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From the infinitely small to the infinitely big, covering over 60 spatial orders of magnitude, quantum theory is used as much to describe the still largely mysterious vibrations of the microscopic strings that could be the basic constituents of the Universe, as to explain the fluctuations of the microwave radiation reaching us from the depths of outer space. Serge Haroche tells us about the scientific theory that revolutionised our understanding of nature and made an extraordinary contributio...
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This book studies the foundations of quantum theory through its relationship to classical physics. This idea goes back to the Copenhagen Interpretation (in the original version due to Bohr and Heisenberg), which the author relates to the mathematical formalism of operator algebras originally created by von Neumann. The book therefore includes comprehensive appendices on functional analysis and C*algebras, as well as a briefer one on logic, category theory, and topos theory. Matters of foundational as well as mathematical interest that are covered in detail include symmetry (and its "spontaneous" breaking), the measurement problem, the KochenSpecker, Free Will, and Bell Theorems, the KadisonSinger conjecture, quantization, indistinguishable particles, the quantum theory of large systems, and quantum logic, the latter in connection with the topos approach to quantum theory.
Quantum physics  Mathematical physics  Matrix theory  Algebra
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When physicists began to explore the world of atoms more precisely, as they endeavoured to understand its structure and the laws governing its behaviour, they soon encountered serious difficulties. Our intuitive concepts, based on our daily experience of the macroscopic world around us, proved to be completely erroneous on the atomic scale; the atom was incomprehensible within the framework of classical physics. In order to uncover these new mysteries, after a great deal of trial and error, e...
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More than a century after the beginning of the quantum revolution, historians continue to explore new facets in the history of quantum physics, and to reexamine some of its betterknown aspects. The thirteen papers collected in this volume, by authors from five continents, present central trends in the current study of quantum physics within its theoretical, experimental, philosophical, technological and social contexts. They discuss developments from the late nineteenth to the early twentyfirst century and go beyond the traditional focus on Europe and North America to include China and Japan, and beyond the Heisenbergs and Diracs to reveal the role of actors who hitherto have played only a marginal role in historical account, but left their mark on the development of quantum physics. Also a wider array of subdisciplines comes into view, from optics to quantum gravity through quantum electrodynamics, from atomic and nuclear to condense matter physics and foundations of physics. Moreover, the volume shows that fields such as dispersion, physical chemistry and solid state physics should not be seen merely as areas of applications of ideas that evolved in other contexts, but should be regarded as birthplaces of important theoretical insights. The perspective of the papers ranges from local histories to global discussions, from conceptual changes via the role of experimentation to interactions with social and technological forces and to the interpretation of the theory.
MPRL  Edition Open Access  history of quantum physics  foundations of quantum physics  historical epistemology  old quantum theory  quantum mechanics
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This book presents the deterministic view of quantum mechanics developed by Nobel Laureate Gerard 't Hooft.Dissatisfied with the uncomfortable gaps in the way conventional quantum mechanics meshes with the classical world, 't Hooft has revived the old hidden variable ideas, but now in a much more systematic way than usual. In this, quantum mechanics is viewed as a tool rather than a theory.The author gives examples of models that are classical in essence, but can be analysed by the use of quantum techniques, and argues that even the Standard Model, together with gravitational interactions, might be viewed as a quantum mechanical approach to analysing a system that could be classical at its core. He shows how this approach, even though it is based on hidden variables, can be plausibly reconciled with Bell's theorem, and how the usual objections voiced against the idea of ‘superdeterminism' can be overcome, at least in principle.This framework elegantly explains  and automatically cures  the problems of the wave function collapse and the measurement problem. Even the existence of an “arrow of time" can perhaps be explained in a more elegant way than usual. As well as reviewing the author’s earlier work in the field, the book also contains many new observations and calculations. It provides stimulating reading for all physicists working on the foundations of quantum theory.
