Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics: Collected Papers on Quantum Philosophy

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 3, 2004 - Science - 248 pages
John Bell, FRS was one of the leading expositors and interpreters of modern quantum theory. He is particularly famous for his discovery of the crucial difference between the predictions of conventional quantum mechanics and the implications of local causality, a concept insisted on by Einstein. John Bell's work played a major role in the development of our current understanding of the profound nature of quantum concepts and of the fundamental limitations they impose on the applicability of the classical ideas of space, time and locality. This book includes all of John Bell's published and unpublished papers on the conceptual and philosophical problems of quantum mechanics, including two papers that appeared after the first edition was published. The book includes a short Preface written by the author for the first edition, and also an introduction by Alain Aspect that puts into context John Bell's enormous contribution to the quantum philosophy debate.

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This book includes the papers and ideas which have put the cat among the pigeons in modern science: Bell has simply stuck us with the fact that we know the ideas upon which we reliably base something like 40% of our economy are wrong.
We know they're wrong, and we operate on one version of them, the "Copenhagen interpretation," knowing that it's just as wrong as all the other versions, but easier to live with. Some time in the next 40 or 50 years we shall probably come to either a better understanding of how the world works, or of how our minds work, or maybe of how our understanding of how the world works works.
This is where that quest started.
J.S. Bell is a fine writer, a clean expositor, and a witty man. The book is a pleasure.
That's a good thing, because you'll have to read it several times. At least I shall.

Selected pages


On the problem of hidden variables in quantum mechanics
On the EinsteinPodolskyRosen paradox
The moral aspect of quantum mechanics
Introduction to the hiddenvariable question
Subject and object
On wave packet reduction in the ColemanHepp model
The theory of local beables
Locality in quantum mechanics reply to critics
de BroglieBohm delayedchoice doubleslit experiment and density matrix
Quantum mechanics for cosmologists
Bertlmanns socks and the nature of reality
On the impossible pilot wave
Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics
Beables for quantum field theory
Six possible worlds of quantum mechanics
EPR correlations and EPW distributions

How to teach special relativity
EinsteinPodolskyRosen experiments
The measurement theory of Everett and de Brogttes pilot wave
Free variables and local causality
Atomiccascade photons and quantummechanical nonlocality
Are there quantum jumps?
Against measurement
La nouvelle cuisine

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About the author (2004)

J. S. Bell is a distinguished physicist well known for his work on the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics, who died in 1990.

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