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Author: Nick Huggett Publisher: Cambridge University Press ISBN: 1108757189 Category : Science Languages : en Pages :
One of the greatest challenges in fundamental physics is to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity in a theory of quantum gravity. A successful theory would have profound consequences for our understanding of space, time, and matter. This collection of essays written by eminent physicists and philosophers discusses these consequences and examines the most important conceptual questions among philosophers and physicists in their search for a quantum theory of gravity. Comprising three parts, the book explores the emergence of classical spacetime, the nature of time, and important questions of the interpretation, metaphysics, and epistemology of quantum gravity. These essays will appeal to both physicists and philosophers of science working on problems in foundational physics, specifically that of quantum gravity.
Author: Arkady Plotnitsky Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media ISBN: 9780387853345 Category : Science Languages : en Pages : 402
This book offers an exploration of the relationships between epistemology and probability in the work of Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, and Erwin Schro- ̈ dinger, and in quantum mechanics and in modern physics as a whole. It also considers the implications of these relationships and of quantum theory itself for our understanding of the nature of human thinking and knowledge in general, or the ‘‘epistemological lesson of quantum mechanics,’’ as Bohr liked 1 to say. These implications are radical and controversial. While they have been seen as scientifically productive and intellectually liberating to some, Bohr and Heisenberg among them, they have been troublesome to many others, such as Schro ̈ dinger and, most prominently, Albert Einstein. Einstein famously refused to believe that God would resort to playing dice or rather to playing with nature in the way quantum mechanics appeared to suggest, which is indeed quite different from playing dice. According to his later (sometime around 1953) remark, a lesser known or commented upon but arguably more important one: ‘‘That the Lord should play [dice], all right; but that He should gamble according to definite rules [i. e. , according to the rules of quantum mechanics, rather than 2 by merely throwing dice], that is beyond me. ’’ Although Einstein’s invocation of God is taken literally sometimes, he was not talking about God but about the way nature works. Bohr’s reply on an earlier occasion to Einstein’s question 1 Cf.
Author: Craig Callender Publisher: OUP Oxford ISBN: 0191559385 Category : Science Languages : en Pages : 704
As the study of time has flourished in the physical and human sciences, the philosophy of time has come into its own as a lively and diverse area of academic research. Philosophers investigate not just the metaphysics of time, and our experience and representation of time, but the role of time in ethics and action, and philosophical issues in the sciences of time, especially with regard to quantum mechanics and relativity theory. This Handbook presents twenty-three specially written essays by leading figures in their fields: it is the first comprehensive collaborative study of the philosophy of time, and will set the agenda for future work.
Author: Dean Rickles Publisher: Routledge ISBN: 1317044312 Category : Philosophy Languages : en Pages : 392
Introducing the reader to the very latest developments in the philosophical foundations of physics, this book covers advanced material at a level suitable for beginner and intermediate students. A detailed overview is provided of the central debates in the philosophy of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, quantum computation, and quantum gravity. Each chapter consists of a 'state of the art' review written by a specialist in the field and introduces the reader to the relevant formal aspects along with the philosophical implications. These, and the various interpretive options, are developed in a self-contained, clear, and concise manner. Special care is given to situating the reader within the contemporary debates by providing numerous references and readings. This book thus enables both philosophers and physicists to engage with the most pressing problems in contemporary philosophy of physics in a fruitful way.
Author: Arkady Plotnitsky Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media ISBN: 1402052545 Category : Science Languages : en Pages : 229
This book offers a new perspective on Niels Bohr's interpretation of quantum mechanics as complementarity, and on the relationships between physics and philosophy in Bohr's work. The importance of quantum field theory for Bohr's thinking has not been adequately addressed in the literature on Bohr. This book provides clarification of Bohr's writings (which usually pose problems of reading), and an analysis of the role of quantum field theory in Bohr's thinking.
Author: Eleanor Knox Publisher: Routledge ISBN: 131722714X Category : Philosophy Languages : en Pages : 786
The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the state of the art in the philosophy of physics. It comprisess 54 self-contained chapters written by leading philosophers of physics at both senior and junior levels, making it the most thorough and detailed volume of its type on the market – nearly every major perspective in the field is represented. The Companion’s 54 chapters are organized into 12 parts. The first seven parts cover all of the major physical theories investigated by philosophers of physics today, and the last five explore key themes that unite the study of these theories. I. Newtonian Mechanics II. Special Relativity III. General Relativity IV. Non-Relativistic Quantum Theory V. Quantum Field Theory VI. Quantum Gravity VII. Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics VIII. Explanation IX. Intertheoretic Relations X. Symmetries XI. Metaphysics XII. Cosmology The difficulty level of the chapters has been carefully pitched so as to offer both accessible summaries for those new to philosophy of physics and standard reference points for active researchers on the front lines. An introductory chapter by the editors maps out the field, and each part also begins with a short summary that places the individual chapters in context. The volume will be indispensable to any serious student or scholar of philosophy of physics.
Author: Melanie Frappier Publisher: Routledge ISBN: 1136285997 Category : Philosophy Languages : en Pages : 282
From Lucretius throwing a spear beyond the boundary of the universe to Einstein racing against a beam of light, thought experiments stand as a fascinating challenge to the necessity of data in the empirical sciences. Are these experiments, conducted uniquely in our imagination, simply rhetorical devices or communication tools or are they an essential part of scientific practice? This volume surveys the current state of the debate and explores new avenues of research into the epistemology of thought experiments.
Author: Publisher: Elsevier ISBN: 9780080569888 Category : Science Languages : en Pages : 357
The sixteen papers collected in this volume are expanded and revised versions of talks delivered at the Second International Conference on the Ontology of Spacetime, organized by the International Society for the Advanced Study of Spacetime (John Earman, President) at Concordia University (Montreal) from 9 to 11 June 2006. Most chapters are devoted to subjects directly relating to the ontology of spacetime. The book starts with four papers that discuss the ontological status of spacetime and the processes occurring in it from a point of view that is first of all conceptual and philosophical. The focus then slightly shifts in the five papers that follow, to considerations more directly involving technical considerations from relativity theory. After this, Time, Becoming and Change take centre stage in the next five papers. The book ends with two excursions into relatively uncharted territory: a consideration of the status of Kaluza-Klein theory, and an investigation of possible relations between the nature of spacetime and condensed matter physics, respectively. Space and time in present-day physics and philosophy Relatively low level of technicality, easily accessible Introduction from scratch of the debates surrounding time Broad spectrum of approaches, coherently represented
Author: David C. Moore Publisher: Nova Publishers ISBN: 9781594546709 Category : Science Languages : en Pages : 282
Quantum gravity is the field of theoretical physics attempting to unify the theory of quantum mechanics, which describes three of the fundamental forces of nature, with general relativity, the theory of the fourth fundamental force: gravity. The ultimate goal is a unified framework for all fundamental forces -- a theory of everything. This book examines state-of-art research in this field.