Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Brian Josephson

In 1973 Welsh physicist Brian Josephson won the Nobel Prize for “his theoretical predictions of the properties of a supercurrent through a tunnel barrier in particular the phenomena which are generally known as the Josephson Effects.” This achievement was even more impressive as he had actually made his scientific breakthrough 11 years previously when he was just 22-years-old. Soon after picking up the glittering award in Stockholm Josephson did something totally unexpected: he moved away from mainstream physics and began to pursue an interest in the paranormal, particularly telepathy. Apparently his interest in the esoteric had first been aroused in the 1960s when he got into eastern mysticism. At Cambridge he investigated the links between quantum physics and telepathy, suggesting that we can sense things such as potential danger in our nervous system. The very fact that he gave credence to telepathy has earned him derision in certain scientific quarters. Josephson’s open-mindedness towards other esoteric pursuits such as spoon-bending might not have helped his cause. For his part, though, Josephson has castigated fellow scientists who approach new ideas from a totally disbelieving standpoint. Open-mindedness should surely always be the correct approach for any scientist. Only time will tell if Josephson’s work on telepathy at the Mind Matter Unification Project at Cambridge University proves him to be a visionary or a heretic.

*The above picture shows Brian Josephson lecturing at a Society of Psychical Research conference in 1982. The photograph was taken by Dr Elmar R Gruber and is ©Fortean/TopFoto