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Parapsychology & Quantum Entanglement by Roll & Williams
Submitted By: Admin Date: February 07, 2009, 06:08:48 PM Views: 7995
Summary: ABSTRACT Psi phenomena are often regarded as non-scientific because there has been no explanation for how a person can be influenced by another person or by a physical object without the transmission of physical stimuli, such as light. As it turns out, quantum physics offers a concept that enables us to deal with this issue. In quantum entanglement two things are interconnected across distances of time and space in the absence of any type of transmission. We examine several lines of evidence from parapsychology, including extrasensory perception, precognition, retrocognition, and psychokinesis, that may be accounted for in terms of quantum entanglement. Psi phenomena have been regarded as nonphysical, but may exemplify an established physical principle. The concepts utilized in physical theories are themselves creations of consciousness and hence may reflect its fundamental propensities when ordering its acquired information in any area. – Jahn & Dunne, 1987, p. 228.

Parapsychology & Quantum Entanglement

by William G. Roll & Bryan J. Williams




 
1. INTRODUCTION
January 28, 2008, Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, is quoted in the Daily Mail of London: “I agree that by the standards of any other area of science remote viewing is proven, but begs the question: do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal? I think we do...Because remote viewing is such an outlandish claim that will revolutionise the world, we need overwhelming evidence before we draw any conclusions. Right now we don’t have that evidence” (Penman, 2008, p. 28). There are two important terms in this paragraph, “remote viewing” and “paranormal.” Remote viewing is when a person receives an impression of a distant scene without the aid of sensory stimuli or any other type of transmission (Bisaha & Dunne, 1979/2002; Dunne & Jahn, 2003; Lantz, Luke, & May, 1994; Puthoff & Targ, 1976; Targ & Puthoff, 1977; Targ, Puthoff, & May, 1979/2002).

The term “paranormal” suggests there is a realm of occurrences above or beyond what is normal because this is what the prefix para- means. The same is true for parapsychology but to a lesser extent; most parapsychologists are convinced that the field is on par with other scientific disciplines, alongside and certainly not above. But there is nothing to be said in favor of paranormal. Researchers now often use the term “psi” as in psi phenomena and psi research, a term introduced by Thouless and Wiesner (1948).

Psi does not say or imply anything about the nature of the phenomena. All we know is that things are correlated, such as the subject’s impression in a test of remote viewing and the distant scene, in the absence of signals from the scene to the subject. This does not mean an end of understanding. The main body of psi research consists of the exploration of factors associated with the presence versus absence of psi. The factors have been neuropsychological as measured by the EEG (e.g., Ehrenwald, 1977, pp. 716 – 720; Morris, 1977, pp. 705 – 710; Persinger et al., 2002), they have been psychological as measured by personality inventories (e.g., Honorton, Ferrari, & Bem, 1998; Palmer, 1977; Schmeidler, 1988, Ch. 7), and they have been physical as measured by geomagnetic detectors (e.g., Persinger, 1989; Spottiswoode, 1997; Tart, 1988). This body of research has achieved two things, it has demonstrated that psi is associated in lawful ways with the factors in question, and it has demonstrated that psi is a natural phenomenon because the factors are all natural.

However, our inability to explain how spatially separate things may be correlated has made a scientific theory beyond reach, and without a scientific theory, psi is not science even if the experimental evidence continues to pile up. But there is light at the end of the tunnel; it turns out that a scientific concept exists according to which things that are separated in space are nevertheless connected.

2. QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT
Erwin Schrödinger (1935) has shown that according to quantum physics, if a subatomic particle is split, the two halves will remain “inextricably correlated,” or entangled, regardless of how far they are separated in space. However, there was no empirical evidence for this at the time, and Einstein (1949) found the idea “spooky.” Together with two younger men he came up with a thought experiment (Einstein, Podolsky, & Rosen, 1935), which was intended to show that it makes no sense to suppose that things can affect each other across space unless information is transmitted from one to the other. Because quantum theory asserts that things may be connected without transmission, Einstein thought the theory must be wrong.

The EPR thought experiment is interesting because it reveals Einstein’s thinking, and, more importantly, because it shows how quantum entanglement works. In the EPR experiment, a subatomic particle is split into two parts with opposite spins, X and Y, which are sent in opposite directions, one part heading towards detector 1, the other part towards detector 2, which is located at a distance from 1 and not connected to it in any way. If an observer, who is seated at detector 1, sees X, detector 2 will of necessity show Y because X and Y originate from the same source and are thereby entangled; conversely if detector 1 shows Y, detector 2 will show X. In contrast, Einstein was convinced that whether X or Y shows up on detector 2 is independent of what is shown on detector 1.

Until X or Y is detected, the system represents both X and Y, a condition known as quantum superposition, but when experimenter 1 sees X on his detector, the particle is no longer in superposition but has “collapsed” to X1 Y2. Things that are in superposition have no definite location and cannot be measured precisely.

But this was theory without experimental support, which made it possible that in the end Einstein’s dismissal of the EPR idea would win the day. However, in a mathematical restatement by John Bell (1964) of Einstein’s theory, where properties at 1 depend only on what happens locally at 1, and properties at 2 depend only on what happens locally at 2, Bell showed that if this locality were true, then measurable quantities predicted by quantum mechanics would be negated. The issue could not be addressed by another thought experiment, but required actual testing. It took 18 years before this happened. By 1982 Aspect et al. (1981, 1982a, 1982b) had reported three experiments that confirmed the predictions of quantum theory and negated Einstein’s local theory. There was now empirical evidence that, “quantum entities that have interacted with each other remain mutually entangled” (Polkinghorne, 2002, p. 80). (See the Appendix for a brief history of the development of the concept of entanglement within quantum physics.)

3. PSI AND QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT
Josephson and Pallikari-Viras (1991) brought up Bell’s (1964) paper and said, “Experimental results, while not being totally conclusive, are such as to point towards this conclusion being valid” (p. 199). They then added, “The existence of such remote influences or connections is suggested more directly by experiments on phenomena such as telepathy (the direct connection of one mind with another) and psychokinesis (the direct influence of mind on matter), both of which are examples of so-called psi-functioning or psychic phenomena” (p. 199). Coming from two physicists, one of whom is a Nobel laureate, this is a stunning statement (Josephson received the Nobel Prize in 1973).

Polkinghorne (2002) is another quantum physicist who apparently accepts telepathy, but believes it is “quantum hype” to claim that EPR ‘proves’ that telepathy is possible” (p. 81). He explains, “the EPR effect does not offer an explanation of telepathy, for its degree of mutual entanglement is not one that could facilitate the transfer of information...random subatomic uncertainty is very different from the free will of an agent” (p. 92). But the evidence for telepathy is doubtful because any test for telepathy requires the existence of an objective record of the targets, which may therefore be inspected by clairvoyance, a fact that J. B. Rhine (1974) has pointed out. Even if telepathy occurs, it only shows that two minds are correlated, not that one transfers something to the other.

In spite of the fact that the EPR experiment was invalid as an argument against quantum theory, it did not end up in the wastebasket. On the contrary, it has become part of quantum talk because it provides a clear description of entanglement; the literature of quantum physics is peppered with references to the EPR effect (e.g., Bennett et al., 1993; Julsgaard et al., 2001; Mermin, 1985; Pan et al., 2000; Tittel et al., 1998).

