A research paper recently published in Nature Communications (2020)  by the Department of Physics and Astronomy from the University of Pittsburgh has reported how applying intense optical fields to electrons in metals can change how electrons flow between ions. The paper details how multiple optical pulses in the range of 10-14 seconds applied to a Cu(111) surface is able to change the electronic properties such as its electron conduction or optical reflection. These experimental results provided insights into the nature of the electronic properties of solids. Metals are very dense, and previously it had not been known what would happen when applying a strong optical field, whether it would damage the material or only influence the electronic structure.
- Marcel Reutzel et al. Coherent multidimensional photoelectron spectroscopy of ultrafast quasiparticle dressing by light, Nature Communications (2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16064-4
The research team reported that an applied electromagnetic field on electronic materials can induce dipole transitions between eigenstates or distort Coulomb potentials that define them. They were able to show how it is possible to modify the electronic properties where electron motion is governed by time and space-periodic potentials. Crystalline solids such as metals have a space-periodic arrangement, i.e. this is what makes x-ray diffraction possible. The researchers state this space-periodic arrangement defines the k-momentum dispersion of electronic quasiparticle bands. An IR Laser is capable of interacting with these quasiparticle bands by affecting the electric dipole transitions. When the intensity of the optical field exceeds the other perturbations in the system, one may achieve an optical resonance which can modify the eigenstates of the electrons. When the quantum state is modified in this way, it becomes a time crystal with unique field-dependent electronic properties. The end goal is to use light to induce superconductivity, high order nonlinearities, create Floquet topological bands in quantum materials, and photoinduced phase transitions. In this research, scientists applied ultrafast laser pulses to a Cu(111) metal surface. In copper, the ground and excited surface electronic bands can decouple from the stronger bulk interactions. This leads to the capability of probing these excited states by ultrafast multiphoton photoemission spectroscopy and man-body theory. The research paper stated they “dress the surface electronic structure of Cu(111) with ~20 fs IR laser pulses by exciting the three-photon resonant transition from the occupied Shockley surface (SS) to the first image potential (IP1) band, and probe the coherent field interaction by further exciting photoelectrons into the photoemission continuum by interferometric-time-resolved multiphoton photoemission (ITR-mPP) spectroscopy.”
The research team is looking to further understand what happens to several other metals, such as those found in electronic devices to determine what sort of application this might present. The idea of creating new properties of solids has the potential to be applied in conventional electronics, quantum computing, or even entirely new applications. In theory, scientists have considered this technique as a way to study in the laboratory how black holes evaporate.
The Spiritual Insights that we receive from this type of research is related to the material properties and the physical laws that govern this world. These are what the scientists are attempting to probe (explore), manipulate, and control. This applies to our understanding of the Torah, in the sense, the moral and ethical rules of the Torah. The mishpatim משׁפטים, function in a similar way to the lines on a road, to guide us and to warn us about dangers and conditions that lay ahead. Just as there are physical laws involved at the quantum level which allow us to probe the coherent field interaction by exciting photoelectrons into the photoemission continuum, these things describe the material reality at the quantum level, so too the moral and ethical laws describes our spiritual reality! As the children of God, we can no more deny the moral and ethical reality than we can deny the physical reality that God has established. The manipulation of materials as being described in the Scientific research allows one to use the materials in a way that was not necessarily originally intended, similarly, the violation of God’s moral truth affects our inner life, and causes us to function in ways not originally intended either. For example, this affects our conscience, our sense of value, the sense of value of others, and our relationships, etc.
The laws of science are derived by induction (i.e. the inference of a general law from particular experimental observations) through experimentation and observation of phenomena that results from physics and chemical reactions. The scientific law is then studied to understand whether it may be universally applied, as in a law that is applicable under all similarly controlled conditions, unless proven otherwise. We had previously discussed this concept in relation to physics and the “Lorentz Invariance” in the article titled “Constraining Quantum Gravity and String Theory.” We discussed how scientists have concluded that regardless of where one is located in the Universe, what direction one is moving, or at what time one performs a measurement, everyone experiences the same fundamental laws of physics. In the case of moral reality, we have an intuitive awareness (a sense) of value that has been given to each of us by God! Daily however we continue to apply this truth to practical matters of life. This Torah moral and ethical imperative is for all people, regardless of whether one believes in the God of Israel or not. Paul speaks of this in Romans 2. The concepts of moral and social rules speak to our need for boundaries in our lives for the betterment of all mankind. This means that we are to provide safety and respect to everyone, regardless of their beliefs. How true do you think this is in light of what we are seeing going on today in our culture? This world is built upon laws, the physical laws that we are able to observe in the exploration of the world (i.e. gravity). The role of establishing laws in our cities and nations, is to promote and build life, to provide safety, and liberty, and personal protection. God’s righteous moral and ethical laws help us to discern how to limit and redirect our impulses to express a godly character. This means God has taught us how to live, and we are told in the NT how the Torah is to be interpreted, God living in the midst of His people, if we believe in and follow in the footsteps of His Anointed One! This is why the Lord God said in Vayikra / Leviticus 18:5, “You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I AM the LORD.”
