Robert G. Jahn

Professor of Aerospace Science and Dean, Emeritus

Professor Jahn is Dean Emeritus of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He 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. 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 of Engineering Education and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Andrha University.

Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics

Investigators: R.G. Jahn and E.Y. Choueiri
Support: NASA, U.S. Air Force

High-power electrical discharges are used to accelerate a variety of working fluids to very high velocities. These intense discharges and the plasma streams they produce are configured into several types of magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters which offer a desirable combination of high specific impulse and high thrust density for advanced space propulsion applications. The research emphasis is on the physical processes by which the electrical input is converted to useful thrust, and on those which limit the operational lifetime of such thrusters. Most of the studies are conducted in the Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory, which features a number of space-simulating vacuum facilities, a variety of specialized diagnostic devices, and sophisticated computational equipment.

Selected Publications in Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics:

Physics of Electric Propulsion. McGraw-Hill Series in Missile and Space Technology, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company (1968).

(with E.Y. Choueiri)
"Electric Propulsion." In Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology, 3rd Edition. R.A. Myers, ed. San Diego: Academic Press, Vol. 5, pp. 125–141 (2002).

Engineering Anomalies Research

Investigators: R.G. Jahn and B.J. Dunne
Support: Several philanthropic organizations and individuals

The interaction of human operators with sensitive information processing devices and systems is studied by combining appropriate engineering facilities and techniques with a selection of protocols and insights drawn from modern cognitive science. In this work, premium is placed on extraordinarily precise yet robust instrumentation, tight environmental and quality control, multiply redundant on-line data collection and processing, rapid accumulation of large data bases, and sensitive analytical measures to facilitate extraction of small systematic trends from high levels of background noise, while rejecting spurious artifacts. Under these rigorous conditions, certain aspects of these human/machine interactions are found to yield anomalous effects currently inexplicable on the basis of established physical concepts and statistical theory.

Over its 25-year history, the program has produced immense databases generated under highly controlled laboratory conditions, indicating the existence of small but replicable and statistically significant correlations between operator intention and the output characteristics of a variety of random digital and analogue processors. Current experiments involve several microelectronic, mechanical, fluid dynamical, acoustical, and optical devices, and a complementary program of remote perception research, from which a number of technical, psychological, and environmental correlates have been identified. Complementary analytical studies and theoretical models have been developed to facilitate the extraction of the most salient correlations from the empirical data, and to help explicate the basic phenomena in fundamental terms.

Selected Publications in Engineering Anomalies Research:

(with B.J. Dunne)
Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World. New York-San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1987).

(with B.J. Dunne, et al.)
"Correlations of Random Binary Sequences with Pre-Stated Operator Intention: A Review of a 12-Year Program." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 11(3): 345–367 (1997).

(with B.J. Dunne)
"Experiments in Remote Human/Machine Interaction." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 6(4): 311–332 (1992).

(with B.J. Dunne, et al.)
"Series Position Effects in Random Event Generator Experiments." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 8(2): 197–215 (1994).

(with R.D. Nelson, et al.)
"FieldREG Anomalies in Group Situations." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10(1): 111–141 (1996).

(with Y.H. Dobyns and B.J. Dunne)
"Count Population Profiles in Engineering Anomalies Experiments." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 5(2): 205–232 (1991).

(with B.J. Dunne, et al.)
"Mind/Machine Interaction Consortium: PortREG Replication Experiments." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 14(4): 499–555 (2000).

(with B.J. Dunne)
"On the Quantum Mechanics of Consciousness, with Application to Anomalous Phenomena." Foundations of Physics, 16(8): 721–772 (1986).

(with B.J. Dunne)
"A Modular Model of Mind/Matter Manifestations (M5)." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 15(3): 299–329 (2001).

"M*: Vector Representation of the Subliminal Seed Regime of M5." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 16(3): 341–357 (2002).

(with B.J. Dunne)
"Science of the Subjective." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 11(2): 201–224 (1997).

"The Complementarity of Consciousness." In Cultivating Consciousness for Enhancing Human Potential, Wellness, and Healing, K.R. Rao, ed. (Westport, CT and London: Praeger, 1993) pp. 111–121.

"20th and 21st Century Science: Reflections and Projections." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 15(1): 21–31 (2001).

"The Challenge of Consciousness." Journal of Scientific Exploration, 15(4): 443–457 (2001).

"Information, Consciousness, and Health." Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2(3): 32–38 (1996).

(with P. Devereux and M. Ibison)
"Acoustical Resonances of Assorted Ancient Structures." Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 99(2): 649–658 (1996).