Quantum physics has made an inroad into psi. Jahn and Dunne (1987) have applied its basic concepts to their findings in PK and remote viewing. Radin (2006), the most recent advocate of a psi-quantum connection, says, “Quantum theory and a vast body of supporting experiments tell us that something unaccounted for is connecting otherwise isolated objects [his italics]. And this is precisely what psi experiences are telling us. The parallels are so striking that it suggests that psi is – literally – the human experience of quantum interconnectedness” (pp. 231 – 232).

Josephson and Pallikari-Viras (1991) note that to apply quantum theory to psi amounts to a biological application of the theory. If this is to be more than a cosmetic makeover, quantum theory must enable us to better understand and predict psi.

4. PSI ENTANGLEMENT WITH OBJECTS IN THE PRESENT
Quantum entanglement involves pairs that “epistemologically exclude each other” (Polkinghorne, p. 33). In EPR, the pair is composed of particles with opposed spins; in perception, including ESP, the pair is perception and the event perceived.
Spontaneous Cases: Phantasms of the Living by Gurney et al. (1886) is the first case study. A phantasm or apparition is a hallucination,1 i.e., a mental product. For a hallucination to be included in Phantasms, it had to represent an actual event that the percipient did not know, and the percipient had to be awake. Of 702 such cases, most of the people had close ties to the percipients and were in crisis, two thirds dying or having just died (Schouten, 1979).

People who are dying or in a life-threatening situation tend to hallucinate (Barrett, 1926; Clarke, 1878; Giovetti, 1982; Grof & Halifax, 1977; Hunter, 1967; Hyslop, 1907; Jung, 1961, pp. 282 – 290; Moody, 1976; Osis, 1961; Osis and Haraldsson, 1977a, 1977b; Ring, 1979, 1980, 1984; Sabom, 1982; Sabom & Kreutziger, 1978; Siegel, 1977, 1980). The stages and mental states of dying are now well known. As Rodin (1980) explains, in the early phase of dying, hypoxia2 leads to “an increased feeling of well being and a sense of power...accompanied by a decrease and subsequent loss of critical judgment” (p. 262). As hypoxia is followed by anoxia, “delusions and hallucinations occur, until, finally, complete unconsciousness supervenes” (p. 262). Assuming entanglement between the dying person and the percipient, it would not be surprising if the latter may also enter a hallucinogenic state; the actual death of one may be a virtual death for the other.

The Census of Hallucinations by Henry Sidgwick et al. (1894) added little to Phantasms except that it provided a better treatment of the chance factor. Of the 17,000 persons who had been interviewed, 2,272 reported experiencing a veridical hallucination of someone dying. Compared to the death rate in England over the preceding ten years, this value exceeded the expected number by 440.

Human entanglement may be a function of shared factors, such as gene frequency and bonding. In the cases of Sannwald (1963), Stevenson (1970), and Persinger (1974, Part 1) the pair was close family in 50 percent, 63 percent, and 53 percent respectively. The three studies showed this to be parent-child in 56 percent, 54 percent, and 61 percent respectively; husband-wife in 29 percent, 22 percent, and 25 percent; and between siblings in 15 percent, 24 percent, and 14 percent (op. cit., p. 82). For peripheral family, the percentages were 10, 7, and 16; for friends and acquaintances, they were 28, 27, and 14, and for strangers, 3, 11, and 9 (p. 83). In 8 percent of Persinger’s cases, the remote party was an animal pet. As Persinger notes, there is a marked consistency in the large percentages of close family, especially parent-child, in the three studies.
With respect to the perceived event in Sannwald, Stevenson, and Persinger, this was death in 43 percent, 41 percent, and 54 percent respectively; crisis in 36 percent, 41 percent, and 25 percent; and unimportant events in 21 percent, 18 percent, and 21 percent (op. cit., p. 84). In Persinger’s cases, 70 percent of the deaths were sudden. Interestingly, action by the percipient in the crisis cases was said to save the life of the other person in 70 percent of the cases (p. 73). In the three studies, females outnumbered males at 70 percent, 53 percent, and 76 percent. Persinger attributes the high percentage of women in his study in part to a greater willingness by women to communicate their experiences than men.

Persinger found that the two members of the pair were within the home in 18 percent of the cases, within one mile in 36 percent, and within 100 miles in 58 percent; while 30 percent involved distances of more than 2,000 miles (p. 65). Eighty-five percent of the experiences were at night (p < .001), peaking at 12 – 4 AM (p. 62). When comparing the four seasons, 40 percent were during the summer (p < .001, p. 61).

Summary: The features shown by the cases of Sannwald, Stevenson, and Persinger are mutually consistent and resemble the Phantasms cases with respect to the predominance of death and crisis involving closely connected individuals. The characteristics suggest psi entanglement.

Experimental Studies: Until the 1960s ESP studies were confined to the guesses and mental impressions of the percipients. Beginning with Dean (1966, 1969, Dean & Nash, 1967), ESP research has become increasingly physiological. Dean found that blood volume increases in the percipient, as measured by the plethysmograph, indicate ESP; such increases are a sign of emotional arousal. Also beginning in the 1960s, the electroencephalograph became a major tool for ESP research. There are three types of EEG correlation studies, (1) studies of unselected subject-pairs, (2) studies of pairs whose members are relatives, (3) studies of bonded pairs, and (4) studies that combine relatives and bonded pairs.

(1) In a telepathy test by Tart (1963), the single agent received electric shocks at random intervals that correlated with highly complex EEG patterns in the percipients. The agent’s EEG was not recorded but the shocks must have resulted in disturbed brain waves. Targ and Puthoff (1974, pp. 606 – 607) found that changes in alpha activity occurred in the EEG of a percipient when the agent was subjected to bright light flashes in a room seven meters distant (p < .04).

(2) Duane and Behrendt (1965) reported that two of 15 pairs of identical male twins showed EEG correlations. While one of the twins was stimulated by opening and closing the eyes in a lighted room to evoke brain wave patterns in the alpha range, the EEG of his brother, who was in another lighted room six meters away, also with open eyes, showed similar alpha patterns. The correlation was based on visual inspection of the twins’ EEG records, and was not statistically validated. Persinger et al. (2003) used four pairs of siblings as subjects in an EEG correlation study; all eight being blindfolded and wearing earplugs. Changes in the theta range were recorded (p < .01) from the percipient’s frontal and occipital lobes, when the agent was in a separate electromagnetically and acoustically shielded room and stimulated with 1 micro-Tesla magnetic pulses around the head; the pulses were produced by eight solenoids that encircled the head, an arrangement known as “The Octopus.”

(3) Grinberg-Zylberbaum et al. (1994) had divided pairs of subjects, who were unknown to each other, into two groups; one group of pairs spent 20 minutes together in silent meditation to form a bond, the other group did not. The pairs were then separated and their members isolated in electromagnetically shielded rooms 14.5 meters apart. At random intervals, the agent was stimulated with bright light flashes to induce EEG changes while the percipient rested in the other room, also being monitored by an EEG. There were changes in the percipient’s EEG for the bonded pairs, which were similar to changes in the agent’s EEG from the light flashes. The effect also occurred in some of the pairs who had not undergone the bonding procedure.

