Quantum Sense and Nonsense

Front Cover
Springer, Oct 27, 2017 - Science - 286 pages

Permeated by the author's delightful humor, this little book explains, with nearly no mathematics, the main conceptual issues associated with quantum mechanics:

The issue of determinism. Does quantum mechanics signify the end of a deterministic word-view?

The role of the human subject or of the "observer" in science. Since Copernicus, science has increasingly tended to dethrone Man from his formerly held special position in the Universe. But quantum mechanics, with its emphasis on the notion of observation, may once more have given a central role to the human subject.

The issue of locality. Does quantum mechanics imply that instantaneous actions at a distance exist in Nature?

In these pages the author offers a variety of views and answers - bad as well as good - to these questions. The reader will be both entertained and enlightened by Jean Bricmont's clear and incisive arguments.

 

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Contents

1 What Are the Issues Raised by Quantum Mechanics?
1
Interference
17
What Is Determinism?
31
4 How Do Physicists Deal with Interference?
49
5 Schr÷dingers Cat and Hidden Variables
69
What Is Wrong with Observations?
87
Nonlocality
101
The de BroglieBohm Theory
137
10 A Revised History of Quantum Mechanics
183
11 The Cultural Impact of Quantum Mechanics
209
12 Summary of the Main Theses of This Book
243
Quantum Sense and Nonsense
248
Glossary
249
Further Reading
261
Bibliography
267
Index
278

9 Many Worlds?
173

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About the author (2017)

Jean Bricmont (born in 1952) is a theoretical physicist and a professor at the UniversitÚ Catholique de Louvain. He works on statistical and mathematical physics but has also written about philosophy of science. He is mostly known to the non-academic audience for co-authoring Fashionable Nonsense (also known as Intellectual Impostures) with Alan Sokal, in which they criticize abuses of scientific concepts by postmodernist thinkers and relativism in the philosophy of science.

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