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Niels Bohr's Philosophy of Physics - D. R. Murdoch

Niels Bohr's Philosophy of Physics

Paperback Published: 15th May 1989
ISBN: 9780521379274
Number Of Pages: 308

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Murdoch describes the historical background of the physics from which Bohr's ideas grew; he traces the origins of his idea of complementarity and discusses its meaning and significance. Special emphasis is placed on the contrasting views of Einstein, and the great debate between Bohr and Einstein is thoroughly examined. Bohr's philosophy is revealed as being much more subtle, and more interesting than is generally acknowledged.

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'The breadth and clarity of Murdoch's analysis makes this book a worthy addition to Bohrian scholarship.' Nick Herbert, New Scientist

Prefacep. ix
Wave-particle dualityp. 1
The quantum hypothesisp. 1
Einstein's hypothesis of light-quantap. 5
Wave-particle duality, 1905-10p. 7
Wave-particle duality, 1911-22p. 10
The Compton effectp. 12
Niels Bohr and wave-particle dualityp. 16
Bohr and the 'old' quantum theoryp. 16
Bohr's attitude to the light-quantum hypothesisp. 19
Bohr's attitude to the Compton effectp. 22
The Bohr--Kramers--Slater theoryp. 23
The failure of spatio-temporal picturesp. 29
Discontinuity and univisualisabilityp. 31
From duality to complementarityp. 34
A matter of wavesp. 34
Quantum mechanics and the correspondence principlep. 37
The continuity-discontinuity dualityp. 44
The uncertainty principlep. 46
Complementarity: summer 1927p. 54
The meaning of complementarityp. 57
Wave-particle complementarity and kinematic-dynamic complementarityp. 58
Complementarity and consistencyp. 61
The correlations between the two kinds of complementarityp. 66
The ontological significance of wave-particle complementarityp. 67
Models and visualisabilityp. 71
Bohr's view of modelsp. 74
A critique of wave-particle complementarityp. 77
The foundations of kinematic-dynamic complementarityp. 80
The mutual exclusiveness of kinematic and dynamic propertiesp. 80
The indeterminability of the measurement interactionp. 85
The distinction between object and instrumentp. 87
Wholeness: the integrity of the conditions of observationp. 90
The nature of observationp. 94
The 'cut' and the classical conceptsp. 97
The necessity of describing the instrument in classical termsp. 99
The microphenomenalist readingp. 103
Observation and objectivityp. 104
A brief assessment of Bohr's argumentp. 108
Bohr's theory of measurementp. 109
The objective-values theory of measurementp. 109
The measurement problemp. 112
The solution to the Bohrian measurement puzzlep. 114
Bohr's interpretation of the state vectorp. 118
Von Neumann's theory of measurementp. 122
The subjective theory of measurementp. 126
Difficulties with the objective-values theoryp. 128
Bohr's theory of propertiesp. 134
The interactive-properties theoryp. 134
The dispositional-properties theoryp. 135
The relational-properties theoryp. 137
The positivist argument for the indefinability thesisp. 139
The ontic argument for the indefinability thesisp. 140
The semantic argument for the indefinability thesisp. 145
The substance of the semantic argumentp. 147
Difficulties with the strong meaning conditionp. 149
The logic of the semantic argumentp. 152
Einstein versus Bohrp. 155
The fifth Solvay Conference, 1927p. 155
The sixth Solvay Conference, 1930p. 157
Einstein's delayed-choice experimentp. 161
The EPR experimentp. 163
The EPR argumentp. 165
Bohr's response to the EPR argumentp. 168
Einstein's response to Bohr's defencep. 172
A preliminary summing-upp. 175
The sequel to the Bohr-Einstein debatep. 179
Completeness and hidden statesp. 179
Completeness and non-localityp. 181
The scope of non-localityp. 185
Value independence and separabilityp. 189
The Bohrian response to the Bell--Wigner argumentp. 191
Einstein's philosophy of physicsp. 195
Bohr's philosophy of physicsp. 200
Realism in the interpretation of physicsp. 200
Bohr and scientific realismp. 207
Bohr and empirical realismp. 210
A weaker form of realismp. 213
The mathematical structure of physical realityp. 216
Bohr: an instrumentalistic realistp. 222
The philosophical grounds of the indefinability thesisp. 222
Hoffding and the historical roots of Bohr's pragmatismp. 225
The Kantian elements in Bohr's philosophyp. 229
The pragmatist strainp. 231
An appraisal of Bohr's philosophy of physicsp. 236
Einstein or Bohr? The final verdictp. 236
The notions of correspondence and complementarityp. 243
Alternatives to Bohr's theory of matter and radiationp. 245
Many worlds and quantum logicp. 248
Notesp. 259
Indexp. 288
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521379274
ISBN-10: 052137927X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 308
Published: 15th May 1989
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.61 x 15.19  x 1.73
Weight (kg): 0.43