Hinduism

Pre Sanatana Dharma Shiva In South Predates Sanatana Dharma?


A study of the Sanatana Dharma and Tamil throws some interesting questions.

The Vedic Dharma seems, it has been held, to have originated in the North of Vindhyas, Sarasvati valley.

Shiva as a Yogi.jpg Shiva as a Yogi.

Recent studies, excavations of archeological sites relating to Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma around the world, from Australia to South America,Europe, Africa, Russia,China and information on the practices of the aborigines in various parts of the world,indicates that the Sanatana Dharma was prevalent in one form or another in all these places,

Western scholars used this to invent the Aryan Invasion Theory, that is a Group called Aryans, invaded India thought the Khyber Pass in the Northern part of India and had influenced the thought processes of the people living in India.

This Theory, deliberately floated by the British mainly, to subjugate India , now stands discredited.

Please read my detailed Post on The Aryan Invasion Theory, Myth.

The Aryan theory could not explain the references to the Sanatana Dharma in Tamil Literature, South India.

Tamil language dates back to thousands of years and the Vedas quote them and they, in turn quote Tamil.

The oldest Tamil site has been found in Pallavaram, Chennai .(dated around  a Million years.)

‘Archaeologists have discovered India’s oldest stone-age tools, up to 1.5 million years old, at a prehistoric site near Chennai. The discovery may change existing ideas about the earliest arrival of human ancestors from Africa ‘.

https://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/million-year-tamil-site-pallavaram-chennai-dated-report/

Lord Krishna participated in the Tail Sangam as an Invitee.

Please refer my Post on this.

He married a Pandyan Princess and had a daughter through her, and got his daughter arrived to a Pandyan Prince , gave her a dowry of one hundred Yadava families to provide her and her children with Milk and Curds.

The Chera King Perunchotru Udiyan Neduncheralaathan participated in the Mahabharata War as the provider of food to both the Kaurava and Pandava armies.

He had Tharpana performed for those who died in the War.

Now comes the curious part.

Lord Rama ‘s ancestor Satyavrata Manu migrated fro the Dravida Desa(South of Vindhya Mountains) with his sons and his son Ikshvaku founded the Ikshvaku founded the dynasty, named after him, Lord Rama Belongs to this dynasty.

https://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/manu-ramas-ancestor-migrated-from-south-india-5000-bc/

Shiva and His son Ganesha left, during the Great Flood, the time when Satyavrata Manu migrated to North, through the Middle east, traveling through europe, Africa,South America, North America((US), Central America, finally landing in the Arctic, where the Rig Veda was composed.

Please refer my Post on this.

Then they returned to India, then called the Bharata varsha and this entry was used to be denoted as the entry of the Aryans.

The Artifacts, archeological finds, cultural similarities, Languages of the found around the world indicates this.

Please read my posts on this.

Now Six avatars of Vishnu are from the South.

Matsya is from the Ocean and as such we can not ascribe a location on the earth.

Kurma is in the Ocean again, but there is a Temple where Kurma avatar took place.

Kurmnatha is housed in Sri Kurmam Temple, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh.

Vamana Avatar was in Kerala and the place where Bali had his kingdom was on the banks of Narmada, where the capital of Bali was situuated.

The place Varaha killed Hiranyakasipu is in Nepal, V(B0araha Kshetra), yet there is legend that Varaha is from Tirupati which is Adivaraha Kshetra.

Narasimha is from Ahobilam ,Andhra Pradesh.

Parashurama Avatar is from the South, Kerala.

Kalki is expected to manifest in the South.

https://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/six-vishnu-avatars-in-south-confirm-south-sanatana-dharma/

Later Avatars from Lord Rama are from the North of Vindhyas.

Now Shiva is not mentioned in the Vedas excepting in the Sri Rudram,

‘Nama sivaaya cha, Siva dharayacha’

No special Sukthas directly addressed to Shiva are found.

Shiva means Auspiciousnees , as he etymology goes.

