The Message of Quantum Science: Attempts Towards a Synthesis

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This collection of essays is above all intended to pay tribute to the fact that while QM today is a refined and incredibly successful instrument, many issues concerning the internal consistency and the interpretation of this theory are still not nearly as well understood as they ought to be.

In addition, whenever possible these essays take the opportunity to link foundational issues to the many exciting developments that are often linked to major experimental and technological breakthroughs in exploiting the electromagnetic field and in particular, its quantum properties and its interactions with matter, as well as to advances in solid state physics (such as new quantum Hall liquids, topological insulators and graphene). The present volume also focuses on various areas, including new interference experiments with very large molecules passing through double-slits, which test the validity of the Kochen-Specker theorem; new tests of the violation of Bell’s inequalities and the consequences of entanglement; new non-demolition measurements and tests of “wave-function collapse” to name but a few.

These experimental developments have raised many challenging questions for theorists, leading to a new surge of interest in the foundations of QM, which have puzzled physicists ever since this theory was pioneered almost ninety years ago.

The outcome of a seminar program of the same name on foundational issues in quantum physics (QM), organized by the editors of this book and addressing newcomers to the field and more seasoned specialists alike, this volume provides a pedagogically inspired snapshot view of many of the unresolved issues in the field of foundational QM.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Apr 7, 2015
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Pages
348
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ISBN
9783662464229
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Information Technology
Mathematics / Discrete Mathematics
Science / Physics / General
Science / Physics / Mathematical & Computational
Science / Physics / Quantum Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The second edition of this textbook presents the basic mathematical knowledge and skills that are needed for courses on modern theoretical physics, such as those on quantum mechanics, classical and quantum field theory, and related areas. The authors stress that learning mathematical physics is not a passive process and include numerous detailed proofs, examples, and over 200 exercises, as well as hints linking mathematical concepts and results to the relevant physical concepts and theories. All of the material from the first edition has been updated, and five new chapters have been added on such topics as distributions, Hilbert space operators, and variational methods.

The text is divided into three parts:

- Part I: A brief introduction to (Schwartz) distribution theory. Elements from the theories of ultra distributions and (Fourier) hyperfunctions are given in addition to some deeper results for Schwartz distributions, thus providing a rather comprehensive introduction to the theory of generalized functions. Basic properties and methods for distributions are developed with applications to constant coefficient ODEs and PDEs. The relation between distributions and holomorphic functions is considered, as well as basic properties of Sobolev spaces.

- Part II: Fundamental facts about Hilbert spaces. The basic theory of linear (bounded and unbounded) operators in Hilbert spaces and special classes of linear operators - compact, Hilbert-Schmidt, trace class, and Schrödinger operators, as needed in quantum physics and quantum information theory – are explored. This section also contains a detailed spectral analysis of all major classes of linear operators, including completeness of generalized eigenfunctions, as well as of (completely) positive mappings, in particular quantum operations.

- Part III: Direct methods of the calculus of variations and their applications to boundary- and eigenvalue-problems for linear and nonlinear partial differential operators. The authors conclude with a discussion of the Hohenberg-Kohn variational principle.

The appendices contain proofs of more general and deeper results, including completions, basic facts about metrizable Hausdorff locally convex topological vector spaces, Baire’s fundamental results and their main consequences, and bilinear functionals.

Mathematical Methods in Physics is aimed at a broad community of graduate students in mathematics, mathematical physics, quantum information theory, physics and engineering, as well as researchers in these disciplines. Expanded content and relevant updates will make this new edition a valuable resource for those working in these disciplines.

The second edition of this textbook presents the basic mathematical knowledge and skills that are needed for courses on modern theoretical physics, such as those on quantum mechanics, classical and quantum field theory, and related areas. The authors stress that learning mathematical physics is not a passive process and include numerous detailed proofs, examples, and over 200 exercises, as well as hints linking mathematical concepts and results to the relevant physical concepts and theories. All of the material from the first edition has been updated, and five new chapters have been added on such topics as distributions, Hilbert space operators, and variational methods.

The text is divided into three parts:

- Part I: A brief introduction to (Schwartz) distribution theory. Elements from the theories of ultra distributions and (Fourier) hyperfunctions are given in addition to some deeper results for Schwartz distributions, thus providing a rather comprehensive introduction to the theory of generalized functions. Basic properties and methods for distributions are developed with applications to constant coefficient ODEs and PDEs. The relation between distributions and holomorphic functions is considered, as well as basic properties of Sobolev spaces.

- Part II: Fundamental facts about Hilbert spaces. The basic theory of linear (bounded and unbounded) operators in Hilbert spaces and special classes of linear operators - compact, Hilbert-Schmidt, trace class, and Schrödinger operators, as needed in quantum physics and quantum information theory – are explored. This section also contains a detailed spectral analysis of all major classes of linear operators, including completeness of generalized eigenfunctions, as well as of (completely) positive mappings, in particular quantum operations.

- Part III: Direct methods of the calculus of variations and their applications to boundary- and eigenvalue-problems for linear and nonlinear partial differential operators. The authors conclude with a discussion of the Hohenberg-Kohn variational principle.

The appendices contain proofs of more general and deeper results, including completions, basic facts about metrizable Hausdorff locally convex topological vector spaces, Baire’s fundamental results and their main consequences, and bilinear functionals.

Mathematical Methods in Physics is aimed at a broad community of graduate students in mathematics, mathematical physics, quantum information theory, physics and engineering, as well as researchers in these disciplines. Expanded content and relevant updates will make this new edition a valuable resource for those working in these disciplines.

Physics has long been regarded as a wellspring of mathematical problems. "Mathematical Methods in Physics" is a self-contained presentation, driven by historic motivations, excellent examples, detailed proofs, and a focus on those parts of mathematics that are needed in more ambitious courses on quantum mechanics and classical and quantum field theory. A comprehensive bibliography and index round out the work. Key Topics: * Part I: A brief introduction to (Schwartz) distribution theory; Elements from the theories of ultra distributions and hyperfunctions are given in addition to some deeper results for Schwartz distributions, thus providing a rather comprehensive introduction to the theory of generalized functions. Basic properties of and basic properties for distributions are developed with applications to constant coefficient ODEs and PDEs; the relation between distributions and holomorphic functions is developed as well. * Part II: Fundamental facts about Hilbert spaces and their geometry. The theory of linear (bounded and unbounded) operators is developed, focusing on results needed for the theory of Schroedinger operators. The spectral theory for self-adjoint operators is given in some detail. * Part III: Treats the direct methods of the calculus of variations and their applications to boundary- and eigenvalue-problems for linear and nonlinear partial differential operators, concludes with a discussion of the Hohenberg--Kohn variational principle. * Appendices: Proofs of more general and deeper results, including completions, metrizable Hausdorff locally convex topological vector spaces, Baire's theorem and its main consequences, bilinear functionals. Aimed primarily at a broad community of graduate students in mathematics, mathematical physics, physics and engineering, as well as researchers in these disciplines. Requisite knowledge for the reader includes differential and integral calculus, linear algebra, and some topology. Some basic knowledge of ordinary and partial differential equations will enhance the appreciation of the presented material.
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