I spent the last few days at the annual convention of the Parapsychological Association, held at the University of Washington in Seattle this year. Next year will be Paris. Busy, busy, busy! The PA is the scientific professional association of the (too few) scientifically trained researchers in this field, and papers are sometimes exciting, but always solid as they are refereed by experts before being accepted.
The most exciting paper to me was one by leading parapsychologist Dean Radin (see his webpage at www.deanradin.com), “Consciousness and the Quantum Wave Function: Experiments with an Optical Double-Slit System, “done with colleagues Paul Wendland and Robert Rickenbach. You have probably all heard of the classical double-slit experiment in physics which helped create modern quantum theory. You fire a stream of subatomic particles (light, electrons, etc.) through a very narrow slit with detectors behind it. Sometimes, depending on the final observation conditions of the experiment, they come through as if they were individual particles, sometimes as if they were a wave. This led to the idea that observation, consciousness is critical at the quantum level, and that until phenomena are observed they exist only as a cloud of probabilities rather than something definite. I can’t explain it well, but it’s a fundamental experiment in physics.
So with all this fuss made over the role of consciousness in terms of how the experimental outcome is observed, what happens if you deliberately put more consciousness into the system by having people think about the slit?
A massive shift in the outcome occurs…..
I hope Radin can overcome the prejudice against parapsychology and get this published in a mainstream physics journal, as it’s revolutionary.
Don’t ask me to explain it more clearly, I know how little physics I know!