, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 601-606
Date: 03 Jul 2012

Pulling apart the quantum’s entanglement with the counter culture: How fysiks became physics

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David Kaiser, a historian of science with one foot in the physics camp—he has a PhD in theoretical physics and is a member of MIT’s physics department as well as its STS program—has written a wonderful romp about a group of renegade physicists who in the Spring of 1975 at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory formed the Fundamental Fysiks Group. Meeting around a table in a sprawling seminar room for 4 years, every Friday at 4 pm, the group intensely discussed the links between Bell’s Theorem at the foundations of quantum mechanics, consciousness, spirituality, and parapsychology. It was the Solvay conferences on acid.

The aim of the Fundamental Fysiks Group was to get back to the spirit of those encounters between Bohr and Einstein as they pondered the famous double-slit experiment. It is what Kaiser calls “big picture physics”, as opposed to the obsession with applications and calculations that came to dominate the cold war era and where interest in topics such as the foundations of quantum