Synopses & Reviews
Quantum mechanics, which describes the behavior of subatomic particles, seems to challenge common sense. Waves behave like particles; particles behave like waves. You can tell where a particle is, but not how fast it is movingor vice versa. An electron faced with two tiny holes will travel through both at the same time, rather than one or the other. And then there is the enigma of creation ex nihilo, in which small particles appear with their so-called antiparticles, only to disappear the next instant in a tiny puff of energy.
Since its inception, physicists and philosophers have struggled to work out the meaning of quantum mechanics. Some, like Niels Bohr, have responded to quantum mechanics' mysteries by replacing notions of position and velocity with probabilities. Others, like Einstein and Penrose, have disagreed and think that the entire puzzle reflects not a fundamental principle of nature but our own ignorance of basic scientific processes.
Sneaking a Look at God's Cards offers the general reader a deep and real understanding of the problems inherent to the interpretation of quantum mechanics, from its inception to the present. The book presents a balanced overview of current debates and explores how the theory of quantum mechanics plays itself out in the real world. Written from the perspective of a leading European physicist, the book looks extensively at ideas from both sides of the Atlantic and also considers what philosophers have contributed to the scientific discussion of this field.
Sneaking a Look at God's Cards sets out what we know about the endlessly fascinating quantum world, how we came to this understanding, where we disagree, and where we are heading inour quest to comprehend the seemingly incomprehensible.
Review
"This is a tremendous and wonderful book for novices and experts alike. It provides a lucid and insightful look into the empirical and conceptual problems handled so successfully by quantum theory. Ghirardi also leads us through the debates concerning the interpretation and meaning of this tantalizing and fascinating theorydebates in which he himself has been one of the major participants." Bas C. van Fraassen, Princeton University
Review
"This impressive book leads the lay reader to a real understanding of the problems of interpreting quantum mechanics. It is a well-balanced, indeed wise, book, which will stand the test of time as an intellectually responsible introduction to the field. It is also so far as I know the first book at its level to have chapters on the important topics of quantum cryptography and quantum computation." Jeremy Butterfield, Oxford University
Synopsis
This work offers the general reader a real understanding of the problems inherent to the interpretation of quantum mechanics. It presents a balanced overview of contemporary debates and explores how the theory of quantum mechanics plays itself out in the real world.
Synopsis
"This is a tremendous and wonderful book for novices and experts alike. It provides a lucid and insightful look into the empirical and conceptual problems handled so successfully by quantum theory. Ghirardi also leads us through the debates concerning the interpretation and meaning of this tantalizing and fascinating theory--debates in which he himself has been one of the major participants."--Bas C. van Fraassen, Princeton University
"This impressive book leads the lay reader to a real understanding of the problems of interpreting quantum mechanics. It is a well-balanced, indeed wise, book, which will stand the test of time as an intellectually responsible introduction to the field. It is also so far as I know the first book at its level to have chapters on the important topics of quantum cryptography and quantum computation."--Jeremy Butterfield, Oxford University
About the Author
GianCarlo Ghirardi is Chair of the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Trieste and a coauthor of Symmetry Principles in Quantum Physics.
Table of Contents
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xvii
Chapter One
The Collapse of the "Classical" World View 1
Chapter Two
The Polarization of Light 25
Chapter Three
Quanta, Chance Events, and Indeterminism 43
Chapter Four
The Superposition Principle and the Conceptual Structure of the Theory 79
Chapter Five
Visualization and Scientific Progress 111
Chapter Six
The Interpretation of the Theory 120
Chapter Seven
The Bohr-Einstein Dialogue 149
Chapter Eight
A Bolt from the Blue: The Einstein-Podolski-Rosen Argument 165
Chapter Nine
Hidden Variables 195
Chapter Ten
Bell's Inequality and Nonlocality 226
Chapter Eleven
Nonlocality and Superluminal Signals 261
Chapter Twelve
Quantum Cryptography 292
Chapter Thirteen
Quantum Computers 313
Chapter Fourteen
Systems of Identical Particles 331
Chapter Fifteen
From Microscopic to Macroscopic 344
Chapter Sixteen
In Search of a Coherent Framework for All Physical Processes 377
Chapter Seventeen
Spontaneous Localization, Properties, and Perceptions 416
Chapter Eighteen
Macrorealism and Noninvasive Measurements 437
Chapter Nineteen
Conclusions 448
Notes 455
Bibliography 473
Index 477