Brian D Josephson

Brian D Josephson
University of Cambridge | Cam · Department of Physics: Cavendish Laboratory

Ph.D.

About

93
Publications
24,427
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6,148
Citations
Introduction
The mind–matter unification project seeks a deeper insight into nature by taking proper account of processes of mind.

Publications

Publications (93)
Preprint
Full-text available
In a BBC series, Steven Pinker characterised phenomena such as ESP as 'paranormal woowoo'. In this article I demonstrate, on the basis of email correspondence with Pinker, the inadequacy of the reasoning underlying such beliefs. Organisations such as the Skeptics Society are criticised for their role, similar in some ways to that of QAnon, in propa...
Preprint
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This paper develops an approach to fundamental physics that may be termed relational physics, involving ideas similar to those developed in the context of biology by authors such as Rashevsky and Rosen, and in the context of physics by Barad. In his relational approach, Rosen argued that while, on account of its complexity, the state of an organism...
Preprint
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Wheeler's idea that physical reality is the outcome of the activity of participating observers is applied in the context of nonlinear dynamics, taking into account biological factors assumed to be relevant. The constraint that structures that develop should have biological value is shown to be able to account naturally for many features of the quan...
Presentation
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Slides accompanying Lindau 2021 lecture at https://youtu.be/jo4voCA14HE.
Preprint
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David Bohm suggested that some kind of implicate order underlies the manifest order observed in physical systems, while others have suggested that some kind of mind-like process underlies this order. In the following a more explicit picture is proposed, based on the existence of parallels between spontaneously fluctuating equilibrium states and lif...
Data
Slides for Lindau 2004 lecture
Preprint
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In this paper, we formulate physics using system dynamics of self-selected fluctuations and correlations in a fundamental • field. Instead of the traditional reductionist method of looking at phenomena in nature, we look at how the interplay of symmetry breaking and entanglement of subsystems within this unified field leads to entropic complexifica...
Article
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With rare exceptions such as David Bohm, Karen Barad, and to some extent John Wheeler and Henry Stapp, physicists generally have things the wrong way round. We should not be trying to understand biological systems in terms of quantum mechanics, but rather to understand the quantum world in biological terms. Suggestive parallels between the two real...
Preprint
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In this podcast Prof. Josephson talks about the Josephson Effect, transcendental meditation, the Mind–Matter Unification Project, intelligence, science orthodoxy, paranormal, water memory, the publication process, cold fusion and LENR, understanding quantum mechanics, coordination dynamics, biosemiotics, artificial intelligence, cymatics, and intel...
Presentation
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This lecture looks for a basis for physics able to avoid difficulties associated with present approaches. Consideration of the workings of language leads to a picture of reality involving an evolving collection of active 'expert systems', strongly constrained by the requirement of minimal disruption. A video of the lecture is available at https://s...
Presentation
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Present-day physics is running into obstacles of various kinds. It is argued that the cause of the problems is the fact that physics lacks tools appropriate to gaining a clear understanding of complexity. Alternatives such as that of coordination dynamics are likely to lead to a new level of understanding of nature, including the role played by min...
Presentation
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Complex coordination (systems working together to produce some specific outcome) plays an essential role in biology, whereas in regular physics coordination manifests only in simple forms. Through their search for ‘theories of everything’, physicists have been led to an oversimplified picture of the natural world, one that works very well in the si...
Preprint
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Regular physics is unsatisfactory in that it fails to take into consideration phenomena relating to mind and meaning, whereas on the other side of the cultural divide such constructs have been studied in detail. This paper discusses a possible synthesis of the two perspectives. Crucial is the way systems realising mental function can develop step b...
Article
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Regular physics is unsatisfactory in that it fails to take into consideration phenomena relating to mind and meaning, whereas on the other side of the cultural divide such constructs have been studied in detail. This paper discusses a possible synthesis of the two perspectives. Crucial is the way systems realising mental function can develop step b...
Chapter
Full-text available
The presumptions underlying quantum mechanics make it relevant to a limited range of situations only; furthermore, its statistical character means that it provides no answers to the question ‘what is really going on?’. Following Barad, I hypothesise that the underlying mechanics has parallels with human activities, as used by Barad to account for t...
Article
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The mainstream view of meaning is that it is emergent, not fundamental, but some have disputed this, asserting that there is a more fundamental level of reality than that addressed by current physical theories, and that matter and meaning are in some way entangled. In this regard there are intriguing parallels between the quantum and biological dom...
