Stapp, Henry

Henry is a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he works on the foundations of quantum mechanics and on explaining the nature and role of consciousness through quantum mechanics. After receiving his PhD in particle physics, Henry moved to ETH Zurich to do post-doctoral work under the legendary Wolfgang Pauli. During this period he composed an article called 'Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics', which he never sent for publication, but would become the title of his 1993 book. When Pauli died in 1958, Henry transferred to Munich, now to work under the equally legendary Werner Heisenberg. While making important contributions to particle physics (such as the analysis of proton-proton scattering), Henry is perhaps most well known for his ongoing work in the foundations of quantum mechanics, with particular focus on explicating the role and nature of consciousness. He is also an expert on Bell’s Theorem, having solved problems related to non-locality presented by John Bell and Albert Einstein. Some of Henry’s work concerns the implications of quantum mechanics for consciousness. He sees a global collapse of superposed brain states in the process of choosing between alternatives. He points out that orthodox quantum theory reconciles two diverse aspects of scientific practice: the mathematical aspect represented by the deterministic evolution of mathematical properties in accordance with a deterministic equation, the Schrödinger equation; and the empirical aspect associated with our human actions upon the world about us, and the feedbacks that we experience. Another way that he puts it is that the mathematically determined evolution via Schrödinger’s equation is the 'rock like' aspect of matter, while the quantum collapse of the wave function is mind-like. His theory of how mind may interact with matter via quantum processes in the brain differs from that of Penrose and Hameroff. While the latter postulates quantum computing on a micro-scale in the microtubules within brain neurons, Henry postulates more global collapse via his 'mind like' wave-function collapses. The most cogent presentation of his views are in his book, Mindful Universe.


Resources

Blog

Can Religion Be Explained Without God?

Most people believe that God exists and religion is God’™s revelation. But some claim that religion needs nothing supernatural; that religion, without God, can flourish because personal psychology and group sociology drive religion.

Read Post >  |  Comments (281) >

ALSO: Arguing God from Design, by Richard Swinburne >

SEE ALL BLOGS

  • View All Cosmos Comments
  • View All Consciousness Comments
  • View All God Comments

TV Episodes

Current TV Episodes - Summaries.
The 39 episodes in the current TV season: 13 episodes each for Cosmos, Consciousness, God.

Future TV Episodes - Cosmos, Consciousness, God

Previous TV Episodes

Participants

Learn about Closer To Truth participants. Browse bios and articles on CTT topics.

About Closer To Truth

Closer To Truth overview. Go behind the scenes and meet the CTT team. View photos from around the globe and more.

Articles & References

Additional material and resources on Closer To Truth topics.

Visit SciTech Daily: the best intelligent, informed science & technology coverage and analysis daily.

Previous CTT Season 3

Website of Closer To Truth season 3.