RetroPsychoKinesis Experiments Online


What's going on here?

Retropsychokinesis is the claimed ability of certain subjects to alter random data generated, but not examined, prior to the time the data are presented to the subject. Crazy, you say! Well, there's certainly no mechanism in mainstream physics which could permit such an effect, yet experiments conducted by a number of different researchers over the last 20 years suggest, compellingly according to some analyses, that the probability of the results obtained in such experiments being purely the result of chance is sufficiently low that they would be considered evidence of a causal mechanism in most scientific disciplines.

We neither accept nor dismiss the existence of retropsychokinetic effects—instead we make experiments available to anybody with access to the World-Wide Web in order to discover if there is anything genuinely there. If so, the implications for physics and consciousness studies are profound. That's reason enough to see if there's something spooky going on or just a blip readily explained by the inevitability of improbable results in a few of an immense number of experiments.

To explore the history of retropsychokinesis and the development of the experiments performed at this site, please visit the Background document. All documents related to these experiments can be found from the Table of Contents.

Feedback Programs

A variety of feedback programs translate the stream of random bits from the generator into various graphical representations which allow you to see the extent to which the bit stream is departing from the most probable result of an equal number of ones and zeroes. The feedback programs are Java™ applets; to run them, your Web browser must implement Java applets and be configured to permit them to run.

Bell Curve

The bell curve feedback program provides direct feedback of the extent to which the random bit stream diverges from the most probable expectation of an equal number of zeroes and ones. The bell curve represents the binomial distribution which governs sequences of random events. The vertical bar starts in the centre of the distribution and moves to the right every time a one bit occurs and to the left for every zero bit. The height of the curve shows the extent to which the deviation, if any, from equal numbers of ones and zeroes differs from the chance expectation. Your goal is to attempt to influence the pointer to move to the right or left, toward the low-probability “tail” of the curve. If the pointer runs off the edge of the window, the bell curve graph is scrolled so that the pointer remains visible.

Clock Face

The clock face provides a familiar form of feedback which allows you to concentrate on the process rather than the probability. Every one bit from the random bit stream causes the minute hand to advance clockwise by one minute, and each zero bit moves it back one minute. The hour hand provides feedback of cumulative results if the minute hand wraps one or more time around the dial. The hands are shown in blue if the number of one bits exceeds the number of zeroes, and red if zero bits predominate.

Pendulum

The pendulum provides an indirect form of feedback, which results in a less jittery animation, while continuing to reflect the contents of the bit stream from the generator. The pendulum swings smoothly from side to side (assuming your computer is fast enough to run the simulation and not tied up running other programs), while the width of the swing is governed by the bits from the random generator. Each one bit makes the pendulum's swing wider; each zero bit makes it narrower. You attempt to either drive the swing as wide as possible (so the bob hits the side of the window), or reduce it so the bob comes to a complete stop.

Experiment Log

Each experimental run (except “Demo” runs which do not use live data from the random number generator) is logged. You can retrieve the log in either raw (an ASCII comma-separated-value text file) form, or as a Web document which presents information from the log in a tabular form and calculates statistics from the raw data. You can retrieve just your own runs or those of all subjects who have participated in the experiments. To display the log, fill out the Log Report Request Form and submit it to receive a log report prepared according to the specifications you indicated on the form.


by John Walker