Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: An Exploration of the Physical Meaning of Quantum Theory

Springer
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Authored by an acclaimed teacher of quantum physics and philosophy, this textbook pays special attention to the aspects that many courses sweep under the carpet. Traditional courses in quantum mechanics teach students how to use the quantum formalism to make calculations. But even the best students - indeed, especially the best students - emerge rather confused about what, exactly, the theory says is going on, physically, in microscopic systems. This supplementary textbook is designed to help such students understand that they are not alone in their confusions (luminaries such as Albert Einstein, Erwin Schroedinger, and John Stewart Bell having shared them), to sharpen their understanding of the most important difficulties associated with interpreting quantum theory in a realistic manner, and to introduce them to the most promising attempts to formulate the theory in a way that is physically clear and coherent.

The text is accessible to students with at least one semester of prior exposure to quantum (or "modern") physics and includes over a hundred engaging end-of-chapter "Projects" that make the book suitable for either a traditional classroom or for self-study.

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About the author

Travis Norsen graduated as a physics-philosophy double-major from Harvey Mudd College in 1997 and then earned his PhD in theoretical nuclear astrophysics from the University of Washington in 2002. Since then he has worked on the foundational issues surveyed in the book and brought his uniquely conceptual, historical, and philosophical approach to physics into the classrooms of Marlboro, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Aug 17, 2017
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Pages
310
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ISBN
9783319658674
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / History
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Science / Physics / General
Science / Physics / Quantum Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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“Deftly unmasks quantum weirdness to reveal a strange but utterly wondrous reality.”
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As you read these words, copies of you are being created.
 
Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and one of this world’s most celebrated writers on science, rewrites the history of 20th century physics. Already hailed as a masterpiece, Something Deeply Hidden shows for the first time that facing up to the essential puzzle of quantum mechanics utterly transforms how we think about space and time.  His reconciling of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity changes, well, everything.

Most physicists haven’t even recognized the uncomfortable truth: physics has been in crisis since 1927. Quantum mechanics  has always had obvious gaps—which have come to be simply ignored. Science popularizers keep telling us how weird it is,  how impossible it is to understand. Academics discourage students from working on the "dead end" of quantum foundations. Putting his professional reputation on the line with this audacious yet entirely reasonable book, Carroll says that the crisis can now come to an end. We just have to accept that there is more than one of us in the universe. There are many, many Sean Carrolls. Many of every one of us.
 
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