The Consciousness Theorem ©

“What is consciousness?” is an age old question that the human race has been inquiring for. Its understanding is also required for explanation of fundamental concepts in quantum physics.

Still, there is no precise definition of the subject matter that is universally endorsed by all scientific communities. “Consciousness” (in applied science) is associated with awareness and measured on the scale of responsiveness.

Today, we have a good knowledge of physical phenomenon of electromagnetism, photoelectric effect and nuclear forces besides others. But have we ever speculated of how does an electron measure the frequency of an incident photon during photoelectric phenomenon? Decide if it’s above the threshold frequency of the metal? And then escape the metal surface?

Or for that matter if we discuss upon electromagnetism, how does a proton (or electron) measure the charge quantity of any charged particle placed in its vicinity? And know the nature of that particle, i.e. if it’s negatively or positively charged? By what means or method it measures the distance between itself and that charged particle? And how does it know its own charge amount? Because coulombs law comes to act only after this data assortment.

Maybe we should address these questions to solve the ultimate essential concepts in quantum physics or otherwise.


In this paper, I discuss upon potential definitions of consciousness and show that if we, human beings categorize ourselves as conscious, then so are the fundamental particles of atoms that make up the universe.

I employ above mentioned phenomenon (electromagnetism, photoelectric effect and nuclear forces) to justify the theorem. I establish the theorem and discuss its implications.



TheoremBased on any universally potential definition of consciousness, if we, human beings categorize ourselves as conscious, then so are the fundamental particles of atom that make up the universe.

Definitions Under Consideration

Consciousness is

  • Faculty of perceiving, assimilating and being responsive to ones surrounding environment.
  • Faculty of comprehending surrounding environment and responding appropriately.



Argument 1

We now consider the following definition of consciousness and build up contention-

  • Consciousness is faculty of perceiving, assimilating and being responsive to ones surrounding environment.

I begin discussing the physical phenomenon of PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT.

While electrons are free to move about within a metal, they cannot readily escape it. When high frequency light as ultraviolet or blue light is radiated, electrons pop out of metal with high energy. With lower frequency yellow light, the energy is less. Red light usually emits no electrons.[1]

The explanation is like this. High frequency light with its high energy photons give electrons enough energy to jump out of metal. As the energy of photons increase, energy of ejected electrons also increases. An increase in the intensity of low-frequency light only increases the number of low-energy photons sent over a given interval of time. This change in intensity will not create any single photon with enough energy to dislodge an electron. Thus, energy of the emitted electrons does not depend on the intensity of the incoming light, but only on the energy (equivalently frequency) of the individual photons. It is an interaction between the incident photon and the outermost electrons.

The lowest frequency of light required to emit electrons from a metal is known as its threshold frequency. For light below this frequency, photons would have insufficient energy to remove an electron from the metal. In case of red light flash, no electrons are ejected.

Electrons absorb energy from photons when irradiated following an “all or nothing” principle. All of the energy from one photon must be absorbed and used to liberate one electron from atomic binding, or else the energy is re-emitted. If the photon energy is absorbed, some of the energy liberates the electron from the atom, and the rest contributes to the electron’s kinetic energy as a free particle. [2][3][4]

Dig. 1 – Photoelectric Effect


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The energy with which the electrons are emitted from a particular metal is measured by the following formula –

                                 Ek = h × (f-f°)              (Photoelectric effect formula)

where  f> f° for photoelectric effect to occur. [5]



We need to address following questions, if we intend to understand underlying principles of consciousness and formulate a theory of everything.

How would an electron be able to differentiate between incident photons of varying energy (frequency) and respond accordingly? How does it make out or measure the frequency of an incident photon? Decide if it’s above the threshold frequency of the metal, and then escape the metal surface?

The discussion leads to a conclusion that electrons do comprehend and confirm to the energy photons of different capacity and move out of metal with varying kinetic energy correspondingly. It is able to perceive and assimilate its surrounding environment and respond accordingly.

Thus, if we take into consideration the above-mentioned definition of consciousness, then an electron fulfills the standard norms of the definition.

So, should not an electron be considered conscious?



Argument 2

Now, we consider next definition –

  • Consciousness is faculty of comprehending surrounding environment and responding appropriately.

This time, argument is fabricated using fundamental laws of ELECTROMAGNETISM.


The coulombs law states that the magnitude of the electrostatic force of attraction between two point charges is directly proportional to the product of the magnitude of charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. The force is along the straight line joining them. If the two charges have the same sign, the electrostatic force between them is repulsive; if they have different signs, the force between them is attractive.

Dig. 2 – Coulombs Law


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(Experiment 1) In an exemplary model, if we place a negatively charged particle of some point charge “q” in vicinity of a proton, then as maintained by electromagnetism, the particle experiences force of attraction towards the proton. We measure the force of attraction by the following formula –

                                       F = k * q * Q/r²          (Coulomb’s inverse square law)

The strength of this force is proportional to the amount of charge of negative particle and inversely proportional to the square of distance between the two particles.



Here, we need to bring up certain questions as to how does a proton measure its own charge amount? By what means is it able to do so? Is it self-aware?

By what method it measures the charge quantity of charged particle placed in its vicinity? How does it differentiate between the nature of that particle, whether it is negatively charged or positively charged?

By what means or method it measures the distance between itself and that charged particle? How does it always gauges the distance so precisely?

And after all this data collection by proton, it applies the needful force?

At least, we cannot deny the fact that it is doing so (or it is happening). Because, by denying it, we would probably be denying coulombs law.

Convincingly, we deduce that a proton is able to integrate its surrounding information, as to the nature of any charged particle; its distance from that particle and amount of charge proton carries itself.