There is not much reference in the North of Vindhyas  of Shiva as much as Vishnu or Rama, Krishna.

Shiva is considered to be Chief deity among the Tamils, though the early Tamil Literature has Gods assigned for each landmass as Murugan, Krishna, Kotravai(Durga)Varuna and Indra.

But Shiva is taken as the First Siddha, followed by Agastya and others.

The Thirumandiram of Thirumoolar contains the Yoga thoughts, Advatita and Tantric practices  that are unique.

And this is much earlier to Ramayana and Agastya is referred to have founded Tamil , being handed over by Lord Shiva.

Ravana entered into a treaty with a Pandya King.

Many of the Tamil practices were incorporated by Apasthamba in the Vedic rituals, like the Mangalya Sutra.

Though there are common factors between the Sanatana Dharma and the Tamils, yet there is a uniqueness in Tamil practices, which are, curiously enough, not against the Vedic practices but reinforces them.

Many of the Avatars of Shiva have not been reported in the Literature of the North of the Vindhyas, though Puranas, mention Shiva avatars in the South,

Shiva is described as Piravaa Yaakaip Periyon,The Eldest, though Unborn.

He is considered as the First Guru, Adi Shiva, the First Siddha, the First Yogi.

The sixty-four avatars of Shiva in Madurai are not mentioned in the North.

The Agamas which came later to Vedas specified rules for the construction of Temples, though Temple worship is not mentioned in the Vedas.

Tamil Kings followed this and one finds ancient temples, both for Vishnu and Shiva in the South in the Agama style.

These temples, though the Agamas started with out the authority of the Vedas gained currency and helped Hinduism.

Considering all these facts, I tend to think the worship of Shiva in the South preceded the Sanatana Dharma of the North.

And one may note that the Rig Veda was composed in the Arctic.

Sanatan Dharma in the south, Dravida seems to have preced the Sanatan Dharma fro the North of the Vindhyas.

Inputs welcome.

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Hinduism

Hinduism On Normal Supra and Para Normal


I saw a thread in Facebook community on Ghosts, haunted houses and the topic veered around to paranormal and landed in Hinduism/Indian Philosophy.

What does Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma say on this?

Other religions talk of walking on water, Red Sea Parting, curing the diseased, making the dead come alive as Miracles and they are described as manifestations of God.

Santana Dharma, The Epics, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas have innumerable instances which are beyond these described above.

Virata Rupa Vishnu.gif Virata Rupa Vishnu.

We have instances of a Rishi being born out of a vessel,(Agastya), Weapon made of the back bone of a Rishi, Dadisi’s backbone was used to create the Vajrayudha of Indra,Hanuman crossing the ocean by flying over it, three flying cities, Viswaroopa of Krishna in the Mahabharata.

In none of these instances the term miracle is used nor were the instances considered as something unbelievable.

The terms used were , Aascharya,(wonder) Arbhudha(wonder to behold)and utmost the term Avaktavyam(Indescribable.)

When Indrajit was revived by the Sanjeevi Parvatha brought by Anjaneya, the term miracle is used in the sense that an imossible feat has been done.

Another term used in these contexts is Asaadhya, that which is normally not possible, the operative word here being ‘normal’

Reason is , for Hinduism everything is natural and normal and nothing is Para or Supra Normal and there is no miracle.

Nothing is a Miracle for people whose Time scale extends to thousands of years ,(Read My post on Time),where there are Chiranjeevis or Immortals or where even God once born is meant to die!

The outlook is determined by Indian Philosophy.

Hinduism regards the whole Universe as an expression of Reality as being perceived by us.

Perceptions may differ but the perceived remains the same.

The Reality Brahman is a Principle, without Attributes and at the same time with Attributes depending on one’s mental make up.(Please read my Post on Hinduism on God with Forms Yes and No).

The Reality is seen from the perspective of the Perceiver.

Due to  ignorance we do not perceive things as they are but as what they seem to us.

This can be seen in daily Life when things which were a cause of wonderment to us when we were children do not seem to be so when we have grown up.

