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Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness Hardcover – June 29, 2006
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"A remarkable and readable presentation of the basic mysteries of science, our universe, and human life. Critically important problems in our understanding are interestingly discussed with perception, depth, and careful objectivity."--Charles Townes, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, inventor of the laser, and Templeton Prize recipient
"Employing the simplest, correct demonstration of the Great Quantum Dilemma that I have ever seen, Rosenblum and Kuttner starkly expose the hidden skeleton in the physicist's closet."--Nick Herbert, author of Quantum Reality
"This book is unique. I know of no other which so artfully tackles two of the greatest mysteries of modern science, quantum mechanics and consciousness. It has long been suspected that these mysteries are somehow related. The authors' treatment of this thorny and controversial issue is honest, wide-ranging and immensely readable. The book contains some of the clearest expositions I have ever seen of the strange and paradoxical nature of the quantum world. Quantum Enigma is a pleasure to read, and I am sure it is destined to become a classic."--George Greenstein, Professor of Astronomy, Amherst College, Co-author of The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
"The boundary of existence that modern physics finds itself butting against is consciousness. The cautious, sober approach of Quantum Enigma makes its astonishing conclusions all the more credible. This is an immensely important and exciting book."--Raymond Chester Russ, Editor, Journal of Mind and Behavior
"Thoroughly engaging for both seasoned physicists and interested laypersons. Fascinating, important."--Choice
About the Author
Bruce Rosenblum is Professor of Physics and former Chairperson of the Physics Department at the University of California, 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.
After a career in industry that included two technology startups, and following a second career in academic administration, Fred Kuttner now devotes most of his time to teaching physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research interests have centered on the low temperature properties of solids and the thermal properties of magnets. For the last several years, Kuttner has worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics and the implications of the quantum theory.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was familiar with the "Schrodinger's cat" thought experiment. However, once again, While I understood that the act of observing the cat determined whether the cat was alive or dead," it had not been driven home to me that the act of observing also created the cat's history of "aliveness or deadness" at the same time.
The authors are most careful to avoid suggesting conclusions to be drawn from the "weirdness" of quantum mechanics and stay close to experimental results and standard physics when examining quantum mechanics. They present the various interpretations of quantum mechanics so the reader is exposed to the range of physicists' explanations of the experimental findings. But, as Richard Feynman said (pg. 87), "We cannot make the mystery go away by 'explaining' how it works." Quantum weirdness will speak for itself.
If you think that science is all cold fact and no mystery, then this book will expand your understanding. It expanded mine. For this reason, I recommend the book highly.
Using my five star rating guide [...], this must merit five stars. I am absolutely going to start this book again immediately, to work harder to try to wrap my mind around the science & escapable contradictions described in it.
Personally, I am interested in the relationship between this enigma, free will, predestination, and how these questions relate to Calvinist Christian assertions of the lack of free choice in salvation (Calvin's pre-chosen), discussions of the anthropic principle and its relationship to the God of Christianity.
This is all super hard stuff. But this book does a good job helping you on the journey.
The authors, Fred Kuttner and Bruce Rosenblum, truly know how to write for the ordinary lay person. Their ideas are well laid out, very clear, and easy to digest.
After reading this, I now have a real, true understanding of Quantum Physics as never before. For instance,something such as the polarization of light was something I would never dream of ever understanding without going back to school.
I have also gotten an in-depth understanding of "Entanglement" and many other physics concepts that I have always wanted to fathom.
While leading up to the encounter with consciousness, they have laid it all out in such a manner that could easily appealed to a non-scientific audience, and I sometimes even felt as if were reading a suspenseful mystery novel.
This was pure enjoyment, not to mention a great boost to my own spiritual world view of a universal connectedness.