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Quantum Philosophy

Author: Roland Omnès
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691095516
Size: 41.91 MB
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In this magisterial work, Roland Omnès takes us from the academies of ancient Greece to the laboratories of modern science as he seeks to do no less than rebuild the foundations of the philosophy of knowledge. One of the world's leading quantum physicists, Omnès reviews the history and recent development of mathematics, logic, and the physical sciences to show that current work in quantum theory offers new answers to questions that have puzzled philosophers for centuries: Is the world ultimately intelligible? Are all events caused? Do objects have definitive locations? Omnès addresses these profound questions with vigorous arguments and clear, colorful writing, aiming not just to advance scholarship but to enlighten readers with no background in science or philosophy. The book opens with an insightful and sweeping account of the main developments in science and the philosophy of knowledge from the pre-Socratic era to the nineteenth century. Omnès then traces the emergence in modern thought of a fracture between our intuitive, commonsense views of the world and the abstract and--for most people--incomprehensible world portrayed by advanced physics, math, and logic. He argues that the fracture appeared because the insights of Einstein and Bohr, the logical advances of Frege, Russell, and Gödel, and the necessary mathematics of infinity of Cantor and Hilbert cannot be fully expressed by words or images only. Quantum mechanics played an important role in this development, as it seemed to undermine intuitive notions of intelligibility, locality, and causality. However, Omnès argues that common sense and quantum mechanics are not as incompatible as many have thought. In fact, he makes the provocative argument that the "consistent-histories" approach to quantum mechanics, developed over the past fifteen years, places common sense (slightly reappraised and circumscribed) on a firm scientific and philosophical footing for the first time. In doing so, it provides what philosophers have sought through the ages: a sure foundation for human knowledge. Quantum Philosophy is a profound work of contemporary science and philosophy and an eloquent history of the long struggle to understand the nature of the world and of knowledge itself.

Understanding Quantum Mechanics

Author: Roland Omnès
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691004358
Size: 39.78 MB
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Here Roland Omnès offers a clear, up-to-date guide to the conceptual framework of quantum mechanics. In an area that has provoked much philosophical debate, Omnès has achieved high recognition for his Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (Princeton 1994), a book for specialists. Now the author has transformed his own theory into a short and readable text that enables beginning students and experienced physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers to form a comprehensive picture of the field while learning about the most recent advances. This new book presents a more streamlined version of the Copenhagen interpretation, showing its logical consistency and completeness. The problem of measurement is a major area of inquiry, with the author surveying its history from Planck to Heisenberg before describing the consistent-histories interpretation. He draws upon the most recent research on the decoherence effect (related to the modern resolution of the famous Schrödinger's cat problem) and an exact formulation of the correspondence between quantum and particle physics (implying a derivation of classical determinism from quantum probabilism). Interpretation is organized with the help of a universal and sound language using so-called consistent histories. As a language and a method, it can now be shown to be free of ambiguity and it makes interpretation much clearer and closer to common sense.

Interpreting The Quantum World

Author: Jeffrey Bub
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521653862
Size: 34.23 MB
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Philosophy of physics title by highly regarded author, fully revised for this paperback edition.

Quantum Reality

Author: Jonathan Allday
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1584887044
Size: 25.45 MB
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Probably the most successful scientific theory ever created, quantum theory has profoundly changed our view of the world and extended the limits of our knowledge, impacting both the theoretical interpretation of a tremendous range of phenomena and the practical development of a host of technological breakthroughs. Yet for all its success, quantum theory remains utterly baffling. Quantum Reality: Theory and Philosophy cuts through much of the confusion to provide readers with an exploration of quantum theory that is as authoritatively comprehensive as it is intriguingly comprehensible. Requiring no more than school level physics and mathematics background, this volume requires only an interest in understanding how quantum theory came to be and the myriad ways it both explains how our universe functions and extends the reach of human knowledge. Written by well-known physics author and teacher Dr. Jonathan Allday, this highly engaging work: Presents a thorough grounding in the theoretical machinery of quantum physics Offers a whistle-stop tour through the early part of the 20th century when the founding fathers of quantum theory forever altered the frontiers of human thought Provides an example-filled interpretation of the theory, its applications, and its pinnacle in quantum field theory (QFT), so crucial in shaping ideas about the nature of reality Separates fact from speculation regarding quantum physics’ ability to provide a starting point for philosophical queries into ultimate understanding and the limits of science The world beneath the one that we experience with our senses is profoundly mysterious, and while we may never completely unravel that mystery, quantum theory allows us to come closer than ever to understanding where the science leaves off and the mystery begins. Quantum Reality: Theory and Philosophy makes that understanding accessible to anyone possessing a quest for knowledge and a sense of awe.

Interpreting Quantum Theories

Author: Laura Ruetsche
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019953540X
Size: 80.31 MB
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Philosophers of quantum mechanics have generally addressed exceedingly simple systems. Laura Ruetsche offers a much-needed study of the interpretation of more complicated systems, and an underexplored family of physical theories, such as quantum field theory and quantum statistical mechanics, showing why they repay philosophical attention.

Many Worlds

Author: Simon Saunders
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191614114
Size: 60.79 MB
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What does realism about the quantum state imply? What follows when quantum theory is applied without restriction, if need be, to the whole universe? These are the questions which an illustrious team of philosophers and physicists debate in this volume. All the contributors are agreed on realism, and on the need, or the aspiration, for a theory that unites micro- and macroworlds, at least in principle. But the further claim argued by some is that if you allow the Schrödinger equation unrestricted application, supposing the quantum state to be something physically real, then this universe is one of countlessly many others, constantly branching in time, all of which are real. The result is the many worlds theory, also known as the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. The contrary claim sees this picture of many worlds as in no sense inherent in quantum mechanics, even when the latter is allowed unrestricted scope and even given that the quantum state itself is something physically real. For this picture of branching worlds fails to make physical sense, let alone common sense, even on its own terms. The status of these worlds, what they are made of, is never adequately explained. Ordinary ideas about time and identity over time become hopelessly compromised. The concept of probability itself is brought into question. This picture of many branching worlds is inchoate, it is a vision, an error. There are realist alternatives to many worlds, some even that preserve the Schrödinger equation unchanged. Twenty specially written essays, accompanied by commentaries and discussions, examine these claims and counterclaims in depth. They focus first on the question of ontology, the existence of worlds (Part 1 and 2), second on the interpretation of probability (Parts 3 and 4), and third on alternatives or additions to many worlds (Parts 5 and 6). The introduction offers a helpful guide to the arguments for the Everett interpretation, particularly as they have been formulated in the last two decades.

On Physics And Philosophy

Author: Bernard d'Espagnat
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691158061
Size: 52.90 MB
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"On Physics and Philosophy is an accessible, mathematics-free reflection on the philosophical meaning of the quantum revolution, by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject. D'Espagnat presents an objective account of the main guiding principles of contemporary physics - in particular, quantum mechanics - followed by a look at just what consequences these should imply for philosophical thinking."--

Physics Meets Philosophy At The Planck Scale

Author: Craig Callender
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521664455
Size: 42.82 MB
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Was the first book to examine the exciting area of overlap between philosophy and quantum mechanics with chapters by leading experts from around the world.