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Computer simulations are omnipresent media in today’s knowledge production. For scientific endeavors such as the detection of gravitational waves and the exploration of subatomic worlds, simulations are essential; however, the epistemic status of computer simulations is rather controversial as they are neither just theory nor just experiment. Therefore, computer simulations have challenged wellestablished insights and common scientific practices as well as our very understanding of knowledge. This volume contributes to the ongoing discussion on the epistemic position of computer simulations in a variety of physical disciplines, such as quantum optics, quantum mechanics, and computational physics. Originating from an interdisciplinary event, it shows that accounts of contemporary physics can constructively interfere with media theory, philosophy, and the history of science.
interferences  quantum physics  computer simulation  STS  science and technology studies  computer  media theory  simulation  events  physics
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Tensor network is a fundamental mathematical tool with a huge range of applications in physics, such as condensed matter physics, statistic physics, high energy physics, and quantum information sciences. This open access book aims to explain the tensor network contraction approaches in a systematic way, from the basic definitions to the important applications. This book is also useful to those who apply tensor networks in areas beyond physics, such as machine learning and the bigdata analysis. Tensor network originates from the numerical renormalization group approach proposed by K. G. Wilson in 1975. Through a rapid development in the last two decades, tensor network has become a powerful numerical tool that can efficiently simulate a wide range of scientific problems, with particular success in quantum manybody physics. Varieties of tensor network algorithms have been proposed for different problems. However, the connections among different algorithms are not well discussed or reviewed. To fill this gap, this book explains the fundamental concepts and basic ideas that connect and/or unify different strategies of the tensor network contraction algorithms. In addition, some of the recent progresses in dealing with tensor decomposition techniques and quantum simulations are also represented in this book to help the readers to better understand tensor network. This open access book is intended for graduated students, but can also be used as a professional book for researchers in the related fields. To understand most of the contents in the book, only basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and linear algebra is required. In order to fully understand some advanced parts, the reader will need to be familiar with notion of condensed matter physics and quantum information, that however are not necessary to understand the main parts of the book. This book is a good source for nonspecialists on quantum physics to understand tensor network algorithms and the related mathematics.
Physics  Physics  Quantum physics  Quantum optics  Statistical physics  Machine learning  Elementary particles (Physics)  Quantum field theory
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Historians of quantum physics and early quantum mechanics have seldom paid attention to the ways the new theory was integrated in physics textbooks, perhaps taking for granted that novelties in science can only be taught once they are fully understood and generally accepted. The essays in this volume challenge this view by studying some of the early books and textbooks in which quantum theory was first introduced. By so doing, the authors show the many ways books and textbooks embody pedagogical and research practices in certain local environments (geographical, disciplinary, in terms of expertise, etc.), as well as the circular feedback between research and pedagogy.Textbooks can become the subject of a history of early quantum physics since the very process of writing a textbook, (i.e., of trying to organise a new doctrine to the newcomer in an accessible way), together with its life as an object that is issued, used, changed, and abandoned, incorporates many of the tensions between research and pedagogy. Furthermore, the life of these books can also help us better situate less known actors in the history of quantum physics, by bringing into the picture the reasons, the context, the research agenda, and other aspects that cannot be found in the publication of research papers or in the abundant correspondence between the main physicists involved in this story.The case studies collected in this volume may, at first glance, look like a heterogeneous set. Some books were not, in fact, primarily addressing quantum theory as such, but including some of its early principles in reshaping the established foundational principles and modes of teaching in fields such as optics and physical chemistry. Others were written by scientists not directly involved in the development of the new physics, and their books were addressed at an audience interested in having only a superficial knowledge of the theory of quanta. Finally, the main actors in the formulation of quantum theory wrote books on the quantum for different purposes: as a way to organise their thoughts, to spread a particular interpretation of the theory, or to press for their personal research agendas, among others. This heterogeneity is, however, the tool the editors use to give a full picture of the role of early textbooks in the history of quantum physics.
MPRL  Edition Open Access  history of quantum physics  physics textbooks  history of pedagogy  history of science  science textbooks
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