The physicists who first developed quantum theory anticipated strange holistic behaviours of the quantum world. These features of quantum mechanics challenged common sense and stretched the imagination, and yet years of continued laboratory experiments have repeatedly validated these predictions. As anticipated by quantum theory, particles do indeed become entangled with each other, and remain mysteriously connected, even when separated by large distances. Particles also seem to assume multiple states simultaneously until they are measured --that is, before information about the quantum system is made available to observers. For several of the founders of quantum theory, the strange apparent significance of observers suggested that the new physics had finally encountered a level of nature where it was no longer possible to abstract our own experience.
Of course, this view has been slow to take, and many physicists continue to argue passionately that mind is irrelevant to physics. Today, however, the possible significance of consciousness is regaining legitimacy among physicists and philosophers. Partly this is due to a growing recognition of the philosophical significance of consciousness, and the apparent impossibility of describing subjective experience in terms of purely 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 a new interpretation of quantum physics in which consciousness could play an intrinsic role after all.
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Further experiments, featured below, take the mind-involving hypothesis a step further. Dean Radin Ph.D. and his colleagues at the Institute of Noetic Sciences have reported repeatable effects when participants directed their attention to a quantum system.