Why a Witch is a Quantum Physicist

One topic I keep getting stuck on is that ambiguity is the natural state of all beings and objects. I try not to fall into complete relativism, but when I bought the magazine Spektrum der Wissenschaft – Vom Quant zum Kosmos at the airport, I found the decoherence model. The decoherence model reasons my understanding of witchcraft (or at least aspects of it) as quantum physics.

According to the decoherence model the card in the picture below always falls onto its face and back at the same time – which is called super position. In fact an observer can only perceive one of these positions. (For the reasons read up on Decoherence Model or if you speak German get Spektrum der Wissenschaft it is easier understandable there).


And this is the point where witchcraft comes in. Have you ever read Terry Pratchett? In the second book of the Tiffany Aching series Tiffany uses a spell – see me. With this she overcomes the lack of a mirror and steps out of her body to see herself. This is not quite happening, when a witch needs to see beyond the obvious. Yet, some crossing of physical boundaries (see below quantum tunnelling & my graphics) takes place. I call this focussing; Terry Pratchett calls it the first sight.

First Sight and Second Thoughts, that’s what a witch had to rely on: the First Sight to check what’s really there, and Second Thoughts to watch the First Thoughts to check that they were thinking right.[2]

How a normal person sees a sick person:

How a witch sees a sick person:

If the witch uses effects from quantum tunneling* to partially leave the physical realm s/he is able to see decoherence and locate the sources of illness in a sick person. Touch these and draw them out of the body.

It works with other things too, seeing several realities at the same time for instance – a trick used in divination.

It is all very logical don’t you think so?


Quantum tunneling is an effect where a particle can pass through a barrier it would not normally have the energy to overcome. It can allow a particle to pass through a physical barrier that should be impenetrable, or can allow an electron to escape from the pull of the nucleus without having the kinetic energy to do so. According to quantum mechanics, there is a finite probability that any particle can be found anywhere in the universe, although that probability is astronomically small for any real distance from the particles expected path.

However, when the particle is faced with a small-enough barrier (around 1-3 nm wide), one which conventional calculations would indicate is impenetrable by the particle, the probability that the particle will simply pass through that barrier becomes fairly noticeable. This can be explained by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which limits how much information can be known about a particle. A particle can “borrow” energy from the system it is acting in, use it to pass through the barrier, and then lose it again.[3]

[1] Tegmark, M. & Wheeler, J.A. (2010) 100 Jahre Quantentheorie. Dossier 01/03. Spektrum der Wissenschaft. Dossier. Heidelberg. P.8

[2] Pratchett, T. (2007). Wintersmith. London: Transworld Publishers Ltd., p.44

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s