Once we know or perceive things differently the sense of wonder disappears.

Everything is normal.

The Jains have developed a beautiful Logical System called Sapthabanghi Naya, the Seven ways of predication or the seven ways a thing can be described.

Please read my Post on Sapthabhangi naya.

A thing,

Is,exists(Asti)

Is not, does not exist, for one who is not aware of it or not in its presence,(Nasti)

Is indescribale, Avaktavya ( Indescribable),

Is and Is not (Asti and Nasthi)

A thing Is from the perspective of Onw who is aware of it and Is not from that of one who is not aware.

Asthi and Avaktavya, A thing Is and it Is indescribable from the perspective one who does not know about It(Is and Indescribable)

Nasthi and Avatavya-A Thing Is not and indescribable, based on similar logic.(Is Not and Indescribable)

Asthi, Nasthi, Avattavya( Is, Is not and Indescribable)

A thing Is , Is Not and indescribable at the same time-based on the same Logic.

So in Hinduism Nothing is a Miracle, Para Normal or Supra Normal.

We have Rishis and Siddhas who transcend Time and Space, assume minute forms ‘Take huge forms, enter into a dead body..

There are eight feats on these lines.

Read my Post.

Depends on one’s perspective and the level of Knowledge.

But Hinduism draws a Line.

There is no alternative to death, once born, even if one is God!

 

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Hinduism, Tamils

Tamils Vedic Tribes Yadus Turvasas Rig Veda


I had an interesting comment to one of my Posts.

‘If the Tamils have been mentioned in the Vedas, is The Tamil Sangam mentioned in the Vedas , Ramayana and Mahabharata?’

The answer is that the Vedas or the Ithihasas do not mention the Tamil Sangam, though the Tamil Classical Poetry of the Tamil Sangams mention the Vedas, Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Krishna as a Toddler.jpgLord Krishna attended Tamil Poet summit.jpg

Toddler Krishna.

I shall provide the answer to the question at the end of the Post.

To understand the Vedic references to other communities, one has to understand the Tribal Groups during the Rig Vedic period.

What were they and where were they?

five major tribal groups mentioned in Rig Veda : Yadus, TurvaSas, Anus, Druhyus and Purus. Tthe TRkSis are not included because they are referred to as people beyond the Vedic Aryan realm.

It is emphasised however that the Rig Veda hymns are composed under the patronage of Purus, who alone among the five named above are Aryas or Aryans, as is meant in the text. Only the PUrus are addressed as “Arya” in the Rig Veda. The other four may or may not have been of the same racial stock but, to the Rigvedic people and the composers of Rig Veda hymns, they are considered and termed as non-Aryans or “an-Arya”.

Rig Veda hymns include in mention and references : with Aryas – the Purus – on one part, and the other part comprising of Yadus, TurvaSas, Anus and Druhyus,

But there are two distinct words by which the Rig Veda refers to these others :

a. DAsas

b. Dasyus

It is necessary to understand the distinction between the two words.

The word DAsa is found in 54 hymns (63 verses) :

I.   32.11; 92.8; 103.3; 104.2; 158.5; 174.7;

II.  11.2, 4; 12.4; 13.8; 20.6, 7;

III.  12.6; 34.1;

IV.  18.9; 28.4; 30.14, 15, 21; 32.10;

V.  30.5, 7-9; 33.4; 34.6;

VI.  20.6, 10; 22.10; 25.2; 26.5; 33.3;  47.21; 60.6;

VII.  19.2; 83.1; 86.7; 99.4;

VIII.  5.31; 24.27; 32.2; 40.6; 46.32; 51.9;  56.3, 70.10, 96.18;

X.  22.8; 23.2; 38.3; 49.6, 7; 54.1; 62.10; 69.6;
73.7; 83.1; 86.19; 99.6; 102.3; 120.2;  138.3; 148.2.

The word Dasyu is found in 65 hymns (80 verses) :

I   33.4, 7, 9; 36.18; 51.5, 6, 8; 53.4; 59.6;
63.4; 78.4; 100.18; 101.5; 103.3, 4; 104.5;
117.3, 21; 175.3.

II 11.18, 19; 12.10; 13.9: 15.9; 20.8;
III. 29.9; 34.6, 9; 49.2
IV. 16.9, 10, 12; 28.3, 4; 38.1;
V. 4.6; 7.10; 14.4; 29.10; 30.9; 31.5, 7; 70.3;
VI. 14.3; 16.15; 18.3; 23.2; 24.8; 29.6; 31.4; 45.24;
VII. 5.6; 6.3; 19.4;
VIII. 6.14; 14.14; 39.8; 50.8; 70.11; 76.11; 77.3;  98.6;
IX. 41.2; 47.2; 88.4; 92.5;
X. 22.8; 47.4; 48.2; 49.3; 55.8; 73.5; 83.3, 6;
95.7; 99.7, 8; 105.7, 11; 170.2.

There are two distinct aspects that differentiates the DAsas and Dasyus :

  1. The term DAsa clearly refers to other tribes (ie. non-PUru tribes)

while the term Dasyu refers to their priestly classes (ie. non-Vedic priestly classes).

[This is apart from the fact that both the terms are freely used to refer to the atmospheric demons as much as to human enemies to whom they basically refer.]

a.  According to IV. 28.4, the Dasyus are a section among the DAsas.

b.  The Dasyus are referred to in terms which clearly show

that the cause of hostility is religious in nature :

ayajña (worshipless): VII.6.3.
ayajvan (worshipless): I.33.4; VIII.70.11.
avrata (riteless): I.51.8; 175.3; VI.14.3; IX.41.2.
akarmA (riteless): X.22.8.
adeva (godless): VIII.70.11.
aSraddha (faithless): VII.6.3.
amanyamAna (faithless): I.33.9; 11.22.10.
anyavrata (followers of different rites): VIII.70.11; X.22.8.
abrahma (prayerless): IV.16.9.

Not one of these abusive terms are used even once in reference to Dasas.

c.  The family-wise pattern of references to them also shows

that the Dasyus are priestly rivals while the DAsas are secular rivals.

The Dasyus are referred to by all the nine priestly families of RSis,

but never by the non-priestly family of RSis (the Bharatas).

The DAsas are referred to by the Bharatas (X.69.6; 102.3) also but not by the most purely ritualistic family of RSis, the KaSyapas, nor in the purely ritualistic of MaNDalas, the MaNDala IX.

d.  The Dasyus, being priestly entities, do not figure as powerful persons or persons to be feared, but the DAsas, being secular entities (tribes, tribal warriors, kings, etc.) do figure as powerful persons or persons to be feared:

In three references (VIII.5.31; 46.32; 51.9), the DAsas are rich patrons.

In seven references, the DAsas are powerful enemies from whose fury and powerful weapons the composers ask the Gods for protection (I.104.2; VIII.24.27; X.22.8; 54.1; 69.6; 102.3) or from whom the Gods rescue the RSis (I.158.5).

In three others, the word DAsa refers to powerful atmospheric demons who hold the celestial waters in their thrall (I.32.11; V.30.5; VIII.96.18).

In contrast, Dasyus never figure as rich or powerful enemies. They are depicted as sly enemies who incite others into acts of boldness (VI.24.8).

e. While both DAsas and Dasyus are referred to as enemies of the Aryas, it is only the DAsas, and never the Dasyus, who are sometimes bracketed together with the Aryas.

Seven verses refer to both Aryas and DAsas as enemies (VI.22.10; 33.3; 60.6; VII.83.1; X.38.3; 69.6; 83.1; 102.3) and one verse refers to both Aryas and DAsas together in friendly terms (VIII.51.9).

This is because both, the word DAsa and the word Arya, refer to broad secular or tribal entities, while the word Dasyu refers to priestly entities : thus, one would generally say “both Christians and Muslims”, or “both padres and mullahs”, but not “both Christians and mullahs” or “both Muslims and padres”.

