Robert G. Jahn

Professor of Aerospace Science and Dean Emeritus
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
Princeton University
Engineering Quadrangle D-334

Phone: (609) 258-4550     Fax: (609) 258-1993
e-mail: or

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 President of the International Consciousness Research Laboratories consortium. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Hercules, Inc. and chairman of its Technology Committee, and has been a member and past 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 holds an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Andrha University.

Research Projects

Engineering Anomalies Research
Investigators: R.G. Jahn and B.J. Dunne
Support: Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene, Lifebridge Foundation, Richard Adams, George Ohrstrom, Laurance S. Rockefeller, and other private donors.

The interaction of human operators with low-level 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 22-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 of a variety of contemporary engineering devices and systems. A number of relevant secondary technical, psychological, and environmental parameters have also been identified. Current experiments involve several microelectronic, mechanical, fluid dynamical, acoustical, and optical devices, and exploration of the effectiveness of various free-response data processing algorithms. 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.
For full details go to: PEAR Home