In a study by Standish et al. (2003) a selected male and female subject pair, who had known each other for two years, spent 10 minutes together in silent meditation before both went through fMRI scanning, alternating as agent and percipient. While the percipient relaxed in the scanner, the agent viewed a randomly flashing checkerboard on a video monitor in an adjacent room. To prevent visual cues, the eyes of the percipient were covered with opaque goggles and the window to the scanning room was covered with an opaque shield. When the female was percipient, her fMRI showed significant activation in the visual cortex when the male agent was exposed to the lights (p < .001), but the fMRI of the male was not affected when he was percipient and the female was agent. In a replication study, Richards et al. (2005) used the EEG as well as fMRI scanning with a male-female subject pair who had known each other for six years. The EEG of the male subject, when he was percipient, showed significant changes in the alpha band (p < .0001) during the female subject’s stimulation periods. When tested during fMRI scanning, a significant decrease in activation was observed in the female subject’s visual cortex during stimulation periods when she was percipient (p < .017), an effect that was absent from the male subject’s fMRI scans when he was percipient.

During a visit by Roll to Persinger’s laboratory in 2006, Persinger described an unpublished study, in which pairs of students from one of his classes met once a week for one hour for four weeks and simply sat within one meter of each other. Each pair was then brought to the laboratory, where one member was stimulated by “The Octopus” in a shielded chamber while thinking about the other member, whose EEG was recorded in another room. Persinger found that within about 20 milliseconds after the magnetic field had completed its rotation around the brain of the student in the chamber, there was an associated increase in theta amplitude in the right temporal lobe of the other student.

Kittenis et al. (2004) did a study where pairs of subjects, who were emotionally close, were compared with pairs who were unknown to each other; there were also control subjects who were not paired with anyone, although told they were. Significant EEG correlations were found in the alpha range for both the emotionally close pairs (p < .023) and the unknown pairs3 (p < .007) while the EEGs of the control subjects were normal. When the brain maps of the subjects were examined, it was found that activation in the percipient’s occipital-parietal region closely followed the temporal sequence of activity in the agent’s brain.

(4) Wackermann et al. (2003) tested related pairs, unrelated pairs, and control pairs. The members of the related pairs spent 20 minutes of silent bonding while the members of the unrelated pairs did not. The pairs were then separated and placed in electromagnetically and acoustically shielded rooms. In each test, the agent watched a video monitor that displayed random light flashes in the form of alternating checkerboard patterns, patterns that were not shown to the agents of the control pairs. Changes in EEG voltage were found both in the related-bonded pairs, and in the unrelated pairs during light flash periods; both were significantly different from the EEGs of the control pairs (p < .01). Standish et al. (2004) compared EEG correlations of related and bonded pairs, who were divided and placed in rooms 10 meters apart and attached to EEGs, the agent being exposed to the flashing light. There was no difference between the related and the bonded pairs, but the combined results showed significant (p = .0005) changes in the percipient’s EEG that correlated with changes in the EEGs of the agents when they were shown the light-pattern; there were no such changes during non-stimulation periods.

Radin (2004b) examined EEG correlations between 11 bonded pairs and two related pairs who were separated in rooms 20 meters apart, with the percipient’s room being electromagnetically and acoustically shielded. At random times, the agent was shown a live video image of the percipient on a monitor, which served both as a visual stimulus, and as a way to encourage mental connection with the percipient. Voltage changes in the percipient’s EEG were found to significantly correlate (p = .0005) with those occurring in the agent’s EEG during the periods when the agent was stimulated with the percipient’s image. No such correlation was found during control periods, when the experiment was run without subjects.

Summary: Although several of the tests are described as telepathic, there is no evidence that the agent transmitted anything to the percipient; all we know is that the studies showed EEG correlations between two brains. Two of the group (3) studies, which included unrelated couples, also showed EEG correlations between these pairs. Similarly one of the studies from group (4), where strangers were included, showed EEG correlations. When the frequency of the EEG brain waves was indicated, this was the alpha wave in three studies by different researchers and the theta wave in the two tests by Persinger. While the alpha wave indicates an awake and relaxed state of mind, the theta wave is associated with sleep and may here have been generated by the magnetic pulses from The Octopus, which are known to induce altered states of consciousness (Richards et al., 2002). Four of five studies suggested that the occipital lobe of the percipient’s brain was engaged during the test (in one study also the frontal lobe), and in a fifth study it was the temporal lobe of the right brain hemisphere that was activated. In two experiments where male and female percipients were monitored by the fMRI, this showed activation of the brains of the females but not of the males.

The experimental results are in general agreement with the case studies. In the EEG experiments, the alpha wave (7.5 – 13 cycles per second) predominated in five studies, and the theta wave (3.5 – 7.5 cycles per second) in two studies. Under normal circumstances, the alpha wave is associated with relaxation and closed eyes, and the theta wave is associated with sleep. According to Persinger’s case study, a large majority of cases occurred at night when most people rest and sleep.

In four of five tests, the occipital lobe was activated. The occipital lobe is engaged in vision and in the formation of non-sensory visual images, such as REM dreams and hallucinations. In a majority of the cases, hallucinations and dreams predominated.

In the two tests where the brains of females and males were monitored by the fMRI, the brains of the female brains were activated but not the male brains. In the three case studies, the majority of percipients were female.

5. PSI ENTANGLEMENT WITH OBJECTS IN THE FUTURE
Noreen Renier (2008), who is known for her work with the police, was giving a talk at the FBI Academy when an agent asked what lay ahead for President Reagan, who had just been inaugurated. She closed her eyes and said, “The President is going to be popular” (p. 129). She then patted her hand on her left side and said, “he is going to be shot in the upper left chest, in about three months” (p. 130), but that he would survive. March 30, 1981, John Hinckley fired several rounds at Reagan, one of which entered his left lung.

Precognition seems to entail perception of something in the future that does not yet exist and therefore cannot be perceived. The contradiction may be resolved by taking recourse to EPR. In EPR, an observer detects one of the two halves of a particle and thereby terminates its state of superposition so that the second half enters reality and may therefore also be observed. To apply the model to precognition, it may be noted that any ordinary event is likewise composed of two halves, the physical event and the perception of the event. The two parts coalesce in the specious present, thereby making up the environment of present-time. However, an event in the future is in superposition and thereby only a possibility unless and until it is observed or “recognized.” In other words, the percipient would not inspect a pre-existing physical event, but would observe one of the many systems that are in superposition, thereby transforming a potential event to an actual one. Which of the possible events is to be chosen, we may surmise, depends on the needs of the subject and perhaps on other factors. As a lecturer Renier would have identified with her audience; because an important concern of this group was to protect the President, she would have had the same concern.

Spontaneous Cases: E. M. Sidgwick (1888-1889) made a study of precognition cases that had been excluded from Phantasms because this was limited to present-time psi, but had been subject to the same high criteria of selection. She limited herself to the question of whether the match between the precognitive experience and a future event may have resulted from chance coincidence; there were several cases she was unable to dismiss in this way. Sidgwick (1923) suggests that in precognitive telepathy two minds “work together” or “merge” although one is in the present and the other is in the future (pp. 419 – 423). The best-known study of precognition may be An Experiment with Time by John Dunne (1927). Dunne had noticed that some of his dreams came true, which made him enter these dreams in a diary. He thought others might also have precognitive dreams, and that they might be revealed by the diary method. Besterman (1932-33) followed Dunne’s lead by having 43 subjects record their dreams for three weeks and note subsequent events they seemed to reflect. There were 430 such dreams, but only two “good cases” (p. 204). In a study of 349 precognitive experiences that had been authenticated and published in the SPR Journal, Saltmarsh (1934) found 100 were about death as compared to other events (p < .01). However, 35 of the 63 hallucinatory precognitions were about death (p < .001).

