Philosophy · Science · Short stories

The mind-matter dilemma

Summer got over and Fall semester started, bringing with it a plethora of attractive courses. This time Ary simply couldn’t wait for the classes to start. Every course appeared to him like a unique opportunity to expand his consciousness.

But he wanted to be systematic in his approach. If mind indeed emerges out of the complexity of matter in the human brain, which contains about a hundred billion neurons, it would be interesting to study the phenomenon of emergence first. Emergence also occurs in several condensed matter physics systems, which constitute the broad area of his doctoral research, and thus remotely connects the area of his doctoral research with the area of science he has got interested in- origin of consciousness in the human brain. So he thought it would be a good idea to study the physics of emergence first.

In order to do that he decided to take the basic courses in graduate level physics first. Though he had taught himself some of that stuff for his research, he never learned the stuff rigorously due to his engineering background. So he picked up two courses- Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics, which were mostly taken by first year graduate students in the department of physics every year.

The first couple of weeks of class went by smoothly. Not only were the course contents and lectures extremely interesting but also Ary got introduced to a host of new students- all incoming graduate students in physics. One of them, Jake, ended up inviting him for the Physics social hour, that they used to have every Friday evening in their department. Ary decided to check it out the coming week, and take Diggy along with him too.

To be continued