In our modern culture, people today think that “freedom” means lawlessness, or the ability to do what they want to do, whenever they want to do it, and to whomever they want to do it to. As we study God’s Word, we learn that doing whatever one wants is not God’s idea of freedom. Yeshua told us “whoever commits sin is the slave (δουλος) of sin,” and went on to say “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36) True freedom is found only in adhering to both moral and ethical imperatives that God has established, these things influence us spiritually rather than merely physically. The power of God in our lives is to choose what is right and good, not to simply bully our way or practice sexual sin such as lust. Our salvation is meant to infuse us with the divine power of God to walk in His truth and righteousness. (Philipians 2:14-16)
The significance of God’s Torah (instruction) in our lives is related to the moral and ethical laws that He established. Moshe wrote to us saying “The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.” (Shemot / Exodus 32:16) This means God Himself gave us His Words to live by. The commentary Rabbeinu Bahya on Shemot/Exodus 23:20 Part 5 states:
Rabbeinu Bahya on Shemot/Exodus 23:20 Part 5
ועל דרך המדרש הנה אנכי שולח מלאך לפניך, אלו זכיתם אני בעצמי נעשיתי לכם שליח כדרך שנעשיתי לכם במדבר שנאמר (שמות יג) וה’ הולך לפניהם יומם ועכשיו שלא זכיתם הריני מוסר אתכם לשליח הוי אומר הנה אנכי שולח מלאך לפניך. אתה מוצא בשעה שאמר ישראל (שם כד) כל אשר דבר ה’ נעשה ונשמע אמר הקב”ה צויתי לאדם הראשון מצוה אחת שיקימנה והשויתיו למלאכי השרת שנאמר (בראשית ג) הן האדם היה כאחד ממנו. אלו שקבלו תרי”ג מצות אינו דין שיהיו חיים וקיימים לעולם. (שמות לב) חרות על הלחות, רבי יהודה ורבי נחמיה פליגי רבי יהודה אומר חרות מן השעבוד רבי נחמיה אומר חרות מן מלאך המות וזהו שכתוב (במדבר כ״א:י״ח-י״ט) וממדבר מתנה וממתנה נחליאל ומנחליאל במות, מן המדבר נתנה תורה מתנה לישראל ומתוך התורה שנתנה מתנה נחלו אל לעולם ומנחליאל במות ומתוך שהיתה הכונה שיחיו לעולם בא מות אמר הקב”ה בשטתו של אדם הראשון הלכתם שלא עמד בנסיונו ג’ שעות (תהילים פ״ב:ז׳) אני אמרתי אלהים אתם וגו’ אכן כאדם תמותון לשעבר הייתם משתמשים ע”י רוה”ק ועכשיו אי אתם משתמשים אלא על ידי מלאך, הוי אומר הנה אנכי שולח מלאך לפניך. זהו שאמר הכתוב (ירמיה ג) ואנכי אמרתי איך אשיתך בבנים ואתן לך ארץ חמדה נחלת צבי צבאות גוים
A Midrashic approach to our verse (Shemot Rabbah 32,2). From the words: “Here I am about to send an angel ahead of you,” we learn that G’d meant that had the Israelites been worthy He Himself would have continued to be at their head as He had been at the Exodus when the Torah testified “and the Lord Himself was walking ahead of them by day,” etc., (13,21). Now that they had proven unworthy G’d handed them over to an agent. This is the meaning of: “Here I am sending an angel ahead of you.” You will observe that as soon as the Jewish people had said כל אשר דבר ה’ נעשה ונשמע, “all that G’d has said we shall do and we shall hear (learn it)” in 24,7, G’d responded by saying: “I granted Adam eternal life for performing the single commandment I had given him not to eat from the tree of knowledge.” This is the meaning of Genesis 3,22: “here this Adam who had been just like one of Us, (i.e. immortal celestial being).” “These Jewish people who have undertaken to observe 613 of My commandments are surely entitled to eternal life!” The Midrash derives this from the words חרות על הלוחות, “freedom on the tablets” instead of reading it merely as “engraved on the Tablets” (32,16). We find a disagreement between Rabbi Yehudah and Rabbi Nechemyah in the above quoted Midrash as to the precise meaning of the word חרות if read as meaning “freedom.” Rabbi Yehudah understands it as freedom from the oppression of mortal rulers, i.e. exile, whereas Rabbi Nechemyah understands it as freedom from the authority of the angel of death. He bases this on Numbers 21, 18-19 וממדבר מתנה, וממתנה נחליאל, ומנחליאל במות, “and from the wilderness- a gift. From “the gift”- my heritage became G’d. From the heritage called G’d- elevated heights.” Rabbi Nechemyah understands the verse not as describing physical landmarks describing where the Israelites rested on the way, but as spiritual landmarks and the gradual recapture by the entire people of Adam’s spiritual stature before the sin when he had still been immortal. The progression was as follows: through the experience of marching in the desert the Israelites merited the gift (מתנה) of Torah. Through the gift of Torah they inherited a relationship to divinity אל)) forever. Through this relationship they acquired immortality. After they had said to the golden calf: “these are your gods O Israel,” they again forfeited this new-found immortality. G’d said to them: ”you followed the same foolishness that Adam was guilty of who had proven unable to resist the temptation of the tree of knowledge for more than three hours. I had said: ‘you are divine (Psalms 82,6-7)-however you will have to die like humans.” In the past you were able to experience the Holy Spirit directly through Me. From now on you will be able to experience it only through the intermediary, the angel.” This is the meaning of “here I will send My angel ahead of you.” This is reflected in what Jeremiah 3,19 had in mind when he said: “I had resolved to adopt you as My child, and I gave you a desirable land- the fairest heritage of all nations; and I thought you would surely call Me “Father,” and never cease to be loyal to Me.
