Veiled Reality: An Analysis of Present - Day Quantum Mechanical Concepts

Front Cover
Westview Press, 2003 - Science - 474 pages
2 Reviews
By questioning the validity of some of our basic concepts, such as space, object, and causality, quantum physics contributes quite decisively to the dramatic changes now taking place in our world picture.This book is addressed not only to physicists at an early stage in their careers (the first or second year graduate student) but also to philosophers, as well as to all the senior physicists interested in the interpretation problem. Beginning with a chapter that could be described as “philosophy for physicists,” it presents an in-depth analysis of present-day quantum mechanical concepts, an analysis of physicists and philosophers alike. Specifically, it first offers an extensive critical analysis of such topics as the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen reality criterion, nonseparatability, the quantum measurement riddle, decoherence theory, consistent histories approaches and ontologically interpretable theories. All this then naturally leads to philosophical questions concerning, in particular, intersubjective agreement and the limit of realism. And a thorough examination of this whole material finally leads to the view that distinguishing between empirical reality and a veiled man-independent reality yields an acceptable answer to the perplexing question of how to interpret quantum physics. Veiled Reality offers nonspecialists, including students in physics, philosophy and the history of science, an accessible perspective on basic problems in the foundations of physics.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ParseLee - LibraryThing

Modern physics has transformed the assumptions and worldviews of the scholars and lay observers alike. Many attempts to comprehend these innovations, from Fritjof Capra to David Bohm to David Deutsch ... Read full review


The Density Matrix Formalism
Proper and Improper Mixtures
Quantum States and the Nonseparability Problem 1
The EPR Problem and Nonseparability
Veiled Independent Reality Empirical Reality
Lessons and Hints from Quantum Physics
Potentialities and Consciousness
Own Options
Appendix 2 Sensitive Observables and Time Evolution

On Measurement
Variations on a Bohrian Theme
Quantum Mechanics as a Universal Theory Classical
First Guess
Subject Index

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page vi - Current, 1967 Current Algebras and Applications to Particle Physics, 1968 Nuclear Theory: The Quasiparticle Method, 1968 The Quark Model, 1969 Approximation Methods in Quantum Mechanics, 1969 Nonlinear Plasma Theory, 1969 Quantum Kinematics and Dynamics, 1970 Statistical Mechanics: A Set of Lectures...
Page ix - ... point of view" concerning it. Formal monographs cannot meet such a need in a rapidly developing field, and, perhaps more important, the review article seems to have fallen into disfavor. Indeed, it would seem that the people most actively engaged in developing a given field are the people least likely to write at length about it. "Frontiers in Physics" has been conceived in an effort to improve the situation in several ways.
Page ix - ... present status of a rapidly developing field and may well constitute the only coherent account available at the time. Often, notes on lectures exist (prepared by the lecturer himself, by graduate students, or by postdoctoral fellows) and have been distributed in mimeographed form on a limited basis. One of the principal purposes of the "Frontiers, in Physics" series is to make such notes available to a wider audience of physicists.
Page 132 - If, without in any way disturbing a system, we can predict with certainty (ie with probability equal to unity) the value of a physical quantity, then there exists an element of physical reality corresponding to this physical quantity" . We now illustrate the use of these definitions for a single-particle system.
Page v - Frontiers in Physics David Pines, Editor Volumes of the Series published from 1961 to 1973 are not officially numbered. The parenthetical numbers shown are designed to aid librarians and bibliographers to check the completeness of their holdings. Titles published in this series prior to 1987 appear under either the WA Benjamin or the Benjamin/Cummings imprint; titles published since 1986 appear under the Westview Press imprint.
Page vi - The Eightfold Way (A Review— With a Collection of Reprints), 1964 Strong-Interaction Physics: A Lecture Note Volume, 1964 Theory of Interacting Fermi Systems, 1964 Theory...
Page v - The Theory of Fundamental Processes: A Lecture Note Volume, 1961 Problem in Quantum Theory of Many,Particle Systems: A Lecture Note and Reprint Volume, 1961 The Many-Body Problem: A Lecture Note and Reprint Volume, 1961 The Mossbauer Effect: A Review — With a Collection of Reprints, 1962 Quantum Statistical Mechanics: Green's Function Methods in Equilibrium and Nonequilibrium Problems, 1962 Paramagnetic Resonance: An Introductory Monograph, 1962 [cr.
Page vi - Interactions, 1972 Combinatorics and Renormalization in Quantum Field Theory, 1973 The Redshift Controversy, 1973 Hadron Physics at Very High Energies, 1973 Basic Principles of Plasma Physics: A Statistical Approach, 1973 (2nd printing, with revisions, 1980) The Physical Principles of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance, 2nd Edition, completely revised, enlarged, and reset, 1973 [cf. (9>— 1st edition] Volumes published from 1974 onward are being numbered as an integral part of the bibliography. 43.
Page v - Electron Scattering and Nuclear and Nucleon Structure: A Collection of Reprints with an Introduction, 1963 Nuclear Theory: Pairing Force Correlations to Collective Motion, 1964 Mandelstam Theory and Regge Poles: An Introduction for Experimentalists, 1963 Complex Angular Momenta and Particle Physics...
Page 361 - Internalism does not deny that there are experiential inputs to knowledge; knowledge is not a story with no constraints except internal coherence; but it does deny that there are any inputs which are not themselves to some extent shaped by our concepts, by the vocabulary we use to report and describe them, or any inputs which admit of only one description, independent of all conceptual choices.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2003)

Bernard d’Espagnat, Emeritus Professor at the University of Paris, Orsay, was born in Fourmagnac, France, on August 22, 1921. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the Sorbonne in 1950. He was a research physicist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago, at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and at CERN in Geneva. In 1959, d’Espagnat joined the University of Paris, where he was professor at both the Paris and Orsay campuses. Professor d’Espagnat was director of the Laboratoire de Physique Theorique et Particules Elementaires, Orsay, from 1970 to 1987. In 1996 he was elected into the Institut de France (Académie des Sciences morales et politiques) as a philosopher of science.

Bibliographic information