Fundamental Theories of Physics

Reading Bohr: Physics and Philosophy

Authors: Plotnitsky, Arkady

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About this book

Reading Bohr: Physics and Philosophy offers a new perspective on Niels Bohr's interpretation of quantum mechanics as complementarity, and on the relationships between physics and philosophy in Bohr's work, which has had momentous significance for our understanding of quantum theory and of the nature of knowledge in general. Philosophically, the book reassesses Bohr's place in the Western philosophical tradition, from Kant and Hegel on. Physically, it reconsiders the main issues at stake in the Bohr-Einstein confrontation and in the ongoing debates concerning quantum physics. It also devotes greater attention than in most commentaries on Bohr to the key developments and transformations of his thinking concerning complementarity.
Most significant among them were those that occurred, first, under the impact of Bohr's exchanges with Einstein and, second, under the impact of developments in quantum theory itself, both quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. The importance of quantum field theory for Bohr's thinking has not been adequately addressed in the literature on Bohr, to the considerable detriment to our understanding of the history of quantum physics. Filling this lacuna is one of the main contributions of the book, which also enables us to show why quantum field theory compels us to move beyond Bohr without, however, simply leaving him behind.

Audience: While the book will be of particular interest to physicists, philosophers and historians of science, it is also aimed at a broader audience, especially graduate and undergraduate students, whom this book will help to develop a greater appreciation of Bohr, physics, and philosophy.

Reviews

From the reviews:

"This book seems to be an attempt to engage in a careful analysis of Bohr in a way meant to satisfy critical readers and also support what he here calls ‘nonclassical epistemology’. … Plotnitsky has provided some useful insights regarding Bohr, the book will probably appeal more to those interested in its nonclassical epistemology … ." (Scott Tanona, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Vol. 40, 2009)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Complementarity, Quantum Mechanics, and Interpretation

    Pages 1-7

    Plotnitsky, Arkady

  • Complementarity, Epistemology, and Quantum Mechanics as an Information Theory

    Pages 9-47

    Plotnitsky, Arkady

  • Complementarity, Quantum Variables, and the Relationships between Mathematics and Physics

    Pages 49-72

    Plotnitsky, Arkady

  • Complementarity, Quantum Entanglement, and Locality

    Pages 73-101

    Plotnitsky, Arkady

  • Complementarity, Chance, and Probability

    Pages 103-118

    Plotnitsky, Arkady

Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-5254-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Hardcover $199.99
price for USA in USD
Softcover $199.99
price for USA in USD
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Reading Bohr: Physics and Philosophy
Authors
Series Title
Fundamental Theories of Physics
Series Volume
152
Copyright
2006
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4020-5254-5
DOI
10.1007/1-4020-5254-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-5253-8
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-7323-5
Series ISSN
0168-1222
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 229
Topics