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Gerald Feinberg (27 May 1933, New York City – 21 April 1992, New York City) was a Columbia University physicist, futurist and populist author. He spent a year as a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, and two years at the Brookhaven Laboratories.[1]



He coined the term tachyon for hypothetical faster-than-light particles and analysed their quantum field properties,[2] predicted the existence of the muon neutrino[3] and advocated cryonics as a public service.[4] He was a member of the Foresight Institute's advisory panel.[5]


Feinberg wrote a foreword to Edgar Mitchell's book Psychic Explorations (1974) in which he endorsed psychic phenomena. His concept of a tachyon, a theoretical particle that travels faster than the speed of light has been advocated by some parapsychologists who claim that it could explain precognition or psychokinesis. However, there is no scientific evidence tachyon particles exist and such paranormal claims have been described as pseudoscientific.[6][7]





  1. ^ "Gerald Feinberg, 58, Physicist; Taught at Columbia University". Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  2. ^ G. Feinberg (1967). "Possibility of Faster-Than-Light Particles". Physical Review. 159: 1089–1105. Bibcode:1967PhRv..159.1089F. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.159.1089. 
  3. ^ M. Schwartz (1992). Nobel Lectures. World Scientific. p. 469. 
  4. ^ G. Feinberg (1966). "Physics and Life Prolongation". Physics Today. 19 (11): 45. Bibcode:1966PhT....19k..45F. doi:10.1063/1.3047814. 
  5. ^ D. Shafer (1990). "Feinberg Anxious for Policy Discussions". Foresight Update. 9: 1. 
  6. ^ Rothman, Milton (September 1994). "Tachyons and Other Nonentities". Skeptical Inquirer. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 4.3. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  7. ^ Carroll, Robert Todd. (2003). The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. Wiley. pp. 370-371. ISBN 0-471-27242-6

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