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Quantum Theory at the Crossroads

Quantum Theory at the Crossroads Author Guido Bacciagaluppi
ISBN-10 9780521814218
Release 2009-10-22
Pages 530
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Translation of the Fifth Solvay Congress proceedings, for graduate students and researchers in physics and quantum theory.

Quantum Theory at the Crossroads

Quantum Theory at the Crossroads Author Guido Bacciagaluppi
ISBN-10 9781139643719
Release 2009-10-22
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The 1927 Solvay conference was perhaps the most important in the history of quantum theory. Contrary to popular belief, questions of interpretation were not settled at this conference. Instead, a range of sharply conflicting views were extensively discussed, including de Broglie's pilot-wave theory (which de Broglie presented for a many-body system), Born and Heisenberg's 'quantum mechanics' (which apparently lacked wave function collapse or fundamental time evolution), and Schrödinger's wave mechanics. Today, there is no longer a dominant interpretation of quantum theory, so it is important to re-evaluate the historical sources and keep the debate open. This book contains a complete translation of the original proceedings, with essays on the three main interpretations presented, and a detailed analysis of the lectures and discussions in the light of current research. This book will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in physics and in the history and philosophy of quantum theory.

Quantum Dialogue

Quantum Dialogue Author Mara Beller
ISBN-10 9780226041827
Release 2001-05-17
Pages 365
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"Science is rooted in conversations," wrote Werner Heisenberg, one of the twentieth century's great physicists. In Quantum Dialogue, Mara Beller shows that science is rooted not just in conversation but in disagreement, doubt, and uncertainty. She argues that it is precisely this culture of dialogue and controversy within the scientific community that fuels creativity. Beller draws her argument from her radical new reading of the history of the quantum revolution, especially the development of the Copenhagen interpretation. One of several competing approaches, this version succeeded largely due to the rhetorical skills of Niels Bohr and his colleagues. Using extensive archival research, Beller shows how Bohr and others marketed their views, misrepresenting and dismissing their opponents as "unreasonable" and championing their own not always coherent or well-supported position as "inevitable." Quantum Dialogue, winner of the 1999 Morris D. Forkosch Prize of the Journal of the History of Ideas, will fascinate everyone interested in how stories of "scientific revolutions" are constructed and "scientific consensus" achieved. "[A]n intellectually stimulating piece of work, energised by a distinct point of view."—Dipankar Home, Times Higher Education Supplement "[R]emarkable and original. . . . [Beller's] arguments are thoroughly supported and her conclusions are meticulously argued. . . . This is an important book that all who are interested in the emergence of quantum mechanics will want to read."—William Evenson, History of Physics Newsletter

Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Field Theory

Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Field Theory Author Tian Yu Cao
ISBN-10 0521602726
Release 2004-03-25
Pages 420
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Multi-author volume on the history and philosophy of physics.

Statistical Physics of Fields

Statistical Physics of Fields Author Mehran Kardar
ISBN-10 9781139855884
Release 2007-06-07
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While many scientists are familiar with fractals, fewer are familiar with scale-invariance and universality which underlie the ubiquity of their shapes. These properties may emerge from the collective behaviour of simple fundamental constituents, and are studied using statistical field theories. Initial chapters connect the particulate perspective developed in the companion volume, to the coarse grained statistical fields studied here. Based on lectures taught by Professor Kardar at MIT, this textbook demonstrates how such theories are formulated and studied. Perturbation theory, exact solutions, renormalization groups, and other tools are employed to demonstrate the emergence of scale invariance and universality, and the non-equilibrium dynamics of interfaces and directed paths in random media are discussed. Ideal for advanced graduate courses in statistical physics, it contains an integrated set of problems, with solutions to selected problems at the end of the book and a complete set available to lecturers at

Philosophy of Quantum Information and Entanglement

Philosophy of Quantum Information and Entanglement Author Alisa Bokulich
ISBN-10 9781139487665
Release 2010-06-10
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Recent work in quantum information science has produced a revolution in our understanding of quantum entanglement. Scientists now view entanglement as a physical resource with many important applications. These range from quantum computers, which would be able to compute exponentially faster than classical computers, to quantum cryptographic techniques, which could provide unbreakable codes for the transfer of secret information over public channels. These important advances in the study of quantum entanglement and information touch on deep foundational issues in both physics and philosophy. This interdisciplinary volume brings together fourteen of the world's leading physicists and philosophers of physics to address the most important developments and debates in this exciting area of research. It offers a broad spectrum of approaches to resolving deep foundational challenges - philosophical, mathematical, and physical - raised by quantum information, quantum processing, and entanglement. This book is ideal for historians, philosophers of science and physicists.

