Bruce Rosenblum, professor emeritus of physics at UC Santa Cruz, will give an Emeriti Faculty Lecture on Monday, April 9, on the topic of "The Quantum Enigma: Has Physics Encountered Consciousness?" The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Media Theater on the UCSC campus.

Quantum mechanics is the most battle-tested theory in all of science. According to Rosenblum, one third of our modern economy depends on products designed with quantum mechanics. Cosmological theories such as string theory and the Big Bang all start with quantum mechanics. But since its inception eight decades ago, quantum mechanics has mysteriously involved observer-created reality. Furthermore, a physical reality in one place can be created by a distant observer without any connecting physical force.

Describing the archetypal quantum demonstration, Rosenblum will display the boundary where physics encounters the conscious observer. It is the "skeleton in the closet" of physics, he said, and it takes no physics background to see the quantum enigma that still defies resolution.

Rosenblum and UCSC physics lecturer Fred Kuttner have written a book on this subject, Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness, published by Oxford University Press in 2006 (see earlier press release).