Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness

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Oxford University Press, Aug 1, 2011 - Science - 287 pages
32 Reviews
In trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics, the most successful theory in science and the basis of one-third of our economy. They found, to their embarrassment, that with their theory, physics encounters consciousness. Authors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain all this in non-technical terms with help from some fanciful stories and anecdotes about the theory's developers. They present the quantum mystery honestly, emphasizing what is and what is not speculation. Quantum Enigma's description of the experimental quantum facts, and the quantum theory explaining them, is undisputed. Interpreting what it all means, however, is heatedly controversial. But every interpretation of quantum physics involves consciousness. Rosenblum and Kuttner therefore turn to exploring consciousness itself--and encounter quantum mechanics. Free will and anthropic principles become crucial issues, and the connection of consciousness with the cosmos suggested by some leading quantum cosmologists is mind-blowing. Readers are brought to a boundary where the particular expertise of physicists is no longer the only sure guide. They will find, instead, the facts and hints provided by quantum mechanics and the ability to speculate for themselves.In the few decades since the Bell's theorem experiments established the existence of entanglement (Einstein's "spooky action"), interest in the foundations, and the mysteries, of quantum mechanics has accelerated. In recent years, physicists, philosophers, computer engineers, and even biologists have expanded our realization of the significance of quantum phenomena. This second edition includes such advances. The authors have also drawn on many responses from readers and instructors to improve the clarity of the book's explanations.
  

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Review: Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness

User Review  - Tomasz M - Goodreads

A very interesting and mind opening read, though I found it a little too brief and repetitive, with many statements repeated again and again with slightly different wording, and retold using too many ... Read full review

Review: Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness

User Review  - Bryce Haymond - Goodreads

A wide ranging explanation of quantum theory and some of the potential implications of its most shocking aspects. The universe is stranger than you think, but it's your thinking that may have made it so. Read full review

Contents

And I Wish I Had Known
3
A Quantum Parable
11
A Universal Law of Motion
21
4 All the Rest of Classical Physics
39
5 How the Quantum Was Forced on Physics
55
The New Universal Law of Motion
73
The Observer Problem
87
8 Our Skeleton in the Closet
101
EPR
155
Bells Theorem
173
14 Experimental Metaphysics
193
15 Whats Going On? Interpreting the Quantum Enigma
203
16 The Mystery of Consciousness
221
17 The Mystery Meets the Enigma
237
18 Consciousness and the Quantum Cosmos
257
Suggested Reading
271

9 OneThird of Our Economy
115
10 Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen
125
11 Schrödingers Controversial Cat
143

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About the author (2011)


Bruce Rosenblum is currently Professor of Physics, emeritus, at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He has also consulted extensively for government and industry on technical and policy issues. His research has moved from molecular physics to condensed matter physics, and, after a foray into biophysics, has focused on fundamental issues in quantum mechanics.

Fred Kuttner is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He devotes most of his time to teaching physics after a career in industry, including two technology startups, and a second career in academic administration. His research interests have included the low temperature propoerties o solids and the thermal properties of magnets. For the last several years he has worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics and the implications of the quantum theory.

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