head-lblueora-brit

Prof. Ravi Gomatam

Adjunct Professor, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India
Director, Institute of Semantic Information Sciences & Technology, Berkeley and Mumbai
Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute, Berkeley and Mumbai

 

Biography

Brief Career Sketch

In the early 70s, after obtaining his master’s degree in electronics engineering, Gomatam worked for a few years with Air India in Mumbai, on software development projects, including online crew scheduling. He then went to the USA, where he worked for a number of Fortune-500 companies including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Burroughs and IBM as a freelance software specialist in the areas of operating system design, data communications and very-large database design. He ran his own computing consultancy company in these areas.

In the mid-80s, he turned to fundamental scientific research, first completing a Ph.D. in the foundations of quantum mechanics. Since then he has remained in academics doing full-time research and graduate level teaching.

In 1990, Dr. Gomatam conceived and conducted in San Francisco, the ‘First International Conference on the Study of Consciousness Within Science’. Presenters at the conference included two Nobel Laureates (John Eccles and George Wald) as well as twelve other distinguished researchers in the field (including Henry Stapp, John Searle, E.C.G. Sudarshan, Karl H. Pribram, Herbert Frohlich).

As a logical follow-up to the conference, Dr. Gomatam conceived, designed, and launched the world’s first M.S. and Ph.D. program in Consciousness Studies in 1997, in collaboration with Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), in Mumbai. Consciousness Studies is today a recognized inter-disciplinary field in mainstream science and is a topic in journals such as Science and Nature. It involves physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, psychology and philosophy. In fifteen short years, graduates from his program have gone to some of the world’s top universities (Harvard, Leeds, Utrecht, etc.) for higher studies, teaching, and research.

Although similar to the inter-disciplinary programs in Cognitive Sciences offered throughout the world, Consciousness studies as conceived at the Bhaktivedanta Institute is fundamentally different. Unlike cognitive sciences, which study the nature of human experience based on the current knowledge of matter in science, consciousness studies as conceived by Dr. Gomatam moves to reconceive the nature of matter within science, based on the nature of human experience. Being a study of matter, and not consciousness per se, Consciousness Studies as conceived at the Bhaktivedanta Institute is part of science and engineering.

This matter-driven study of human experience is inspired by the most important facet of Dr. Gomatam’s work, namely developing ‘macroscopic quantum mechanics’ (MQM). In MQM, he is introducing a new conception of matter called ‘Objective Semantic Information’ (OSI). It is conceived as a new state of matter represented by the quantum mechanical wave function Ψ when it is used to directly describe the objects of the macroscopic phenomenal world. To motivate this kind of thinking within physics, Dr. Gomatam has had to develop many new ideas within philosophy of physics first – such as ‘Relational Properties’ (in-between primary and secondary properties), as well his own version of scientific realism (Tandem Realism).

§

His peer-reviewed publications are taking hold within mainstream academics. For example, in the spring of 2010, one of his papers was part of the curriculum for a course in quantum mechanics at Brown University, USA, an ivy-league university.  On his idea of OSI as more fundamental than energy, the following are a couple of scholarly citations:

“We agree with Gomatam (1999) who argues for a revision of our notion of macroscopic objects in accord with quantum non-separability. Indeed, the key to progress may lie in a willingness to abandon stalwart concepts of dynamism such as energy, momentum, force.”

(Stuckey M.W. (2000) Uniform Spaces in the Pregeometric Modeling of Quantum Non-Separability; A NATO-funded paper. arXiv: gr-qc/0003104v2)

§

Regarding his notion of ‘Relational Properties’ as a new range of physical properties corresponding to quantum mechanical observables, and as “in-between” primary and secondary properties, the following can be cited.

“I was very interested in the talk by Dr. Ravi Gomatam . . . because he showed, by some nice arguments, that the proper way to think of quantum mechanics is in terms of relationships . . . . This is a new way of thinking.  It may be that this is how we should be doing science”.

(Brian Josephson, Nobel Laureate; Plenary talk at the "Quantum Approaches to Consciousness” Conference, Arizona, USA; August 1999)

§

For more scholarly appreciations, see the Appreciations tab.

