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Beyond Measure : Modern Physics Philosophy and the Meaning of Quantum Theory - Jim Baggott

Beyond Measure

Modern Physics Philosophy and the Meaning of Quantum Theory


Published: 1st October 2003
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Quantum theory is one of the most important and successful theories of modern physical science. It has been estimated that its principles form the basis for about 30 per cent of the world's manufacturing economy. This is all the more remarkable because quantum theory is a theory that nobody understands. Baggott brings the reader up to date with the results of experimental tests of quantum non-locality and complementarity that have been successfully he also reviews the latest thinking on alternative interpretations - pilot waves, decoherence, consciousness, many worlds and God - and the frontiers of quantum cosmology, quantum gravity and potential applications of quantum entanglement in computing, cryptography and teleportation. Quantum theory emerges largely unscathed, only serving to reinforce the point that the theory remains the most powerful framework for explaining observations of the quantum world, but that its orthodox interpretation continues to offer little in the way of understanding in terms of underlying physical processes. Quantum theory remains a mysterious theoretical black top hat from which white rabbits continue to be pulled. Students are usually advised not to ask how this particular conjuring trick is done.

Baggott confines all the equations to optional appendices so that the book succeeds in having a broader appeal than might be imagined ... A nice feature of the book is the section on recent experiments including Aspect's famous series of tests of the Bell inequalities. Times Higher Education Supplement Beyond Measure is the ideal book if you are already aware of the weirdness of the quantum world and want to know more. Focus What makes Beyond Measure different from other attempts at explaining quantum physics is the way Baggott has structured the book so that each idea gets its own place, in a series of five mini-books within the book. Focus ... you don't need much maths to understand [Baggott's] arguments, but you do need your brain switched on ... read this and you'll probably know more than the lecturers! Focus ... does for quantum theory what Hawking's A brief history of time did for astronomy and cosmology. Chemistry World Jim Baggott's Beyond Measure is a lively tour through the major positions in the foundations and interpretation of the quantum theory. It is not a prancing roshis tour but a carefully written and beautifully organized primer on virtually all the interesting issues. Arthur Fine, Professor of Philosophy, Adjunct Professor of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle ... for those with an interest in physics it is highly recommended, both simply as a readable and up-to-date overview of quantum theory as well as as a useful reference work The Complete Review More than a revision of a classic account of quantum mechanics, Jim Baggott's book is the definitive non-technical account of the wonder and understandable strangeness of the theory that underlies all of physics - quantum mechanics. Roald Hoffmann-Nobel prize winner for chemistry in 1981. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University

Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
An act of desperationp. 3
Newton's legacyp. 4
Light at the turn of the centuryp. 5
Black-body radiation and the ultraviolet catastrophep. 9
Planck's radiation formulap. 12
Quantap. 15
This is wrong...p. 18
Bohr's theory of the atomp. 19
Discontinuous physicsp. 22
Farewell to certaintyp. 24
Wave-particle dualityp. 24
Einstein and Bohr in conflictp. 27
Postscript: electron diffraction and interferencep. 27
Wave mechanicsp. 28
Interpreting the wave functionsp. 31
Matrix mechanicsp. 34
Heisenberg's uncertainty principlep. 36
An absolute wonderp. 40
Pauli's exclusion principle and the self-rotating electronp. 41
Electron spinp. 42
Dirac's theoryp. 43
Quantum electrodynamicsp. 45
Shelter Islandp. 47
Sum-over-historiesp. 47
Feynman diagramsp. 49
Quarks and the standard modelp. 53
Quantum rulesp. 59
The axiomatization of physicsp. 61
Vector spacesp. 62
Quantum statesp. 64
Operators and observablesp. 65
Complementary observablesp. 66
The time evolution of state vectorsp. 67
The expansion theoremp. 68
Projection amplitudesp. 70
Indistinguishable particlesp. 71
Fermions and bosonsp. 72
Quantum measurementp. 75
Quantum probabilitiesp. 76
Linear polarizationp. 78
Photon-polarization statesp. 79
Photon spinp. 80
Von Neumann's theory of measurementp. 83
The 'collapse of the wavefunction'p. 84
State preparationp. 86
Entangled statesp. 87
Which way did it go?p. 89
The bomb factoryp. 90
The schismp. 97
The scientific methodp. 98
The problem of inductionp. 99
Logical positivism and the rejection of metaphysicsp. 101
The Copenhagen interpretationp. 103
Complementarityp. 106
There is no quantum worldp. 108
The aim and structure of physical theoryp. 109
Social constructivism and incommensurabilityp. 112
The rational character of realityp. 114
The schism: realism versus anti-realismp. 116
A bolt from the bluep. 120
The fifth Solvay Conferencep. 121
Is quantum mechanics consistent?p. 123
The photon box experimentp. 126
Is quantum mechanics complete?p. 129
A reasonable definition of realityp. 131
Spooky action at a distancep. 132
Einstein attacks quantum theoryp. 132
Einstein separabilityp. 134
Entangled states and Schrodinger's catp. 135
Summaryp. 138
Bell's theorem and local realityp. 140
Einstein on hidden variablesp. 141
A simple examplep. 142
Von Neumann's 'impossibility proof'p. 144
Bohm's version of the EPR experimentp. 146
Correlated photonsp. 148
Quantum versus hidden variable correlationsp. 150
Bell's theoremp. 153
Generalization of Bell's inequalityp. 158
Quantum non-localityp. 163
Cascade emissionp. 164
The Aspect experimentsp. 165
Parametric down-conversionp. 169
Long-distance entanglementp. 170
How fast is 'instantaneous'?p. 171
Testing non-locality without inequalitiesp. 171
Closing the locality loopholep. 176
Closing the efficiency loopholep. 178
Complementarity and entanglementp. 181
Delayed choicep. 182
Wheeler's 'Great Smoky Dragon'p. 184
Watching the electronsp. 185
The one-atom maserp. 188
Which way did it go (again)?p. 189
But what if we don't look?p. 191
Scully's pizzap. 193
Superluminal communications?p. 197
Qubits and quantum computingp. 198
Quantum cryptographyp. 200
Quantum teleportationp. 201
Was Einstein wrong?p. 202
Was Bohr right?p. 203
Pilot waves, potentials, and propensitiesp. 207
De Broglie's pilot wavesp. 209
Quantum potentialsp. 210
A causal explanation of quantum phenomenap. 212
Quantum theory and historical contingencyp. 216
The implicate orderp. 218
Popper's propensitiesp. 219
An irreversible actp. 223
The arrow of timep. 224
Time asymmetry and quantum measurementp. 226
From being to becomingp. 227
Decoherencep. 228
The problem of objectificationp. 233
GRW theoryp. 234
Penrose and the geometry of space-timep. 236
Macroscopic realismp. 237
Superpositions of distinct macroscopic statesp. 238
I think, therefore...p. 242
Von Neumann's theory of measurement (revisited)p. 242
Wigner's friendp. 244
The ghost in the machinep. 245
Multiple draftsp. 247
The physical basis of consciousnessp. 249
Alp. 252
Consciousness and objective reductionp. 254
Free will and determinismp. 255
The mind of God?p. 257
Many worlds, one universep. 263
Relative statesp. 264
The branching worldp. 265
'Schizophrenia' with a vengeancep. 266
Parallel worlds and 'schizophrenic' neutronsp. 267
The non-existence of non-localityp. 270
Quantum suicide: dead again?p. 272
Time travelp. 273
Many mindsp. 275
The quantum theory of the universep. 276
Consistent historiesp. 279
Quantum gravityp. 283
Closing remarksp. 286
Appendicesp. 289
Maxwell's equations and the speed of lightp. 291
Black-body radiation and the origin of the quantump. 294
Atomic theory and the emergence of quantum numbersp. 297
Special relativity and de Broglie's hypothesisp. 300
Schrodinger's wave equationp. 302
Dirac's relativistic quantum theory of the electronp. 305
The expectation valuep. 307
Complementary observables and the uncertainty principlep. 309
The expansion theorem and quantum projectionsp. 311
State vectors and classical unit vectorsp. 314
Quantum indistinguishability: fermions and bosonsp. 316
Projection amplitudes for photon-polarization statesp. 318
Quantum measurement and expectation valuesp. 322
Complementary observables of two-particle statesp. 324
Quantum measurement and the infinite regressp. 325
Von Neumann's 'impossibility proof'p. 327
Photon spin correlationsp. 329
Quantum versus local hidden variable correlationsp. 332
Bell's inequalityp. 335
Bell's inequality for non-ideal casesp. 337
Three-photon GHZ statesp. 339
The Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt form of Bell's inequalityp. 343
'Which Way' versus interference: testing complementarityp. 345
The quantum eraserp. 347
Beam me up, Scottyp. 350
The de Broglie-Bohm theoryp. 352
Neutron worldsp. 355
Bibliographyp. 357
Name Indexp. 365
Subject Indexp. 371
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198529279
ISBN-10: 0198529279
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 396
Published: 1st October 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.8 x 17.3  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.9
Edition Number: 2