Scientific Qi Exploration. Some Modern Scientific Theories of Qi

1. Introduction

Recent scientific discoveries, such as, the theories of strings and subtle energy, can be used to model Qi. Some physical and biological manifestations accompanying Qi in the body, such as, infra-red radiation will be presented in later parts. Finally, effects of external Qi projection on animate and inanimate matter will be discussed.

2. Quantum Field Theory

Quantum field theory was originally created to describe the creation and annihilation of light, because creation and annihilation operations are intrinsically incorporated in each quantum field. Later, it was used to describe the creation and annihilation of sound, electrons and other substances.

The smallest particle of sound energy is called a phonon, which is described in quantum field theory. The idea of the phonon is extremely powerful, and goes beyond our daily understanding of sound. It is essential for the establishment of the field of solid-state physics, which is the basis of semiconductors, transistors and computer chips. For example, the energy of phonons accounts for most of the heat energy of a solid. The warmth of a solid is due to the flow of phonons inside the solid. The interaction of phonons with electrons at low temperature is instrumental to bring about superconductivity as first shown in the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer theory more than 40 years ago.

We cannot see the oscillation of air molecules, but when sound hits our eardrum, we hear the sound. Sound has energy, and carries a type of message to the ear. Sensitive patients can feel Qi moving along the meridians.

Using the analogy between Qi energy and the energy produced by sound vibration, Lo (1) proposed calling the smallest particle of Qi energy a qion. The qion is like a phonon and can be described by quantum field theory. Qions produce oscillations of polarized media in the meridians, which according to Lo are most likely made up of stable water clusters with permanent electric dipole moments. We cannot see the propagation of Qi with our eyes, but when Qi reaches the problem area, infrared image techniques can be used to detect it.

If this theory is correct, coherent infrared radiation should be detected, or even more speculatively, the existence of superconductivity in some state of a human being. Further, in Physics, energy is conserved quantitatively. If Qi is defined in a narrow and precise manner as oscillation on the system of meridians, branches and capillaries, it can be quantified and measurable with detectors. Qi, then, has a strict meaning with precise consequences in that it will be calculated, predicted, and measured by a variety of future instruments. The principle of these instruments is well- known, and used extensively in physics. They need to be modified to apply to human beings. When such instruments are invented and used, Chinese medicine will become more rigorous.

3. String Theory

Many models are possible for any phenomena. The criterion for judging a model is its usefulness for a particular task. For example, a dressmaker’s dummy is suitable for fitting dresses. However, it is useless as a crash-test dummy or to construct an artificial hand.

Zhang Zai (1020-1077) said that the Great Void consists of Qi. Qi condenses to become the myriad of things. Thus, to model Qi, taking Zhang Zai’s assertion into account, requires that the model of Qi can show that all objects in the physical world can be formed from Qi. Lo’s theory of Qi, in Section 2, may prove useful for certain branches of Chinese medicine, like acupuncture. However, it is not the basis of everything. String Theory, discussed below, is a better model.

The name atom comes from the Greek word ἄτομος (atomos) meaning something that cannot be divided further. The concept of an atom as an indivisible component of matter was first proposed by early Greek and Indian scientists. Chemists in the 17th and 18th centuries provided a physical basis for this idea by showing that certain substances (elements) could not be further broken down by chemical means. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, physicists discovered subatomic components and structure inside the atom, demonstrating that the atom was not indivisible. For example, Rutherford showed that the atom was composed of a nucleus and orbiting electrons. Later physicists showed that the nucleus was composed of neutrons and protons.

An elementary particle or fundamental particle is a particle not known to have substructure – that is, composed of smaller particles. An elementary particle is one of the basic building blocks of the universe from which all other particles are made. Until 1932, the “elementary” particles were the electron, proton, and neutron. Using sophisticated particle accelerators more than 200 subatomic particles have been discovered. However, most are not fundamental and are composed of other, simpler particles (2).

The interactions between the particles are ascribed to the exchange of other particles, called “force carriers”. From experiments it is known that there are just four basic forces in nature: electromagnetic, gravitational, weak and strong forces. The last two forces act in the nucleus. The weak nuclear force is responsible for radioactive decay, while the strong force binds protons and neutrons together to make up the nucleus.

