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Many Worlds?: Everett, Quantum Theory, & Reality 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199560561
ISBN-10: 0199560560
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book provides arguably the most vivid and comprehensive treatment of both state-of-the art developments within and criticism of the Everett interpretation. Guido Bacciagaluppi, Metascience written with great clarity by some of the best minds in contemporary foundations of physics... a fine read, summarizing nicely the state of the art in one of the most radical no-collapse interpretations of quantum theory. Amit Hagar, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

About the Author


Simon Saunders is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford.

Jon Barrett is a Research Fellow in the Physics Department at the University of Bristol.

Adrian Kent is a Reader in Quantum Physics at the University of Cambridge.

David Wallace is a lecturer in Philosophy of Physics at the University of Oxford.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (August 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199560560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199560561
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.7 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,203,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
50 years after the publication of Hugh Everett's 1957 Ph.D. Thesis work at Princeton under John Archibald Wheeler, the luminaries excited by his "Many Worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics held two conferences, one at Oxford University and one in Waterloo Canada, exploring this topic. Twenty papers from these two conferences, along with commentaries, were then compiled into this 618-page book. This book is divided into six parts. Part 1 consists of papers arguing in favor of the "Many Worlds" (MW) approach, while Part 2 argues against it. Part 3 is devoted to arguments favoring the MW view of probability, and Part 4 argues against that interpretation. The papers in Part 5 discuss alternatives to MW theory. Part 6 lays out the history of the MW theory, including the interaction between Everett and Wheeler.

Quite a few of the papers published in his volume are written at a level accessible to advanced undergraduates studying the physical sciences, while many are tough going even for those of us who can read and understand graduate level textbooks on quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.

The chapter that is most accessible to a general audience is Peter Byrne's "Everett and Wheeler: the Untold Story." Those who have written a Ph.D. thesis will especially enjoy this chapter, which should remind one of his/her own student days and the often vociferous arguments with one's adviser! The reader's heart in this case must certainly go out to Hugh Everett as he tries to explain his novel world view to a sometimes concerned Wheeler. Wheeler, in turn, tries to balance his desire that the views of his brilliant student find a proper audience, while at the same time not wanting to undermine the Copenhagen Interpretation of his old mentor Niels Bohr.
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By JW on January 20, 2016
Format: Paperback
This is one of the very few compendiums on the Many Worlds Interpretation that I've found. It's one of those books you'll find yourself going back to time and again, as it contains difficult to find source material. It's even handed in providing papers and opinions both for and against the theory. This isn't a book you'll necessarily sit down and read cover to cover - it's more of a rich resource and go-to title if you're studying or researching this topic.

If you're not familiar with the basis for the MWI, here are a few primers that might be helpful to read before or in conjunction with this book.

First and foremost, this one is almost entirely devoted to the Many World Interpretation / Parallel Universes and is accessible to everyone and at any level: Excellent.
Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

The best collection of Everettian material:
The Everett Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: Collected Works 1955-1980 with Commentary

If you're coming at this book without any physics background whatsoever:
Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher

And of course, anything by Alan Guth or Andrei Linde on Inflationary Theory.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I have a science background (biology & chemistry), this book had far too many terms that were completely beyond my limited knowledge of physics and astrophysics. I strongly recommend that this book's highly detailed and technological nature be stressed for potential buyers. No attempt was made to make the jargon intelligible to persons outside this narrow field. There was not even a glossary at the end to explain terminology.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very comprehensive and accessible overview of the fundamental questions/problems with the Many Worlds interpretation. Worth it for Wallace's chapter alone.
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