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29 January 2009

The Quantum Leap

Today I am posting an article written by Leon Golden. Leon is a senior at IUPUI pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a member of Moriah Apostolic Church, and one of my dearest friends.

The Quantum Leap
By: Leon Golden

The rapture, the catching-away, the Lord’s return for His saints, whatever you choose to call it, Christians have been eagerly anticipating this day for nearly two-thousand years. A day when the bodies of those who have truly served God will be instantaneously changed from their natural, physical state, to another “glorious” structure. When you stop and ponder the idea of the rapture, as I will call it, it does appear to be a somewhat ridiculous idea. Many church denominations have given up the idea of a literal “rapture” and viewed the Bible through more humanistic eyes. However, the idea may not be as farfetched as it initially appears. It is this author’s belief that the natural world offers models as well as clues as to the nature and mind of God, bearing in mind that we ourselves are fearfully and wonderfully made. Let’s observe a phenomenon recently discovered (within the last 75 years) by scientists, known as the quantum leap.

Requisite Knowledge

Scripture for consideration: Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:3)

The physical things that we see are made up of cells, which can be reduced to individual molecules, which can be further decomposed into atoms. The atom is the smallest elementary unit in which a substance can be broken down into and still retain its identity. In the center of the atom there is the nucleus about which the electrons orbit at an incredible speed. The electron is held in orbit by an electromagnetic force which keeps it as close to the nucleus as its energy will allow it to get. For example, the more energy an electron possesses, the further it can orbit from the nucleus. Only a certain number of electrons can orbit a given energy level, after which they must move to a higher level – in general, the lower energy levels must be filled first.

The concept of a quantum leap stems from the field of quantum mechanics, which is the branch of science that studies the motion and behavior (the mechanics) of atoms.

Nearly every crevice of the universe is constantly bombarded by electromagnetic radiation (light). As this radiation interacts with the electrons, which are the building blocks of matter, some amazing things happen. The electrons absorb and release little “packets” of energy as they interact with the electromagnetic radiation. Of course, as the electron momentarily absorbs this energy, it moves temporarily to a higher energy level and subsequently moves back to a lower energy level as it releases this “borrowed” energy. It is this interaction that commands awe and produces the phenomena called the quantum leap.

Consider the following illustration: If you want to get from your house to the end of the driveway, there is a period of transition, i.e. you must walk from point A to point B. There is a short period of time in which you are between the two places. In contrast, as the electrons absorb and release energy, there is no transition. The electron in the lower energy level “pops” out of existence and instantaneously “pops” into existence at the higher energy level – this is known as a quantum leap.

This concept is a perfect natural model of the rapture of the Church. It does appear to be a completely ridiculous idea, but is nonetheless truth. One day, we will “pop” out of existence on this earth and instantaneously “pop” into existence at a higher energy level.