The most fundamental theory today that is substantially confirmed by experiment is the “Standard Model” of three interactions: electro-magnetic, weak nuclear and strong nuclear. In this model, particles like electrons, muons, neutrinos and quarks make up matter. They interact via the above forces. The force carriers are other particles, such as photons and the more recently discovered W and Z bosons and gluons.

The Standard Model allows to calculate the rates at which interactions take place. These rates can be measured in an accelerator or other laboratory equipment and compared with the theory. The result of this comparison has been very successful, and has led to several Nobel Prizes in l.

Today, the consensus is that the Standard Model is approximate and incomplete. It does not incorporate gravity. This is believed to be mediated by the exchange of gravitons, and due to problems of mathematical consistency, no one has ever been able to incorporate gravity into the Standard Model. Another problem with this model is that one has to assume the existence of distinct forces and their carriers. Einstein hoped that there would be a “unified” theory in which all known forces would emerge out of a single one in some way.

The discovery of string theory in the 1970’s led to a unified theory. Strings could be closed, like a loop, or open, with two end points. The mathematical equations describing strings allows them to vibrate. Each mode of vibration can be interpreted as a point-like elementary particle, just as the modes of a musical string are perceived as distinct notes.

Some particles, arising as strings’ vibrations are very similar to the known matter particles (electrons, muons, neutrinos and quarks). There are others similar to the known force carriers (photons, W and Z bosons and gluons). There is even one particle similar to the graviton, the force carrier of gravity. Thus, string theory produces the known particles and the right types of interactions among them, as in the Standard Model. The inconsistency, which for decades made it impossible to incorporate gravity into quantum theory, has been resolved in string theory.

String theory suffers from some major problems. A physical object or quantity that is a string has not been discovered. As a theory of quantum gravity, it does not yet make any predictions that are currently subject to experimental verification. Another difficulty is that much of theory is still only formulated as a series of perturbations or approximations rather than as an exact solution. Better resolutions of the 10 or 11 dimensions required in string/M- theory and our 4-dimensional world need to be studied further.

Zhang Zai’s concept of Qi would be satisfied by equating Qi with the energy of strings. Presently, this would not be a good model to account for the property that the Mind can control Qi. There does not seem to be any definitive research, that the Mind can influence strings.

4. The Field and Mind Intention Experiments

The idea of the zero-point field (4) arises out of quantum physics from the uncertainty principle of W. Heisenberg. This principle states that the products of the standard deviations of the position and the momentum of a particle, such as an electron, is greatert than or equal to half of Plank’s constant. Thus, as one of these deviations become small the other must become large. Thus, if a particle was motionless its momentum and positions would both be known precisely and simultaneously, violating the uncertainty principle, since both deviations would be zero..

Adding up all the movement of all the particles of all varieties in the universe, gives a vast inexhaustible energy source in empty space. The idea of a vacuum being simply empty space is no longer valid. If all matter and radiation were extracted from a volume of space, this space is still permeated by the zero-point field with its ceaseless electromagnetic fluctuations. An idea of the magnitude of that power is that the energy in a single cubic yard of ‘empty’ space is enough to boil all the oceans of the world. “Zero-point” refers to the fact that even though this energy is huge, it is the lowest possible energy state. All other energy is over and above the zero-point state.

In (4), the importance of the Zero Point Field is stated to be that all matter in the universe is interconnected by quantum waves which are spread out through time and space, tying one part of the universe to every other part. This idea might be able to offer a scientific explanation for the belief in a life force or Qi.

Some experiments described in (3) and (4) are that one person’s brain waves begin to synchronize with another person’s during ESP; exhaustive studies at Princeton have shown that the human mind can also influence REG machines, built to perform a random electronic toss of the coin, so that we can ‘will’ the machine to produce more heads, say, than tails; human bodies can act as transmitting and receiving antennas; living things demonstrate awareness of the well-being of other living things around them; biofields change when receiving and sending healing intentions; physical health improves when others send focused healing intentions and different forms of meditation produce strikingly different brain waves.

Human beings, on their most fundamental level, are packets of quantum energy constantly exchanging information with the Zero Point Field. However, there seems to be no definitive reasoning showing that the mind can influence small particles or energy in this field, and so large objects

5. Subtle Energy

An eleven dimensional model is used in (6) to describe how the mind can influence the physical world. According to Tiller there are actually two levels of physical reality and not just one. Physical reality is an 8 dimensional space, consisting of ordinary Physical D-Space, with 3 space coordinates and time, and the Conjugate Physical R-Space, consisting of waves described by 4 coordinate wave numbers.

