By Arkady Plotnitsky

Examining Bohr: Physics and Philosophy bargains a brand new point of view on Niels Bohr's interpretation of quantum mechanics as complementarity, and at the relationships among physics and philosophy in Bohr's paintings, which has had momentous value for our knowing of quantum conception and of the character of data ordinarily. Philosophically, the booklet reassesses Bohr's position within the Western philosophical culture, from Kant and Hegel on. bodily, it reconsiders the most concerns at stake within the Bohr-Einstein war of words and within the ongoing debates bearing on quantum physics. It additionally devotes higher realization than in so much commentaries on Bohr to the foremost advancements and differences of his considering bearing on complementarity.Most major between them have been those who happened, first, less than the impression of Bohr's exchanges with Einstein and, moment, lower than the impression of advancements in quantum concept itself, either quantum mechanics and quantum box thought. the significance of quantum box thought for Bohr's pondering has no longer been accurately addressed within the literature on Bohr's, to the enormous detriment to our knowing of the background of quantum physics. Filling this lacuna is without doubt one of the major contributions of the e-book, which additionally permits us to teach why quantum box concept compels us to maneuver past Bohr with out, despite the fact that, easily leaving him in the back of.

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As noted from the outset, however, according to this interpretation, the same is also true as concerns the attributes of classical particle motion, in particular trajectories. We see on the screen only classically manifest traces of the collisions between quantum objects and the screen. The latter themselves are destroyed in the process of this, in Bohr’s terms, “irreversible amplification” of all our encounters with quantum objects to the classical level (PWNB 2, p. 51; PWNB 3, p. 3). If, however, there are counters or other devices that would allow us to check through which slit particles pass (merely setting up the apparatus in a way that such knowledge would in principle be possible would suffice), the interference pattern inevitably disappears.

In other words, we do not know and, in Bohr’s view, ultimately cannot know why certain probability rules, say, those of Planck’s law or Born’s square moduli rule for calculating quantum-mechanical probabilities in fact apply, but they do. Whenever the interference pattern is found, one cannot assign probabilities to the two alternative “histories” of a “particle” passing through either one slit or another on its way to the screen. 13 One can also put it as follows. In counting the probability involved, we must, as it were, take into account the possibility of a particle passing through both slits, when both are open to it, in calculating the probabilities of the outcomes of such experiments, otherwise the probability will not come out right.

34). It is itself an aspect of “the peculiar individuality of quantum effects,” the concept to be discussed in more detail in Chapter 3. In other words, we do not know and, in Bohr’s view, ultimately cannot know why certain probability rules, say, those of Planck’s law or Born’s square moduli rule for calculating quantum-mechanical probabilities in fact apply, but they do. Whenever the interference pattern is found, one cannot assign probabilities to the two alternative “histories” of a “particle” passing through either one slit or another on its way to the screen.

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