“Mind, Matter, and Quantum Mechanics” by Henry Stapp is a comprehensive examination of the intersection between quantum mechanics and consciousness. The book presents a compelling argument for the idea that consciousness plays a crucial role in the physical world and can influence the behavior of particles at the quantum level.
One of the key themes in the book is the concept of non-local connections, which suggests that particles can be connected in a way that transcends time and space. According to Stapp, this non-local connection can be explained by the influence of consciousness, which can instantaneously affect particles at a distance. This idea challenges the conventional view of physics that particles can only be influenced by local interactions.
Another important aspect of the book is the discussion of the measurement problem in quantum mechanics. Stapp argues that consciousness plays a role in the measurement process and that the act of measurement collapses the wave function, making particles take on definite properties. He suggests that this process is not deterministic, but instead is influenced by the observer’s intentions and expectations.
The book also explores the relationship between the mind and the physical world, and how the mind can affect matter at the quantum level. Stapp argues that the mind can interact with the physical world through intention and that this interaction can be seen as a form of non-physical influence on the physical world. This idea challenges the conventional view of materialism, which holds that the physical world is all there is and that the mind is simply a byproduct of physical processes.
“Scientists other than quantum physicists often fail to comprehend the enormity of the conceptual change wrought by quantum theory in our basic conception of the nature of matter,” writes Henry Stapp. Stapp is a leading quantum physicist who has given particularly careful thought to the implications of the theory that lies at the heart of modern physics.
The book is divided into four sections:
The first consists of an extended introduction. Key foundational and somewhat more technical papers are included in the second part, together with a clear exposition of the “orthodox” interpretation of quantum mechanics.
The third part addresses, in a non-technical fashion, the implications of the theory for some of the most profound questions that mankind has contemplated: How does the world come to be just what it is and not something else? How should humans view themselves in a quantum universe? What will be the impact on society of the revised scientific image of the nature of man?
The final part contains a mathematical appendix for the specialist and a glossary of important terms and ideas for the interested layman. This third edition has been significantly expanded with two new chapters covering the author’s most recent work.