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Wheeler proposed that repeated acts of observation give rise to the reality that we observe, but offered no detailed mechanism for this. Here this creative process is accounted for on the basis of the idea that nature has a deep technological aspect that evolves as a result of selection processes that act upon observers making use of the technologi...
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Lecture given at Nobel Laureates' meeting at Lindau, 2004. The slides are in the 'linked data'.
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Karen Barad's Agential Realism provides a non-paradoxical realist account of quantum reality, but does not show how the complex picture that it implies can be applied to the familiar physics of the laboratory. Here, motivated by parallels with the way human cultures evolve, the theory is augmented by the inclusion of evolutionary processes. The out...
Article
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This paper examines the processes involved in attempting to capture the subtlest aspects of nature by the scientific method and argues on this basis that nature is fundamentally elusive and may resist grasping by the methods of science. If we wish to come to terms with this resistance, then a shift in the direction of taking direct experience into...
Article
Edited proceedings of an interdisciplinary symposium on consciousness held at the University of Cambridge in January 1978. The purpose of the Cambridge conference was to encourage distinguished scientists to express their views on the relationship of conscious experience to the physical world. The book is available in a number of formats at https:/...
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This paper is concerned with a dialogue between Rabindranath Tagore and Albert Einstein, where Tagore argued that our knowledge is essentially human, while Einstein maintained that some kinds of knowledge are more objective. Arguments by Davis and Hersh concerning the nature of mathematics support the idea of mathematical truth being a human constr...
Article
Dissertation submitted for the 1962 fellowship election, Trinity College, Cambridge. © B D Josephson 1962.
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This is the final outcome of the INBIOSA project which ends by the end of December 2011. A slighly different version including some appendices will be delivered to the EC later. We believe that this White Paper is a defining document that can be used to direct future research in Integral Biomathics. It can be the base for cooperation projects in th...
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This paper describes the events leading to the discovery of coupled superconductors, the author's move in the 1970s to a perspective where mind plays a role comparable to matter, and the remarkable hostility sometimes encountered by those who venture into unconventional areas.
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The INBIOSA project brings together a group of experts across many disciplines who believe that science requires a revolutionary transformative step in order to address many of the vexing challenges presented by the world. It is INBIOSA’s purpose to enable the focused collaboration of an interdisciplinary community of original thinkers.
Chapter
It is argued that at a sufficiently deep level the conventional quantitative approach to the study of nature faces difficult problems, and that biological processes should be seen as more fundamental, in a way that can be elaborated on the basis of Peircean semiotics and Yardley’s Circular Theory. In such a world-view, Wheeler’s observer-participat...
Article
Niels Bohr's arguments indicating the non-applicability of quantum methodology to the study of the ultimate details of life given in his book "Atomic physics and human knowledge" conflict with the commonly held opposite view. The bases for the usual beliefs are examined and shown to have little validity. Significant differences do exist between the...
Article
Full-text available
It is argued that at a sufficiently deep level the conventional quantitative approach to the study of nature faces difficult problems, and that biological processes should be seen as more fundamental, in a way that can be elaborated on the basis of Peircean semiotics and Yardley's Circular Theory. In such a world-view, Wheeler's observer-participat...
Article
Lecture to Cambridge University Physics Society, March 5th., 2008.
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Current methodologies in the neurosciences have difficulty in accounting for complex phenomena such as language, which can however be quite well characterised in phenomenological terms. This paper addresses the issue of unifying the two approaches. We typically understand complicated systems in terms of a collection of models, each characterisable...
Presentation
Slides accompanying the lecture 'A Critical Point for Science?' at http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/749894 (which should be opened in a separate window). A web search should be able to identify the references listed in the last slide.
Article
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The task of understanding how the brain works has met with only limited success since important design concepts are not as yet incorporated in the analysis. Relevant concepts can be uncovered by studying the powerful methodologies that have evolved in the context of computer programming, raising the question of how the concepts involved there can b...
Article
Putting control in the hands of a few can enforce orthodoxy and stifle innovative ideas.
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A model consistent with string theory is proposed for so-called paranormal phenomena such as extra-sensory perception (ESP). Our mathematical skills are assumed to derive from a special 'mental vacuum state', whose origin is explained on the basis of anthropic and biological arguments, taking into account the need for the informational processes as...
