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Title The world according to quantum mechanics : why the laws of physics make perfect sense after all / Ulrich Mohrhoff.
Imprint Singapore ;; Hackensack, NJ : World Scientific, ©2011.


 Internet  Electronic Book    AVAILABLE
Description 1 online resource (xvii, 298 pages) : illustrations.
Bibliog. Includes bibliographical references (pages 277-281) and index.
Note Available only to authorized UTEP users.
Print version record.
Subject Quantum theory.
Contents 1. Probability : Basic concepts and theorems. 1.1. The principle of indifference. 1.2. Subjective probabilities versus objective probabilities. 1.3. Relative frequencies. 1.4. Adding and multiplying probabilities. 1.5. Conditional probabilities and correlations. 1.6. Expectation value and standard deviation -- 2. A (very) brief history of the "old"; theory. 2.1. Planck. 2.2. Rutherford. 2.3. Bohr. 2.4. de Broglie -- 3. Mathematical interlude. 3.1. Vectors. 3.2. Definite integrals. 3.3. Derivatives. 3.4. Taylor series. 3.5. Exponential function. 3.6. Sine and cosine. 3.7. Integrals. 3.8. Complex numbers -- 4. A (very) brief history of the "new"; theory. 4.1. Schrodinger. 4.2. Born. 4.3. Heisenberg and "uncertainty";. 4.4. Why energy is quantized -- 5. The Feynman route to Schrodinger (stage 1). 5.1. The rules of the game. 5.2. Two slits. 5.3. Interference. 5.4. The propagator as a path integral. 5.5. The time-dependent propagator. 5.6. A free particle. 5.7. A free and stable particle -- 6. Special relativity in a nutshell. 6.1. The principle of relativity. 6.2. Lorentz transformations : General form. 6.3. Composition of velocities. 6.4. The case against positive K. 6.5. An invariant speed. 6.6. Proper time. 6.7. The meaning of mass. 6.8. The case against K = 0. 6.9. Lorentz transformations : Some implications. 6.10. 4-vectors -- 7. The Feynman route to Schrodinger (stage 2). 7.1. Action. 7.2. How to influence a stable particle? 7.3. Enter the wave function. 7.4. The Schrodinger equation -- 8. Why quantum mechanics? 8.1. The classical probability calculus. 8.2. Why nontrivial probabilities? 8.3. Upgrading from classical to quantum. 8.4. Vector spaces. 8.5. Compatible and incompatible elementary tests. 8.6. Noncontextuality. 8.7. The core postulates. 8.8. The trace rule. 8.9. Self-adjoint operators and the spectral theorem. 8.10. Pure states and mixed states. 8.11. How probabilities depend on measurement outcomes. 8.12. How probabilities depend on the times of measurements. 8.13. The rules of the game derived at last -- 9. The classical forces : Effects. 9.1. The principle of "least"; action. 9.2. Geodesic equations for flat spacetime. 9.3. Energy and momentum. 9.4. Vector analysis: Some basic concepts. 9.5. The Lorentz force.
Summary An invaluable supplement to standard textbooks on quantum mechanics, this unique introduction to the general theoretical framework of contemporary physics focuses on conceptual, epistemological, and ontological issues. The theory is developed by pursuing the question : what does it take to have material objects that neither collapse nor explode as soon as they are formed? The stability of matter thus emerges as the chief reason why the laws of physics have the particular form that they do. The first of the book's three parts familiarizes the reader with the basics through a brief historical survey and by following Feynman's route to the Schrodinger equation. The necessary mathematics, including the special theory of relativity, is introduced along the way, to the point that all relevant theoretical concepts can be adequately grasped. Part II takes a closer look at this. As the theory takes shape, it is applied to various experimental arrangements. Several of these are central to the discussion in the final part, which aims at making epistemological and ontological sense of the theory. Pivotal to this task is an understanding of the special status that quantum mechanics attributes to measurements - without dragging in "the consciousness of the observer";. Key to this understanding is a rigorous definition of "macroscopic"; which, while rarely even attempted, is provided in this book.
Other Title Print version: Mohrhoff, Ulrich. World according to quantum mechanics. Singapore ;; Hackensack, NJ : World Scientific, ©2011 9789814293372