Elizabeth Rauscher

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Elizabeth Rauscher
Nationality American
Education BS (chemistry and physics)
MS (nuclear physics) 1965
PhD (nuclear physics) 1978
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Occupation Physicist, Parapsychologist
Known for Co-founded the Berkeley Fundamental Fysiks Group
Spouse(s) William van Bise

Elizabeth A. Rauscher is an American physicist and parapsychologist. She is a former researcher with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Stanford Research Institute, and NASA.[1]

In 1975 Rauscher co-founded the Berkeley Fundamental Fysiks Group, an informal group of physicists who met weekly to discuss quantum mysticism and the philosophy of quantum physics. David Kaiser thought that this group helped to nurture ideas which were unpopular at the time within science, but which later formed the basis of quantum information science.[2]

Rauscher has an interest in psychic healing and faith healing and other paranormal phenomena.

Education and career[edit]

In How the Hippies Saved Physics (2011), Kaiser writes that Rauscher had always been interested in science, and as a child had designed and built her own telescopes. Raised near Berkeley, she started hanging around the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory when she was in high school. She enrolled at Berkeley for her first degree, and published her first article, on nuclear fusion, while still an undergraduate. Kaiser writes that she was the only woman in her class; at that time women in America earned only five and two percent of physics undergraduate degrees and PhDs respectively. He writes that she coped with it by wearing tweedy dresses and keeping her hair short, though she experienced some intimidation. She obtained her masters in nuclear physics in 1965.[3] From 1974 to 1978, she was a researcher at the Stanford Research Institute's Radio Physics Laboratory.[4]

She married and had a son, and when she became their sole provider took a job as a staff scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a weapons laboratory near Berkeley. When her son was old enough, she returned to Berkeley to begin her PhD under Glenn Seaborg, the nuclear chemist. She continued to work at Livermore and became the chair of the Livermore Philosophy Group, offering classes on the relationship between science and society at Berkeley, and later at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.[3] She completed her PhD in 1978 on "Coupled Channel Alpha Decay Theory for Even and Odd-Mass Light and Heavy Nuclei."[5]

She later held positions as professor of physics and general science at John F. Kennedy University, 1978–1984; research consultant to NASA, 1983–1985; and professor and graduate student adviser in the department of physics at the University of Nevada, Reno, 1990–1998.[6][7]

Fundamental Fysiks Group[edit]

Further information: Fundamental Fysiks Group
External images
Members of the Fundamental Fysiks Group, featured in Francis Ford Coppola's City Magazine in 1975.
Left to right: Jack Sarfatti, Saul-Paul Sirag, Nick Herbert, and (seated) Fred Alan Wolf.

At Berkeley in May 1975, she and George Weissmann co-founded the Fundamental Fysiks Group, an informal group of physicists who met for Friday afternoon brainstorming sessions to explore the philosophical problems posed by quantum physics, particularly the relationship between physics and consciousness. The group included Fritjof Capra, John Clauser, Nick Herbert, Jack Sarfatti, Henry Stapp, and Fred Alan Wolf. According to Kaiser, Rauscher and Weissman started the meetings in a fit of pique and frustration, saddened by the absence of a philosophical perspective in their physics classes.[2]

Parapsychology[edit]

Rauscher has an interest in psychic healing and faith healing.[8]

Kaiser describes how Rauscher's personal interests within the group lay with remote viewing, precognition, psychokinesis, remote healing, and ghosts.[9] Jeffrey John Kripal writes that Rauscher broadened the group to included non-physicists, and in the late 1970s and early 1980s the group's members met annually at the Esalen Institute to continue their exchange of ideas, exerting a major influence on alternative religious thought in the United States.[10]

Later research[edit]

In the 1990s, Rauscher and her husband—William van Bise, an engineer—moved to an estate in Devotion, North Carolina, owned by Richard J. Reynolds III, grandson of R. J. Reynolds, the tobacco magnate. Until his death in 1994, Reynolds allowed them to live there to conduct research into the effects of electromagnetic fields on brain waves. A third scientist, physician Andrija Puharich, had been living and conducting research on the estate since 1980. After Reynolds' death, the scientists said he had invited them to remain there as long as they wanted, but they were unable to produce a written agreement, and were required by a court to leave.[11]

Selected works[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pedler, Kit. Mind Over Matter. Taylor & Francis, 1981, p. 48.
  2. ^ a b Kaiser, David. How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture and the Quantum Revival. W. W. Norton & Company, 2011, p. xv–xvii.
  3. ^ a b Kaiser 2011, pp. 49–51.
  4. ^ "About Us". BioHarmonic Resonance. Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  5. ^ Rauscher, Elizabeth. "Coupled Channel Alpha Decay Theory for Even and Odd-Mass Light and Heavy Nuclei", Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, February 1978.
  6. ^ "Elizabeth A. Rauscher, Ph.D. Biography". theresonanceproject.org. The Resonance Project. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  7. ^ "Presenters: Elizabeth A. Rauscher, Ph.D.", Breakthru-Technologies.com, accessed August 20, 2011.
  8. ^ *For psychic healing, see Smith, Jerry E. Weather Warfare, Adventures Unlimited Press, 2006, p. 79.
  9. ^ Kaiser 2011, p. 262.
  10. ^ Kripal, Jeffrey John. Esalen: America and the religion of no religion. University of Chicago Press, 2007, p. 309.
  11. ^ "Scientists being asked to leave Reynolds estate", The Charlotte Observer, November 7, 1994.

Further reading[edit]