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The Quantum Dissidents

Rebuilding the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (1950-1990)

Authors: Freire Junior, Olival

  • Traces foundational upheavals in quantum mechanics from its post-war revival due to David Bohm to the start of the quantum information era
  • Makes fascinating connections to political and cultural issues of the times
  • Author an emininent historian of quantum physics, whose previous works have won acclaim
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eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-662-44662-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-662-44661-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $99.00
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm ET) to place your order.
  • Due: November 17, 2016
  • ISBN 978-3-662-51181-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

This book tells the fascinating story of the people and events behind the turbulent changes in attitudes to quantum theory in the second half of the 20th century. The huge success of quantum mechanics as a predictive theory has been accompanied, from the very beginning, by doubts and controversy about its foundations and interpretation. This book looks in detail at how research on foundations evolved after WWII, when it was revived, until the mid 1990s, when most of this research merged into the technological promise of quantum information. It is the story of the quantum dissidents, the scientists who brought this subject from the margins of physics into its mainstream. It is also a history of concepts, experiments, and techniques, and of the relationships between physics and the world at large, touching on themes such as the Cold War, McCarthyism, Zhdanovism, and the unrest of the late 1960s.

About the authors

Olival Freire, Jr. is a physicist and historian of physics. He is Associate Professor and Researcher at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, president of the Brazilian Society for the History of Science and vice-president of the Commission for the History of Modern Physics, International Union of History and Philosophy of Science.

Reviews

“A considerable amount of the content of this book has been published before in the form of articles, some of them coauthored. ... Among its other merits, then, The Quantum Dissidents may spur further investigations into what distinguishes work on the foundations of physics from just doing physics and what it takes for a type of scientific research to lie in the 'mainstream' of a discipline.” (Adrian Wüthrich, ISIS, Vol. 107 (2), June, 2016)

“This is a historical account of the development, controversies, and political aspects of quantum theory. … This is one of the most interesting history books available on the history and development of Quantum Mechanics. I recommend this for all students and scholars interested in this branch of Physics.” (Joseph J. Grenier, Amazon.com, May, 2016)

“The book is structured chronologically. … The Quantum Dissidents is an impressive book and will be, perhaps ironically, foundational for further studies.” (Suman Seth, Physics Today, Vol. 69 (4), 2016)

“Several themes are consistently integrated in this book. Freire shows how the political and cultural context influenced the choice and timing of certain research topics, although he refrains from claiming that the results obtained by the researchers were also influenced. Ultimately, "The Quantum Dissidents" casts a glance on an episode of the development of quantum mechanics whose importance we have long underestimated. The interplay of the book’s different themes in fact makes it a rewarding and very pleasant read.” (Translated from French, Louis Marchildon, Physics in Canada/La Physique au Canada, Vol. 71 (4), December, 2015) 

“Freire (Federal Univ. of Bahia, Brazil) tells the stories of the few physicists who dared challenge the underpinnings of quantum mechanics (QM). … Extensive footnotes and references make this a valuable resource for further study. … Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students through professionals/practitioners.” (M. Dickinson, Choice, Vol. 53 (2), October, 2015)

“Freire’s comprehensive history of the quantum dissidents is meticulously documented and based to a large extent on archival sources and interviews. … The quantum Dissidents is a pioneering work in the historiography of modern physics, of equal interest to historians of science, philosophers of science, and practicing physicists. I warmly recommend it.” (Helge Kragh, Science & Education, March, 2015)


Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Dissidents and the Second Quantum Revolution

    Freire Junior, Olival

    Pages 1-16

  • Challenging the Monocracy of the Copenhagen School

    Freire Junior, Olival

    Pages 17-74

  • The Origin of the Everettian Heresy

    Freire Junior, Olival

    Pages 75-139

  • The Monocracy is Broken: Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and Wigner’s Case

    Freire Junior, Olival

    Pages 141-174

  • The Tausk Controversy on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: Physics, Philosophy, and Politics

    Freire Junior, Olival

    Pages 175-195

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-662-44662-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-662-44661-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $99.00
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm ET) to place your order.
  • Due: November 17, 2016
  • ISBN 978-3-662-51181-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Quantum Dissidents
Book Subtitle
Rebuilding the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (1950-1990)
Authors
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
eBook ISBN
978-3-662-44662-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-662-44662-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-662-44661-4
Softcover ISBN
978-3-662-51181-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 356
Number of Illustrations and Tables
12 b/w illustrations, 14 illustrations in colour
Topics