from soul-state to soul-state... Nor must we attach ourselves even to the truths we hold most securely, for they are but forms and expressions of the Ineffable who refuses to limit itself to any form or expression."

— Sri Aurobindo, Philosopher, Scholar and Poet

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination encircles the worlds — stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."

— Albert Einstein, Physicist

"For the powers of our finite mind, life, and body are bound to their own limitations, and however high they may rise or however widely expand, they cannot rise beyond them. But still, mental man can open to what is beyond him and call on a Supranatural Light, Truth and Power to work in him and do what the mind alone cannot do. If mind cannot, by effort, become what is beyond mind, Supermind can descend and transform it into its own substance."

— Sri Aurobindo, Philosopher, Scholar and Poet

“Our power of belief is an infinite power against which no earthly force is of the slightest significance.”

— Neville Goddard, Teacher, Author and Metaphysical Philosopher

"We're whirling through endless space, at an inconceivable speed. All around everything is spinning, everything is moving, everywhere there's energy. There must be some way of availing ourselves of this energy more directly. Then, with the light obtained from the medium, with the power derived from it, with every form of energy obtained without effort, from the store forever inexhaustible, humanity will advance with giant strides. The mere contemplation of these magnificent possibilities expands our minds, strengthens our hopes and fills our hearts with supreme delight."

— Nikola Tesla, Electrical Engineer and Inventor

"Everyone has in them something divine, something of their own, a chance at perfection and strength in however small a sphere they're offered to take or refuse. The task is to find it, develop it and use it. The chief aim of education should be to help the growing soul draw out that in itself which is best and make it perfect for a noble cause."

— Sri Aurobindo, Philosopher, Scholar and Poet

Quantum Entanglement Experiment and Holographic Reality

Scientists took a photonic particle of light {the particles we, matter and the unified field are made of}, they cut it in half and put the individuals particle in a machine to separate them by 14 miles. Once they were separate, they found that when they did something to one particle, the other particle, 14 miles away, acted like it was having the same experience. Even though the particles weren't physically together, their energy was connected because the particles are entangled in a field that’s holographic. In a hologram, what happens in one place, happens everywhere simultaneously and every ‘independent’ particle contains the information for the entire pattern {or unified field}. Sometimes the second particle had the experience before anything happened to the first particle because all of the information is contained in both particles and they're connected by the field.

The Effect of Human Emotion on DNA. Glen Rein, PhD and Rollin McCraty, PhD: HeartMath Institute

Scientists measured a field of energy that extends from the human heart, 5-8 feet in diameter. They wanted to see what effect our heart has on DNA. DNA is made of helixes and they found that some emotions relax the helix while others contract it. When the DNA is expanded and relaxed, we’re healthy and we have strong immune and hormonal systems. When the DNA is contracted and tight, the immune and hormonal systems suffer.

Then they asked what effect the feelings in our heart have on DNA. They found that in the presence of positive feelings {appreciation, peace, love, etc.} the DNA relaxed and in the presence of negative feelings {anger, tension, frustration, etc.} the DNA was tight. In the scientific report that was published they said:

“Individuals trained in feelings of deep appreciation were able to intentionally change the shape of their DNA. Human emotion produces effects that defy the conventional laws of physics and biology and their relationship to space and time.”

"Through the use of tools and technologies that foster positive emotion and psychophysiological coherence, individuals can effectively initiate a re-patterning process, whereby habitual emotional patterns underlying stress and replaced with new, healthy patterns that establish increased emotional stability, mental acuity and physiological efficiency."

— McCraty and Tomasino

The Holographic Principle

Energy is the force that connects and holds everything together in the unified field. We and the physical|non-physical universe are made of energy {quarks, waves, particles, atoms, photons, etc} and we have the same capabilities it does. What scientists use to consider empty space {dark energy and matter} is also an expression of energy. The unified field is what connects our mind and internal technological capacities to the formation of matter in the physical world. The particles of energy that make up the unified field are holographic.

In a hologram, what happens in one place, happens everywhere, simultaneously. This is how nature and technology create exponential change. Every independent particle contained in a hologram reflects, mirrors, and contains the information for the entire pattern, meaning, every cell of our body is coded with the blueprint of the universe. Because the information in our cells is holographic, all dimensions of energy and consciousness can be accessed and configured directly from within.

 

Additional Resources

Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/

Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/

Discover Magazine: http://discovermagazine.com/topics/technology

National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/

HeartMath Institute: https://www.heartmath.org/

The Physics Classroom: http://www.physicsclassroom.com/

The Lightning Path: https://www.lightningpath.org/fast-path/

Mind your Reality: http://www.mind-your-reality.com/index.html

 

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