Gerald Feinberg

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Gerald Feinberg (27 May 1933, New York City – 21 April 1992, New York City) was a Columbia University physicist, futurist and populist author. He spent a year as a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, and two years at the Brookhaven Laboratories.[1]

Scientific work[edit]

He coined the term tachyon for hypothetical faster-than-light particles and analysed their quantum field properties,[2] predicted the existence of the muon neutrino[3] and advocated cryonics as a public service.[4] He was a member of the Foresight Institute's advisory panel.[5]


Feinberg wrote a foreword to Edgar Mitchell's book Psychic Explorations (1974) in which he wrote that psychic phenomena may not contradict "known physical laws" and may prove explicable "within the existing body of physical principle."[6] Feinberg also wrote that the theoretical concept of an "advance wave" which heralds the propagation of light may eventually explain some types of precognition.[7]

Feinberg's concept of a tachyon, a theoretical particle that travels faster than the speed of light has been advocated by some parapsychologists who claim that it could explain some psychic phenomena such as psychokinesis.[8] Feinberg also suggested that telepathy may exist due to as yet undiscovered elementary particles which he called 'psychons' or 'mindons'.[9][10]




  1. ^ The Prometheus Project, Doubleday, 1969, biographical notes
  2. ^ G. Feinberg (1967). "Possibility of Faster-Than-Light Particles". Physical Review 159: 1089–1105. Bibcode:1967PhRv..159.1089F. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.159.1089. 
  3. ^ M. Schwartz (1992). Nobel Lectures. World Scientific. p. 469. 
  4. ^ G. Feinberg (1966). "Physics and Life Prolongation". Physics Today 19 (11): 45. Bibcode:1966PhT....19k..45F. doi:10.1063/1.3047814. 
  5. ^ D. Shafer (1990). "Feinberg Anxious for Policy Discussions". Foresight Update 9: 1. 
  6. ^ John Beloff The relentless question: reflections on the paranormalMcFarland, 1990, p, 51
  7. ^ Stanley Krippner Advances in Parapsychological Research: Psychokinesis 1977, p. 11
  8. ^ Marc Seifer, Stanley Krippner Transcending the Speed of Light 2008, p. 52
  9. ^ Andrew Tomas On the shores of endless worlds: the search for cosmic life 1974, p. 65
  10. ^ J. S. Zaveri Theory of atom in the Jaina philosophy critical study of the Jaina theory of paramanu pudgala in light of modern scientific theory 1975, p. 123

External links[edit]