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Google Scholar. Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge , J.
- The Bohr-Einstein Debate and the Philosophers’ Debate over Realism versus Anti-Realism.
- Expertise. Insights. Illumination..
- Sight Unseen.
Wiley, New York. Cushing, James T.
Bohr–Einstein debates - Semantic Scholar
Fine, Arthur Folse, Henry Folse, Henry a. Fine and P.
Machamer eds. Folse, Henry b. Weingartner and G. Dorn eds.
Perspectives on Science. If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE.
Additional Information. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Contact Contact Us Help. Another influential skeptic was the Danish physicist Niels Bohr , a remarkably profound thinker and inveterate mumbler who continually struggled to find coherent expressions of his ideas.
Bohr at first refused to believe in the reality of photons, even after the American experimenter Arthur Compton first found compelling evidence for them in For many of the physicists who forged the first comprehensive quantum theory in the second half of the s, Bohr was a kind of intellectual godfather.
Through cajoling and persistent tactful criticism, he helped them to do their best work and produce the components of the theory, whose coherence and unity emerged only gradually. One of its creators, the taciturn English physicist Paul Dirac, liked to point out that quantum mechanics was the first mathematical theory in science in which the discoverers did not fully understand the meaning of the terms in their own equations. The story is chock-full of colorful characters, including the two physicists who independently set out the first two versions of the theory, which initially appeared to be quite different.
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The first was the young Werner Heisenberg, not two years past his doctorate, fun-seeking and intensely competitive, not least at the Ping-Pong table. Kumar will not win prizes for historical originality. This is an unapologetically orthodox account, largely derived from the standard sources and without the benefit of some of the latest scholarship. Occasionally, the narrative appears to be driven by a wish to thread together every amusing story, anecdote and famous quotation. For Bohr, physics was not about finding out what nature is, but about what can be said about it.
Quantum mechanics was a complete theory of the behavior of matter and light, and we just have to come to terms with the limitations it places on what can be known, for example as illustrated by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Einstein was having none of it. He believed that there is an objective world out there and that it is the job of scientists to describe it.
The appearance of probabilities in the theory was, for him, evidence of its incompleteness. In , after both Einstein and Bohr had died, the Irish physicist John Bell did something they had failed to do; he found a way of testing experimentally which of their opposing viewpoints most accurately described nature, by laying out a mathematical theorem.