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Quantum Mechanics and Experience / Edition 1

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Overview

The more science tells us about the world, the stranger it looks. Ever since physics first penetrated the atom, early in this century, what it found there has stood as a radical and unanswered challenge to many of our most cherished conceptions of nature. It has literally been called into question since then whether or not there are always objective matters of fact about the whereabouts of subatomic particles, or about the locations of tables and chairs, or even about the very contents of our thoughts. A new kind of uncertainty has become a principle of science.

This book is an original and provocative investigation of that challenge, as well as a novel attempt at writing about science in a style that is simultaneously elementary and deep. It is a lucid and self-contained introduction to the foundations of quantum mechanics, accessible to anyone with a high school mathematics education, and at the same time a rigorous discussion of the most important recent advances in our understanding of that subject, some of which are due to the author himself.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement

Over the past two decades, philosophers of physics have worked long and hard...to extract the philosophical pith from the theoretical physics. There are now a number of excellent books which explain the issues at a reasonably advanced level to non-physicists. Albert's is among the best of the bunch.
— David Papineau

Times Literary Supplement - David Papineau
Over the past two decades, philosophers of physics have worked long and hard...to extract the philosophical pith from the theoretical physics. There are now a number of excellent books which explain the issues at a reasonably advanced level to non-physicists. Albert's is among the best of the bunch.
Frank Arntzenius
A lively, lucid, elementary, yet deeply challenging account. The layperson and seasoned philosopher and scientist alike could do no better in their attempts to get out of the quantum muddle than to read this book.
Jeffrey Bub
This is a wholly original, engaging, and provocative work on the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics, written in David Albert's inimitable style.
Booknews
Albert (philosophy, Columbia U.) explains the foundations of quantum mechanics at a level comprehensible to anyone with high- school level mathematics, yet explores some of the most recent advances. The basic problem, he says, is measurement, and he reviews some of the attempts to solve it. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674741133
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 942,696
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

David Z Albert is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University.
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Table of Contents

Preface

1. Superposition

2. The Mathematical Formalism and the Standard Way of Thinking about It

3. Nonlocality

4. The Measurement Problem

5. The Collapse of the Wave Function

6. The Dynamics by Itself

7. Bohm's Theory

8. Self-Measurement

Appendix: The Kochen-Healy-Dieks Interpretations

Bibliography

Index

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