L. E. Rhine’s (1954) survey of precognitions show 75 percent to be dreams, a trend also observed by Van de Castle (1977, pp. 473 – 481). She said the percipients often “marveled at the fact that the precognitive experience was just like ‘remembering’ the future” (p. 121).
Persinger’s cases include 128 precognitions, of which 48 percent are of death, 41 of non-fatal crises, and 11 of trivial events. Thirty-three percent of the crises are car crashes, 23 percent are tornadoes and other natural disasters, and the remainder consisting of other danger. In 23 percent, where the future event was about the percipient and was life threatening, the experience enabled the percipient to take evasive action (p. 136). Of the 98 cases where the event was about someone else, 67 percent concerned a member of the immediate family, 18 percent distant relatives, 14 percent friends and acquaintances, and in a single case a stranger (p. 140). In 89 percent, the percipient was a woman, a figure that is based on 71 cases where the sex of the percipient is stated. In 51 percent, a woman was the percipient and a man was the agent, in 38 percent both were women, and in 11 percent both were men; there were no reports of male percipients and female agents (p. 135).

In the cases where the future event may have killed or injured the percipient, in 50 percent, the event occurred within a few seconds of the experience, and in 77 percent within a few minutes (p. 136). Regarding precognitions about others, 13 percent transpired within 30 seconds, 24 percent within an hour, 39 percent within 12 hours, 50 percent within 12 hours, 69 percent within a week, and 85 percent within a month. In nine percent of the cases the precognized event was more than a year in the future (p. 137).

Thirty-four percent were hallucinations (17 percent visual and 16 percent auditory), 32 percent were dreams, 17 percent were waking impressions, and nine percent were omens, such as black butterflies for death, the remainder consisting of other categories (p. 129). In 70 percent of 104 cases, where the hour of the experience was reported, this was nocturnal (p < .01, based on an even split of night and day). The number of cases peaked at 10 PM, remained relatively frequent until 2 AM, and then declined. The monthly and geographical distributions were trivial.

Experimental Studies: The first precognition tests were attempts to predict either the future order of ESP cards or die-faces that would turn up by rolling dice, but now it is standard to use REGs. A meta-analysis by Steinkamp, Milton, and Morris (1998) of studies that compared clairvoyance and precognition (25 studies from 1935 – 1997 by 16 investigators) had shown p = 9 x 10-7 for the precognition aspect of studies. In comparison, the clairvoyance aspect of the studies had p = .002.

The studies of “presentiment” by Radin (1997) introduce a new paradigm. Instead of having his subjects register their impressions on an REG, he used their physiological reactions, hence presentiment. Immediately before the REG chose a picture to be shown, the subject’s electrodermal response was recorded with a finger electrode. A monitor in front of the subject then randomly showed either a violent scene, an erotic situation, or a landscape. Radin reports that about three seconds before viewing the first two types, his subjects showed significantly larger electrodermal responses than before viewing the landscapes, an indication of increased emotion (p = .008). Radin (1998) repeated his results and also found that the emotional targets were associated with an increase in heart rate. In follow-up studies by Bierman and Radin (1997, 1999), the presentiment effect was most prominent for pictures of violence followed by erotic scenes. Radin (2004a) has done three additional presentiment studies, also successful, with a range of equipment, test settings, and subjects. Spottiswoode and May (2003) have elicited presentiment responses by using startle noises instead of emotional pictures (p = 5.4 x 10-4).

Summary: Like present-time ESP, death and crises predominate in the precognition cases; the percipient is closely connected to the victim; there are more female than male percipients; and the experiences are mostly nocturnal. The precognitions differ from the others insofar as they are often about upcoming danger either for the percipient or the remote person, the predictions often enabling the percipient to avert the danger. Half of the events foreseen occur within one day, and there are few beyond a month. The importance of emotion for precognition is confirmed by the presentiment tests.

6. PSI ENTANGLEMENT WITH OBJECTS IN THE PAST
Retrocognition or perception of things in the past usually takes the form of psychometry, a procedure where a person holds an object and thereby is able to connect with people and events associated with the objects. Sir Oliver Lodge (1909) said, “it appears as if we left traces of ourselves, not only on our bodies but on many other things with which we have been subordinately associated, and that these traces can thereafter be detected by a sufficiently sensitive person.” On the basis of his studies of the medium, Leonore Piper, William James (1909) proposed that the memories of a person may persist after death in the objects with which the person was connected when living. Quantum physicist David Bohm (1980) discusses brain memory and the memory in inanimate objects in terms of enfoldment, his term for entanglement. Memories, he says, are part of the brain’s “implicate” order that is “enfolded” within the “explicate” brain structures. He then adds, “the world of familiar physical structures has room in it for something like memory in the sense that previous moments may leave a trace though this trace may change and transform almost without limit. From this trace (e.g., in the rocks) it is in principle possible for us to unfold an image of past moments, similar in certain ways to what actually happened” (pp. 207 – 208). From this it follows that “the explicate and manifest order of consciousness is not ultimately distinct from matter and that the two may only be different aspects of one overall order” (p. 208). The pair, matter and consciousness or mind, is the paramount example of “pairs that epistemologically exclude each other” (Polkinghorne, p. 33) and that thereby may be entangled.

The police cases of Renier (2008) are vivid examples of memories in objects. Detective Tom Atkinson sent Renier a bloodstained earring from a woman who had been stabbed to death (pp. 103 – 108). No clue about the murder had been found, and the woman’s mother had asked Atkinson to contact the psychic. With the earring in one hand and the phone in the other, Renier “closed my eyes, targeted my mind on the earring, and all of a sudden, it was like I was looking in a mirror. I could see the murderer washing his hands and combing his hair. I could see him perfectly. I saw the tattoos on his arm, I saw his whole face, and I described him over the phone” (p. 104). The detective asked if Renier could see what was happening to the woman. This brought her back, “and this time I was being murdered by the tattooed man. He was holding me tight by the wrists...as the razor sharp knife tore into my body over and over and over” (p. 104). Atkinson said he first thought Renier had learnt about the crime, “then I realized that the information she had, no one knew” (p. 107). Speaking of the murderer, he said, “his physical appearance was as she described. His social background was as she described. The tattoos she described were accurate” (p. 107).4 The police in Holland (Tenhaeff, 1955, 1972) similarly used a psychic, Gerard Croiset, to help them solve crimes or find lost persons. LeShan (1968), who had been asked by the family of a missing man to help find him, obtained his pen and handed it to the medium, Eileen Garrett. LeShan reported several correct impressions about the man, including his present location. The description of crisis, sudden death, and other violent events was a main theme for Senora de Zierold (Pagenstecher, 1922; Prince, 1921). For the subjects of Osty (1923), the easiest precognition is death, and the one where they make the fewest errors. Björkhem (1943) said that his subjects tended to focus on emotionally significant events, followed by recent events (p. 57).