Publications

Selected Research Publications

Other Presentations

Other Publications

Gomatam, R., Guest editor of the December 2005 issue of the monthly magazine of the Computer Science of India on the Theme “Physics, Philosophy and Information Technology”. The thematic issue commemorates the centenary of Einstein’s annus mirablis (1905).

Letters

Book Review

Citations

Scientific Citations

Prof. Gomatam’s work has been cited by scholars from a wide spectrum of fields such as neurosciences, artificial intelligence, control systems engineering, quantum chemistry, mathematics, computer science and marketing theory.

In textbooks, PhD theses and published papers

Citations on websites

Review of Prof. Gomatam’s papers

  • B.V. Sreekantan [Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bangalore], review of Gomatam’s paper “Popper’s Propensity Interpretation and Heisenberg’s Potential Interpretation — A comparative assessment”. Review published in journal “Current Science,” 99(9), November, 2010, p.1268.

Cited at Online Libraries

Talks

Recent Popular Lectures

  • University of California, Berkeley. 16 November, 2011; ‘Quantum Reality – Why Physicists do not understand it yet?
  • Tulane University, Lousiana. 27 September, 2011 (2000); ‘Matter & Consciousness – How are the two related?
  • IIT-Kanpur, India; Techkriti. 29 January, 2012 ‘How not to connect Religion with Science
  • IIT-Chennai, India; REFLECTIONS Student Club. 06 March, 2012. ‘Quantum Reality

Appreciations

Some Scholarly Appreciations

Some Scholarly Appreciations of the new research ideas of Prof. Gomatam at the foundations of Quantum Mechanics:


"I was very interested in the talk by Dr. Ravi Gomatam . . . because he showed, by some nice arguments, that the proper way to think of quantum mechanics is in terms of relationships . . . . This is a new way of thinking.  It may be that this is how we should be doing science".


(Brian Josephson, Nobel Laureate; Plenary talk, "Quantum Approaches to Consciousness" Conference; Organized by the University of Arizona at Flagstaff; August 1999)


§

"However, many applied optimization problems have not been considered yet. It is necessary to use optimization methods of quantum and bio-molecular systems, because of the practical importance of the implementation of physical processes satisfying the required quality criteria. Most of the attention is focused on the following problems: ... 2. Mathematical modeling of controlled physical and chemical processes in the brain; [to] consider the brain as a quantum macroscopic object (Gomatam, 1999)."


Panos M. Pardalos and Vitaliy A. Yatsekno (Eds.) Optimization and Control of Bilinear Systems: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications, p. 208, Springer, New York (2008)


§

"Your paper* contains the germ of an important idea, namely that the ontology underlying the science needs or exploit quantum mechanics in a way that allows basic entities to be signs/symbols that are representations of meanings to be manipulated in the way that certain shapes are thought to be manipulated in the classical physics conception of reality."


(Prof. Henry Stapp, PhD, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, USA)
*R. Gomatam (2009) "Quantum Theory, the Chinese Room Argument and the Symbol Grounding Problem"


§

"Gomatam has proposed a new approach† according to which quantum theory ought to use the terms 'statistics' or 'probability' to refer only to the occurrence of observable events and altogether renounce the notion of probabilities when talking about quantum ontological states. "


(Prof. B.V. Sreekantan, "Current Science" (2010), Journal of Indian Academy of Sciences)
† R. Gomatam (2010) Popper's Propensity Interpretation and Heisenberg's Potentia Interpretation—A comparative assessment


§

"We agree with Gomatam (1999)‡ who argues for a revision of our notion of macroscopic objects... Indeed, the key to progress ... may lie in a willingness to abandon stalwart concepts of dynamism such as energy, momentum, force, and even causation at the fundamental level of modeling."


(M.W. Stuckey (2000) Uniform Spaces in the Pregeometric Modeling of Quantum Non-Separability; arXiv:gr-qc/0003104v2; submitted to the International J. Theoretical Physics, A NATO funded paper)
‡R. Gomatam (1999) Quantum Theory and the Observation Problem


§


 

 

© 2013 Bhaktivedanta Institute
Template by QualityJoomlaTemplates