Quantum Nutrition, 1: Introduction

Note: The central thesis of quantum nutrition is that energy can just as easily be nutritients as particles can; the obvious example being the photon.

Ultimate goals of Quantum Nutrition

A good theory should coalesce both explained and unexplained phenomena, and nutrition, if it is as grand as argued here, must ultimately explain large swaths of knowledge. Among other goals, a theory of quantum nutrition should ultimately:

  1. Differentiate between a “living” virus and an “inanimate” rock or crystal, even though, eventually, this differentiation will likely break down as semantics or philosophy[Actually, I would argue that nutrition is not a sub-field of the biological sciences, but the reverse: that all biological sciences are subsets of nutrition. Of course, taking this preposterous idea to its logical conclusion merely results in a confusing semantic journey — all knowledge is connected, of course — and that journey is, at least for now, abandoned.]. Still, it should welcome those who view, use, or even worship conventional “crystals” as alive, since the difference is only semantic in nature;
  2. Categorize nutrients based on the physical sciences and spatial-temporal categories (including, but not limited to, mathematics, field theory, subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, etc.);
  3. Predict cellular mass and energy requirements, waste products, and estimated breakdown to entropic decay, and provide order-of-magnitude estimates for organismal lifespans, among other practical predictions;
  4. Provide macroscopic predictions and explanations via testable epidemiological ideas of individual organisms (i.e. regarding human cancers and diseases), and also across other aspects of large-scale human geography, such as across diverse national borders and during economic crises;
  5. Predict the evolution and bases of life given other raw physical materials, for example, on other planets or in other solar systems, or given other constants in physics); and
  6. Provide new insights into other unexplained phenomena of the “social sciences” or “humanities,” including history, religion, philosophy, economics, art, and similar subjects.

Specific Goals for Volume I

This first volume will present the general thesis by reviewing nutrients and organizing them spatially: by physical size. First, it will take a nutritional perspective of sub-atomic, quantum particles, the smallest known in the universe; moving then to atoms; later molecules; and finish with a short section on cells and other ‘large’ structures as nutrients. In general, it will discuss both known, overlooked, and hypothetical nutrients. However, it will not delve into chapter-length pieces about most nutrients or specific hypothesis, exceptions aside. That detailed work must be for subsequent volumes.

Moreover, there are two major concepts from quantum physics which will be discussed, and applied, in some cases, to provide examples of quantum nutrition. These are wave-particle duality and the uncertainty principle. These concepts are used both because they remain the most well known ideas from quantum physics, and because one needs no advanced degree in physics or mathematics to begin contemplating their truth or implications. All that is necessary is time, to read and ponder, and time is all that we share equally.

Both concepts are complicated enough for entire volumes, and only brief explanations will be given before considering nutrients, so a mere sentence must introduce us to each concept. The first, wave-particle duality, is that physical particles[I have intentionally left out the precursory word subatomic from the one-sentence definition usually given by physicists.] have both a definite, physical existence, as a particle or conventional object, but also exist as a waveform through some kind of invisible field, like the famous electro-magnetic field. The second, the uncertainty principle, is that the more we know or measure one fundamental property of something physical, the less we know about another; in simpler terms, certainty is balanced by uncertainty.

These two concepts were proposed less than a century ago, and continue to be supported by additional evidence within physics each decade. Yet they are often described as contrary to common sense or counter-intuitive. Both descriptions speak volumes more about our western culture than about any actual oddness of the universe. Despite our egotistical boasts about scientific progress, human advancement is actually quite slow. Case in point: aside from walking, our most common method of transporting our bodies uses various combinations of millennia- and centuries- old technologies, such as the wheel, burning petroleum, the piston/motor, etc. Quantum physics’ principles are neither contrary to common sense nor counter-intuitive, they simply challenge our modern, culturally ingrained prejudices. Reality is exactly as it really is. Really. If anything is nonsensical or counter-intuitive, perhaps it is our minds.

Thus it must be stated at the start of our endeavor, rather than at the end: some readers will be left with more questions than answers. There will be no major discussion of modern foods, or arguments for how and what to eat, although there is an essay on that topic. There will be little review of the current literature, as that will date the first volume too markedly. Some may even have a tinge of dissatisfaction, so the overly critical should proceed with caution, and with the thought in mind that while the idea may be grand indeed, what follows is but a mere introduction. For more advanced readers, this volume might even dissatisfy such obvious questions as, How do these quantum mechanical principles really apply to biochemistry and eventually nutrition?

It is, after all, merely a book, a printed brain child of its author. Only the author is ever really satisfied — and often only in some fleeting moment before the final publication — and every reader could add to the work, if rewritten. However, it is my great hope that readers come away convinced that viewing the study of nutrition through the modern lens of quantum physics is not only a significant change in human thought, but that it is a necessary change. For if we cannot study that which nurtures us, can we ever really study ourselves? And what, then, is the purpose of any science or intellectual pursuit?

Who Volume I is for:

While certain sections might seem dense in a technical sense, this first volume is meant to be accessible to the general reader. Consider the educational background of this author: a mere science master’s degree — which combines biology and business — and a dated degree at that; a bachelor’s in a non-scientific field, and a total lack of formal research experience. Moreover, my understanding of some technical fields, especially mathematics and biochemistry, is limited. Many promising undergraduate students would easily demonstrate knowledge I lack.

All this formal education is hardly necessary in today’s world, of course. One rich American, using his parent’s inherited wealth, might obtain a PhD in ten years of an irresponsible lifestyle, whereas a young woman across the world, motivated by her family and community, and using the Internet while developing her English, might well surpass the knowledge of the young man and his professors. Credentials mean less each year. Thus, readers of all backgrounds and skill levels are welcome here.