Saturday, 15 June 2013

The World of Brian Josephson

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Link of the day: Extensive testing supports Andrea Rossi's controversial claims: considerable excess energy, inexplicable on conventional grounds, is observed in his 'E-cat' reactor by independent investigators.  Previous 'links of the day' are available in this archive.

Latest publication: Biological Observer-Participation and Wheeler's 'Law without Law'
Follow this link for sundry Mind-Matter Unification Project video lectures, including:

photograph Brian Josephson

Welcome to the home page of Professor Brian Josephson, director of the Mind-Matter Unification Project of the Theory of Condensed Matter Group at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, a project concerned primarily with the attempt to understand, from the viewpoint of the theoretical physicist, what may loosely be characterised as intelligent processes in nature, associated with brain function or with some other natural process. Project members: Brian Josephson, Takeo Oku, Plamen L. Simeonov.
'From the viewpoint of the theoretical physicist' here means that there is a particular concern with general principles and the way these may help to reshape one's perspective on a problem. One of my guiding principles, also, has been the scientist's motto 'Take nobody's word for it' (nullius in verba), a corollary of which is that if scientists as a whole denounce an idea this should not necessarily be taken as proof that the said idea is absurd: rather, one should examine carefully the alleged grounds for such opinions and judge how well these stand up to detailed scrutiny.
  • Why misconduct allegations against Rusi Taleyarkhan, highlighted by Nature's correspondent Eugenie Reich, were dismissed. As yet, Reich has failed to respond to a letter drawing her attention to the 'Inconvenient Truths' exposed by the Journal and Courier article.
  • The New Energy Times detailed report on the Taleyarkhan affair. The objectivity of this report contrasts strikingly with the agenda-driven character of the reports published in Nature.
    • Regrettably, NET also has a penchant for vindictive attacks on selected organisations and individuals. Here is my response to one such article, created by NET's editor Steven B. Krivit.
  •  (video lecture) Can the Physicists' Description of Reality be Considered Complete?
  •  Nature is on the attack again, declaring 'being a worthwhile story' sufficient justification for the publication of serious allegations that it cannot substantiate. Details; correspondence with Editor
  • The propagandising activities of the anti-paranormal organisation CSICOP come to light through a recent TV programme.  Among other things, an experimental outcome whose probability of occurring by chance was less than one in 50 was characterised by the sceptical investigators as "more consistent with chance guessing".  Details
  • How we might be able to understand the brain (paper presented at the International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, MA, together with video interview and PowerPoint presentation)
  • A Physics World profile explains the background to the project and other things.
  • Abstractions and the Brain (talk given at the Complex Systems Conference, Messina, December 2001)
  • Cold Fusion politics (revised June 9, 2004). Anyone wondering whether cold fusion is a real phenomenon, or merely erroneous science, should study this talk by Charles Beaudette
  • Unusually, the administrators of the physics archive at arXiv.org rapidly deleted a paper successfully deposited in the archive, perhaps as a reflex response to the fact that the paper concerned reviewed research in cold fusion. As a service to the scientific community, this 37-page review by Edmund Storms is being made available on this web site. It is suggested that serious scientific comments on the review, by those registered for depositing papers in the archive, be deposited in the cond-mat section, with crosslinking to nucl-ex and a link to the original review (here). However, there can be no guarantee that such contributions will not be deleted from the archive as was the review itself.
    [Note: it is not the intention to include poor research on these web pages. If anyone feels there are problems with the review concerned which are not cleared up through correspondence with the author, would they please let me know at the email address below (no complaints received so far at Oct. 25th., 2004)]
See the cognitive science page for details of research relating to brain functioning; other topics with which the project is involved include

The publications list has been reorganised. It is now divided into categories and is no longer split between two servers.
Information of topical or other special interest is included on this page.



A selection of publications, and other activities of the Mind-Matter Unification Project follows:
In view of the increasing importance of the subject, there is now a separate Parapsychology Page
[WARNING] Major journal's attempts to mislead its readers regarding evidence for parapsychology
  • A recent issue of Nature admits (page 564 of the Apr. 9th. 1998 issue) the existence of a minor error that the journal introduced during the process of editing a parapsychology book review. But it remains silent about the more significant fact that when a misunderstanding of the reviewer is corrected the main basis of his criticism of the book in question disappears. Details
(added June 2nd., 1998) Michael Rossman characterises such behaviour as 'undignified and shameful for a journal of [Nature's] stature'
  • Update of Aug. 14, 1998: the journal backs down under pressure and, after eight months delay, publishes a correction (page 413 of the 30 July 1998 issue).
You can get many of these pages in book form in Japanese translation

Cultural Area
  Drei Türme, Rätikon Alps, Austria, drawing by Carol Josephson (smaller version, 290 x 392 pixels, available)

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