Article
The rigorous inequality derived in the preceding paper, together with certain plausible assumptions about the correlations in the neighbourhood of the critical point, is shown to imply the relations sv >or= 2 - α, sv' >or= 2 - α' for the exponents describing the asymptotic from of the singularities at a critical point, where -α and -ν are the expon...
Article
A rigorous inequality is derived relating the specific heat of a system, the temperature derivative of the expectation value of an arbitrary operator and the mean-square fluctuation of the operator in an equilibrium ensemble. The class of constraints for which the theorem is shown to hold includes most of those of practical interest, in particular...
Article
In what light should a scientist regard the assertions of a religion, or of religions in general? One extreme position is the atheistic one of regarding the assertions of religion as falsehoods. Such a position can be sustained only by regarding the experiences which individuals consider as validating their religious beliefs as being explicable in...
Article
Two functions of state ξ and η are derived, such that any equation of state for the critical region consistent with the scaling hypothesis can be expressed in the form η = (ξ). The representation has the useful property that the function has no unphysical singularities (such as the branch points associated with the critical isotherm or elsewhere in...
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It is hypothesised that quantum physics is not the ultimate theory of nature, but merely a theoretical account of the phenomena manifested in nature under particular conditions. These phenomena parallel cognitive phenomena in biosystems in a number of ways, and are assumed to arise from related mechanisms. Quantum and biological accounts are comple...
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The following is the handout that accompanied a paper presented at the December 2001 Messina conference on Horizons in Complex Systems. Currently it presents the basic concepts only. It pro- poses that one key idea constitutes the key to understanding the brain, namely the fact that abstrac- tions are possible. The particular abstractions relevant...
Article
It is argued that cognitive capacities can be understood as the outcome of the collective action of a set of agents created by tools that explore possible behaviours and train the agents to behave in such appropriate ways as may be discovered. The coherence of the whole system is assured by a combination of vetting the performance of new agents and...
Article
The magnetic field dependence of the surface reactance of superconducting tin has been measured at a frequency of 174 MHz. In the perpendicular field configuration (RF and static fields perpendicular to each other) the behaviour observed is approximately that expected from the Ginzburg-Landau theory in the static limit. In the parallel field config...
Article
David Fisher (July p22) rejects parapsychology on the basis that it is difficult to replicate positive results in the field. However, this is insufficient reason to reject its claims.
Article
Steven Weinberg may be right to criticize aspects of Thomas Kuhn's writings, as you report in your editorial (November 1998 p3). But Weinberg's own proposals, which he discussed in the 8 October 1998 issue of The New York Review of Books, have their problems as well. I discussed such matters further in a recent review of Roger Newton's book The Tru...
Article
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The paper presents an integrated account of the workings of the brain, built up using ideas from Minsky's Society of Mind approach, computer science, and developmental and evolutionary psychology. In the course of development a collection of agents is trained by a virtual 'master plan' that has, as the outcome of evolution by natural selection, acq...
Chapter
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Neural constructivists have proclaimed, on the basis of arguments which it is suggested in the following are unconvincing, a view of the nervous system which has little place for innate knowledge relating to specific domains. In this paper an alternative position is developed, which by instantiating innate knowledge in a flexible manner provides a...
Article
In an interview supposedly confronting proponents of paranormal beliefs (July p11), Steve Donnelly "reads the mind" of the interviewer, and discusses alien spaceships hiding behind comet Hale-Bopp, the absence of clear-cut evidence for influences of planetary positions on personality, and cold fusion. Curiously absent is any reference to the result...
Article
In our personal lives, the fact of our consciousness – in other words, the fact that we have experiences, such as hearing sounds or seeing colours – is a central aspect of existence. In contrast, science seems to, get on very well without taking explicit note of consciousness at all. Is this because consciousness genuinely does not need be taken in...
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The following progress report, produced originally in 1982, views language acquisition as primarily the attempt to create processes that connect together in a fruitful way linguistic input and other activity. The representations made of linguistic input are those that are optimally effective in mediating such interconnections. An effective Language...
Chapter
The following few chapters are concerned with the problem of consciousness. Their authors do not subscribe to the conventional view that consciousness is ‘just another problem’, to be tackled in a somewhat similar way to the way that science has tackled problems in the past. They believe, and argue in the following, that including conscious experie...
Chapter