So, the next question arises, should a proton be considered conscious?


(Experiment 2) In the next example, we place an electron in proximity to a negatively charged particle, which experiences the force of repulsion in direction away from the electron. The force is measured by above mentioned formula-

                                        F = k * q * Q/r²        (Coulomb’s inverse square law)


The strength of this force is proportional to the amount of charge of negative particle and inversely proportional to the square of distance between the two particles.



We contend with similar questions here also. By what means the electron measures its own charge amount?

How does it measure the charge quantity of the negatively charged particle, in its vicinity? How does it differentiate between the nature of that particle, whether it is negatively charged or positively charged?

By what means or approach it measures the distance between itself and that charged particle,  so precisely?

We analyze that an electron and a proton can assimilate nature, charge quantity and distance of charged particles in its own context and in view of that apply attractive or repulsive force.


I stress upon the point that charged particles or entities demonstrate property of particle perception with respect to its own description and distance measurement from that charged particle.


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How are we going to explain and justify their (electrons, protons) undefended and expressive properties should be our immediate concern.


(Experiment 3) I continue to build up an argument upon NUCLEAR FORCE.

The force is powerfully attractive between nucleons at distances of about 1 femtometer (fm) between their centers, but rapidly decreases to insignificance at distances beyond about 2.5 fm. At very short distances less than 0.7 fm, it becomes repulsive, and is responsible for the physical size of nuclei, since the nucleons can come no closer than the force allows. At small separations between nucleons (less than ~ 0.7 fm between their centers, depending upon spin alignment) the force becomes repulsive, which keeps the nucleons at a certain average separation, even if they are of different types. At distances larger than 0.7 fm the force becomes attractive between spin-aligned nucleons, becoming maximal at a center–center distance of about 0.9 fm. Beyond this distance the force drops essentially exponentially, until beyond about 2.0 fm separation, the force drops to negligibly small values. At short distances (less than 1.7 fm or so), the nuclear force is stronger than the Coulomb force between protons; it thus overcomes the repulsion of protons inside the nucleus. However, the Coulomb force between protons has a much larger range due to its decay as the inverse square of charge separation, and Coulomb repulsion thus becomes the only significant force between protons when their separation exceeds about 2 to 2.5 fm. [6]

Dig.3 – Nuclear Force


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In relation to the above description, we suppose an experimental set-up where two protons are placed in relation to each other. Measured distances are of some femtometer scale range. We assess effect of varying distances between two protons. One of them is set up in constant fixed position. Other proton is placed at varying distances in relation to the first.

On contemplation, we recognize, as distance between the two protons varies, the nature of force between the two protons also transforms. The force is repulsive at less than 0.7 fm distance and attractive between the 0.7 fm to ~2.0 fm. It then becomes repulsive again on more than ~2.0 fm distances. At this stage, it is the coulombs law that comes to participate.

Thus, it is upon determination of this distance; the nature of force is decided (attractive or repulsive). If the distance is between 0.7 fm to 1.7 fm, then strong nuclear force draws the protons together. If the distance is more than ~2.0 fm, electromagnetic force dominates and repulsion forces the protons apart.



It is now to emphasize how the two elementary particles comprehend position in space in relation to each other and calculate the distance.

We need to address the method that allows the protons to recognize each other, measure the distance between them and then decide upon the resulting force.

Distance perception (measurement) in space is a striking property of any elementary particle. Even human beings, the most sentient beings on planet cannot perceive or measure distance in space accurately. (E.g., I cannot determine the exact distance between my eyes and my laptop screen without a ruler or scale.)

The discussion leads us to an open question, should the fundamental particles be justified as conscious?



The above arguments construe that fundamental particles fulfill criteria of “consciousness” definitions taken into consideration. They are able to perceive and comprehend their surrounding environment, assimilate it and respond accordingly.

Conclusively, based on standard norms of awareness and responsiveness on which we categorize ourselves as conscious, so are the fundamental particles of an atom (such as a proton and electron) that make up the universe.

Doubtlessly, properties as distance measurement in space and measurement of frequency of an incident photon (by outermost electrons of metal) require intense pondering.



The results will help us relate between basic principles of physical world as matter and consciousness.

Our current understanding of matter (in any existential form) seems limited because we have a limited belief system. If we deeply examine phenomenon of photoelectric effect, electromagnetism, coulombs law or nuclear forces and ask the right questions, we may need to develop upon our convictions and ideologies.

This new understanding will help us relate between concepts of materialism and idealism.



The conclusion leaves us with another question, “Is consciousness an intrinsic property of matter?”

The conclusions of the theorem imply that if the fundamental particles of an atom are conscious, then so is matter that comprises of the same fundamental particles. We understand that all matter is the basis of physical existence. Therefore, it is an issue of serious rumination (on philosophical and scientific grounds) that matter and consciousness are entwined to each other.

I would like to quote Max Plank, Physics Nobel Laureate, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” [7]


[1] Bruce Rosenblum, ‎Fred Kuttner (2011). Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness, Oxford University Press.
[2] Lenard, P. (1902). "Ueber die lichtelektrische Wirkung". Annalen der Physik313 (5): 149–198. doi:10.1002/andp.19023130510.
[3] Millikan, R. (1914). "A Direct Determination of "h."". Physical Review4 (1): 73–    75. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.4.73.2.
[4] Millikan, R. (1916)"A Direct Photoelectric Determination of Planck's "h""(PDF). Physical Review7 (3): 355-388. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.7.355
[5] Fromhold, A. T. (1991). Quantum Mechanics for Applied Physics and EngineeringCourier Dover Publications. pp. 5–6.
[7] Max Plank, Physics Nobel Laureate. [Source: The Observer, January 1931]