Robert G. Jahn
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (May 2010)|
|Robert G. Jahn|
|Born||Robert G. Jahn
1 April 1930
|Residence||United States of America|
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|Institutions||Lehigh University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University.|
|Alma mater||Princeton University|
|Known for||Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab, Electrically powered spacecraft propulsion|
|Notable awards||Curtis W. McGraw Research Award, Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Andhra University|
Robert G. Jahn, Ph.D. (born April 1, 1930) is a retired American plasma physicist, Professor of Aerospace Science, and Dean of Engineering at Princeton University.
Jahn holds a B.S.E. degree in Engineering Physics (1951), a M.A. Degree in Physics (1953), and a Ph.D. degree in Physics (1955), all from Princeton University, and has held faculty positions in Physics Department at Lehigh University, at the California Institute of Technology, and, since 1962, at Princeton.
During his career, Jahn worked on electrically powered spacecraft propulsion and directed several major research programs in advanced aerospace propulsion systems, in cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force. In 1961, he founded the Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton and directed it for more than three decades. He served as Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton from 1971 - 1986.
Jahn also studied psychic and parapsychological phenomena for many years. With Brenda Dunne, he established the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab (PEAR) in 1979 following an undergraduate project to study low-level psychokinetic effects on electronic random event generators. Over the years, Jahn and Dunne claim to have created a wealth of small-physical-scale, statistically significant results that suggest direct causal relationships between subjects' intention and otherwise random results.
Experiments under Jahn's purview also came to deal with Remote Viewing (RV) and other parapsychological matters. He has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Statistical flaws were proposed by others in the parapsychological community regarding some results in a few specific experiments.
The inconsistencies of PEAR’s empirical results with established physical and psychological theory appear to indicate that no direct application or minor alteration of existing theoretical frameworks are capable of accommodating such anomalous effects. Such apparent inconsistencies include the roles of operator intention and emotional resonance, the operator-specific structure evident in the data, the absence of traditional learning patterns, and the lack of explicit space and time dependence. In his work, Jahn and his colleagues gave consideration to the development of alternative models that would allow consciousness a proactive role in the establishment of its experience of the physical world and facilitate a constructive dialogue between data and theory. Three such models were proposed.
The first is based on the premise that the basic processes by which consciousness exchanges information with its environment, orders that information, and interprets it, also enable it to bias probabilistic systems. This model regards the concepts that underlie all physical models of reality, particularly those of observational quantum mechanics, as fundamental characteristics of consciousness rather than as intrinsic features of an objective physical environment.
The second proposes a modular conceptual framework wherein direct attention of the conscious mind to observable physical processes is bypassed in favor of alternative routes whereby the inherently probabilistic nature of unconscious mind and intangible physical mechanisms are invoked to achieve anomalous acquisition of information about, or anomalous influence upon, otherwise inaccessible material processes. Theoretical requisites for its pursuit include better understanding of the dialogue between the conscious and unconscious aspects of the mind; more pragmatic formulations of the relations between tangible and intangible physical processes; and most importantly, cogent representation of the merging of mental and material dimensions into indistinguishability at their deepest levels.
A third approach emphasizes the need to elevate the subjective capacities of consciousness to complementary status with those of the more objective physical senses, along with recognition of the bi-directional capabilities of both, thereby allowing establishment of resonant channels of communication between the unconscious mind and the intangible substrate of physical phenomena that can exceed conventional information processing. The key elements in tuning these channels to amplify such information creation are the physiological and psychological filters imposed upon them, some of which can be enhanced or altered by conscious or unconscious attention.
Honors and Awards
Jahn is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and has been chairman of the AIAA Electric Propulsion Technical Committee, associate editor of the AIAA Journal, and a member of the NASA Space Science and Technology Advisory Committee|Space Science and Technology Advisory Committee. He is vice President of the Society for Scientific Exploration and Chairman of the Board of the International Consciousness Research Laboratories consortium. He has been a long-term member of the Board of Directors of Hercules, Inc. and chairman of its Technology Committee, and a member and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Associated Universities, Inc. He has received the Curtis W. McGraw Research Award of the American Society for Engineering Education and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Andhra University.
He has authored two textbooks, Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World (with B.J. Dunne) and Physics of Electric Propulsion, as well as several hundred publications in various technical fields.
- Critique of the Pear Remote-Viewing Experiments by George P. Hansen, Jessica Utts, and Betty Markwich, Journal of Parapsychology, Vol 56, No. 2, June 1992, pp 97-113 
- Jahn, R.G.; B.J. Dunne (1986). "On the Quantum Mechanics of Consciousness with Application to Anomalous Phenomena". Foundations of Physics 18 (6): 721–772.
- Jahn, R.G.; B.J. Dunne (2001). "A Modular Model of Mind/Matter Manifestations (M5)". J. Scientific Exploration 15 (3): 299–329.
- Jahn, R.G.; B.J. Dunne (2004). "Sensors, Filters, and the Source of Reality". J. Scientific Exploration 18 (4): 547–570.
- Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research page on Jahn
- News article, with appropriate comments from PEAR, Brenda Dunne regarding "dreaming precognition" experience