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Who is Jean Burns?

Jean Burns is a physicist with interests in the following subjects:  parapsychology and the relationship of psi phenomena to presently known physical laws; consciousness and free will and their relationship to presently known physical laws; thermodynamics and the nature of entropy.  A more detailed description of her interests in consciousness and psi is given below.

She has reviewed psi phenomena with respect to their relationship to presently known physical laws and has shown that a radical extension of these laws would have to be made to explain these phenomena (1993a, 2003).  She has also reviewed models that propose the existence of free will, viewed as a physical effect produced by non-physical means, and has shown that in all the models which propose it, a radical extension would have to be made to presently known physical laws to account for its action (1999).

She has proposed a model by which mental action (free will and PK) can be produced by the ordering of quantum fluctuations.  (The extension to physical laws would be, in this model, the possibility of ordering the usually random quantum fluctuations.)  The root mean square effect of quantum fluctuations on the momentum of a molecule is very small over a mean free path.  However, this effect is greatly magnified when molecules interact at the end of a mean free path.  With regard to free will, she has shown that through this effect the direction of travel of a water molecule in the intercellular medium in the brain can be changed to any desired direction in one mean free path.  There is sufficient energy in about 400 ordered molecules at thermal velocity to break chemical bonds and open an ion gate in a sodium channel.  More than one ion gate must be opened to produce an action potential, and several action potentials might be needed to initiate a physical action.  (Presumably the brain produces programs for the action, and only the action potentials to initiate the programs are necessary to carry it out.)  She estimates that about 4,000 molecules must be ordered to initiate a physical action, not very many (2002a, 2006).

With respect to psychokinesis (PK) she has shown that 10,000 ordered molecules would be sufficient to produce a detectible response in a small (area of 10 mm2), sensitive microphone.  This number is somewhat higher than the number of ordered molecules needed to initiate a free will action, but not greatly so.  Therefore, it can be expected that some good psi producers would be able to produce such an effect, and this prediction can be used for an experimental test of the PK part of her model (2002a, 2006). 

She has also shown that previous experimental results in the PK deviation of a tumbling cube can be accounted for by the impact of 2x105 ordered molecules on the cube at the beginning of its trajectory (2002b, 2002c).

(2007), Vacuum radiation, entropy, and molecular chaos, Foundations of Physics, 37, 1727-1737. 

(2006), The arrow of time and the action of the mind at the molecular level, in D.P. Sheehan (ed.), Frontiers of Time: Retrocausation Experiment and Theory (Melville, NY: AIP Conference Proceedings), pp. 75-88.

(2005), Detection of staring psi or statistical artifact? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12(6), 71-75.

(2003), Co-Editor (with J. Alcock and A. Freeman), Psi Wars (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic).

(2003), What is beyond the edge of the known world? in J. Alcock, J.E. Burns, and A. Freeman (eds.), Psi Wars (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic), pp. 7-28.  Reprinted (2008), in R.M. Schoch and L. Yonavjak (eds.), The Parapsychology Revolution (New York: Tarcher).

(2002a), Quantum fluctuations and the action of the mind, Noetic Journal, 3(4), 312-317.

(2002b), The tumbling cube and the action of the mind, Noetic Journal, 3(4), 318-329.

(2002c), The effect of ordered air molecules on a tumbling cube, Noetic Journal, 3(4), 330-339.

(2002d), Vacuum radiation, entropy and the arrow of time, in R.L. Amoroso, G. Hunter, M. Kafatos, and J.-P. Vigier (eds.), Gravitation and Cosmology (London: Kluwer Academic), pp. 491-498.

(1999), Volition and physical laws, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6(10), 27-47.

(1998), Entropy and vacuum radiation, Foundations of Physics, 28, 1191-1207.

(1996), The possibility of empirical test of hypotheses about consciousness, in S.R. Hameroff, A.W. Kaszniak, and A.C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness  (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 739-742.

(1994), Spaciousness: The common ground between science and spirituality, in R.‑I. Heinze (ed.), Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternative Modes of Healing (Berkeley, CA: Ruth‑Inge Heinze), pp. 5‑12.

(1993a), Current hypotheses about the nature of the mind-brain relationship and their relationship to findings in parapsychology, in K.R. Rao (ed.), Cultivating Consciousness (New York: Praeger), pp. 139‑148.

(1993b), Time, consciousness, and psi, in B. Kane, J. Millay and D. Brown (eds.), Silver Threads: 25 Years of Parapsychology Research (New York: Praeger), pp. 124‑136.

(1993c), The predictive possibilities of a card code, in R.‑I. Heinze (ed.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternative Modes of Healing (Berkeley, CA: Ruth‑Inge Heinze), pp. 59‑66.

(1991a), Does consciousness perform a function independently of the brain?  Frontier Perspectives 2(1), 19‑34 (Philadelphia, PA: Center for Frontier Sciences, Temple University).

(1991b), Contemporary models of consciousness: Part II, Journal of Mind and Behavior, 12, 407‑420.

(1990), Contemporary models of consciousness: Part I, Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11, 153‑172.

(1986), Consciousness and psi, Psi Research, 5, 166‑205.

1994 to present, Associate Editor, Journal of Consciousness Studies, United Kingdom

Ph.D. (Physics), 1970, University of Hawaii, Honolulu

B.A. (Physics), University of California, Berkeley


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