Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 13, No 2 (2017)

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Recent Advances in Post-Quantum Physics

Jack Sarfatti


Newton's mechanics in the 17th Century increased the lethality of artillery. Thermodynamics in the 19th led to the steam-powered Industrial Revolution in the UK. Maxwell's unification of electricity, magnetism and light gave us electrical power, the telegraph, radio and television. The discovery of quantum mechanics in the 20th century by Planck, Bohr, Einstein, Schrodinger, Heisenberg led to the creation of the atomic and hydrogen bomb as well as computer chips and the world-wide-web and Silicon Valley's multi-billion dollar corporations. The lesson is that breakthroughs in fundamental physics, both theoretical and experimental have always led to profound technological wealth-creating new industries and will continue to do so. There is now a new revolution brewing in quantum mechanics that can be divided into three periods. The first quantum revolution was from 1900 to about 1975. The second quantum information/computer revolution was from about 1975 to 2015. The early part of this story is told by MIT Professor David Kaiser in his award-winning book how a small group of Berkeley/San Francisco physicists triggered that second revolution. The third quantum revolution is how an extension of quantum mechanics has led to the understanding of consciousness as a natural physical phenomenon that can emerge in many material substrates not only in our carbon-based biochemistry. In particular, this new post-quantum mechanics will lead to naturally conscious artificial intelligence in nano-electronic machines as well as extending human life spans to hundreds of years and more. This development is not far off and is fraught with opportunities and dangers, just like nuclear power and genetic engineering.

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