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Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters…
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Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness (2006 original; edició 2011)

de Bruce Rosenblum (Autor), Fred Kuttner (Autor)

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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 whatthey 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 whatit 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 someleading 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.… (més)
Membre:scanclanlibrary
Títol:Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness
Autors:Bruce Rosenblum (Autor)
Altres autors:Fred Kuttner (Autor)
Informació:Oxford University Press (2011), Edition: 2, 304 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness de Bruce Rosenblum (2006)

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An excellent explanation of the quantum enigma and its history. The math and theory are described very simply and clearly. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 26, 2019 |
Great read, even doable for people with no or little physics background. ( )
  Gigantopithecus | Aug 26, 2018 |
Quantum mechanics is perhaps the most controversial scientific theory after Darwin's theory of evolution.

On one side, new age and self-help gurus of all sorts concoct simplistic, frivolous and even deceitful interpretations of quantum mechanics, ranging from the "Law of Attraction" to the magical powers of positive thinking.

This is the crowd that assures we can somehow "get the universe to provide" us with everything our hearts desire, from six-pack abs to Harley Davidson bikes and the hot lovers to enjoy all these goodies with, as long as we just keep asking for it fervently enough -- and buying our guru's products and services thankyouverymuch.

PHYSICS' SKELETON IN THE CLOSET

On the other side, a large part of the scientific community who deal with quantum mechanics, physicists prominently among them, are extremely reluctant to address the implications of the astonishing and mysterious facts observed in the laboratory:

** that human observation definitively creates the properties of matter;

** that everything in the universe is inexorably interconnected: any two things that have ever interacted are forever "entangled": your friend's decision of what to do in Beijing (or in Saturn) can instantaneously (though randomly) influence what happens to you in Buenos Aires, without any physical force involved. Einstein called these influences "spooky actions".

OLD-SCHOOL OPEN-MIDEDNESS

With a refreshing approach, Kutter and Rosenblum encourage us to embrace the enigma posed by quantum mechanics with the sober, yet open-minded attitude that many of history's most brilliant physicists approached this issue with during the early decades of the 20th century.

NOT "THE SECRET"

Does the quantum enigma mean that we can somehow control matter with our thoughts? That we can micro-engineer the way the future unfolds in our lives? No, it doesn't.

But it definitely means we can have an influence on it beyond what conventional thinking leads us to believe.

"Spooky actions" at a distance imply that what we do, even what we think, have an impact in the outer world -- for better or worse.

THE VERY SIMPLE, PRAGMATIC LESSON

While there's no way to fine tune the impact that our thoughts and actions have in the world, the acknowledgement that that impact is absolutely real gives us a very rational basis to reinforce our deep-seated emotional tendency to hope that at least the quality of our thoughts and actions will produce an impact of the same quality on other living beings.

Moreover, we can rest assured that there is no need to advocate for Great Causes or embark upon Grandiose Adventures in order to contribute to a better world. If that's your true vocation, more power to you; but in a very real sense, working on our own personal growth is enough.

"If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do." - Mahatma Gandhi

Notice the difference between Ghandi's quote above and the "be the change you want to see in the world" bumper-sticker version, which apparently he never said -- a similar contrast to that between the self-help interpretations of quantum mechanics and the real deal.

" ... thou canst not stir a flower without troubling a star" - Francis Thompson
  alanfurth | Oct 31, 2012 |
I understand that there's a potential, but I didn't understand it so far and I've almost finished it :( ( )
  Princesca | Nov 17, 2011 |
Quantum Enigma
Bruce Rosenbaum and Fred Kuttner
June 8, 2010

Quantum theory is unchallenged as an explanation for observed phenomena, but has at is core the completely fantastic idea that observation of a quantum state causes changes in quantum states so far removed from the experiment that no information can possibly be transmitted between the two states. It leads to the idea that conscious observers are required for the universe to exist. The authors relentlessly confront the oddness of the quantum theory, but reject the more fantastic claims of parapsychology and religion. The chapters on consciousness and quantum theory are brief but provocative. The stories about physicists are entertaining, but the playful dialogues about lands in which quantum phenomena come alive are puerile.
The authors taught this material in a course for undergraduates who are not physicists, and admit that there speculations are not welcome among many physicists, who stay with the Copenhagen interpretation of shut up and calculate. ( )
  neurodrew | Jun 20, 2010 |
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Bruce Rosenblumautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Kuttner, Fredautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
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I have thought a hundred times as much about the quantum problem as I have about general relativity theory.

-- Albert Einstein
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We dedicate our book to the memory of John Bell, perhaps the leading quantum theorist of the latter half of the twentieth century. His writings, lectures, and personal conversations have inspired us.

Is it not good to know what follows from what, even if it is not necessary FAPP? [FAPP is Bell's suggested abbreviation of "for all practical purposes."] Suppose for example the quantum mechanics were found to resist precise formulation. Suppose that when formulation beyond FAPP is attempted, we find an unmovable finger obstinately pointing outside the subject, to the mind of the observer, to the Hindu scriptures, to God, or even only Gravitation? Would that not be very, very interesting?
--John Bell
Primeres paraules
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This is a controversial book.
I was visiting friends in Princeton one Saturday in the 1950s when our host asked his son-in-law, Bill Bennett, and me (Bruce) if we'd like to spend the evening with his friend, Albert Einstein. [from chapter 1 of the second edition]
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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 whatthey 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 whatit 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 someleading 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.

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