Quantum Mechanics: Historical Contingency and the Copenhagen Hegemony - Science & Its Conceptual Foundations S. (Paperback)James T. Cushing (author)
Paperback 328 Pages / Published: 01/08/1994
- Not available
Why does one theory "succeed" while another, possibly clearer interpretation, fails? By exploring two observationally equivalent, yet conceptually incompatible, views of quantum mechanics, James T. Cushing shows how historical contingency can be crucial to determining a theory's construction and its position among competing views. Since the late 1920s, the theory formulated by Niels Bohr and his colleagues at Copenhagen has been the dominant interpretation of quantum mechanics. Yet an alternative interpretation, rooted in the work of Louis de Broglie in the early 1920s and reformulated and extended by David Bohm in the 1950s, equally well explains the observational data. Through a detailed historical and sociological study of the physicists who developed different theories of quantum mechanics, the debates within and between opposing camps, and the receptions given to each theory, Cushing shows that despite the preeminence of the Copenhagen view, the Bohm interpretation cannot be ignored. Cushing contends that the Copenhagen interpretation became widely accepted not because it is a better explanation of subatomic phenomena than Bohm's, but because it happened to appear first. Focusing on the philosophical, social and cultural forces that shaped one of the most important developments in modern physics, this book examines the role that timing can play in the establishment of theory and explanation.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 233 x 155 x 20 mm
You may also be interested in...
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at