Lucien Hardy, a theoretical physicist at the Perimeter Institute in Canada, has proposed a study to measure the effect of the human mind on the laws of physics. In simple terms, he wants to prove that consciousness is not made up of matter.
Using a decades old test used to prove that quantum mechanics is much more than just a wild theory, Hardy wants to add people as a variable; if the results of the test change, it is due to the human influence. Let’s get technical.
The Bell Test was an influential test developed in 1964 by John Bell that basically proved particles influence one another. The experiment takes two entangled particles, and sends them in opposite directions. One zips off towards location A, and the other to location B. Along the paths of the two particles are particle detectors rigged up to randomly measure those particles, like their spin for example. Using random number generators, the detectors measure at different times, rates, and for different things to ensure the test is truly random. The results typically prove one thing; the universe is spooky because the experiment shows that entangled particles, even when they are separated by great distances, behave identically.
Hardy has proposed to recreate the test with a twist. Sending the entangled particles in opposite directions for about 100 kilometres, he plans on putting 100 people along the path of the particles with EEG headsets (which read brain activity). Using the brain signals of the 100 participants, they will set the detectors off and measure the particles instead of using random number generators. He will then compare the results of this tweaked Bell Test with previous Bell Tests. If the results have variations, that means human consciousness has influenced those particles.
According to Hardy,
If you only saw a violation of quantum theory when you had systems that might be regarded as conscious, humans or other animals, that would certainly be exciting. I can’t imagine a more striking experimental result in physics than that. We’d want to debate as to what that meant.
So why does this matter? If Hardy is correct, and the test yield’s the change he is hypothesising, it would be the first step to prove that human consciousness, the mind, sometimes referred to as ‘free will’ is not comprised of matter, but exists in a separate state. Furthermore, it also proves that the mind can influence matter, and the laws that govern the physical world, at least on a subatomic level.
Does this mean that you can now bend spoons with your mind? Yes. Yes it does.
(Featured image: mindvalleyacademy.com)