Synopses & Reviews
In spite of the impressive predictive power and strong mathematical structure of quantum mechanics, the theory has always suffered from important conceptual problems. Some of these have never been solved. Motivated by this state of affairs, a number of physicists have worked together for over thirty years to develop stochastic electrodynamics, a physical theory aimed at finding a conceptually satisfactory, realistic explanation of quantum phenomena. This is the first book to present a comprehensive review of stochastic electrodynamics, from its origins to present-day developments. After a general introduction for the non-specialist, a critical discussion is presented of the main results of the theory as well as of the major problems encountered. A chapter on stochastic optics and some interesting consequences for local realism and the Bell inequalities is included. In the final chapters the authors propose and develop a new version of the theory that brings it in closer correspondence with quantum mechanics and sheds some light on the wave aspects of matter and the linkage with quantum electrodynamics. Audience: The volume will be of interest to scholars and postgraduate students of theoretical and mathematical physics, foundations and philosophy of physics, and teachers of theoretical physics and quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory, and statistical physics (stochastic processes).
Table of Contents
Preface.
Part I: Prelude. 1. Quantum mechanics and the real world.
2. Quantum mechanics as a stochastic theory.
3. Elements of electrodynamics.
Part II: Theme. 4. The zeropoint radiation field.
5. The equilibrium radiation field.
6. Environmental effects through the zero-point field.
7. The harmonic oscillator.
8. Quantum properties of other simple systems.
9. Breakdown of detailed energy balance.
Part III: Coda. 10. Linear stochastic electrodynamics.
11. Radiative corrections in linear SED.
12. The wave properties of matter.
13. Stochastic optics.
14. Outlook and some corollaries. Bibliography. Index.