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Bruce Rosenblum
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Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  993 ratings  ·  91 reviews
In trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics, the most successful theory in science and the basis of one-third of our economy. They found, to their embarrassment, that with their theory, physics encounters consciousness. Authors Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner explain all this in non-technical terms with help from some fanciful stories and anecdote ...more
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Published July 1st 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2006)
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Burk
I've read a lot of physics books, always trying to get a better handle on these bizarre concepts. Each new book I read seems to take me closer to that "Okay, now I get it!" moment that I wish would come. According to the best scientists working in that field, though, there's really no way for our primate brains to accept some of the genuinely strange ideas. How can particles be in multiple places at once? How can they apparently move through time in different ways than we do? How can the laws of ...more
Shane
I ordered this book after finishing the previous one I posted (From Science to God) because I wanted a more thorough explanation of the Quantum "Mystery." It seems that movies like "What the Bleep do We Know" have taken some of the more bizarre observations about quantum physics and allowed their imaginations to run wild with their claims, giving the less discerning public a less-than-accurate idea about what's really going on here.
This book, written by two widely-respected Physicists, presents
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Jon-Erik
If you liked this book, did you like it because the subject matter was fascinating, or because the book was well written? I doubt it was the latter.

Ever see a cartoon where after a few scenes, you realize that the animation is just the same frames spliced over and over? This book is about 5 minutes worth of footage to make an hour cartoon. You can read the last two or three chapters and get the whole thing, and I can sum it up nicely here: physicists have trouble with the observer problem and ge
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Shani
Generally a good and easy read but some concepts are over-explained and some (I guess the more complicated ones) are not explained well or left unexplained. Only in the end do they get to concsiousness and their points are not as good as I expected.
Ergun Coruh
This book deals with quantum enigma and consciousness, the fact that at microscopic (quantum) scales weird things happen that our conscious mind cannot comprehend.

The authors take their time to explain the quantum enigma (and I must admit they do this well), the fact that observation creates reality, and the reality (or experimental outcome) depends on the observation, contrary to our intuition originated from classical Physics that observation alone cannot affect reality.

It is the final chapter
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Dan
I found this book to be real food for thought. Rosenblum points out that Quantum probability tells us not the probability of the state of a system but rather where an observer will measure it to be. The system wasn't in that state until it was observed to be there. Quantum cosmologist John Wheeler puts it concisely: "No microscopic property is a property until it is an observe property." Quantum mechanics thus requires a conscious observer to produce physical properties.

He next deals with the ve
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Dr. Barrett  Dylan Brown, Phd
I was taught by these two authors of this book at UCSC and got to have several conversations with them regarding how Quantum Mechanics effects our current theories of Parapsychology. Dr. Fred Kittener is an absolutely stubborn old clod and fool, but Dr. Bruce Rosenblum is a gem of a human with an open mind and good nature about him. Dr. Rosenblum is also cited briefly in "Unbelievable: The Duke Parapsychology Lab"
Mike
Very informative. excellent introduction to quantum physics. At times I was falling asleep, but it keeps it entertaining enough. I feel smarter for having read it. Search youtube for "quantum double slit experiment" for a good animation explaining interference patterns.
Vish Ramabhatta
Jul 18, 2007 Vish Ramabhatta is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am still reading this book.... my hope is that this book bridges the gap between physics (observable world) and spiritual underpinnings as expounded by Advaita Vedanta (Hindu philosophy) for the totally scientifically inclined.

Lori
The best nonfiction book I’ve read in awhile. This book is a fascinating and an easy-to-visualize introduction to concepts that fuel current scientific debate around the implications of quantum theory and its reliance on a conscious observer.

Written by two UC Santa Cruz physics professors, short chapters include humorous analogies and non-technical descriptions of Newtonian physics, general relativity, and quantum mechanics. The quantum enigma emerges from experimental evidence that shows what
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Jeffery
I got this book with the hopes of obtaining tools to help me understand -- and to help me help others to understand -- some of the concepts and popular [mis-]conceptions of quantum mechanics. It's become almost de rigueur among New Age spiritualists to pilfer bits of quantum theory for use in fortressing and promoting their ideas and books and DVDs and seminars ad nauseum. (see "What the Bleep do We Know?" and "The Secret" and huge sections of book stores). Ideas such as "our consciousness creat ...more
George
Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner's, book, Quantum Enigma, is an interesting read, but if you’re looking for answers into the enigma of quantum events, you will be disappointed. There are no sure answers into the perplexing world of the quantum or for that matter why anything exist at all! In this publication and others like it. So in the final analysis, which may even be your own, is probably as good as anyone else’s. If you want to get a clear understanding of the wave-particle dilemma, this bo ...more
Thelbert Dewain Belgard
I've read this book several times -- first edition and second. It's not really hard to understand at all. The authors have a clear and to-the-point writing style--unusually entertaining for a non-fiction idea-oriented book of this sort. It IS hard to accept. What it is says is so disturbing to the prevailing world-view that I'm sure many people just shut it out by saying, "Oh this is too hard to understand." That means they've probably understood it. Other readers may say, "This is all old hat s ...more
Notdarkyet_
Buen punto de introducción a la mecánica cuántica para neófitos. Un poco reiterativo en lo que al 'secreto de familia mejor guardado' se refiere, que al fin y al cabo tampoco acaba por ser tan extraordinario si en el instituto aprendiste lo que es el principio de incertidumbre de Heisenberg y la propiedad onda-corpúsculo de la materia. El libro intenta ahondar en el escurridizo (y al parecer, tema tabú para los físicos) punto de unión entre materia y consciencia; explicando mediante fábulas más ...more
Chris Kemp
Mind boggling stuff. I thought it could have been presented a little better.
Raven
This book, perhaps more than any of the others that I have read, brings the concepts of Quantum Mechanics out of the strict academic in into a more reader friendly world. I would go so far as to label it a 'primer' on the subject.