Applied Bohmian Mechanics

Applied Bohmian Mechanics Author Xavier Oriols Pladevall
ISBN-10 9789814316392
Release 2012-06-04
Pages 600
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Most textbooks explain quantum mechanics as a story where each step follows naturally from the one preceding it. However, the development of quantum mechanics was exactly the opposite. It was a zigzagging route full of personal disputes where scientists were forced to abandon well-established classical concepts and to explore new and imaginative routes. This book demonstrates the huge practical utility of another of these routes in explaining quantum phenomena in various research fields. Bohmian mechanics—the formulation of the quantum theory pioneered by Louis de Broglie and David Bohm—offers an alternative mathematical formulation of quantum phenomena in terms of quantum trajectories. It sheds light on the limits and extensions of our present understanding of quantum mechanics toward other paradigms, such as relativity or cosmology.

Beyond Measure

Beyond Measure Author J. E. Baggott
ISBN-10 0198525362
Release 2004
Pages 379
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Quantum theory is one of the most important and successful theories of modern physical science. A fact all the more remarkable because quatum theory is a theory that few understand. Most academic textbooks on the subject are written for specialists, filled with complex jargon and dense mathematics. In contrast there are many popular presentations of the inherent 'weirdness' of the quantum world that are light on jargon and contain no mathematics.Together these presentations serve tocreate the impression that there are two theories - the 'serious, one and the 'wierd' one. Baggott successfully bridges the gulf between these presentations by grounding the discussion of the theory's profound problems directly in its mathematical formalism in a way that under-graduate students and interested individuals can follow.

Statistical Physics of Particles

Statistical Physics of Particles Author Mehran Kardar
ISBN-10 9781139464871
Release 2007-06-07
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Statistical physics has its origins in attempts to describe the thermal properties of matter in terms of its constituent particles, and has played a fundamental role in the development of quantum mechanics. Based on lectures taught by Professor Kardar at MIT, this textbook introduces the central concepts and tools of statistical physics. It contains a chapter on probability and related issues such as the central limit theorem and information theory, and covers interacting particles, with an extensive description of the van der Waals equation and its derivation by mean field approximation. It also contains an integrated set of problems, with solutions to selected problems at the end of the book and a complete set of solutions is available to lecturers on a password protected website at A companion volume, Statistical Physics of Fields, discusses non-mean field aspects of scaling and critical phenomena, through the perspective of renormalization group.

Quantum Mechanics

Quantum Mechanics Author James T. Cushing
ISBN-10 0226132021
Release 1994-11-01
Pages 317
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Why does one theory "succeed" while another, possibly clearer interpretation, fails? By exploring two observationally equivalent yet conceptually incompatible views of quantum mechanics, James T. Cushing shows how historical contingency can be crucial to determining a theory's construction and its position among competing views. Since the late 1920s, the theory formulated by Niels Bohr and his colleagues at Copenhagen has been the dominant interpretation of quantum mechanics. Yet an alternative interpretation, rooted in the work of Louis de Broglie in the early 1920s and reformulated and extended by David Bohm in the 1950s, equally well explains the observational data. Through a detailed historical and sociological study of the physicists who developed different theories of quantum mechanics, the debates within and between opposing camps, and the receptions given to each theory, Cushing shows that despite the preeminence of the Copenhagen view, the Bohm interpretation cannot be ignored. Cushing contends that the Copenhagen interpretation became widely accepted not because it is a better explanation of subatomic phenomena than is Bohm's, but because it happened to appear first. Focusing on the philosophical, social, and cultural forces that shaped one of the most important developments in modern physics, this provocative book examines the role that timing can play in the establishment of theory and explanation.

The Emerging Quantum

The Emerging Quantum Author Luis de la Peña
ISBN-10 9783319078939
Release 2014-07-15
Pages 366
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This monograph presents the latest findings from a long-term research project intended to identify the physics behind Quantum Mechanics. A fundamental theory for quantum mechanics is constructed from first physical principles, revealing quantization as an emergent phenomenon arising from a deeper stochastic process. As such, it offers the vibrant community working on the foundations of quantum mechanics an alternative contribution open to discussion. The book starts with a critical summary of the main conceptual problems that still beset quantum mechanics. The basic consideration is then introduced that any material system is an open system in permanent contact with the random zero-point radiation field, with which it may reach a state of equilibrium. Working from this basis, a comprehensive and self-consistent theoretical framework is then developed. The pillars of the quantum-mechanical formalism are derived, as well as the radiative corrections of nonrelativistic QED, while revealing the underlying physical mechanisms. The genesis of some of the central features of quantum theory is elucidated, such as atomic stability, the spin of the electron, quantum fluctuations, quantum nonlocality and entanglement. The theory developed here reaffirms fundamental scientific principles such as realism, causality, locality and objectivity.

Bohmian Mechanics

Bohmian Mechanics Author Detlef Dürr
ISBN-10 9783540893448
Release 2009-04-30
Pages 393
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Bohmian Mechanics was formulated in 1952 by David Bohm as a complete theory of quantum phenomena based on a particle picture. It was promoted some decades later by John S. Bell, who, intrigued by the manifestly nonlocal structure of the theory, was led to his famous Bell's inequalities. Experimental tests of the inequalities verified that nature is indeed nonlocal. Bohmian mechanics has since then prospered as the straightforward completion of quantum mechanics. This book provides a systematic introduction to Bohmian mechanics and to the mathematical abstractions of quantum mechanics, which range from the self-adjointness of the Schrödinger operator to scattering theory. It explains how the quantum formalism emerges when Boltzmann's ideas about statistical mechanics are applied to Bohmian mechanics. The book is self-contained, mathematically rigorous and an ideal starting point for a fundamental approach to quantum mechanics. It will appeal to students and newcomers to the field, as well as to established scientists seeking a clear exposition of the theory.

