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Quantum theory is one of the most fascinating and successful constructs in the intellectual history of mankind. Nonetheless, the theory has very shaky philosophical foundations.
This book contains thoughtful discussions by eminent researchers of a spate of experimental techniques newly developed to test some of the stranger predictions of quantum physics. The advances considered include recent experiments in quantum optics, electron and ion interferometry, photon down conversion in nonlinear crystals, single trapped ions interacting with laser beams, atom-field coupling in micromaser cavities, quantum computation, quantum cryptography, decoherence and macroscopic quantum effects, the quantum state diffusion model, quantum gravity, the quantum mechanics of cosmology and quantum non-locality along with the continuing debate surrounding the interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Audience: The book is intended for physicists, philosophers of science, mathematicians, graduate students and those interested in the foundations of quantum theory.
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For many physicists quantum theory contains strong conceptual difficulties, while for others the apparent conclusions about the reality of our physical world and the ways in which we discover that reality remain philosophically unacceptable.
This book focuses on recent theoretical and experimental developments in the foundations of quantum physics, including topics such as the puzzles and paradoxes which appear when general relativity and quantum mechanics are combined; the emergence of classical properties from quantum mechanics; stochastic electrodynamics; EPR experiments and Bell's Theorem; the consistent histories approach and the problem of datum uniqueness in quantum mechanics; non-local measurements and teleportation of quantum states; quantum non-demolition measurements in optics and matter wave properties observed by neutron, electron and atomic interferometry.
Audience: This volume is intended for graduate students of physics and those interested in the foundations of quantum theory.