To understand the function of the object, mistakes make good teachers. Hodgson (1892) found Leonore Piper to be most reliable if the object had been “handled or worn much and almost exclusively” (p. 21) by the target. E. M. Sidgwick (1915) quotes her as saying in trance that it often causes confusion if the object has been “handled often and by a great number of persons” (p. 624) and that it should “be handled as little as possible by other hands” (p. 638) than the hands of the target. In many of Osty’s (1923) tests of Mme. Morel where the purpose was to obtain information about the owner of the object, she instead spoke about Osty himself or about the person who had brought him the object. In Saltmarsh’s (1929) tests of Mrs. Warren Elliott, where the objects were sent to Miss Newton, the SPR secretary, who wrapped them up for the tests, Saltmarsh said that in about 20 percent of the tests, Elliott described Miss Newton and the SPR offices rather than the owner of the objects; as Saltmarsh noted, she was the person who most recently handled the objects. These observations suggest that objects, which have been handled by people, thereby become entangled with them whether or not they are targets. Once the subject had become entangled with the object, this has no function and may be discarded (Osty, 1923, p. 131; Sidgwick, 1915, p. 307f).

Only a few psychometry tests have been recorded. Marsh (1958) compared ESP scores of subjects who were provided with personal items from the target person, with the scores of a control group who were given items from others. Marsh reported improved scoring by the experimental group after they received the objects and none by the control. Similarly, Kirby (1959) obtained significant ESP results when the subject knew the target and his location, and none when the persons and places were unknown. On the other hand, tests by Osis (1966) comparing close with remote linkage were not significant.

Roll (1966a, 1966b) did three psychometry tests, of which the third was significant. In preparation for the test (Roll, 1966b), pairs of blank cards in airtight polyethylene covers were distributed to four individuals who kept them for several days. An equal number of pairs remained in the factory box until shortly before the experiment, when they were also placed in polyethylene bags. A psychic, Shirley Harrison, then attempted to match the cards from the same pair. One run consisted of matching four cards (in envelopes placed inside cardboard folders) against four key cards (also in envelopes) that were mounted on a board. Two experimenters randomized the envelopes by hand shuffling and recorded the results independently. Four experiments were conducted with Harrison and Marie Mazen, another psychic, but only one was significant (p = .04; not corrected). In two follow-up experiments with the two psychics, the scoring on the cards kept by one of the four individuals (R.K.) was significant in each (p = .05 for each).

Johnson (1984) tested Gerard Croiset to see if he could distinguish between identical cards associated with four of his patients (Croiset was also a psychic healer). Each patient was given a polyethylene bag with six blank cards and asked to carry this for a period of time. In preparation for the experiment, Johnson placed the four sets of six cards in identical envelopes together with strips of audiotape with different frequencies, to make identification of the cards possible. One envelope with its card and tape was removed from each set of six envelopes and used as a key. After the remaining 20 envelopes had been randomized, Croiset tried to match them against the four keys, obtaining a score of 11, where five is expected by chance (p < .01). It seemed that Croiset responded to differences between the cards from their having been carried by different people.
An experiment by Parra and Argibay (2006) compared psychometry and regular ESP tests. Their 71 subjects were non-psychics, but most reported psi experiences. The objects were 100 identical leather-and-metal key rings that had been acquired by four assistant experimenters in a gift shop and carried by them for 15 days (i.e., each had 25 key rings). Each subject did four sessions where they handled four key rings in each, recording their impressions about the assistants, who then scored them for accuracy. The result was nonsignificant. The targets in the ESP tests were pictures that were concealed by cardboard and placed in front of the subjects. The result was significant (p  = .005), and the difference between the two test conditions was also significant (p = .008).

7. PSYCHOKINESIS AND QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT
Spontaneous PK: Everyday PK incidents are rare.5 L. E. Rhine (1963) found only 178 cases in contrast to more than 10,000 of ESP. The occurrences included falling pictures and clocks stopping, and were nearly always associated with a death or crisis of a relative or friend, such as a clock stopping at the person’s death; only four events were positive although probably also stressful, namely giving birth and being released from prison.
Incidents that occur repeatedly near an agent without tangible contact are known as poltergeist or recurrent spontaneous PK (RSPK). In a survey by Roll (1977) of 116 firsthand reports from 1612 to 1974, in four Roll and his colleagues were present during one or more events (Pratt & Roll, 1958; Roll, 1968, 1970, 1993; 1972/2004; Roll & Pratt, 1971), the same applies to a 1984 case (Roll & Storey, 2004). The five cases share several features, there were statistically significant declines of the number of incidents events with increased distance from the agent; there were significant clusterings of events with the same objects, class of objects, or in the same area; the events were associated with anger by the agent towards a parent or other caregiver; and objects that the observers gazed upon did not move.

William Joines (Roll & Joines, 2001) analyzed the decline effect in the cases of Vasquez, Callihan, and Resch, which seem especially reliable because in each of the three, Roll and his colleagues were present for several events that they were unable to explain in terms of fraud or other known processes (Pratt & Roll, 1971; Roll, 1993, 1972/2004, Ch. 9 & 11; Roll & Storey, 2004, Ch. 12 & 18). Because Roll’s earlier cases had shown evidence either of the inverse square or of the exponential decay function, and assuming that the source is electromagnetic (EM) energy from the agent, Joines constructed a formula that combines the two. The data-points from Vasquez and Resch  (Figs. 1 & 2 in Roll & Joines, 2001) fit exactly the same equation with the same constants while the data points from Callihan (Fig. 3) fit the equation with different constants.6 It makes sense that RSPK data-points representing forces on objects should fit a field intensity versus a distance curve. Electromagnetic force is directly proportional to electric and magnetic field intensity and, like acoustic waves, is described by the same differential Maxwell equations. While an acoustic wave cannot propagate through a vacuum but requires a material like water or metal, EM waves propagate best through empty space because matter attenuates the wave. Space is actually filled by an EM field that fluctuates around zero, known as zero-point energy (ZPE). Because the vacuum has no mass and no net electrical charge, a propagating EM wave relies on equal and opposite charges that oscillate with the EM field intensity, which begins on a positive charge and ends on a negative charge. The equal and opposite charges, must have either no mass, or the mass of one charge must be negative of the other. The electric field intensity is polarized in a direction perpendicular to the direction of propagation and the polarization changes sign as the field oscillates through zero to reach a maximum in the opposite direction.

To account for the selection of a specific object in RSPK, Joines (Roll & Joines, 2001) suggests that a message or code is sent from agent to object. The agent generates the message, and the object receives the message and alters its position accordingly. Other informational processes such as TV are transmitted on carrier waves. The carrier wave for RSPK could be the ultraviolet and far-UV regions of the spectrum because they would carry more information than lower frequencies. One RSPK case, where flashes of white light occurred near the agent (Roll, 1972/2004, Ch. 6), has raised the possibility that others may generate light. Using a photomultiplier, Joines and Roll, in an unpublished test in the 1970s, found that a female psychic healer built up electrical charge on her body and emitted photons from her hands when she brought them up to the photomultiplier tube and concentrated on sending healing energy. This resulted in a wave with a wavelength peak of 385 nanometers, which dropped off to progressively lower values. Since the visible spectrum consists of wavelengths between 700 and 400 nanometers (red to violet), 385 nanometers is just beyond visible in the violet to ultra-violet range. This is close to visible and there were in fact occasions when a faint light can be seen to emanate from the psychic in the darkened room. Baumann, Joines, Kim, and Zile (2005) resumed the work with 19 experienced psychic healers, of which a young yoga devotee was able to emit photons by a method said to awaken the body’s kundalini energy. During two sessions, he produced two large spikes on the photomultiplier, the first at 205,535 counts per half-second, the second at 42,411 counts, the baseline being less than 20 counts; the spikes were accompanied by negative voltage surges from an arm electrode. The effort resulted in an “unbelievable burning inside” (p. 221) and spitting up of blood by the subject although an infrared camera showed his body temperature to be only 98 degrees Fahrenheit. The experiment was terminated to protect the subject, but it took nearly a week for him to recover. Chimmoy (1992) warns against activating the kundalini except with expert guidance.

