Saturday, July 30, 2011

A hippie physicist's blog

I've just finished David Kaiser's How the Hippies Saved Physics, about the unusual group of physicists that Robert Anton Wilson hung out with the 1970s, and wrote about in Cosmic Trigger 1.

One of the "hippie physicists" portrayed in the book, Nick Herbert, comes off especially well. Herbert's schemes for using the principles in Bell's Theorem (on nonlocality in quantum mechanics) to invent a faster-than-light communications device did not turn out to be viable, but in Kaiser's telling, Herbert's clever ideas forced physicists to think about important issues and helped give rise to quantum encryption, a method for encrypting messages that are theoretically impossible to intercept and decipher. There is a whole burgeoning field of quantum information science, and the "hippie physicists" in general and Herbert in particular deserve credit for helping to spur it, Kaiser says.

Well, it turns out that Herbert has an interesting blog, Quantum Tantra, and he doesn't just write about physics. He writes about many topics that might interest folks who read this blog.

Here is the obituary Herbert wrote for Robert Anton Wilson.


supergee said...

You've got a typo in the URL. It's

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Thanks -- it's been fixed.

buddy thomas said...

ha what an interesting read, hippies and physics are two words i never thought i would see put together.

owner of - kinetic energy

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