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Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity: Metaphysical Intimations of Modern Physics 3rd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1444331271
ISBN-10: 1444331272
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Maudlin's book is outstanding, and is particularly remarkable for three central achievements: the clearest exposition of Bell's theorem I know of; a careful discussion of the (in)compatibility between the implications of that theorem and relativity; and astute suggestions for how one could deal with this problem. Maudlin is a professional philosopher who writes on this most fundamental issue of physics in a way that is far clearer than the work of most physicists."
—"Jean Bricmont", University of Louvain

Review

"An absolutely indispensible read for anyone who wants to understand the problem of "making sense" of quantum mechanics. It is beautifully written and profoundly exciting."
Hilary Putnam, Harvard University 

"The publication of the third edition of Tim Maudlin's classic book undoubtedly represents a most notable event. The richness and depth of the previous editions has been enhanced by the presentation of very recent and important investigation and debate concerning the most crucial problem of modern physics, i.e. the compatibility of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity. Reading this challenging and extremely deep book is a must for all people interested in the conceptual foundations of science."
GianCarlo Ghirardi, Professor Emeritus, University of Trieste

Praise for the second edition

"Maudlin's book is outstanding, and is particularly remarkable for three central achievements: the clearest exposition of Bell's theorem I know of; a careful discussion of the (in)compatibility between the implications of that theorem and relativity; and astute suggestions for how one could deal with this problem. Maudlin is a professional philosopher who writes on this most fundamental issue of physics in a way that is far clearer than the work of most physicists."
Jean Bricmont, University of Louvain

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 3 edition (May 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444331272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444331271
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book is written in a clear style, but reader beware: it is not for those unfamiliar with swimming the deeps. I would say that the proper audience for this book are those who are at least as advanced as grad students in philosophy or mathematics.

You might object and say, "Woah! The topic is physics, right?" Right, but physics people like myself are simply not comfortable with "skating about so quickly" with logic the way that Professor Maudlin does, with so much ease.

If, like myself, you are a phd in physics, you may find yourself reading and rereading some sections, until at last you say "ahhhhh, so THAT's what he is talking about."

If you are not a philosophy or mathematics type - in love with logic - you might do better by starting out with a more physical approach to quantum foundations; one which explains things more in terms of what is going on. I recommend GC Ghirardi's "Sneaking a Look at God's Cards" Especially notable here are discussions of photon polarization experiments and spin measurements. VERY nice job by Ghirardi and the best I've ever seen...

David Albert's "Quantum Mechanics and Experience" is also good, but also not as reader-friendly as Ghirardi.

Having said that, I am not saying "do not read Maudlin." Once you have read Ghirardi and Albert, then you are better armed and might approach Maudlin with more ease... Even then, just take your time with Maudlin and don't be afraid to reread things if needed...

Good luck in your study of this fascinating and important field.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a simplistic gee-whiz book like some other recent books on the same topic, such as Musser's "Spooky Action at a Distance". The mathematics is not more difficult than high school geometry and algebra. Maudlin helps the reader comprehend Einstein's relativity theory, and the effects of observations that would appear to violate this theory. These are physical observations (the major example is light polarization of two particles) that are matched between objects at two locations even before a light beam could reach them to make them match. So there is no local force that could make them match, and nonetheless they match.

Now, this is not an easy book to read because the physical concepts are against common sense, but it gives the reader a sense of satisfaction to follow Maudlin to a deeper understanding of space and time.
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