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Synchronicity: Pauli, Jung, and the Quantum Nature of Cause and Effect

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, January 11, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1A0133
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Wolfgang Pauli


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
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Physicists remember Wolfgang Pauli for his Nobel-Prize-winning theoretical discoveries, his acerbic wit, and his uncanny tendency to destroy lab equipment if he happened to be in its vicinity. Psychologists, on the other hand, note that he shared hundreds of his strange, symbolic dreams with his therapist, the renowned psychoanalyst Carl Jung, leading to profound discussions between them about the nature of connections in mind and matter. Their collaboration is a fascinating chapter in 20th-century thought.

Together, Pauli and Jung explored a concept called synchronicity, an unusual phenomenon they thought could link events without causes. Paul Halpern, professor of physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, tells the little-known story of this unlikely friendship and shows how their insights continue to resonate in today’s discourse about the nature of quantum reality. Halpern shows that in order to map out the complex connections in physics, we need to make sure we know how to separate the real from the illusory—and how even the greatest thinkers have conflated valid, testable scientific connections with human intuitions about the workings of the universe.

Halpern’s book Synchronicity: The Epic Quest To Understand the Quantum Nature of Cause and Effect (Basic Books) is available for purchase.

Book Sale Information

  • Purchase your copy of Synchronicity by Paul Halpern here.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 in the “Coupon discount” section of Politics and Prose's check-out page.

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