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The Many Worlds Of Hugh Everett Iii

Author: Peter Byrne
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191655228
Size: 21.35 MB
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Peter Byrne tells the story of Hugh Everett III (1930-1982), whose "many worlds" theory of multiple universes has had a profound impact on physics and philosophy. Using Everett's unpublished papers (recently discovered in his son's basement) and dozens of interviews with his friends, colleagues, and surviving family members, Byrne paints, for the general reader, a detailed portrait of the genius who invented an astonishing way of describing our complex universe from the inside. Everett's mathematical model (called the "universal wave function") treats all possible events as "equally real", and concludes that countless copies of every person and thing exist in all possible configurations spread over an infinity of universes: many worlds. Afflicted by depression and addictions, Everett strove to bring rational order to the professional realms in which he played historically significant roles. In addition to his famous interpretation of quantum mechanics, Everett wrote a classic paper in game theory; created computer algorithms that revolutionized military operations research; and performed pioneering work in artificial intelligence for top secret government projects. He wrote the original software for targeting cities in a nuclear hot war; and he was one of the first scientists to recognize the danger of nuclear winter. As a Cold Warrior, he designed logical systems that modeled "rational" human and machine behaviors, and yet he was largely oblivious to the emotional damage his irrational personal behavior inflicted upon his family, lovers, and business partners. He died young, but left behind a fascinating record of his life, including correspondence with such philosophically inclined physicists as Niels Bohr, Norbert Wiener, and John Wheeler. These remarkable letters illuminate the long and often bitter struggle to explain the paradox of measurement at the heart of quantum physics. In recent years, Everett's solution to this mysterious problem - the existence of a universe of universes - has gained considerable traction in scientific circles, not as science fiction, but as an explanation of physical reality.

Einstein S Unfinished Revolution

Author: Lee Smolin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698169131
Size: 65.55 MB
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A daring new vision of quantum theory from one of the leading minds of contemporary physics Quantum physics is the golden child of modern science. It is the basis of our understanding of atoms, radiation, and so much else, from elementary particles and basic forces to the behavior of materials. But for a century it has also been the problem child of science: it has been plagued by intense disagreements between its inventors, strange paradoxes, and implications that seem like the stuff of fantasy. Whether it's Schrödinger's cat--a creature that is simultaneously dead and alive--or a belief that the world does not exist independently of our observations of it, quantum theory challenges our fundamental assumptions about reality. In Einstein's Unfinished Revolution, theoretical physicist Lee Smolin provocatively argues that the problems which have bedeviled quantum physics since its inception are unsolved and unsolvable, for the simple reason that the theory is incomplete. There is more to quantum physics, waiting to be discovered. Our task--if we are to have simple answers to our simple questions about the universe we live in--must be to go beyond quantum mechanics to a description of the world on an atomic scale that makes sense. In this vibrant and accessible book, Smolin takes us on a journey through the basics of quantum physics, introducing the stories of the experiments and figures that have transformed our understanding of the universe, before wrestling with the puzzles and conundrums that the quantum world presents. Along the way, he illuminates the existing theories that might solve these problems, guiding us towards a vision of the quantum that embraces common sense realism. If we are to have any hope of completing the revolution that Einstein began nearly a century ago, we must go beyond quantum mechanics to find a theory that will give us a complete description of nature. In Einstein's Unfinished Revolution, Lee Smolin brings us a step closer to resolving one of the greatest scientific controversies of our age.

Quantum Mechanics Between Ontology And Epistemology

Author: Florian J. Boge
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319957651
Size: 57.71 MB
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This book explores the prospects of rivaling ontological and epistemic interpretations of quantum mechanics (QM). It concludes with a suggestion for how to interpret QM from an epistemological point of view and with a Kantian touch. It thus refines, extends, and combines existing approaches in a similar direction. The author first looks at current, hotly debated ontological interpretations. These include hidden variables-approaches, Bohmian mechanics, collapse interpretations, and the many worlds interpretation. He demonstrates why none of these ontological interpretations can claim to be the clear winner amongst its rivals. Next, coverage explores the possibility of interpreting QM in terms of knowledge but without the assumption of hidden variables. It examines QBism as well as Healey’s pragmatist view. The author finds both interpretations or programs appealing, but still wanting in certain respects. As a result, he then goes on to advance a genuine proposal as to how to interpret QM from the perspective of an internal realism in the sense of Putnam and Kant. The book also includes two philosophical interludes. One details the notions of probability and realism. The other highlights the connections between the notions of locality, causality, and reality in the context of violations of Bell-type inequalities.