In the meantime Green et al. (1991) had built equipment to measure bio-energy. Six of 14 psychic healers produced surges of 4 – 221 volts, mostly of negative polarity. No attempts were made to measure photon emission. The Duke and Green research lead Joines and Roll to a theory according to which the source of RSPK is electromagnetic waves from nerve cells in the skin. Activation of dermal nerve cells causes the electrodermal response, which may register ESP (Braud, 2003; Radin, 2006, Ch. 10). In RSPK, dermal nerve cells would act as transmitters of energy rather than receivers. This brings up the question of how weak EM waves can bring on the movement of large objects. According to Blanchard et al. (1959, p. 188), the state of an object is determined by four quantum numbers, one of which refers to the spin of a fundamental particle. In principle, all four numbers may be changed by the delivery of the proper message from agent to object, but altering the spin of an electron only requires a very small amount of signal energy for an interaction to occur. This could make an object that has been stable in one location fly immediately to another location where it is again stable. Some of the quantum numbers that specify the state of an object may be influenced by an applied magnetic field (op cit., p. 182). There are two factors associated with RSPK that may bring this about. It has been found that the onset of RSPK tends to occur during increases of geomagnetic disturbances (Gearhart & Persinger, 1986; Roll & Gearhart, 1974), and that RSPK agents often show evidence of complex partial seizure (Roll, 1977, pp. 400 – 401), or of Tourette’s syndrome (Persinger & Roll, 1993), and thereby of anomalous surges of EM waves from brain cells. If RSPK is due to EM waves, this has to be EM waves that have a psychological component because of the evidence that RSPK is associated with emotion (Roll, 2007), evidence that is consistent with Jahn and Dunne’s concept of waves of consciousness (Section 8).

Experimental PK: Prior to Schmidt’s (1976) PK tests, he generated and recorded REG data with no one being present to observe the data until the actual experiment, when they would be played back to the subject in the form of auditory clicks through headphones, movements of a needle, or a combination of the two. The subject would then attempt to influence the data such that they produced the desired outcome, for instance, more frequent or louder clicks, or more frequent movements of the needle to the right than to the left. Schmidt (1976) found non-random displays in the pre-recorded data in three experiments, ranging in significance from p = .05 to p = .001. In other tests Schmidt (1987) found that when subjects attempted to influence the outcome of pre-recorded REG data that had first been shown to another person, they were unable to do so because the wave function had collapsed for these data, and the outcome was therefore determined. In another test, Schmidt (1987) made a copy of the magnetic tape that held the REG data. He locked the original tape in a safe and gave the copy to the subject, who then played it back while attempting to affect it. After receiving the subject’s copy of the tape, Schmidt retrieved the original from the safe, compared their outcomes and found they were exactly the same, both showing a non-random pattern in the desired direction. Because the two tapes were duplicates, they would be expected to show a non-local correlation or entanglement according to the Bell theorem. The theorem says that if a quantum system is divided, the two parts will continue to interact in spite of obstacles or distance in space-time. Because the REG data had already been collected, it seemed that if successful, the subjects would have had to direct their influence backwards to the time when the data were generated, that is, they would show evidence of retro-PK.

In some of the experiments, the pre-recorded data were mixed with data collected and displayed in real time to allow a comparison between the two; there was no significant difference between them. Schmidt (1993) arranged to replicate the experiments in five experiments that were supervised by independent observers to preclude fraud and error; the combined result was significant at p = .0001. Replications by others followed, and a meta-analysis by Bierman (1998) of all retro-PK experiments gave a highly significant result at the p = 10-8 level.

Quantum physics provides an alternative to retro-PK. In quantum physics, the behavior of subatomic matter is governed by probability. According to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, subatomic particles do not have a definitive location in space-time until detected; in other words, they appear when observed; before detection, the particles are in superposition. Which location a particle will occupy when observed, can only be determined at the moment of observation, at which time the particle occupies the point that is most probable based on prevailing conditions. As an analogy, imagine that the particle is a coin; a coin has two possible states when flipped, heads or tails. Before being flipped, the coin is in superposition insofar as it is both heads and tails. When the coin is observed after being flipped, it is now either heads or tails, which is equivalent to the situation in quantum physics. Schmidt (1987) suggests that when a system is in superposition, it may be affected by PK and enter reality. By this interpretation, retro-PK is not PK acting backwards in time, but delayed PK on unobserved objects (Schmidt, 1987; Stapp, 1994). Schmidt’s work suggests that the mind, and the brain to which it is tied, plays a central role in defining physical reality.

8. CONSCIOUSNESS WAVES
Bohr (1961) regarded the opposed properties of a fundamental particle, such as its wave and particle behavior, as complementary and not only contradictory, and then went on to deal with consciousness in the same way, “the nature of our consciousness brings about a complementary relationship between...the psychical and the physical aspects of existence...which it is not possible to thoroughly understand by one-sided application either of physical or psychological laws” (p. 20, 24). In pondering Bohr’s wave-particle complementarity, Jahn (1991) considers that the source of the complementarity may be consciousness7 itself. He quotes James Jeans (1943): “There is no longer a dualism of mind and matter, but of waves and particles; these seem to be the direct, although almost unrecognizable, descendents of the older mind and matter, the waves replacing mind and the particles matter” (p. 204). This lends support to Jahn’s contention that “it may not be the physical world...that presents these wave-particle complementarities [to consciousness], but rather the perspective of the consciousness observing it...From his beginnings, man has clearly possessed the capacity to think in both particulate and wave-like terms: allusions to sharply localized objects and to broadly diffuse undulatory effects share prominence in the art, language, and science of all cultures and all ages” (pp. 6 – 7). This enables Jahn (1991) to extend Bohr’s complementarity principle to pairs of “consciousness conjugates” that are antithetical and also complementary. Examples of such conjugate pairs include: mind and matter, observation and participation, structure and function, logic and intuition, left brain and right brain, and objectivity and subjectivity. Jahn notes that although the members of such pairs involve different processes and concepts, together they make up consciousness; in turn, consciousness sees the same double aspect in things it faces, whether they be animate or inanimate. Jahn and Dunne (1987) develop this theme in their theory of “waves of consciousness” (pp. 193 – 287). Consciousness waves may result in “consciousness charges” in objects (pp. 235 – 237). Such charges may store energy in objects “for later release, either gradual or cataclysmic, constructive or destructive, when triggered by some subsequent event” (p. 237). The “linger effect,” reported by Watkins and associates8, and the “conditioned space” of Tiller and others9, may be examples of gradual and constructive charges, while object and area “focusing” in RSPK, together with delayed-action RSPK10 (i.e., disturbances when the agent is absent), may be examples of cataclysmic and destructive charges.

