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Ode to Nygårdshaug, and Quantum Mechanics

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Gert Nygårdshaug

Gert Nygårdshaug

I want to direct your attention towards a Norwegian author: Gert Nygårdshaug. First of all, I have some problems with him:
1. I can never understand what he is writing about, because he talks about stuff way over my head (even though you kind of get the flow of it, so it’s really okay…)
2. I can never stop reading his books once I’ve started. This affects my sleep, amongst other things.
3. When I want to talk about him I never remember what is last name is, and usually call him Nygårdsvold.

I first started reading Mengele Zoo at Christmas time, and completed the (quite thick) book in two days. The consecutive days I went out to buy the next two books in the trilogy, which I both read in one day. Not long ago I discovered four new books written by him, and I’ve now swallowed 3 of them, and hesitantly looking at the last one. I know it’s going to be some while till my next reading experience with him after that book, so I’m scared of starting to read it.

Anyway, this author is just amazing! In one of his books, “Nullpluss Pluss”, the protagonist actually eats himself up, and never, in my entire life, have I had that much water in my mouth! He just sweeps you off your feet in his books, releasing this unlimited imagination at you, making the impossible entirely possible in your head. You can feel and smell and touch what he writes, and (as stated in problem no. 1), even though you cannot always follow his trail of thought or understand exactly what he is talking about, he just lifts you up and you feel that “yes, this is correct”. With him you travel to a whole new plane, somewhere you aren’t supposed to be, but he gently guides you around and shows you the most fantastic things!

Once again I wish to share something written in Norwegian here, and I’ll use my best abilities (again) to translate it in an orderly and fashionably manner. I have, by the way, no idea if this is allowed, but I do it in good spirit and awe over this Norwegian author, which I presume does not have the international recognition he deserves. This is from his book “Dverghesten” (The dwarf horse), and is really just a part of the appendix (so no spoiler warning here):


“Appendix 2. Bells theorem

The physicists Einstein, Rosen and Podolsky released in their time a theoretic experiment with such extreme conclusions that they meant it had to be a proof that quantum mechanics had to be invalid in its view of reality. The experiment showed that pairs of particles that were split and sent in each their direction continued to be affected by the other, yet unaffected by time and distance. If we imagine a pair of nuclear particles of two entities rotating around its own axis in different directions, and tear these two from each other, one part rotates to the left in its journey through space, while the other rotates to the right. In one given time these particles will be 10 light years away from each other. Let’s say one of the particles enters a strong magnet field and is forced to change its rotation from right to left. In the same moment this happens the other particle will also change its rotation, from left to right. The communication that happens between these two particles is super-luminal, it happens faster then the speed of light; it doesn’t use any time at all! This was, according to Einstein, Rosen and Podolsky, an impossibility and proved that quantum mechanics were inadequate. A long time later, in 1973, dr. Johan S. Bell comes with up with unattackable, mathematical proof that verifies the ERP-paradox. And with that also the validity of quantum mechanics. The consequences in this thesis, called Bells theorem, is mildly put extensive, and the rims of this is still felt in physics. These rims has not yet reached the “man on the street”, but when they do arrive a whole new world picture will have to be made. Bells theorem also affects macro cosmic occurrences, inter-human relations; in fact all matter there is. Shortly put the essence of the ERP-effect and Bells theorem is that everything affects everything, everything is dependant on everything, everything is communicating with everything. It puts a question mark on the factor of time, time as a valid measurement tool. The limit between organic and inorganic matter is squeezed out. A stone is as “alive” as a human being. Everything exists at the same place everywhere. Schrödinger’s Cat becomes true in its unlimited possibilities. Bells theorem exterminates once and for all man’s greatest baggage: the term God.

[Parts of] Appendix 3. The authors postscript

(…) periods of transitions is always full of problems. I cannot remember any Norwegian newspapers that has sacrificed any serious space these last years on the dazzling developments within quantum physics. Events that will form our culture, our thoughts, our future and development, crush dogmas and traditions to gravel. Nobody knows who dr. J. S. Bell is. Or what is happening in the laboratories in CERN, SPEAR or Brookhaven. Everybody knows that Erik Soler is going to be a professional football player and that Anita and Jahn married though [Norwegian popular culture]. The stupidity is depressing. God and the atom bomb still rules the world. We are in a time of transitions. The new physics has not yet found understandable formulas on reality. It takes its time. In the meanwhile we are flooded by vulgar music, astrology, occultism and spiritism. The philosophy of the east is corroborating the mystic aspects of the new physics. There is a certain dialectic behind all of this: first we must shake off the old baggage of realism, enter the unexplainable, to eventually gather and stand firm at this new level.” (Gert Nygårdshaug, Dverghesten (1984), 1st publication in 2008 by CAPPELEN DAMM AS, ISBN: 978-82-02-28701-6.)


That was harder than I thought… I know that I need more insight in the world of physics, and my translation might be slightly wrong because of this, if I translated anything wrong or made this unreadable I sincerely apologize. I wish I had taken physics in school, because I’ve found out that its simply amazing! Anyway, I highly recommend his books, and I thank thee great author Nygårdsvol… haug! Nygårdshaug!


Written by Aslak

September 23, 2008 at 10:20

One Response

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  1. I’m quite certain quantum entanglement doesn’t work like you (or Nygårdshaug) portray it here. The two particles does not interact instantaneously and continuously. If you somehow could pick up the one particle (after having registered it) and turn it around, this would not affect its counterpart at all. The only apparent interaction is when you collapse the wavefunction of one of the particles (by registering it). This will collapse the wavefunction of the counterpart particle, in such a way that you can be certain that it will be registered as opposite the first particle. What you do with the particles after this point is completely local.

    To understand what a wavefunction is, you have to understand quantum physics. And I can’t explain it, because I don’t understand it. But these guys do. Their conversation helped me a lot. It might be a bit too much for you as of yet. But I can also recommend this lecture series, which explaining all the fun physics without the boring math technicalities :)

    You can probably jump right to the quantum physics part of the course. Even though I recommend watching the whole series. Its very good. (But beware: In the beginning of the first lectures, a lot of time is wasted on boring practical information.)


    September 26, 2008 at 22:15

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