2. The second difference is in the degree of hostility towards the two.

The Dasyus are clearly regarded with uncompromising hostility,

while that towards the DAsas is relatively mild and tempered :

a.  The word Dasyu has a purely hostile connotation even when it occurs in the name or title of heroes :

Trasadasyu = “tormentor of the Dasyus”.
DasyavevRka = “a wolf towards the Dasyus”.

It is clear , then, that the Tamils who were living South od the Vindhyas are the people being referred to as Dasyus.

This is confirmed by the information that Sage Viswamitra banished his sons to the Dasyu Region for disobeying him.

Apasthamba, a descendant of these excommunicated sons of Viswamitra complied the Apasthamba Sutra which incorporated the Tamils’ customs like Mangalya Sutra for marriages.

Lord Krishna married a Pandyan Princess and had a child through her;he had her married to a Pandyan prince.

Please read my Post on this.

Yadu families, after the Dwaraka deluge migrated to the South.

The connection between the Yadus and the other Vedic tribes, though frowned upon, continued.

The system of worship by the Dravidas, called by the Purus as Dasyus, was differnt.Tthey had Lord Shiva as the First Siddha and were more inclined towards the worship of Reality without Form.

Reference to this may be found in Thirumoolar’s Thirumandiram, where Formless worship is emphasized and one may find reference to passages ridiculing the idolatry practices.

Siva Vakkiyar, A Siddha observes thus.

“NATTA KALLAI DEIVAMENDRU, NAALU PUTPAM SAATHIYE; SUTRI VANDHU MONEMONAVENDRU SOLLUM MANDHIRAM EADHADAA. NATTA KALLUM PESUMO?NATHAN ULLIRRUKAYIL; SUTTA SATTI SATTUVAM KARICHUVAYA ARIYUMO?’

Why do you go around an Idol, chanting?

Would the Idol speak when the God is within You”

However Tamils, at a later period worshiped various Gods.

They divided the lands into five, assigning Gods to each land.

Kurinji-Mountainous Region- Murugan, Subrahmanya.

Mullai-Forest areas, Maayon, Krishna,

Martham,Coplands-Indra..

Neydhal , Seashore, Varuna and

Palai, Desert, Kotravai, Durga.

And these Tamil Kings fought with the Vedic tribes of the North and have won many a battle.

Ravana, belonging to Vedic people (though many people dispute this,he was a Vedic scholar) was defeated by a Pandya King and signed a peace treaty with him.

Even Krishna and Arjuna fought with the southern tribes.

No wonder the people of the North viewed the people of the South as Hostile, Dasyus and did not refer to the Tamil Sangam.

I am continuing my research in this area as I am sure the there would be a reference to the Tamil Sangams.

The present post is with the resources available to me now.

* Please read my Post Rama’s Ancestor Manu a Dravida.

 

Citation and Reference.

https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/tag/druhyus/

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Hinduism

Why No Rama Krishna Gotra ,Rama, Krishna Brahmins?


Gotra is a system in India where the lineage of a person is identified.

The Gotra is recited in religious functions, especially in marriage.

The lineage, normally is traced to a Rishi ,then the  clan is described, Grandfather, father’s name are mentioned.

The practice of Gotras is traced to the Vedas.

The Saptha Rishis are the earliest in the line of Gotras.

These Saptha Rishis are entrusted with the allocation of the Vedas for each clan for each Manvantara.

Read my Posts on Manvantara,Saptha Rishis,Rishis a Timeline,Pravara of Lord Rama.

The Gotra system was practiced by the Brahmins initially and later by the other castes.

So normally  the Saptha Rishis are mentioned in the Gotras .

Apart from the Saptha Rishis, other Rishi Gotras are also found.

Like Siva, Vishnu.

Of these Gotras, Bharawaja Gotra is found in abundance in the North when compared to South India.

Lord Krishna and Rama.image.jpg Lord Krishna and Rama.

Siva and Vishnu Gotras are referred to in communities other  than the Brahmins.

