Duality or complementarity ?
In quantum physics, wave-particle duality means that all physical objects seem to have a dual nature, both as waves and particles. This is only observable at the quantum level. Light, for example, can be described in terms of wavelengths or particles, called photons.
In 1927, the Danish physicist Niels Bohr enunciated the principle of quantum complementarity. According to him, waves and particles represent two aspects of the same reality. Like Yin and Yang. His coat of arms was even adorned with this symbol, accompanied by the text « opposites are complementary ».
This principle is in line with the thinking of the Copenhagen school. The latter not only considers that at the atomic level, it makes no sense to talk about objects independently of any measurement, but that the effect of the measuring device on the object cannot be neglected. In other words, the observer, through his measuring device, has an influence on the result of the measurement.
The importance, or not, of the observer
Before we look at the observer, let’s take a closer look at waves and particles.
What is a wave ?
When we think of a wave, we often tend to visualize a sinusoid. And, personally, ever since high school physics, that’s how I’ve always think of it. But to think of a wave like that… is equivalent to think that the Earth is flat !
Because a sinusoid is just a 2‑dimensional representation of a 3‑dimensional vortex (yes, we live in a 3‑D world!). Throw a stone into the water, and you will be able to observe on the surface a movement that forms, the wave that we are used to imagine as such. But do you know that there are things happening under the surface of the water too?! When the stone sinks, it forms a vortex. A vortex made up of water particles – molecules – that self-organize. A vortex at the source of the wave motion propagating to the surface.
This simple observation shows us, at our scale, that the wave and the particle are complementary and inseparable.
What does this have to do with the quantum scale, you may ask ? It appears when we wonder what a particle is.
What is a particle ?
But what is vacuum ? This issue is discussed in detail in the article on the fractal and holographic universe. Let’s just say here that vacuum is full of energy and that there is a kind of constant dialogue between vacuum – the quantum scale – and matter.
Electrons that make up matter – the water molecules in the previous example – inform the quantum vacuum of their experience at each « quantum instant ». In particular, they inform the vacuum of their location in space and time. On the quantum scale, they are influenced by the experience of all the other electrons, which themselves inform the vacuum. Then they go back to inform matter, modified by the information they have just been in contact with.
In doing so, they materialize at new coordinates, however close enough to the previous ones so it creates an appearance of continuity at our scale. In this case a wave-like movement on the water surface (see also the article Movement and perception).
Therefore waves and particles are not always what they seem to be, and the way they are observed depends… on the observer !
What about the observer ?
Two different observers will be able to observe the waves in two different ways : in 2 dimensions or in 3 dimensions. They will also be able to observe the particles in two different ways : matter or vacuum. And a third observer will be able to see a duality between the wave and the particle, while another will see a complementarity.
In this sense, the observer is essential because his interpretation influences the way in which we conceive quantum physics (in this case). Interpretation that is directly related to the consciousness of the observer at the moment of observation.
On the basis of the unified field theory, consciousness is an informational feedback between inner and outer world. This means that the observer does have an influence on what he observes. And that in return this observation influences the state of consciousness of the observer. In other words, « we create reality and reality creates us » , via the quantum vacuum.
The observer, through his self-awareness and the interpretations he makes as a result of his observations, has an influence on the advancement of complexity and consciousness in the universe. In return, everything that is manifested in the universe has an influence on him.
However, the observer’s influence is limited, in the sense that the material world is created whether we observe it or not. Because its creation depends not on the observer but on the feedback between matter and quantum vacuum.
The importance, or not, of observation
In this frame of reference, the way in which « waves/particles » exist and manifest themselves is not a question of observer strictly speaking. Rather, it is a question of the relationship between the observer and the observed.
This relationship is highlighted by the French philosopher Michel Bitbol. It takes up the Copenhagen interpretation, considering that wave and corpuscular properties are not intrinsic to micro-objects. Thus, according to him, the wave-particle duality reveals nothing about the nature of things. It simply teaches us that « waves/particles » take on different appearances depending on how we observe them… or not.
This last point is crucial, because if observation or non-observation does not have consequences in this context at our scale, the situation is different at the quantum level. Indeed, classical objects behave in a regular and predictive way, giving us the right to think, for example, that if we leave a room, the objects it contains will always be there when we will come back. It’s as if things continue whether we observe them or not. However, on a microscopic level, we can’t say that. When we do not observe, there is a lack of knowledge, and then, as in the example of Schrödinger’s cat, states of superimposition take place. As soon as we observe, the superposition collapses, giving way to a single reality.
But are we sure what we’re observing ?
