The physicists who first developed quantum theory anticipated strange holistic behaviours of the quantum world that challenged existing assumptions and stretched the imagination. Years of continued laboratory experiments have continued to add legitimacy to these predictions. As anticipated by quantum theory, particles can indeed become entangled with one another, remaining mysteriously connected while separated in space. Furthermore, particles do seem to assume multiple states simultaneously until they are measured --that is, information about the quantum system is made available to observers. For several of the founders of quantum theory, the mysterious apparent significance of observers suggested that the new physics had finally encountered a level of nature where it is no longer possible to abstract our own experience and participation from reality.
Of course, this view has been slow to take, and many physicists continue to argue that mind is irrelevant to physics. Today, however, the possible significance of consciousness is regaining legitimacy among physicists and philosophers. Part of the reason is thanks to a growing recognition of the philosophical significance of consciousness, and the apparent irreducibility of mind to purely physical behavioural processes. This difficulty has become known as the "hard problem" of consciousness, coined by the philosopher David Chalmers. Now Chalmers is taking on the mystery of quantum measurement, arguing that contemporary physics, rather than leaving no room for mind, in fact reveals a "giant causal opening" for consciousness to play a role in the world.
In the video below, Chalmers explores an interpretation of quantum physics in which consciousness could play an intrinsic role in physics after all.
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Further experiments, featured below, take the mind-involving hypothesis a step further. Conducted by IONS chief scientist Dean Radin Ph.D., the surprising result was the discovery of tangible and repeatable effects when participants directed their attention to a quantum system.