It is also a practice to mention the name of Subrahamnya as the founder for the Gotra ,if the Rishis are not known,(This is among the Smarthas).

Sri Vaishnavas use Bharatwaja in similar insurances.

For communities other than  the Kshatriyas, Jambu Maharishi is mentioned.

Jamadagni, father of Parashurama is also mentioned among the Kshatriyas.

I have noticed that though classified as Avatars of Vishnu, Rama or Krishna Gotras are never mentioned.

Some mention is made of Krishna among some Yadava communities.

But in general Rama or Vishnu Gotras are not mentioned in the Pravaras.

Why?

Rama and Krishna, though avatars of Vishnu were born to Human beings and as such they had ancestors to whose lineage they belonged to.

This is yet another instance of Hinduism treating Gods as Human Beings and not some one  special when they lived; their ancestors were given the respect due to them.

Therefore there ae no Gotras of Rama or Krishna in practice; in cases where they are mentioned it does not have the sanction of the Smritis.

I have noticed a curious fact when checking up the Pravara of  Rama and Krishna.

Acroll down for Video for The Pravara of Krishna.

Rama belonged to Vasishta Gotra while Krishna to Garga.

Garga is not among the Saptha Rishis!

By the Gotras mentioned for Lord Rama, He is a Brahmin as Vasishta, was a Brahmin.

Garga is referred to as a Brahmin.

So Rama and Krishna are Brahmins by Lineage, not by profession.

This is yet another proof that a Man’s caste, even if it is an Avatar, is not determined by birth but by profession!

“Gotra can be used as surname but it is different from surname and is strictly maintained because of its importance in marriages among Hindus and especially among high Hindu-castes. Pāṇini defines gotra for grammatical purposes as apatyam pautraprabhrti gotram (IV. 1. 162), which means “the word gotra denotes the progeny (of a sage) beginning with the son’s son.” When a person says “I am Kashyapa-gotra,” he means that he traces his descent from the ancient sage Kashyapa by unbroken male descent. According to the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad 2.2.6, Gautama and Bharadvāja, Viśvāmitra and Jamadagni, Vashishtha and Kaśhyapa and shandilya are seven sages (also known as Saptarishi); the progeny of these eight sages is declared to be gotras. This enumeration of eight primary gotras seems to have been known to Pāṇini. The offspring (apatya) of these eight are gotras and others than these are called gotrâvayava. There exists another theory about gotra: sons of rishi and disciples of the gurukul would have same gotra. It is believed that they possess similar thought and philosophy. People of same gotra can be found in different castes….

As a Rigvedic term, gotra simply means “cow shelter” or “herd of cows”. The narrowed meaning “family, lineage kin” (as it were “herd within an enclosure”) is younger, first recorded around the mid 1st millennium BCE (e.g., Chandogya Upanishad).

These “lineages” as they developed among the Brahmins of that time meant patrilineal descent. The Brahmanic system was later adopted by other communities, such as theKshatriyas and Vaisyas

All members of a particular gotra are believed to possess certain common characteristics by way of nature or profession. Many theories have been propounded to explain this system. According to the brahminical theory, the Brahmins are the direct descendants of seven or eight sages who are believed to be the mind-born sons of Brahma. They are Gautama, Bharadwaja, Vishvamitra, Jamadagni, Vashista, Kashyapa and Atri. To this list, Agasthya is also sometimes added. These eight sages are called gotrakarins from whom all the 49 gotras (especially of the Brahmins) have evolved. For instance, from Atri sprang the Atreya and Gavisthiras gotras.[4]

A gotra must be distinguished from a kula. A kula is a set of people following similar cultural rituals, often worshiping the same divinity (the Kula-Devata, god of the clan). Kula does not relate to lineage or caste. In fact, it is possible to change one’s kula, based on one’s faith or Iṣṭa-devatā.’

Reference and Citation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotra

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Hinduism

Lord Krishna Present Many Places Same Time Quantum Validates.


