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Philosophic Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (Dover Books on Physics) Paperback – January 20, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Physics
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (February 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486404595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486404592
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Chris on December 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
Reichenbach's book is a classic text, the first (I think) to focus on the philosophical aspects of quantum mechanics. Since it was written around the time that quantum mechanics was born, it does not deal with modern discussion on the subject. Reichenbach does solid work, however, and this is a valuable resource for anyone interested in these issues.
The book has three sections. The first is an overview of his conclusions and the implications of quantum mechanics. This section is lucid and relatively non-technical, it should be intelligible to anyone. The second section is an in-depth technical introduction to the formalism of quantum mechanics. Anyone, if determined enough, could get through this part, though it's pretty hairy going for those without a formal background in physics or mathematics. In the last section, he reaches his conclusions and introduces a system of logic to deal with the truth value of propositions about quantum mechanics.
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Another in a series of books by Reichenbach recently issued. In the earliest one he explores the blowback from relativity on epistemology. In this one he lays out various "interpretations" of quantum mechanics. As usual, he does a wonderful job of laying out the possible ways of understanding the implications of quantum mechanical measurements. He goes into much more detail about the logical entailments of various interpretations than do more contemporary treatments. He wrote this in 1944 so Neither Bell's Inequality experiments nor Everett's "many worlds hypothesis" were available and so he can focus better on the detailed implications of what was around at the time. This included the EPR debate (Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen with Bohr and Schrodinger). Interestingly, Reichenbach concludes that the intractability of the debate was the result of applying a two-valued logic to the problem while a 3-valued logic (which he lays out) was more appropriate to qm problems. Using the 3 valued approach, Reichenbach concludes that Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen were wrong because it is not possible to have a complete (and contradiction free) full description of the universe in any system.

Alas there is a lot of math in this book. Much of two large sections are filled with equations and frankly I will admit they are mostly beyond me, but even those that aren't are not worth the time it would take me to understand them. There is also a considerable amount of first order logic, but I have more experience with that, and (lucky for me) that is where most of the philosophical "interpretation" work seems to be done. But you can over look the math and the formal logic expressions and still get a lot of detail concerning the range of interpretations available in 1944 and still debated today. Worth while if the history or deeper mysteries of QM are of any interest.
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By Lappoon Rupert Tang on November 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book arrived in perfect timing
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nilton Ventura on January 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Atendeu a minhas expectativas. Bem impresso e chegou no prazo informado.
Será muito util nas minhas atividades pessoais e recomendo.
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