- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (July 26, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199655502
- ISBN-13: 978-0199655502
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 1.3 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,422,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Many Worlds?: Everett, Quantum Theory, & Reality Reprint Edition
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Review from previous edition: "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." l--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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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.
David Deutsch's chapter is also easy to read, though it verges on the polemic in its insistence that anything other than the MW view is utterly inconceivable. Max Tegmark pens a very digestible paper which goes into the variety of parallel universes that might be consistent with MW theory. I was also interested to discover that many of the chapters mention Bohmian mechanics as a close cousin of MW theory. Quantum Decoherence guru Wojciech Zurek addresses, among other things, one of the major points of Everett's work: that of deriving Born's rule that the probability distribution equals the magnitude of the wave function squared--and that such a conclusion can be reached without assuming the MW view.
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.