Perhaps its most significant contribution is how well it illustrates that place where Consciousness and Quantum Physics meet. A place that established Psychiatrists and Physicists all over the world fear to go.

I highly recommend this book.
David Lever
This is a clear account of the strange workings of quantum mechanics. The book describes the history of the controversies, including the debates of Einstein and Bohr. The account of Bell's Inequality is a fascinating read. This book can be read by anyone, as it does not require specialized knowledge. I found myself wanting technical details, and perhaps that is a telling sign of the success of the author's purpose. I highly recommend this book.
Fiona
A foray into the realm of quantum mechanics. Carefully grounded on accepted quantum theory and undisputed experimental quantum facts, the authors venture into the hotly disputed area of what it all means, and physics inevitable encounter with consciousness.
Clearly written - not complicated or highly technical, but very comprehensive to illustrate their point. Overall, a very interesting and thought provoking read.
Neil George
A slightly frustrating book. Thirteen chapters taking us from quantum physics to consciousness and then just four chapters exploring the reverse journey. These last four are by far the more interesting - hence the frustration. Interesting, though. If you think you understand this book, you haven't read it properly. If you read it properly, it will give you food for thought that will more than slightly scramble your brain. I did a course in Quantum Theory as part of my degree, but that was over 3 ...more
Frank Jude
Sep 15, 2008 Frank Jude rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone.
Shelves: science-physics
This is one of the most clear-headed, accessible, and straight-forward accounts of Quantum Mechanics and the 'measurement problem' I've read. Based upon their course at Santa Cruz for liberal arts students, they manage to convey the implications of Quantum Mechanics with nary an equation. Good job!
Roberta Grimes
Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner are adventurous academic physicists, and they here give us a handy summary of their understanding of the consciousness issue in quantum physics. This book is plainly written and highly accessible for non-physicists, and it is flat-out fun to read.
Jeremiah
A good introduction to quantum physics - the scientific field that completely redefines how we think about the universe. About as non-impenetrable as I think the topic can be. Helped me put my thoughts on the subject in order.
Joe
I can't recommend this book enough. It describes quantum mechanics in a mostly understandable way and it very cautiously examines some of the proposed ramifications of its weirdness. Awesome, awesome book.
Douglas
May 04, 2009 Douglas marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book, but i need silence to read it which is in short supply latly.
Kieran
Much of book is basic modern physics but main idea is quite interesting.
Ed Dodge
Helpful towards understanding physics "skeleton in the closet."
Gianetta
Jul 11, 2009 Gianetta marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This sounds completely intriguing!
Doris Jean
Mar 01, 2014 Doris Jean rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the new field of Pschyphysics
Physics would benefit with help from a linguist. Lots of interpretation problems. Talking about decoherence, potentiality, free will, actualities, influences, quanta, particles, electromagnetic gravity waves. Everything is a particle, no, wait, everything exists as a wave, no, wavicles, both particle and wave at the same time. Then - no, everything is a wavefunction and has two states at the same time, existence and non-existence. Nothing exists until it is observed (ancient Vedic philosophy). O ...more
Ed
Rosenblum and Kuttner do a good job of calling attention to a remarkable problem at the heart of modern physics. Traditionally, science has worked within a realist perspective, assuming that the objects of our experience exist independently of our experience of them. Since our experience is all we know, we don't really know of any objects existing apart from subjects, and the idealist tradition in philosophy has placed subjectivity at the heart of reality. But science has considered it more obje ...more
Philothea
The first thing I want to note: This book does not pretend to offer answers. It simply explains the quantum enigma in fine detail, and then goes on to "explore" a few of the strange interpretations without "picking sides" so to say. Don't worry though. The interpretations are tucked away in the back, so you can be assured this is NOT like the other quantum theory books that seem to simply indulge the author's imaginations. Quantum Enigma is a clear, sensible explanation of the enigma.

Perfect fo
...more
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“There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature.” 0 likes
“Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” —Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass” 0 likes
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