The way we observe things raises another problem at the quantum level : are we sure of what we are really observing ? Are those waves ? Particles ? None of this ? According to Michel Bitbol, we cannot have the proof that we observe waves from diffraction and interference patterns, because these patterns can also be obtained without the waves :
« It would be true that diffraction and interference prove the existence of waves if there were no alternative explanation for the existence of diffraction and interference than waves. And this is not the case (…). There are physicists who have found alternative explanations showing how you can have interference patterns or diffraction patterns without the waves. » 
And this is also transposable to particles. Therefore, in the end, we cannot know what is really in the infinitely small. All we know is that there are phenomena.
In quantum physics, these phenomena depend on a measurement context. Thus waves and particles are not the intrinsic properties of micro-objects. However, they are to be related to certain types of measures. Some measuring devices will produce wave-like effects, while other devices will produce particle-like effects. The only lesson that can be drawn from all this is that the knower and the known appear dependently.
Particles without intrinsic existence
Michel Bitbol reminds us that in classical physics, we can always distinguish two objects even if they are identical because they cannot be in the same place at the same time. Moreover, in quantum physics, particles are indistinguishable, they can interpenetrate, interlock, or occupy the same volume. Then he makes the following hypothesis : for such a thing to be possible, perhaps particles do not exist as such. He quotes Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond and Bernard d’Espagnat, for whom « particles have the mode of existence of a rainbow » , that is, not the mode of existence of something solid, but a relational mode of existence. A rainbow is the result of a relationship between the sun, the drops of water, and an observer. Likewise, particles do not have an absolute existence, but an existence that is part of a relationship between a measuring device and an observer.
What about consciousness ?
Some interpretations of quantum physics argue that the role of the observer’s consciousness is to determine the final state of the particles – and thus our reality – by causing what is called the reduction of wave function. It is the collapse of the function of a probability, so the state of a physical system reduced entirely to that which has been measured. That was what Schrödinger was trying to explain with the experience of the cat, whose state is superimposed until the box is opened.
Observation and perception
In his days, David Bohm asked a lot of questions about the relationship between the observer and the observed :
« My first encounter with Krishnamurti’s work took place in 1959, thanks to the reading of First and Last Freedom. What aroused my interest was above all the incisive and deep vision he had of the problem of the observer and the observed. This question has long been at the heart of my own research in theoretical physics, focusing mainly on the implications of quantum theory. In this theory, for the first time in the history of physics, the idea that the observer and the observed object are inseparable was put forward as an indispensable notion for the understanding of the fundamental laws of matter in general. » .
He will establish with Krishnamurti that in true perception, the distinction between the observer and the observed no longer exists : « only perception exists, the subject who perceives does not exist » . In fact, everything happens as if the consciousness we are talking about in quantum physics is assimilated to observation and not to perception. Perception is confused with observation. If to observe is to be conscious at a level more or less close to mental, to perceive implies a completely different level of consciousness. Perception is as if beyond observation.
A question of definition
It is to explore the possible role of consciousness that I had originally chosen to present quantum physics. But in the end, I found myself questioned by the very « definition » of consciousness. Perhaps in popularizing quantum physics, we’re using the word consciousness a little fast. Because what conscience are we talking about ?
The one who believes in the veracity of measurement ? The one that, being considered distinct from the physical world, would provide the « indeterministic » ingredient of measurement ? Or the one trapped in mental ? The one which, being trapped in mental, will have a limited creative and perceptual influence in relation to a consciousness anchored in presence ? Or the one which, being trapped in mental, will simply oscillate between different levels of unconsciousness ?
Towards quantum consciousness
There is laudable questioning about consciousness in quantum physics, the problem is that there is no real definition of consciousness. All the interest and relevance of Nassim Haramein’s theory is that it proposes and it is based on an explanation of what consciousness is. The dynamics of consciousness embodies both the container and the content of his theory. And it applies to both quantum physics and cosmological physics (see also the article on quantum consciousness).
The universe makes a feedback loop on itself to observe itself, at all scales. The observer and the observed are one, whether we are aware of it or not. Our observations are not our own, because we do not observe the universe from an external point of view. We are part of its own awareness process.
Notes and references
 HARAMEIN Nassim. (September 25, 2013). Nassim Haramein Complete [Podcast]
 BITBOL Michel. (January 18, 2013). Dissiper les propriétés intrinsèques et l’existence intrinsèque, In : Fleurs du dharma, Mind and Life XXVI – Esprit, cerveau et matière, p.7, free translation
 LEVY-LEBLOND Jean-Marc, D’ESPAGNAT Bernard, quoted by BITBOL Michel, op.cit., p.8, free translation
 KRISHNAMURTI Jiddu and BOHM David, Les limites de la pensée, Paris : Le livre de poche, 2006, p.9, free translation
 Ibid., p.155, free translation