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Library | Call Number | Material Type | Home Location | Status |
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Central Library | QC16.E5 M43 1999 | Adult Non-Fiction | Non-Fiction Area | Searching... |

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### Summary

### Summary

Albert Einstein was one of the principal founders of the quantum and relativity theories. Until 1925, when the Bose-Einstein statistics was discovered, he made great contributions to the foundations of quantum theory. However, after the discovery of quantum mechanics by Heisenberg and wave mechanics by Schrödinger, with the consequent development of the principles of uncertainty and complementarity, it would seem that Einstein's views completely changed. In his theory of the Brownian motion, Einstein had invoked the theory of probability to establish the reality of atoms and molecules; but, in 1916-17, when he wished to predict the exact instant when an atom would radiate -- and developed his theory of the A and B coefficients -- he wondered whether the "quantum absorption and emission of light could ever be understood in the sense of the complete causality requirement, or would a statistical residue remain? I must admit that there I lack the courage of my convictions. But I would be very unhappy to renounce complete causality", as he wrote to his friend Max Born. However, he wrote later to Born that quantum mechanics "is certainly imposing", but "an inner voice tells me that it is not the real thing … It does not bring us closer to the secret of the 'Old One'. I, at any rate, am convinced that He is not playing at dice". At the 1927 and 1930 Solvay Conferences on Physics in Brussels, Einstein engaged in profound discussions with Niels Bohr and others about his conviction regarding classical determinism versus the statistical causality of quantum mechanics. To the end of his life he retained his belief in a deterministic philosophy. This highly interesting book explores Einstein's views on the nature and structure of physics and reality.

### Author Notes

Trained as a theoretical physicist in the schools of Heisenberg and Pauli, Jagdish Mehra is a distinguished historian of modern physics. He lives in Houston, Texas, USA, where he is associated with the University of Houston

### Table of Contents

Preface | p. ix |

Introduction | p. 1 |

1. The 'Non-Einsteinian Quantum Theory' | p. 3 |

1.1. The Bohr--Sommerfeld Atom | p. 4 |

1.2. Physics and the Correspondence Principle | p. 7 |

1.3. Quantum Mechanics | p. 10 |

1.4. Wave Mechanics | p. 14 |

1.5. The Interpretation of Microphysics | p. 16 |

1.5.1. The Probability Interpretation of the Wave Function | p. 17 |

1.5.2. The Uncertainty Relations | p. 20 |

2. 'The Crisis in Theoretical Physics' | p. 25 |

2.1. Einstein's Early Readings | p. 26 |

2.2. The Basic Principles in Einstein's Early Work | p. 29 |

2.3. The Discussion of the Light-Quantum with Niels Bohr | p. 32 |

2.4. Does Field Theory Present Possibilities for the Solution of the Quantum Problem? | p. 37 |

2.4.1. A New Heuristic Viewpoint | p. 39 |

2.4.2. Foundations of the Theory of Gravitation | p. 42 |

2.4.3. Towards the United Field Theory | p. 45 |

3. Letters on Wave Mechanics | p. 51 |

3.1. The Real Schrodinger Equation | p. 52 |

3.2. On the Uncertainty Relation | p. 54 |

3.3. Are There Quantum Jumps? | p. 55 |

4. Epistemological Discussion with Einstein: Does Quantum Mechanics Describe Reality Correctly? | p. 59 |

4.1. The Fifth Solvay Conference (1927) | p. 60 |

4.2. The Discussions on Epistemological Problems | p. 67 |

4.3. Bohr's Principle of Complementarity and the Copenhagen School | p. 71 |

5. Is the Quantum-Theoretical Description of Nature Complete? | p. 77 |

5.1. 'Knowledge of Past and Future in Quantum Mechanics' | p. 78 |

5.2. The Completeness Problem | p. 79 |

5.3. Physics and Reality | p. 84 |

5.4. Quantum Mechanics and Reality | p. 89 |

6. Does God Play Dice? | p. 93 |

6.1. The 'Statistical Einstein' | p. 96 |

6.2. Einstein's Last Discussion About Statistical Causality and Determinism | p. 99 |

7. Mach contra Kant: Aspects of the Development of Einstein's Natural Philosophy | p. 109 |

7.1. The Heuristic Points of View | p. 110 |

7.2. The Economy of Thought | p. 114 |

7.3. 'Theories Are Free Inventions of the Mind' | p. 116 |

7.4. Between Scylla and Charybdis | p. 120 |

7.5. Presuppositions and Anticipations | p. 122 |

7.6. Intuition and Experience | p. 126 |

7.7. What Is Reality? | p. 128 |

7.8. Description and Reality | p. 130 |

7.9. Science and Hypothesis | p. 133 |

Notes and References | p. 137 |