Quantum Non-locality and Relativity

Quantum Non-locality and Relativity : Metaphysical Intimations of Modern Physics

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Description

Modern physics was born from two great revolutions: relativity and quantum theory. Relativity imposed a locality constraint on physical theories: since nothing can go faster than light, very distant events cannot influence one another. Only in the last few decades has it become clear that quantum theory violates this constraint. The work of J. S. Bell has demonstrated that no local theory can return the predictions of quantum theory. Thus it would seem that the central pillars of modern physics are contradictory. Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity examines the nature and possible resolution of this conflict. Beginning with accurate but non-technical presentations of Bell's work and of Special Relativity, there follows a close examination of different interpretations of relativity and of the sort of locality each demands. The story continues with a brief discussion of the General Theory of Relativity. This second edition also includes a new author's preface and an additional appendix. The book introduces philosophers to the relevant physics and demonstrates how philosophical analysis can help to resolve some of the problems.
All of the physics is presented from first principles, and as much as possible is presented pictorially.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 26.67mm | 588g
  • BLACKWELL PUBLISHERS
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 13
  • 0631232206
  • 9780631232209

Back cover copy

Modern physics was born from two great revolutions: relativity and quantum theory. Relativity imposed a locality constraint on physical theories: since nothing can go faster than light, very distant events cannot influence one another. Only in the last few decades has it become clear that quantum theory violates this constraint. The work of J. S. Bell has demonstrated that no local theory can return the predictions of quantum theory. Thus it would seem that the central pillars of modern physics are contradictory."
Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity" examines the nature and possible resolution of this conflict. Beginning with accurate but non-technical presentations of Bell's work and of Special Relativity, there follows a close examination of different interpretations of relativity and of the sort of locality each demands. The story continues with a brief discussion of the General Theory of Relativity. This second edition also includes a new author's preface and an additional appendix.
The book introduces philosophers to the relevant physics and demonstrates how philosophical analysis can help to resolve some of the problems. All of the physics is presented from first principles, and as much as possible is presented pictorially.
show more

Table of contents

Preface to First Edition. Preface to Second Edition. Introduction. 1. Bell's Theorem: The Prize of Locality. Appendix A: The GHZ Scheme. 2. Relativity and Space-time Structure. 3. Finger Exercise: Superluminal Matter Transport. 4. Controlling the Connection: Signals. Appendix B: Bohmian Mechanics. 5. Causation. 6. Secret Messages. 7. Points of View. 8. Life in the Elastic Space-time. 9. Morals. An Overview of Quantum Mechanics. References. Index.
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Review quote

"Maudlin's book is outstanding, and is particularly remarkable for three central achievements: the clearest exposition of Bell's theorem I know of; a careful discussion of the (in)compatibility between the implications of that theorem and relativity; and astute suggestions for how one could deal with this problem. Maudlin is a professional philosopher who writes on this most fundamental issue of physics in a way that is far clearer than the work of most physicists." Jean Bricmont, University of Louvain
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About Tim Maudlin

Tim Maudlin is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He specializes in philosophy of science, especially philosophy of physics, metaphysics as informed by Relativity and the quantum theory and the methodology of science.
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Rating details

47 ratings
4.49 out of 5 stars
5 62% (29)
4 30% (14)
3 4% (2)
2 4% (2)
1 0% (0)
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