9. CONCLUSION
Quantum entanglement accounts for the problem of psi, how conjugate pairs may remain connected when separated by distances of space and time. If this were its single contribution, quantum theory would be of inestimable value to the comprehension of psi, but there are others. The combination of complementarity of waves and matter, where material objects exhibit wave-like properties, may provide a physical underpinning of the complex trajectories of RSPK objects, including objects that move around corners or penetrate physical obstacles; the participation of the observer in formulating reality may account for the odd PK data of Schmidt and others; a version of the uncertainty principle may explain the strange fact that a stationary RSPK object, which is at the center of the perceptual field or is filmed, does not move. More traditional concepts, such as the concept of charge and the accumulation of charge may explain how a psi influence may remain unobserved in an object or area to be discharged at a later time as in the linger effect and delayed-action RSPK.

J. G. Pratt (1974) wrote, “acceptance of the findings of parapsychology by other scientists will not occur until a theory is available that ‘makes sense’ of psi” (p. 134). J. B. Rhine (1962), who provided a professional roof for Pratt, Roll, and many others, wrote, “When psi capacities transcend space or time...they are revealing fundamental properties of the human mind as a whole” (p. 153), a conclusion that conflicts with traditional science, where mind is merely an epiphenomenon of the brain, but that is basic to quantum physics. As d’Espagnat (1979) said, “The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment” (p. 158).


Notes


1. Hallucinations include any experience that simulates sense perception, including vision, sound, smell, taste and touch. Normal people often experience hallucinations when falling asleep or awakening, known respectively as hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations.

2. Hypoxia is a deficiency of oxygen in body tissue; anoxia is hypoxia of such severity as to result in permanent damage.

3. The p-value for the unknown pairs is larger because Kittenis et al. (2004) combined the data from the emotionally close and unknown pairs. On their own, the data from the unknown pairs are nonsignificant.

4. The impressions of Renier are not always on target; sometimes she only gets a partial picture or latches onto the wrong person. Other psychics have been commended by the police for their help in solving crimes, including Marinus Dykshom, whose autobiography, My Passport Says Clairvoyant, describes some of his cases.

5. Flammarion (1922), who followed the SPR rule of only accepting corroborated reports, had only 23 PK cases in his collection, of which a mere five were movement of objects, the remainder being sounds. Rhine (1963) excluded sounds because their origin could not be established.

6. Physical constants such as the speed of light depend on laboratory measurement and are thought to be changeless over time.

7. In Jahn’s usage, the term “consciousness” includes perception, cognition, intuition, instinct, and emotion, whether they seem conscious, subconscious, superconscious, or unconscious (Jahn & Dunne, 1987, p. 203).

8. Studies by Watkins and associates (see Wells and Watkins, 1975, for a review) found that anesthetized mice, serving as targets for bio-PK, had revived sooner if treated by psychics rather than by non-psychics. They also found that the healing ability “lingered” in the spot where a mouse had been revived, such that a new mouse placed there would revive sooner than controls. In a study by Watkins and Watkins (1974) of apparent PK by Felicia Parise on a compass needle, the needle would gradually return to standard north as it was slowly moved away, but would again deflect when replaced in the spot where Parise had produced the initial PK effect; the linger effect lasted about 25 minutes.
Bengston and Moga (2007) reported linger effects in studies of the healing effect of the “laying on of hands” on breast cancer-injected mice. The healing treatment mice had shown anomalous cancer remission, whereas control mice did not. However, 69.2% of the control mice that had been housed in the same lab as the treatment mice and/or been seen by the healer also showed anomalous remission. Only when the control mice were moved to a different, untreated lab did they show normal cancer growth and mortality rates. For additional discussion of linger effects, see Williams and Roll (2006).

9. Tiller and associates (2004) had introduced the concept of “conditioned space” in studies of the anomalous changes observed in the pH level of commercially bottled water (Tiller et al., 2000). The water had been exposed to physical measuring devices that had been “imprinted” with human intention by deep meditators. When left in a laboratory over a period of three months, a continuous exponential increase in pH was observed in water being measured by an “imprinted” pH device. Moreover, the intention imprinted on the device not only affected other devices near it, but also the surrounding lab space, suggesting that the intention “diffused” into this space and “conditioned” it to produce the same effect as the imprinted device. Some studies of distant healing with REGs have shown similar effects. Crawford et al. (2003) found that the REG data collected in the room where a bioenergy healer regularly treated his patients had shown significantly more non-random patterns than the data collected by a control REG running in a library (p < .0005). Radin et al. (2004) had collected data from three REGs in a room that was being treated by Johrei healers to create a healing space. On the third day of data collection, the three REGs had each shown a non-random deviation at nearly the same time (combined p = .00009). Similarly, Blasband (2000) observed non-random REG behavior in a room where psychotherapy was taking place (p = .0001). For additional discussion, see Williams and Roll (2006).

10. Object focusing refers to repeated occurrences with the same object or type of object, and area focusing is about repeated occurrences at specific sites within the general location of the phenomena (Roll, 1975). In a survey (Roll, 1977) of 116 historical cases of RSPK, 107 (92%) showed apparent evidence of focusing, but it was not possible to disentangle the focusing from the proximity effect in these cases (e.g., objects might often move from a shelf if the agent was nearby, which might be evidence of the proximity effect and not of area focusing. However, two cases investigated by Roll and his colleagues showed evidence of focusing that could not be attributed to proximity of the agent.  

Acknowledgments

The work of the senior author has been supported by a grant from Gary L. Owens to the University of West Georgia.
 

 
APPENDIX: THE EVOLUTION OF PHYSICS1
The beginning of modern physics came in the garden of Isaac Newton when he saw an apple fall from its tree2, and conceived the theory of universal gravitation. The theory was published in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica in 1687, and resulted in the conviction that nature is comprehensible and deterministic. Newton also explored light and speculated that it consists of beams of tiny particles. More than 200 later Newton was proven right when light was found to consist of quanta, but much water had to flow over the dam before this could be established. To survey the evolution of physics, we have divided it into several steps. The first four steps are mostly consistent with classical physics, while the remaining seven steps represent the radical approach of quantum physics.
Step 1: The first experimentally based discovery about light showed that it comes in waves. In 1801 Thomas Young demonstrated that the alternating patterns of light and dark that results when a beam of light waves passes through a prism, depends on whether the light oscillations are in phase or out of phase. If in phase, the crests of the waves combine and produce bands of brightness, and if out of phase, they cancel each other out, resulting in bands of darkness. The same happens when the light beam passes through a barrier fitted with a pair of slits in it, and the waves encounter each other on the other side as they flare outward (or diffract) through the two slits. Against a smooth surface, this creates a fringed pattern of light and dark bands, often known as a double-slit diffraction or interference pattern.

Step 2 is about electric waves in conductors. In 1819 Hans Christian Oersted discovered that a wire with an electric current causes a suspended magnetic needle, such as a compass needle, to turn at right angles to the wire. This showed that electricity and magnetism, which had been thought to be entirely different, were in fact interlinked. Oersted had thereby laid the foundation for the science of electromagnetism, but it was left for Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell to elucidate the details. Maxwell set forth his equations in the 1873 Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, a work that remains fundamental to electromagnetic theory. The equations show that electromagnetism comes in waves and that the velocity of the waves is determined by the same physical constant, including the constant of the velocity of light.

