Quantum Theory at the Crossroads: Reconsidering the 1927 Solvay Conference

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-11-30
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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The Fifth Solvay Congress in 1927 was perhaps the most important conference in the history of quantum theory, and it had a huge influence on the future of the subject. Contrary to popular belief, the interpretation of quantum theory was not settled at this conference and no consensus was reached. Instead, a range of sharply conflicting views were presented and extensively discussed, including de Broglie's pilot-wave theory, Born and Heisenberg's quantum mechanics, and Schrödinger's wave mechanics. This book is a complete translation of the original proceedings, with background essays on the three main interpretations of quantum theory presented at the conference. This book will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in physics, and the history and philosophy of quantum theory.

Table of Contents

Part I. Perspectives on the 1927 Solvay conference; 1. Historical introduction; 2. De Broglie's pilot-wave theory; 3 From matrix mechanics to quantum mechanics; 4. Schrödinger's wave mechanics; Part II. Quantum foundations and the 1927 Solvay conference; 5. Quantum theory and the measurement problem; 6 Interference, superposition, and wave packet collapse; 7. Locality and incompleteness; 8. Time, determinism, and the spacetime framework; 9. Guiding fields in 3-space; 10. Scattering and measurement in de Broglie's pilot-wave theory; 11. Pilot-wave theory in retrospect; 12. Beyond the Bohr-Einstein debate; Part III. The proceedings of the 1927 Solvay conference; The intensity of X-ray reflection; Disagreements between experiment and the electromagnetic theory of radiation; The new dynamics of quanta; Quantum mechanics; Wave mechanics; Discussion of Mr Schrödinger's report; Bibliography

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