Quantum Reality: The Quest for the Real Meaning of Quantum Mechanics - a Game of Theories (Hardback)
  • Quantum Reality: The Quest for the Real Meaning of Quantum Mechanics - a Game of Theories (Hardback)

Quantum Reality: The Quest for the Real Meaning of Quantum Mechanics - a Game of Theories (Hardback)

Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 25/06/2020
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Quantum mechanics is an extraordinarily successful scientific theory. It is also completely mad. Although the theory quite obviously works, it leaves us chasing ghosts and phantoms; particles that are waves and waves that are particles; cats that are at once both alive and dead; and lots of seemingly spooky goings-on. But if we're prepared to be a little more specific about what we mean when we talk about 'reality' and a little more circumspect in the way we think a scientific theory might represent such a reality, then all the mystery goes away. This shows that the choice we face is actually a philosophical one. Here, Jim Baggott provides a quick but comprehensive introduction to quantum mechanics for the general reader, and explains what makes this theory so very different from the rest. He also explores the processes involved in developing scientific theories and explains how these lead to different philosophical positions, essential if we are to understand the nature of the great debate between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein. Moving forwards, Baggott then provides a comprehensive guide to attempts to determine what the theory actually means, from the Copenhagen interpretation to many worlds and the multiverse. Richard Feynman once declared that 'nobody understands quantum mechanics'. This book will tell you why.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198830153
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 514 g
Dimensions: 245 x 165 x 35 mm

If you come to this book feeling that you do not really understand quantum mechanics, at least after reading this book you will know why. It makes a superb companion to 'Through Two Doors at Once: the elegant experiment that captures the enigma of our quantum reality'. * Rick Marshall, Physics Education *
"Quantum Reality quickly justifies its existence... Baggotts unique, smart- alecky- professor voice keeps you turning the pages, and you regret that the book wasnt around when you were a precocious teenager grappling with the mysteries of physics. * Elise Cruss, Physics Today *
Engagingly written and although not requiring a background knowledge in physics, it will help if you have at least some familiarity with both the basic experimental results that exposed the inadequacy of classical physics * Rick Marshall, Physics Education *
Baggott is a master of taking complex concepts and making them surprisingly accessible. For much of what's difficult and confusing about quantum physics interpretations he succeeds in doing this admirably. * Brian Clegg, Popular Science *
[Baggott] carefully examines many quantum conundrums by leading readers through an exhaustive, but entertaining, review of the current thinking on them. The bibliography alone is worth the price of the book. Especially enlightening is Baggott's admission that metaphysics lies at the core of science: something that all physicists know in their hearts but are reluctant to admit ... Highly recommended. * J. F. Burkhart, CHOICE connect *
Why is quantum mechanics different from the rest of physics? What is reality? How could a theory of science explain a natural world created by God? All these strange questions are answered in a very profound and logical manner in Jim Baggott's Quantum Reality. * Rupendra Brahambhatt, Interesting Engineering *
Here, former experimental physicist Jim Baggott says quantum mechanics is "completely mad", but wrestles expertly with its history and current state, integrating physics with metaphysics. * Andrew Robinson, Nature *
Quantum Reality is... an attempt to bring order to a confounding subject. He succeeds only partly. But even that is a remarkable achievement because, for almost a century, physicists have fought over just which of over a dozen different interpretations of quantum mechanics is correct, or what it even means to call one of them "correct." ... Engagingly written, and requiring no background knowledge in physics, it is likely to teach you something new. Even I learned some new bits... * Sabine Hossen, Nautilus *
... I highly recommend it... Baggott provides a refreshingly sane and sensible survey of the subject... In Quantum Reality, Baggott provides a well-informed, reliable and enlightening tour of the increasingly complex and contentious terrain of arguments over what our best fundamental theory is telling us about what is physically "real". * Peter Woit, Not Even Wrong *
This is a superb book. Indeed it is the book I wish I had read when I was an undergraduate student in philosophy of science, keen to understand the philosophical implications of various interpretations of quantum mechanics. Jim Baggott has set for himself a very ambitious task: namely, to unpack the realist commitments at stake in the century-long debate on the completeness (or incompleteness) of quantum mechanics that began with Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein in the 1920s-1930s. It is rare to find this level of philosophical engagement with thorny foundational issues among physicists writing popular science books... This book is sheer joy to read. * Michela Massimi, Philosopher of Science and editor of Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone *
Jim Baggott proves once again to be a master popularizer, this time investigating with wit, depth, very wide angle, and remarkable equilibrium, what is perhaps the most obscure and fascinating mystery of modern science: what does quantum theory tell us about the world? * Carlo Rovelli, author of The Order of Time and Seven Brief Lessons on Physics *
Jim Baggott has written a highly readable, fair-minded and well-researched account of the ongoing debate about the nature of quantum reality. Amongst popular accounts of the subject, it is the most accessible and enlightening one I have come across. * Harvey R. Brown, Philosopher of Physics and author of Physical Relativity: Space-time structure from a dynamical perspective *
An engaging tour of the mysteries of quantum mechanics and the controversies of its interpretation, with the rare bonus of some substantial and well-grounded philosophy of science, synthesised from Baggott's wealth of knowledge and experience. * Jon Butterworth, author of A Map of the Invisible *

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