Maxwell also thought that waves are oscillations in an all-pervading medium that he called the ether (analogous to the way sound waves travel through a medium we now know as air). However, there was no empirical evidence for the ether, which made Albert Michelson and Edward Morley devise an experiment in 1887 that they hoped would prove its existence. They reasoned that if light is waves traveling through the ether, then the speed of the waves must depend on the location of the observer. They chose the earth as their laboratory because the earth and thereby the observer move in different directions as determined by its orbit around the sun. John Polkinghorne (2002) has come up with an analogy: “Think about waves on the sea. Their apparent velocity as observed from a ship depends on whether the vessel is moving with the waves or against them, appearing less in the former case than in the latter” (p. 4). But Michelson and Morley found no difference at all in the velocity of light whether the earth moved with or against the waves from the sun. Their discovery spelled the end of Maxwell’s ether and the beginning of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Michelson received the 1907 Nobel Prize in physics, becoming the first American to do so.

Step 3 took place in a grade school in Switzerland where Johann Balmer, a German mathematician and physicist, was teaching. In 1885 Balmer discovered that when light from incandescent hydrogen is split by a prism, the result is a set of colored lines, known as spectral lines, with each color corresponding to a different frequency of the light. But the full importance of Balmer’s finding required further steps.

Step 4 came in 1897 when J. J. Thomson discovered that negative charge is carried by tiny particles, which came to be known as electrons, and he assumed that the balancing positive charge was spread over the atom as a whole. Thomson’s theory became known as “the plum pudding model” of the atom, the electrons being the plums and the positive charge, which supposedly filled the rest of the atom, being the pudding.

The next seven steps bring us to quantum physics. Step 5 is due to a 1900 study of black body radiation by Lord John Rayleigh. A black body is an object that absorbs all radiation that reaches it and then reemits it all. Rayleigh expected to verify the prediction of classical physics that the equilibrium between the two processes would be a function of the temperature in the black body. But his study of radiation within a specially designed oven, showed no relationship at all with temperature. On the other hand, there was a clear relationship to the frequency of the radiation, a fact that made no sense. Max Planck then came to Rayleigh’s rescue. Planck proposed that radiation is not absorbed or emitted in the smooth way of classical physics, but in discrete packets or “quanta” of energy and that the degree of energy in quanta is proportional to the frequency of radiation. Planck would eventually receive the 1918 Nobel Prize for his proposal.

Step 6 came in 1905 and is due to Albert Einstein, “a young man with time on his hands as he worked as a third-class examiner in the Patent Office in Berne (Switzerland)” (Polkinghorne, 2002, p. 8). Einstein, who regarded Planck’s quanta as abiding entities, was interested in something that had emerged in studies of the photoelectric effect, the phenomenon that happens when a beam of light ejects electrons from a metal. It was known that electrons move within metals and that this produces electric current, and it was also known that the radiation of the photoelectric process transfers energy to the electrons so that they sometimes escape their metallic bonds. According to classical physics, it was the strength of the light waves that agitates some of the electrons to be shaken loose, and the degree to which this happens should depend on the intensity of the light and not on its frequency. But experiments showed the opposite; below a certain frequency, no electrons were emitted regardless of the strength of the beam, but above this frequency even a weak beam would eject some electrons. The results could not be explained by the old physics, but were consistent with Planck’s discovery that the amount of energy in a quantum is proportional to its frequency.

Einstein had not only solved the puzzle of the photoelectric effect by his discovery that streams of light are composed of light quanta, or “photons” as they came to be known, but he had also thrown fresh light on man’s image of the physical world. Einstein made two other important discoveries in 1905; he discovered special relativity and he demonstrated that the molecule is real, but it was his discovery of the nature of light that earned him a Nobel Prize in 1921.

Step 7 came in 1913 when Niels Bohr showed with his quantum mechanical model of the hydrogen atom that electrons contained within an atom exist only in discrete stationary quantum states. When their energy changes, the electrons “jump” between these individual states and emit light at a wavelength proportional to the energy difference, which helped explain the spectra properties of the light emitted by hydrogen atoms. In addition, Bohr’s model helped explain the structure and stability of the atom, and was one of the contributions for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1922.

A decade later, Step 8 was contributed by Louis Victor de Broglie, a physicist who came from a family of French aristocrats. It was becoming clear by this time that light had a dual nature. Young’s experiment in 1801 (Step 1) demonstrated that light can behave as a wave. Yet the discovery of light quanta and photons in 1905 (Step 6) suggested that light can also behave as a particle. This implied that photons can have wave-like properties to them. In his 1923 Ph.D. dissertation, de Broglie proposed that this dual wave-particle nature should not be limited to photons alone; it should also carry over to all of the other known types of particles (e.g., protons, electrons, etc.). In other words, all material particles should also display wave-like properties, known as matter waves. He then showed that the momentum of a particle can be associated with a given wavelength, later known as the de Broglie wavelength. The proposal was empirically verified by physicists Clinton Davisson and Lester Germer in 1927, earning de Broglie the 1929 Nobel Prize.

Step 9 came in 1925 when Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, and Pascual Jordan formulated the first mathematical version of quantum mechanics, known as matrix mechanics. A second version came a year later when Erwin Schrödinger formulated wave mechanics. At the heart of the latter was a complex equation derived by Schrödinger, which had solutions (known as wavefunctions) that described the behavior of matter waves. Although they initially seemed incompatible, matrix mechanics and wave mechanics were later found to be equivalent to each other. Heisenberg later received the 1932 Nobel Prize in part for his efforts in developing quantum mechanics, and Schrödinger received the prize a year later.
From the wavefunction, it became possible to calculate the possible values for every observable quantity (e.g., position) associated with subatomic particles. In other words, the behavior of a quantum system could be described by its associated wavefunction. Associated with each possible value in the wavefunction is a given probability that a particle could have that value when observed (based on this, the wave-like properties of particles are also viewed as “probability waves”). Before it is measured, and thus observed, it is equally probable that the particle could have any one of its possible values, which is the principle behind quantum superposition. Thus, in a sense, the particle has all of those values at the same time. When the particle is measured, its wavefunction “collapses” or “breaks down” into a single value that one actually observes.

With probability comes a certain degree of uncertainty in knowing exactly where a particle may be found at a given time, which leads us to Step 10. Although it is possible to measure the position and momentum of a physical object in the macroscopic (visible) world with a high degree of accuracy, in the microscopic (quantum) world it is necessary to replace measured accuracy with probability. Werner Heisenberg demonstrated this in 1927 with his Uncertainty Principle, which roughly states that if one measures the position of a particle with a certain degree of accuracy, then the measure of its momentum will become less accurate (and vice versa); one can never accurately know both values at the same time. This trade-off reflects the dual wave-particle nature of particles, particularly with respect to the concept of probability waves.

The final step (Step 11) came in 1935 with the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen gedanken (thought) experiment, which initially illustrated quantum nonlocality. It was within the context of this gedanken experiment that Schrödinger (1935) proposed the concept of quantum entanglement, leading us to the ideas discussed in this paper. The concept of quantum superposition underlies both of these strange phenomena.


Appendix Notes

1. Most of this outline is due to John Polkinghorne (2002), and to Kleppner and Jackiw (2000).
2. The story is due to Voltaire, who apparently received it from Newton’s step-niece.

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