Schrodinger's Rabbits: The Many Worlds of Quantum

Schrodinger's Rabbits: The Many Worlds of Quantum

by Colin Bruce
     
 

ISBN-10: 0309090512

ISBN-13: 9780309090513

Pub. Date: 10/13/2004

Publisher: National Academies Press

For the better part of a century, attempts to explain what was really going on in the quantum world seemed doomed to failure. But recent technological advances have made the question both practical and urgent. A brilliantly imaginative group of physicists at Oxford University have risen to the challenge. This is their story.

At long last, there is a sensible way

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Overview

For the better part of a century, attempts to explain what was really going on in the quantum world seemed doomed to failure. But recent technological advances have made the question both practical and urgent. A brilliantly imaginative group of physicists at Oxford University have risen to the challenge. This is their story.

At long last, there is a sensible way to think about quantum mechanics. The new view abolishes the need to believe in randomness, long-range spooky forces, or conscious observers with mysterious powers to collapse cats into a state of life or death. But the new understanding comes at a price: we must accept that we live in a multiverse wherein countless versions of reality unfold side-by-side. The philosophical and personal consequences of this are awe-inspiring.

The new interpretation has allowed imaginative physicists to conceive of wonderful new technologies: measuring devices that effectively share information between worlds and computers that can borrow the power of other worlds to perform calculations. Step by step, the problems initially associated with the original many-worlds formulation have been addressed and answered so that a clear but startling new picture has emerged.

Just as Copenhagen was the centre of quantum discussion a lifetime ago, so Oxford has been the epicenter of the modern debate, with such figures as Roger Penrose and Anton Zeilinger fighting for single-world views, and David Deutsch, Lev Vaidman and a host of others for many-worlds.

An independent physicist living in Oxford, Bruce has had a ringside seat to the debate. In his capable hands, we understand why the initially fantastic sounding many-worlds view is not only a useful way to look at things, but logically compelling. Parallel worlds are as real as the distant galaxies detected by the Hubble Space Telescope, even though the evidence for their existence may consist only of a few photons.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780309090513
Publisher:
National Academies Press
Publication date:
10/13/2004
Pages:
21
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.92(d)

Table of Contents

1A magical universe1
2Clinging to the classical13
3Collapse by inference27
4A horror story writ large40
5The Old Testament57
6Let's all move into Hilbert space74
7Pick your own universe92
8A desirable locality106
9Introducing many-worlds126
10Harnessing many-worlds 1 : impossible measurements140
11Harnessing many-worlds 2 : impossible computers155
12Many-worlds heroes and dragons169
13The terror of many-worlds185
14The classical warrior : Roger Penrose198
15The new age warrior : Anton Zeilinger211
16Proving and improving many-worlds228

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