Note how the commentary couples miracles to the concept of the giving of the Torah and the power of God to give us freedom. Note also how the commentary speaks of experiencing the Holy Spirit of God only through the intermediary. This parallels Yeshua’s words of receiving the Holy Spirit of God through faith in Him. (John 14) The idea of slavery is to be blind to this truth, blind to the chains that one is bound up with in relation to one’s inner depravity! This is what led to the people to be rebelious and not recognize how we need the Lord’s help to overcome and obey His Word. In the Scriptures, there is the contrast that is made between the children of the light (בְּנֵי הָאוֹר) those who love the truth are the children of God, and those who are the children of the darkness (בְּנֵי הַחשֶׁךְ) those who love the lie, deception, and are followers of the evil one (Satan). Those who follow the evil one question God, just like the serpent did in the garden according to Bereshit / Genesis 3. John wrote in 1 John 1:7 to walk in the light, and in doing so we have fellowship with God. Yeshua said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Those who love the truth are called the am kadosh, the holy people, separate from the evil that is so prevalent in this world. Whereas, the children of the darkness “hate the good and love evil.” (Tehillim / Psalm 34:21, Mishley / Proverbs 8:13, Amos 5:15, John 3:20-21) Remember how the Lord told us in the Scriptures by the hand of King David that “The kings of the earth station themselves, and the dignitaries take counsel together against the LORD and His Messiah.” (see Tehillim / Psalm 2:1-3). John repeatedly used the “light” metaphor in relation to the Messiah. For example, he writes that Yeshua is “the true light that gives light to every man.” (John 1:9) The use of the light analogy draws a parallel to the scientific research of Optical Fields modifying electrons in metals. The truth of God stirs something up within us! The truth gives us the strength and resolution and determination to walk boldly during these times. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) We are not without the help of God, we are told that the Holy Spirit of God is given to comfort us, to strengthen us, and to help us. (John 14) The English verb “comfort” means “to give strength,” this is something that is similarly expressed by the verb “encourage,” meaning to strengthen the soul. In Hebrew, the word courage is expressed by the phrase ometz lev (אמֶץ לֵב), meaning “strong of heart.” This describes the inner desire and will which is transformed by the Spirit of God, as opposed to the intellect. Our faith is the mechanism of these things and the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 4:4, 5:4).
The inferences that we receive from the scientific research leads to this idea that the Lord is working in our lives to bring truth, justice, righteousness, and holiness that is grounded in God’s Word and supported by faith. The Torah illustrates the responsibility we have to trust in the promises of God, regardless of our limited interpretation of appearances. The Scientific reserach into the physical laws that are involved at the quantum level, allow us to probe the coherent field interactions by exciting photoelectrons into the photoemission continuum, these things describe the material reality at the quantum level. The Torah’s moral and ethical laws describes our spiritual reality, of the power of God in our lives to live moral and ethical lives! This is realized through trusting in the unseen God we believe in order to see, not the other way around. This is the power of God in our lives to confess His truth, to believe upon Yeshua His Messiah, and to say not matter what happens, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). Faith is able to see beyond the temporal to the eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18) Faith is able to give us comfort in the blessings of God to endure the trials of this world. May the LORD God Israel, Yeshua our Messiah, strengthen us all. Amen.