What makes conscious experience a difficult or confusing subject for science to deal with is its personal or individualistic character (that is to say the fact that a given experience is an experience apparently tied to a particular individual). It is in this respect very different from the other phenomena studied by science, where while the phenom...
Chapter
It is argued that purely perceptual or generative accounts of music are inadequate to account for its specificity, and that proper accounts of music must take into account also a more fundamental level of the mind (or of consciousness), a level we term the “aesthetic subsystem”. The latter constitutes a domain of universality and of meaning that ac...
Article
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The perception of reality by biosystems is based on different, and in certain respects more effective, principles than those utilized by the more formal procedures of science. As a result, what appears as random pattern to the scientific method can be meaningful pattern to a living organism. The existence of this complementary perception of reality...
Chapter
Stapp and others have proposed that reality involves a fundamental life process, or creative process. It is shown how this process description may be unified with the description that derives from quantum physics. The methods of the quantum physicist and of the biological sciences are seen to be two alternative approaches to the understanding of na...
Article
Human skills are acquired not by a single uniform process, but in a series of stages, as Piaget has shown. We have investigated such a sequential process by taking as an illustrative example the game of table tennis. The aims in each stage of learning are qualitatively different, and we show in detail how knowledge gained during one stage provides...
Chapter
In higher states of consciousness the process of thinking is more finely adjusted to the demands of a situation than would normally be the case. We propose a mathematical model for this, based on the hypothesis that thoughts are created in part by an instability mechanism; learning establishes the instabilities, while when a situation has become fa...
Chapter
A number of different approaches to the study of the brain and nervous system are reviewed, with particular reference to those of artificial intelligence, psychology and psychiatry.
Article
It is shown how certain properties of a Bose liquid at zero temperature, normally derived from phenomenological theories, can be obtained directly from microscopic theory when certain approximations are made. The approximations include (i) the assumption that all quantities vary slowly with space and time, and (ii) ignoring all singularities of the...
Article
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Ascience (or a paradigm within a science) is a product of a particular way of approaching the problems of nature. This paper is concerned with the science behind the existence of paradigms: why do they exist, and what are the mechanics of change? Of particular interest is Bohr's question: does quantum mechanics encompass life or not, the answer bei...
Article
The following article reports on ideas about how to study consciousness that emerged during the course of the January 1992 Athens Symposium on Science and Consciousness, one of the principal aims of the meeting being as far as possible to escape from constraints on thinking about consciousness that might be imposed by conventional modes of thought....
Article
It is argued that the key to understanding the brain is to view it as a device making extensive use of methodologies developed in computer programming, the idea of compiling source code written in a high-level language providing a mechanism for conceptually linking the two domains. Following the argument through, one arrives at a clarification of w...
Article
The mobility of ions in liquid He3 is investigated by a method which avoids the assumption that ions recoil freely in collisions with Fermi quasiparticles. The temperature variation of the mobility is found to be much less than that previously predicted, and improved agreement with experiment is obtained.
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The usual derivation of Maxwell's equations for magnetic materials rests on the assumption that the sources of magnetic field within the material can be split up into a magnetization density M and a current density j. In metals the same electrons (the conduction electrons) contribute both to M and to j, and one is forced to consider the question of...
Article
Superconducting systems partitioned by barriers which are thin enough to allow supercurrents to pass through them are discussed. The implications for such systems of superconducting long-range order are considered, and a phenomenological theory developed and applied to a number of topics: penetration of a magnetic field into a barrier, interference...
Article
The similarity between the nature of tunneling supercurrents and normal'' supercurrents is established theoretically, and experimental results are discussed. It is shown that many varied types of behavior of barriers between superconductors can be predicted on the basis of a few simple equations based on straightforward assumptions. These equat...
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The theorem concerned is the following: if f is continuous in [a, b], and f exists and is finite except at an enumerable set of points and Lebesgue integrable in [a, b], then
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It is shown that the low-energy gamma rays emitted from nuclei in a ; solid which are unaffected by the Doppler effect are subject to a temperature-; dependent shift to lower energy. It is demonstrated that this shift can be ; attributed to the relativistic time dilatation caused by the motion of nuclei. ; (C.J. G.);

Questions

Question (1)
Question
When I was uploading an item I clicked on 'create doi' and an error message appeared. How can I have another go at creating a doi now the item is on RG?

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
To define a framework for unifying physics using coordination dynamics.
Project
Creating a unified theory of mind and matter