Quantum Enigma : Physics Encounters Consciousness: Physics Encounters Consciousness

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Jun 5, 2006 - Science - 224 pages
4 Reviews
The most successful theory in all of science--and the basis of one third of our economy--says the strangest things about the world and about us. Can you believe that physical reality is created by our observation of it? Physicists were forced to this conclusion, the quantum enigma, by what they observed in their laboratories. Trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics and found, to their embarrassment, that their theory intimately connects consciousness with the physical world. Quantum Enigma explores what that implies and why some founders of the theory became the foremost objectors to it. Schrodinger showed that it "absurdly" allowed a cat to be in a "superposition" simultaneously dead and alive. Einstein derided the theory's "spooky interactions." With Bell's Theorem, we now know Schrodinger's superpositions and Einstein's spooky interactions indeed exist. Authors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain all of this in non-technical terms with help from some fanciful stories and bits about the theory's developers. They present the quantum mystery honestly, with an emphasis on what is and what is not speculation. Physics' encounter with consciousness is its skeleton in the closet. Because the authors open the closet and examine the skeleton, theirs is a controversial book. Quantum Enigma's description of the experimental quantum facts, and the quantum theory explaining them, is undisputed. Interpreting what it all means, however, is controversial. Every interpretation of quantum physics encounters consciousness. Rosenblum and Kuttner therefore turn to exploring consciousness itself--and encounter quantum physics. 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 a sure guide. They will find, instead, the facts and hints provided by quantum mechanics and the ability to speculate for themselves.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

The title is misleading, there is nothing "new-age" about this book, it's worth a read!

Related books

Contents

1 Presenting the Enigma
3
2 Einstein Called It Spookyand I Wish I Had Known
9
A Quantum Parable
15
A Universal Law of Motion
23
5 All the Rest of Classical Physics
39
6 How the Quantum Was Forced on Physics
53
The New Universal Law of Motion
69
8 OneThird of Our Economy
81
11 Schrödingers Controversial Cat
115
EPR
125
Bells Theorem
139
14 Whats Going On? Interpreting the Quantum Enigma
153
15 The Mystery of Consciousness
167
16 The Mystery Meets the Enigma
179
17 Consciousness and the Quantum Cosmos
193
Suggested Reading
203

9 Our Skeleton in the Closet
87
10 Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen
99

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information