The Philosophy Of Quantum Mechanics – Blokhintsev

In this post, we will see the book The Philosophy Of Quantum Mechanics by D. I. Blokhintsev.

About the book

The present monograph is devoted to the principal problems of quantum mechanics and is based on the conception first stated in my course on ‘Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics’. The scope and purpose of the above course did not allow some principal questions to be brought out as fully as they deserved, and besides, some important points were only very recently developed to a sufficient extent. This refers especially to the analysis of the action of the measuring instrument, whose dual role as an analyser of a quantum ensemble and as a detector of individual events was insufficiently elucidated.

The reader will find that the present monograph is concerned more with theoretical physics than with philosophy. However, I have never separated Weltanschauung from science (and particularly theoretical physics) so that the philosophical implications are also discussed, justifying publication in the philosophical series.

The book was translated from Russian by Express Translation Service and was published in 1968.

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You can get the book here.

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Contents

PREFACE V

I. THE ILLUSION OF DETERMINISM 1

II. CLASSICAL MECHANICS AND CAUSALITY 3

A. Effects of Initial Data 5
B. Random Forces 7
C. Boundary Conditions 10
D. Some Remarks on Fields 11
E. Conclusions 14

III. A GIBBS ENSEMBLE 15

IV. A QUANTUM ENSEMBLE 19

V. THE DENSITY MATRIX 26

VI. CAUSALITY IN QUANTUM MECHANICS 33

A. Equations of Motion for a Mixed Ensemble, Density Matrix p(q, q’) 37
B. Explicit Form of the Equation for the Density Matrix p(q, q’) 39

VII. IS THE WAVE FUNCTION AVOIDABLE? 41

VIII. IS THE WAVE FUNCTION MEASURABLE? 45

IX. DEDUCTION OF THE STRUCTURE OF A MICRO-OBJECT FROM PARTICLE SCATTERING 53

X. THE INVERSE PROBLEM IN QUANTUM MECHANICS 58

XI. A MEASURING INSTRUMENT IS A MACROSCOPIC DEVICE 64

XII. SCHEME OF A MACROSCOPIC INSTRUMENT 70

A. Analysis of a Polarized Beam 71
B. Momentum Measurement 72
C. Determination of the Quantum State of an Atom 75

XIII. THE THEORY OF MEASUREMENT 81

A. Determination of the Internal State of an Atom 82
B. Momentum of a Microparticle determined by Interaction with a Macroscopic Body 85
C. Thermodynamically Unstable Detector 91

XIV. THE WAVE FUNCTION AS THE OBSERVER’S NOTEBOOK 99

XV. IS QUANTUM MECHANICS A COMPLETE THEORY? 104

XVI. LATENT PARAMETERS 109

A. Observable Latent Parameters 110
B. Unobservable Latent Parameters 114

XVII. CAN A PARTICLE HAVE AN INDIVIDUAL HISTORY? 123

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 132

 

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