Hindu Puranas/The Ithihasas ,Ramayana and Mahabharata speak of people being present at two different places at the same time. Popular exampe is of Lord Krishna being present ,at the same time, with his 16000 wives.

On Krishna’s wives,please read my Post.

The Rasa krida of Krishna.jpg

Dance sport ,Rasa Krida of krishna

 

Now Scientists at The University on Bonn have devised a new method of measuring Atoms.

They have shown that an Atom can be present at two places at the same time!

Jan 20, 2015 The Bonn team has developed a measurement scheme that indirectly measures the position of an atom. In essence, one looks where the Caesium atom is not. The image clarifies this procedure. Let us assume that two containers are in front of us and a cat is hidden under one of them (a). However, we do not know under which one. We tentatively lift the right jar (b) and we find it empty. We, thus, conclude that the cat must be in the left jar and yet we have not disturbed it. Had we have lifted the left jar instead, we would have disturbed the cat (c), and the measurement must be discarded. In the macro-realist’s world, this measurement scheme would have absolutely no influence on the cat’s state, which remains undisturbed all the time. In the quantum world, however, a negative measurement that reveals the cat’s position, like in (b), is already sufficient to destroy the quantum superposition and to influence the result of the experiment. Credit: Andrea Alberti / http://www.warrenphotographic.co.uk Can a penalty kick simultaneously score a goal and miss? For very small objects, at least, this is possible: according to the predictions of quantum mechanics, microscopic objects can take different paths at the same time. The world of macroscopic objects follows other rules: the football always moves in a definite direction. But is this always correct? Physicists of the University of Bonn have constructed an experiment designed to possibly falsify this thesis. Their first experiment shows that Caesium atoms can indeed take two paths at the same time. Almost 100 years ago physicists Werner Heisenberg, Max Born und Erwin Schrödinger created a new field of physics: quantum mechanics. Objects of the quantum world – according to quantum theory – no longer move along a single well-defined path. Rather, they can simultaneously take different paths and end up at different places at once. Physicists speak of quantum superposition of different paths. At the level of atoms, it looks as if objects indeed obey quantum mechanical laws. Over the years, many experiments have confirmed quantum mechanical predictions. In our macroscopic daily experience, however, we witness a football flying along exactly one path; it never strikes the goal and misses at the same time. Why is that so? “There are two different interpretations,” says Dr. Andrea Alberti of the Institute of Applied Physics of the University of Bonn. “Quantum mechanics allows superposition states of large, macroscopic objects. But these states are very fragile, even following the football with our eyes is enough to destroy the superposition and makes it follow a definite trajectory.” Do “large” objects play by different rules? But it could also be that footballs obey completely different rules than those applying for single atoms. “Let us talk about the macro-realistic view of the world,” Alberti explains. “According to this interpretation, the ball always moves on a specific trajectory, independent of our observation, and in contrast to the atom.” But which of the two interpretations is correct? Do “large” objects move differently from small ones? In collaboration with Dr. Clive Emary of the University of Hull in the U.K., the Bonn team has come up with an experimental scheme that may help to answer this question. “The challenge was to develop a measurement scheme of the atoms’ positions which allows one to falsify macro-realistic theories,” adds Alberti. The physicists describe their research in the journal Physical Review X: With two optical tweezers they grabbed a single Caesium atom and pulled it in two opposing directions. In the macro-realist’s world the atom would then be at only one of the two final locations. Quantum-mechanically, the atom would instead occupy a superposition of the two positions. “We have now used indirect measurements to determine the final position of the atom in the most gentle way possible,” says the PhD student Carsten Robens. Even such an indirect measurement (see figure) significantly modified the result of the experiments. This observation excludes – falsifies, as Karl Popper would say more precisely – the possibility that Caesium atoms follow a macro-realistic theory. Instead, the experimental findings of the Bonn team fit well with an interpretation based on superposition states that get destroyed when the indirect measurement occurs. All that we can do is to accept that the atom has indeed taken different paths at the same time. Continue reading

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