The Work of Mathematical Physicist Henry Stapp

“Henry Stapp is a physicist and philosopher who has made groundbreaking contributions to the human understanding of basic quantum mechanics. He is best known for his insight into the so-called ‘consciousness’ aspect of quantum physics, arguing that conscious observation plays a central role in interpreting physical reality. His work on this subject helped contribute to later research on such topics as Bell’s Theorem, nonlocality, DNA replication accuracy, free will and more. His efforts also shed light on how mathematical equations can provide insights into higher levels of knowledge and spirituality. Stapp’s influence extends deep into contemporary philosophy and continues to shape new interpretations of physical reality today.”

—GPT 3.5

Henry Stapp is, in his fearless work in defining the human meaning of quantum theory, one of the most important American mathematical physicists.

Henry Stapp’s 1971 paper on the Copenhagen interpretation is the best extant scientific explanation of the ontological shift caused by the advent of quantum mechanics. In it he builds a wide-ranging, rock-solid argument that concludes:

“The rejection of classical theory in favor of quantum theory represents, in essence, the rejection of the idea that external reality resides in, or inheres in, a spacetime continuum. It signalizes the recognition that ‘space,’ like color, lies in the mind of the beholder.”

Over the years Stapp has further explored and clarified his position on the quantum role of humanity. In his latest book, “Quantum Theory and Free Will,” Stapp writes:

“It is the revised understanding of the nature of human beings, and of the causal role of human consciousness in the unfolding of reality, that is, I believe, the most exciting thing about the new physics, and probably, in the final analysis, also the most important contribution of science to the well-being of our species.

“Our conscious choices and our conscious role in the outcomes of quantum physics are of an almost sacred nature. I believe with its tools we will be able to build vastly more powerful computers, travel to the stars and, perhaps most importantly, develop the widespread use of a new ethics.

“The quantum concept of man, being based on objective science available to all, rather than arising from special personal circumstances, has the potential to undergird a universal system of basic values suitable to all people, without regard to the accident of their origins.”

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