The Quantum Story

The Quantum Story Author Jim Baggott
ISBN-10 9780191604294
Release 2011-02-24
Pages 496
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The twentieth century was defined by physics. From the minds of the world's leading physicists there flowed a river of ideas that would transport mankind to the pinnacle of wonderment and to the very depths of human despair. This was a century that began with the certainties of absolute knowledge and ended with the knowledge of absolute uncertainty. It was a century in which physicists developed weapons with the capacity to destroy our reality, whilst at the same time denying us the possibility that we can ever properly comprehend it. Almost everything we think we know about the nature of our world comes from one theory of physics. This theory was discovered and refined in the first thirty years of the twentieth century and went on to become quite simply the most successful theory of physics ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the twenty-first century technology that we have learned to take for granted. But its success has come at a price, for it has at the same time completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at the level of its most fundamental constituents. Rejecting the fundamental elements of uncertainty and chance implied by quantum theory, Albert Einstein once famously declared that 'God does not play dice'. Niels Bohr claimed that anybody who is not shocked by the theory has not understood it. The charismatic American physicist Richard Feynman went further: he claimed that nobody understands it. This is quantum theory, and this book tells its story. Jim Baggott presents a celebration of this wonderful yet wholly disconcerting theory, with a history told in forty episodes — significant moments of truth or turning points in the theory's development. From its birth in the porcelain furnaces used to study black body radiation in 1900, to the promise of stimulating new quantum phenomena to be revealed by CERN's Large Hadron Collider over a hundred years later, this is the extraordinary story of the quantum world. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Polarisation Applications in Remote Sensing

Polarisation  Applications in Remote Sensing Author Shane Cloude
ISBN-10 9780199569731
Release 2010
Pages 453
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This is a monograph concerning the scattering of electromagnetic waves from surfaces to generate information for the purposes of remote sensing. It combines, for the first time, a treatment of two important new ideas, namely information from the orientation or polarisation of the wave and how it can be combined with interferometry.

L on Rosenfeld

L    on Rosenfeld Author Anja Skaar Jacobsen
ISBN-10 9789814452083
Release 2012-01-16
Pages 368
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Léon Rosenfeld (1904–1974) was a remarkable, many-sided physicist of exceptional erudition. He was at the center of modern physics and was well-known as Niels Bohr's close collaborator and spokesman. Besides he reflected deeply on the history and philosophy of science and its social role from a leftist perspective. As both actor and acute spectator of modern physics and as a polyglot cosmopolitan whose life crossed those of many important people in both the East and West, as well as by virtue of his close collaboration and friendship with Bohr, Rosenfeld was an important figure in twentieth century physics. His biography illuminates the development, popularization, and reception of quantum physics and its interpretation in addition to the development of the political Left. The book draws extensively from previously untapped, unpublished sources in more than five languages.Contents: Physicist of the Second Quantum GenerationRosenfeld in CopenhagenPhysics, Philosophy, and Politics in the 1930sSurviving the War in UtrechtCold War and Political CommitmentBohr's Cold Warrior Readership: Students and professionals studying the history of science.

Quantum Physics Without Quantum Philosophy

Quantum Physics Without Quantum Philosophy Author Detlef Dürr
ISBN-10 9783642306907
Release 2012-11-06
Pages 286
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It has often been claimed that without drastic conceptual innovations a genuine explanation of quantum interference effects and quantum randomness is impossible. This book concerns Bohmian mechanics, a simple particle theory that is a counterexample to such claims. The gentle introduction and other contributions collected here show how the phenomena of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, from Heisenberg's uncertainty principle to non-commuting observables, emerge from the Bohmian motion of particles, the natural particle motion associated with Schrödinger's equation. This book will be of value to all students and researchers in physics with an interest in the meaning of quantum theory as well as to philosophers of science.

How We Came to Know the Cosmos Light Matter

How We Came to Know the Cosmos  Light   Matter Author Dr Helen Klus
ISBN-10 9781999877811
Release 2017-11-15
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We live in a universe that is both infinite and ever expanding, that contains dimensions we can never see, and places we can never go, even if we travelled forever. There may be millions of other planets in our galaxy that contain life and there may be multitudes upon multitudes of multiverses. This may mean everything that's physically possible is actually happening somewhere. Modern science has become so astonishing that many people find it difficult to believe. How We Came to Know the Cosmos addresses this by showing how we came to such bizarre conclusions. Each book starts from first principles and shows how one discovery led to another, ending with a summary of our current knowledge. How We Came to Know the Cosmos: Light and Matter looks inwards, asking what we are made of. It charts our understanding of light and matter from arguments that atoms are particles, and light is made of waves, to the understanding that everything can display properties of both.