Perception Reigns Supreme

It is a known fact that Physics and Philosophy are closed interlinked. One tries to understand nature and the other life. But how can we forget the role played by the human mind in this process? In this way, a trinity of three P’s:  Physics, Philosophy and Psychology are completed. These three fundamental branches of knowledge merge together into our daily lives.

In Physics, experiments provide leads to propose an explanation (or theory) of observed events.  Also many times the reverse is true; where a proposed explanation predicts future events, later verified in the laboratory. Around the 1920s, a new branch of Physics started to emerge. It was the Quantum Mechanics. This branch of Physics was developed to understand the nature of very small things. Scientists involved with the development of this subject were compelled to propose weird basic principles when compared to the well established principles of those times.


One such principle was the complementarily principle proposed by Noble Laureate, Dr. Neils Bohr. According to this principle, energy has two distinct forms: the Wave form and the Particle form. At a given instant of time, energy exists in any one form. However, to understand the events associated it, we should consider energy to be either a wave or a particle. The choice should make our understanding clearer. When the particle approach is chosen, the wave attributes should take a back seat and vice-versa.

The complementarily principle illustrates a duality between the wave form and the particle form of energy, which has introduced chance or randomness into Physics and its age old Philosophy. The impact of such revolutionary ideas was huge. It was time to change the perception and shun the prejudices. But many scientists at that time belonging to the old school of thought were philosophically convinced that nature worked on certainty of events. Adding those ideas of chance and randomness disturbed them and many remained skeptical about the very existence of Quantum Mechanics despite its huge success in meeting its intellectual expectations.

Looking from a psychological perspective, complementarily principle has an impact in our daily lives too. Our perception of things around us also involve dual facets of spirit and body inherently. The spirit ensures general well being and the body refers to the tactical handling of things.

The Scientists chose an approach (either the wave form or the particle form of energy) to better understand physical events. Similarly we can correlate the essence of complementarily principle in our daily lives by choosing the spirit or body depending on what each situation in our life demands.  We need to strive for that balance between body, mind, and spirit in all we do. The choice should ultimately make our life more meaningful and worthy.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *