|• What happened to the Action Principle in physics and do we know its smallest instance?
• Was microvitum in fact already known in quantum physics in the early days?
• What is it really that Sarkar wanted to communicate by introducing microvita theory?
In what context should we understand microvita?
Since Shrii P.R. Sarkar introduced, in 1986, "Microvita, a mysterious emanation of cosmic faculty" 1, the subject has understandably led to a lot of speculation among spiritualists and scientists alike.
Initial attempts to make sense of microvita aimed at placing the subject in (Sarkar's own..) context of "Brahma Cakra", the Cycle of Creation 2. The latter constitutes a very appealing cosmological framework and is well known territory for those who have familiarized themselves with Sarkar's philosophical works. Sarkar however unequivocally distanced himself from the terms of Brahma Cakra while introducing a specific, microvita oriented cosmology - literally as he said, a "new line of thinking" 3. Therefore, attempts to shed light on the mystery of microvita through the use of these philosophical ideas may a priori not be very helpful.
Sarkar's own, special microvita context, introduced as "Microvita and Cosmology" 3, appears to hint at quantum physics rather than at any philosophical concepts at all. The quantum implications have been discussed at length, by different persons and in different ways, and will certainly lead to further research. Nevertheless one striking aspect, directly concerning the very nature of microvita itself, appears to have been entirely overlooked sofar. This could be summarized as microvita, being the smallest instance of the Action Principle.
The "Action Principle" in microvita theory and in physics
Firstly, in his discourse on Microvita and Cosmology 3, P.R. Sarkar describes the so called (B)-subjective Chamber of the Universe (i.e. one of the four Chambers) as follows: "Doing-principle or supra-mundane seed of the actional principle, ready for being sprouted (microvita... collectively maintaining the balance of the actional universe..). In the same discourse Sarkar notes: "Doer-I or Krta Puruśa is the concentrated form of... microvita". From these two statements it can easily be inferred that microvitum is the smallest instance of the Actional Principle in Sarkar's theory.
Secondly, in quantum physics, and verily in all of physics, "action" is a very specific, but also well known an widely used concept. It is used to calculate the motion of physical systems which could otherwise only be worked out with great difficulty, if at all. Its most rudimental formulation is S = E x t (Action = Energy x time, or vice versa, energy is the amount of action per unit of time). This, in fairness, looks deceptively simple. Unlike energy though, which in fact is just as abstract, "action" is intuitionally very elusive (don't be ashamed if you don't get it).
Has the Action Principle been forgotten?
Perhaps in part for that reason, despite being widely used as a mathematical tool, the action principle turns out to be barely, if at all recognized as a fundamental principle in nature. This may have consequences - not just theoretically, but also real world. Contemporary books, such as "The Lazy Universe" have been dedicated, not merely to the principle of "action" in physics in a technical sense, but also to help rehabilitate "action" as one of physics' fundamental invariables (like energy). However already in his 1924 seminal paper on the theory of quanta, Louis de Broglie pointed at the same (see below) 4. In other words, the action principle has not quite been forgotten as a technical tool, but it appears that it is barely regarded as an important, fundamental principle in nature - certainly not in the public perception.
The Action Principle's smallest instance
Setting aside the obvious negligence of the action principle's importance in nature, one might wonder whether there exists such a thing as the smallest unit of action in physics? The answer is affirmative: indeed there is, and this is the famous Planck Constant. In other words, the Planck Constant is not a mere number, it has a physical unit (just like the unit of length is meter, etc..), and the unit of the Planck Constant is action (which is a scalar). Thus the Planck Constant is the smallest unit, or quantum of (electro-magnetic) action. This is its actual definition. The Planck Constant has many applications in quantum physics, for example in the photo-electric effect, in De Broglie's relation, in Heisenberg uncertainty, but perhaps first and foremostly in the so called Planck-Einstein formula E = hv (Energy = Planck Constant x frequency), determining the energy of an electromagnetic wave or, equivalently, of a photon (light particle).
Now, if the smallest instance of the Action Principle in Microvita Cosmology is a microvitum, and the smallest unit of action in physics is the Planck Constant, then... isn't microvitum simply equivalent to the Planck Constant? This simple question has been overlooked, as basically all attempts were aimed at understanding microvita in terms of contemporary quantum physics, especially quantum field theory and symmetry breaking. The Planck Constant, on the contrary, lies at the basis of all of quantum physics, as it was proposed first, by Max Planck, in the year 19005.
Is "microvitum" a name for the Planck Constant functioning in living organisms?
If it sounds reasonable that the Action Principle in Sarkar's microvita theory refers to, and is in fact identical to the action principle in physics, then it cannot be denied that the smallest instance of action in each case must also be identical. That means: "microvitum" appears to be Sarkar's term for the Planck Constant, however with the caveat: context is everything. This context implies, technically speaking, the role of the Planck Constant in the creation of organic life specifically, and in neg-entropic (or synergetic) process generally. This, one could say, is Sarkar's "new line of thinking" in terms of rehabilitating the Action Principle and its smallest instance. Such kind of interpretation and application of the Planck Constant, and thus of the action principle, is entirely unknown in quantum physics, and was introduced by Sarkar in the form of Microvita Cosmology.
A time-line of issues related to Quantum Physics
In 1924, Louis De Broglie writes, in his seminal and Nobel-winning paper "On the Theory of Quanta": "Nevertheless, action is a very abstract notion, and as a consequence of much reflection on light quanta and the photoelectric effect, we have returned to statements on energy as fundamental, and ceased to question why action plays a large role in so many issues." 4
In 1926, Albert Einstein wrote his famous quote: "God does not play dice" 6, referring to how bizarre quantum mechanics was as a theory suggesting that at the quantum level, nature is ruled by probability alone. This was never resolved, moreover, in 1927 it was decided by convention that physical systems have no definite properties prior to observation. This became known as the (in)famous Copenhagen Interpretation.
Leaping forward, in 1986 P.R. Sarkar introduces microvita theory, with a very prominent role for the Action Principle and its smallest instance, microvitum 3.
In 2017, physicist Jennifer Coopersmith publishes "The Lazy Universe - An Introduction to the Principle of Least Action" - presenting "a well kept secret", "some of the most fascinating and fundamental principles which theoretical physics has uncovered". In the introduction, by way of a prelude to the action principle, Coopersmith quotes Jean le Rond d'Alembert in 1751 (..!): "If one could grasp the whole Universe from one viewpoint, it would appear, if it is permitted to say this, as a unique fact and a great truth." 7
In 2019, Dutch senior physicist (and nobelist) Gerard 't Hooft, in an interview titled "The flaws on quantum mechanics" says: "We don't need to change quantum physics - we need to change our interpretation of it. Why: because I am dissatisfied with it" 8.
This list is obviously, and hopefully, very incomplete. Gerard 't Hooft's very contemporary remark adequately summarizes an obviously fundamental and consistent issue throughout the history of quantum physics: that of its interpretation. But especially by adding "because I am dissatisfied", 't Hooft appears to emphasise that the root cause of the problem lies not in (quantum) physics per sé, but in the fact that quantum physics, unlike classical mechanics, on the one hand touches upon fundamental (human) values, and on the other hand badly fails to deliver in that regard. Until this day, the Copenhagen Interpretation prevails - there has been no progress in terms of a main stream acceptance of an underlying quantum reality, in almost a century.
The key question now is obviously: are the lack of appreciation of the action principle, and the issues with the interpretation of quantum physics in fact two sides of the same problem?
Did Sarkar introduce microvita theory to fix quantum physics?
In a sense one could argue that the problem with quantum physics is that there are no problems. At least, no physical or mathematical ones (which is also not entirely true though..). And because there are no problems, there is no intrinsic motivation, no clear and present incentive, at least not from a conventional, scientific point of view, to look further, as there is no conservative gain. This is why quantum physics, in the end of the day, has remained a pure tool-box, exactly like Newtonian mechanics. Allready back in the day the adagium was "shut up and calculate", which today has become "shut up and engineer". Fair enough... but it proves that neither De Broglie, nor Einstein, not 't Hooft have been and are being heard...
This obvious, century-old deadlock might be what Sarkar aimed to break open, while introducing a new scientific paradigm, a "new line of thinking", in the form of microvita theory. Arguably, a rudimentary microvita-like idea existed already back in De Broglie's days, but it got nibbed in the bud, as De Broglie himself observed, by the energy-paradigm. In fairness, also De Broglie himself didn't use the action principle in a revolutionary way, yet he was probably the first to point out a fundamentally important, but largely ignored issue in quantum physics - the negligence of the action principle in favour of energy physics, prior even to the Copenhagen Interpretation.
In other words, could a full rehabilitation, as it were, of the action principle, especially in a synergetic (neg-entropic) environment, help solve the unsatisfactory interpretation of quantum physics at large?
Evaluating Sarkar's quantum connection (technical synopsis)
The hypothesis that microvita is in essence nothing but the Planck Constant, actively functioning in a synergetic (pro-life, pro-mind) quantum process, could, at least conceptually and not detailed at this place, be cross-checked by means of some of Sarkars highly condensed statements (obviously) linking microvita theory to quantum physics:
1) [..]. That is why during the bifurcation, the unitary strength remains the same – the subjective and objective having equal value in strength during the phase of reduction." 3
Comments: the process of bifurcation (litt. "two-forking"; splitting in 2, or doubling) appears to form the backbone of microvita cosmology. Roughly speaking, Action bifurcates, forming Energy. However, (pure...) Action and Energy are referred to by Sarkar as "subjective", seemingly analogous to physics' "invariables" or conserved principles. Their resp. objective counterparts or -interactions then are Inferences and Propensities.
Hence the strength of (B) subjective + (A) objective remains the same as (A) subjective + (B) objective. In physics such preservation of strength is called a unitary transformation, which typically applies to a Fourier - or spectrum analysis, and is known as Plancherel's Theorem. If the spectrum analysis applies to a scalar (self-) interaction, it is mathematically speaking a bifurcation. And because the action is scalar, we can indeed speak of a unitary bifurcation.
2) "Inferences are the major waves, but sub-waves are created in them by moving microvita."
As shown by De Broglie, an energy wave is accompanied by a (single) phase wave, which in the case of a massive particle such as an electron, is super-luminal and referred to as a matter wave. De Broglie's idea is based on relativity, and the nature of his phase wave is, in fairness, largely undescript. The same principle, based on the bifurcation of action, requires instead of a single phase wave, a synchronous scalar self-interaction typically consisting of 3 phase waves, which could be referred to as sub-waves. The phrase "moving microvita" probably implies the bifurcation of the Planck Constant, which is clearly not the case in standard quantum physics. In other words, in a microvita type of scenario, the electron is kept in its orbit by synchronous scalar self-interaction, rather than by a single relativistic phase wave.
3) "Planes of inferences are being activated, accelerated and stimulated by (A) subjective" and "(A) subjective relates to and controls (B) objective" 3
(A) subjective is referred to by Sarkar as "Knowing Principle" as well as "Energy". During, or in a sense after the bifurcation, the Knowing Principle or -aspect refers to inferences, creating a potential well as known in symmetry breaking. The Energy aspect propagates the inferences through systalsis, creating classical electro-magnetic waves.
4) "Microvita are carried by inferences" 10
Comments: Assuming that, minding the context, microvita are equivalent to the Planck Constant h, then the phrase "carried by inferences" physically obviously refers to the Planck-Einstein formula E = hv, i.e. an electro-magnetic wave.
5) "positive and negative microvita maintain both equilibrium and equipoise in the universal strata" 3
"Positive" means "pro-life" or "pro-mind", "negative" means "pro-matter". These are clearly relative trends, not a priori (moral or etc..) qualifications. In terms of quantum physics, the bifurcation of action can be non-synchronized, creating entropy, or synchronized, creating synergy. Synchronization means that the scalar self-interaction creates a potential well, by means of a zero-coefficient in the Fourier spectrum. In Sarkar's terminology, it means that the Knowing Principle as well as Propensities become explicit, which in practice means that a (rudimental) living entity is formed. In non-living matter, the Knowing Principle and Propensities are present, but dissociated.
The bifurcation of action, based on Sarkar's "4-chamber" cosmology
Fig. 1 - simplified diagrams of non-synchronous and synchronous bifurcation
Fig. 2 - Synchronous bifurcation within the "Four Chambers of the Universe"
A new and bright era of science and practical utilisation could emerge, when the Action Principle is not only used as a mere mathematical tool, in our common perception subordinated to energy, but gets once more understood and appreciated in its own right, and rehabilitated to its true status: that of a fundamental, guiding principle in nature - indeed a "Purusa", that is, "Krta Purusa". Just like energy or "Jina Purusa" in its thermodynamic domain, "Krta Purusa" functions within its specific jurisdiction, identified by Sarkar as the "psychic worlds" (not meaning: "psychological" or etc..), creating "organinic auxiliaries". This at least is the application of positive microvita, that is, the manifestation of the action principle, and its smallest instance, as a synergetic driving force or hidden "intelligence" behind the evolution, yet unknown in quantum physics.
1. Sarkar, Prabhat Rainjan (1986), "Microvita, a Mysterious Emanation of Cosmic Factor", Microvitum in a Nutshell, Ananda Marga Publications
2. Sarkar, Prabhat Rainjan (1956), Chapter 1 [Brahma Cakra], Ananda Sutram [philosophical trreatise], Ananda Marga Publications
3. Sarkar, Prabhat Rainjan (1989), "Microvita and Cosmology ", Microvitum in a Nutshell, Ananda Marga Publications
4. De Broglie, Louis (1924), "On the Theory of Quanta", Doctoral Thesis, Ann. de Phys, 10e serie, t. III, 1925
5. Planck, Max (1900), "Zur Theorie des Gesetzes der Energieverteilung im Normalspectrum". Verhandlungen der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft. 2: 237–245. Translated in ter Haar, D. (1967). "The Old Quantum Theory" (PDF). Pergamon Press: 82. LCCN 66029628
6. Einstein, Albert (1926), Letter to Max Born, 1971, Irene Born (translator), The Born-Einstein Letters, Walker and Company, New York
7. Coopersmith, Jennifer (2017)
"The Lazy Universe", Oxford University Press, United Kingdom
8. 't Hooft, Gerard (2019), "The Flaws of Quantum Mechanics | Full Interview", retrieved from YouTube Sept. 2019
9. Sarkar, Prabhat Rainjan (1987), "Questions and Answers on Microvita - Section H ", Microvitum in a Nutshell, Ananda Marga Publications
10. Sarkar, Prabhat Rainjan (1987), "Questions and Answers on Microvita - Section B", Microvitum in a Nutshell, Ananda Marga Publications