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Figure 2: Though he formulated its fundamental equation, Schrödinger was one of quantum theory's most acerbic critics.

Figure 3: For Einstein, Schrödinger's cat, or the measurement problem, was no paradox. Rather, it merely demonstrated that the wave function does not provide a complete description of physical reality, for [8, page 671,] ``If we attempt [to work with] the interpretation that the quantum-mechanical description is to be understood as a complete description of the individual system, we are forced to the interpretation that the location of the mark on the strip [or the fact as to whether the cat is dead or alive] is nothing which belongs to the system per se, but that the existence of that location is essentially dependent upon the carrying out of an observation made on the registration-strip. Such an interpretation is certainly by no means absurd from a purely logical standpoint; yet there is hardly likely to be anyone who would be inclined to consider it seriously.''

Figure 4: The leading figures of twentieth century physics, Einstein and Bohr engaged in a decades-long debate about the meaning and interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Figure 5: Over the past half century, Murray Gell-Mann has been one of the most sensible critics of orthodox quantum theory while Richard Feynman was one of its most sensible defenders.

Figure 6: For the past several decades, John Bell was the deepest thinker on the foundations of quantum mechanics. His analysis of nonlocality and hidden variables revitalized the field. Unfortunately, the implications of his work have been widely misunderstood.

Figure 7: The participants of the Fifth Solvay Congress

Figure 8: Some of David Bohm's ideas about quantum mechanics and the nature of physical reality, for example regarding the implicate order, were rather speculative, but his deterministic version of quantum mechanics is quantum theory's most lucid and straightforward completion.

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Next: About this document Up: Quantum Theory Without Observers Previous: Acknowledgments

Shelly Goldstein
Wed Aug 13 17:22:41 EDT 1997