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Is The Human Mind Capable Of Manipulating Our Physical World?

The Mind-Matter Duality

Lucien Hardy is a theoretical physicist from the Perimeter Institute in Canada. Hardy was always asking questions, gathering information, looking for paradoxical thought experiments and provoking the world of quantum mechanics. He even devised his own Hardy Paradox back in 1992 studying particle interactions.

In his latest paper he now basically goes back to French philosopher Rene Descartes, wondering if the old mathematician’s mind-matter duality can be proven. Is the human mind, supposedly located outside of physics, capable of manipulating or intervening on the physical world and what are the limits?

In order to test the boundary between mind and matter Hardy wants to use human subjects in a type of experiment specifically contemplating Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance”, a phenomenon better known as quantum entanglement.

These so-called Bell experiments were designed to test whether particles actually do influence each other regardless the distance. In 1964 Bell created pairs of entangled particles and sent them towards different locations (A, B) with a device measuring the respective states. Random number generators initiated constant changes to these states that were impossible to know at the time of measurement.

To cut this long story short, quantum physics proved correct over and over again, resulting in particle correlations that overcome great distance influencing the state of each other instantly.

In his paper, Hardy proposes to perform such an experiment but with humans deciding, hence playing the role of the measuring device.

The experiment will be done in a unique way by putting EEG headsets on 100 people to alter the settings (instead of using random generators) with a distance of about 100km in between them.

If using humans would indeed lead to violations of Quantum Theory, radical implications would change the way we think of ourselves and our control over the physical world forever.

Hardy also anticipates new breakthrough technologies, propelling humanity into a new era eventually.

This story was originally published on pionic.

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