There are two basic kinds of unique substances found in these two levels of physical reality. They appear to interpenetrate each other but, normally, they do not interact with each other, called the uncoupled state of physical reality. In the uncoupled state the normal physical environment can be detected with our five physical senses. But the substance in this normal state of physical reality is not influenced by human intention. The substance in the “new” level of physical reality, R-Space, appears to function in the empty space (zero point field) between the fundamental electric particles that make up our normal electric atoms and molecules. As such, it is currently invisible to us and to our traditional measurement instruments.

The bridge, according to Tiller, is the Deltron. Deltrons are a hypothetical substance which can travel both faster than light and slower than light, and communicate between D and R space. This is of even more interest to us than most particle physics anomalies because Deltrons are, according to this theory, part of the emotional domain. The emotional domain apparently allows human intention to interact with Deltrons, bridging the mind and the physical world. Thus, the concentration of the Deltron and the intensity of human intention must also be specified, which requires 2 more coordinates. Finally, another coordinate is required to specify the intention from the Spirit level. The 11 dimensional model appears in Figure 1.

The model is formulated using complex mathematics which is not easy to understand by the general reader. The theory predicts that successful “psychoenergetic” experiments occur when there is higher electromagnetic gauge symmetry than usual. Human intention can accomplish this feat, according to the theory, and this allows the novel kind of connectivity between humans and objects that is found in all sorts of paranormal phenomena. Tiller’s theory says that human intention can create the conditions for paranormal phenomena because the human subtle energy system (which coincides with the acupuncture meridians and Yogic chakras) actually exists in some sense at the elevated electromagnetic gauge symmetry level.

Tiller invented a device (the IIED) which can measure this critical shift in electromagnetic gauge symmetry and can accept imprints of human intention. The IIED, or “intention imprinting electrical device” is impacted by human intension using deep meditation. This device can then be moved to distant locations and turned on. The activated IIED is permitted to condition a new environment and so affect objects. Tiller has conducted several experiments using the IIED. For example, the pH (or hydrogen ion concentration) in water is affected by this conditioning. The pH can increase or decrease by 1 depending on the intension imprinted on the IIED. Tiller shows that the properly imprinted IIED can influence the activity of the alkaline phosphatase enzyme (ALP) which is a hydrolase responsible for removing phosphates groups from many types of molecules, including, nucleotides, proteins, and alkaloids. Tiller also studies fruit flies; he looks at larval development time, and [ATP]/[ADP] ratios. Again Tiller finds a treatment effects due to IIED, suggesting a direct impact on living organism.

^Tillers model has another interesting consequence. Tiller (7 p. 132) states “Since the reason for inventing string theory was to bypass the mathematical singularity in quantum mechanics and relativity theory so that they could be united, the use of this particular duplex-space reference frame removes the need for string theory when quantum mechanics and relativity theory are mathematically formulated in this particular duplex-space format.”

A critical review of Tiller’s model by Todd Stark appears in Chapter 9 of (6) and the internet (7).


1. Lo, S. Y. The Biophysics Basis for Acupuncture and Health, Dragon Eye Press, 2004.


3. Green, B. The Elegant Universe, W. W. Norton and Co., 2003.

4. McTaggart, L. The Field Updated Ed: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, Harper Paperbacks, 2008.

5. McTaggart, L. The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World, Free Press, 2008.

6. Tiller, W. A. Psychoenergetic Science (Paperback), Pavior, 2007.



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About Martin Eisen

By profession, Dr. Eisen was a university Professor specializing in constructing mathematical models such as those in cancer chemotherapy and epilepsy. He has studied and taught Yoga, Judo, and Aikido. Dr. Eisen was the founder and chief-instructor of the Shotokan Karate Clubs at Carnegie-Mellon and Dusquene Universities and the University of Pittsburgh. He helped teach Yoga in Graterford prison. His curiousity about the relation of Qi to healing and martial arts led him to study TCM, Tai Chi and Praying Mantis Kung Fu. He was initiated as a Disciple of Master Gin Foon Mark. Dr. Eisen now teaches (at his Kwoon and by webcam), writes and researches Praying Mantis, Qigong and Yang Tai Chi - see
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