Fred Kuttner discusses his book Quantum Enigma -- Physics Encounters Consciousness, co-authored with Bruce Rosenblum. In trying to understand the atom, physicists built quantum mechanics, the most successful theory in science. But they found, to their embarrassment, that with their theory, physics encounters consciousness, a mysterious phenomenon that science cannot explain and cannot ignore. Attempts to interpret the meaning and implications of all this are often controversial. But every interpretation of quantum physics involves consciousness, and the connection of consciousness with the Universe suggested by some leading quantum cosmologists is mind-blowing. There exists a boundary beyond which the expertise of physicists is no longer the only sure guide.
In the few decades since experiments established the existence of quantum entanglement, interest in the foundations, and the mysteries, of quantum mechanics has accelerated. In recent years, physicists, philosophers, computer engineers, and even biologists have expanded our realization of the significance of quantum phenomena. Quantum theory tells us that an object can be in two places at the same time, that its existence becomes real only when observed, and that the observation of an object can instantaneously influence another distant object even if no physical force connects the two. Quantum theory thus denies the existence of a physically real world independent of its observation.