Philosophic Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

Overview

Physics concerns direct analysis of the physical world, while philosophy analyzes knowledge about the physical world. This volume combines both disciplines for a philosophical interpretation of quantum physics — an interpretation free from the imprecision of metaphysics, offering a view of the atomic world and its quantum mechanical results as concrete as the visible everyday world.
Written by an internationally renowned philosopher who specialized in symbolic logic and the ...

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Philosophic Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

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Overview

Physics concerns direct analysis of the physical world, while philosophy analyzes knowledge about the physical world. This volume combines both disciplines for a philosophical interpretation of quantum physics — an interpretation free from the imprecision of metaphysics, offering a view of the atomic world and its quantum mechanical results as concrete as the visible everyday world.
Written by an internationally renowned philosopher who specialized in symbolic logic and the theory of relativity, this approach consists of three parts. The first section, which requires no background in math or physics, reviews the basics of quantum mechanics, outlining their philosophical interpretation and summarizing their results. The second part, which presupposes a knowledge of calculus, outlines the mathematical methods of quantum mechanics; and the third part blends the philosophical ideas of the first part and the mathematical formulations of the second part to develop a variety of interpretations of quantum mechanics. The author presents in-depth discussions of each interpretation, constructing a conclusion in terms of three-valued logic that offers readers a satisfactory logical form of quantum mechanics.
Focusing on clarification of concepts rather than developing problem-solving skills, this volume will prove enlightening to students of mathematics, physics, and the other sciences.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
****Reprint of the paper re-issue of the U. of California Press original of 1944. Cited in BCL3. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486404592
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 2/17/2011
  • Series: Dover Books on Physics Series
  • Edition description: DOVER
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Table of Contents

PART I: GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
  1. Causal laws and probability laws
  2. The probability distributions
  3. The principle of indeterminacy
  4. The disturbance of the object by the observation
  5. The determination of unobserved objects
  6. Waves and corpuscles
  7. Analysis of an interference experiment
  8. Exhaustive and restrictive interpretations
PART II: OUTLINES OF THE MATHEMATICS OF QUANTUM MECHANICS
  9. Expansion of a function in terms of an orthogonal set
  10. Geometrical interpretation in the function space
  11. Reversion and iteration of transformations.
  12. Functions of several variables and the configuration space
  13. Derivation of Schrödinger's equation from de Broglie's principle
  14. "Operators, eigen-functions, and eigen-values of physical entities"
  15. The commutation rule
  16. Operator matrices
  17. Determination of the Probability distributions
  18. Time dependence of the ?-function
  19. Transformation to other state functions
  20. Observational determination of the ?-function
  21. Mathematical theory of measurement
  22. The rules of probability and the disturbance by the measurement
  23. The nature of probabilities and of statistical assemblages in quantum mechanics
PART III: INTERPRETATIONS
  24. Comparison of classical and quantum mechanical statistics
  25. The corpuscle interpretation
  26. The impossibility of a chain structure
  27. The wave interpretation
  28. Observational language and quantum mechanics
  29. Interpretation by a restricted meaning
  30. Interpretation through a three-valued logic
  31. The rules of two-valued logic
  32. The rules of three-valued logic
  33. Suppression of causal anomalies through a three-valued logic
  34. Indeterminacy in the object language
  35. The limitation of measurability
  36. Correlated systems
  37. Conclusion
  Index
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