Optics and Spectroscopy

, Volume 103, Issue 3, pp 461–467 | Cite as

Reality in quantum mechanics, Extended Everett Concept, and consciousness

  • M. B. Mensky
Quantum Optics and Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics


Conceptual problems in quantum mechanics result from the specific quantum concept of reality and require, for their solution, including the observer’s consciousness into the quantum theory of measurements. Most naturally, this is achieved in the framework of Everett’s “many-world interpretation” of quantum mechanics. According to this interpretation, various classical alternatives are perceived by consciousness separately from each other. In the Extended Everett Concept (EEC) proposed by the present author, the separation of the alternatives is identified with the phenomenon of consciousness. This explains the classical character of the alternatives and unusual manifestations of consciousness arising “at the edge of consciousness” (i.e., in sleep or trance) when its access to “other alternative classical realities” (other Everett’s worlds) becomes feasible. Because of reversibility of quantum evolution in EEC, all time moments in the quantum world are equivalent, while the impression of flow of time appears only in consciousness. If it is assumed that consciousness may influence the probabilities of alternatives (which is consistent in case of infinitely many Everett’s worlds), EEC explains free will, “probabilistic miracles” (observing low-probability events), and decreasing entropy in the sphere of life.

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. B. Mensky
    • 1
  1. 1.Lebedev Physical InstituteMoscowRussia

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