Is there actually any evidence that ghosts exist?

Why ghosts have no place in modern physics

London - A 2013 poll found that 30 percent of Austrians believe in the existence of ghosts. In the USA it is even 42 percent - actually a good reason to shake your head in amazement when you consider that so far no one has been able to provide anything remotely credible evidence of an encounter with a spiritual being. People who still do not allow themselves to be dissuaded from believing in spiritualistic phenomena like to argue that there is probably no proof that spirits do not exist - but physicists disagree.

In a recent episode of BBC Radio 4's "The Infinite Monkey Cage", the British theoretical physicist Brian Cox and US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson demonstrated that there is certainly evidence that ghosts or other forms of Beings who visit this world after the death of a person could present.

No room for ghosts

First of all, the standard model of elementary particle physics would not offer the slightest scope for the assumption of ghosts. Neither an undiscovered substance nor a previously hidden medium would be able to transport information that remains after the death of a person.

If there were some kind of pattern that preserves information from the originally living cells beyond death, then a corresponding medium would also be required - and this would have to be detectable, for example, in the detectors of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the Cern nuclear research center near Geneva, says Cox. "According to current understanding, that would be unthinkable, at least at the energy levels below which the particles in our body interact with one another," says the physicist.

On the other hand, the existence of ghosts would contradict the second law of thermodynamics. Among other things, it states that the total entropy of a closed system increases over time. Since ghosts apparently do not consist of matter, but of some kind of energy, they would have to gradually break it down through their activity - i.e. their movement, their creepy glow or their spooky noises. Such a being would have to consume itself sooner rather than later, according to Cox.

-> BBC Radio 4: The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special

(red, March 12, 2017)