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Helgoland Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution - Rovelli, Carlo, Carnell, Simon, Segre, Erica

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Matheus Puppe

· 24 min read

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Here is a summary of the information provided about Carlo Rovelli’s other books:

  • The Order of Time - Explores notions of time and how it relates to quantum gravity and general relativity. Questions our understanding of time itself.

  • Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity - Provides an overview of Rovelli’s work on loop quantum gravity and his efforts to construct a quantum theory of spacetime.

  • Seven Brief Lessons on Physics - Presents fundamental concepts in physics in a clear, non-technical way for general readers.

  • The First Scientist: Anaximander and His Legacy - Focuses on the ancient Greek philosopher Anaximander, considered one of the first scientists for his rational, non-mythical approach to understanding the world. Examines his influence on early scientific thought.

So in summary, Rovelli has written extensively about physics, especially quantum gravity and his theories regarding loop quantum gravity. He also writes for general audiences about fundamental concepts and the history of early scientific thinking.

  • Heisenberg spent time alone on the island of Helgoland trying to solve the problem of electron motion in atoms that had stumped scientists. He came up with a radical new idea in the early hours of one morning.

  • His idea was to give up describing the electron’s actual movement and instead focus only on quantities that can be observed, like the frequency and amplitude of emitted light. He represented these using tables rather than physical variables.

  • After many calculations, Heisenberg’s results began coming out right, describing Bohr’s rules for electron orbits. He was excited but alarmed by glimpsing the “beautiful interior” of nature’s mathematical structure.

  • He shared his idea with colleagues Max Born and Wolfgang Pauli, though he thought it was “crazy.” Born recognized its importance and submitted it for publication.

  • Over the next few months, with help from Born, Jordan and others, Heisenberg developed his idea into the entire formal structure of quantum mechanics. This transformed physics by focusing on observable quantities rather than theoretical electron movement.

  • In 1926, Erwin Schrödinger independently obtained the same results as Pauli in calculating the Bohr energies of the atom, but using a completely different approach.

  • He came up with this approach while taking a getaway trip in the Swiss Alps with a secret lover, highlighting his unconventional personal life at the time.

  • Schrödinger introduced a mathematical function called the ψ function (psi function) to describe the behavior of an electron in an atom. This function uses probability and allowed calculating the likelihood of finding the electron in different locations.

  • While Schrödinger’s approach yielded the same results, it suggested the electron behaves like a wave rather than a particle moving in orbits. This wave interpretation seemed to provide a clearer picture than Heisenberg’s matrix mechanics.

  • However, the ψ function also seemed to imply the electron has a smeared out probability distribution rather than being a localized particle, raising philosophical problems about measurement and interpretation. So the theory was still unclear in many respects.

  • The passage discusses the development of quantum mechanics by Schrödinger, Heisenberg, and others in the 1920s.

  • Schrödinger came up with the idea that electrons could be treated as waves, described by a wave function ψ. This wave equation accurately predicted energy levels of atoms.

  • Schrödinger initially thought this “wave mechanics” provided a clearer picture than Heisenberg’s “matrix mechanics.” But Heisenberg argued waves would spread out, not match observations of electrons behaving as particles.

  • Born realized ψ describes the probability of finding an electron in a location, not a real physical entity. Both theories predicted probabilities, not certainties.

  • So the wave function did not fully clarify the situation. Quantum mechanics dealt with probabilities rather than definite outcomes, even when all variables seemed to be accounted for. This raised philosophical questions about whether nature involves inherent randomness.

So in summary, it traces the early development and debate around Schrödinger’s wave equation and the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanical predictions.

  • Quantum theory introduced the idea that physical quantities like energy are “granular” or quantized, coming in discrete units rather than being continuous. This was observed in experiments with light and electromagnetic waves.

  • Planck originally proposed that energy is transmitted in discrete “packets” known as quanta, with the energy of each packet proportional to the frequency of the light. This constant of proportionality is known as Planck’s constant h.

  • Einstein later suggested that light itself is made of these quanta, which we now call photons. This helped explain the photoelectric effect.

  • Other phenomena like the quantization of electron orbits in the Bohr model of the atom and the discrete angular momentum values observed by Stern and Gerlach also reflected this granular or quantized nature of physical quantities regulated by Planck’s constant h.

  • Heisenberg’s matrix mechanics and Schrodinger’s wave equation unified these quantum phenomena and allowed predicting and calculating their properties, adding just one key equation to classical physics about non-commutativity of position and momentum operators.

  • This introduced the core ideas of quantum theory - the granular or quantized nature of physical quantities, probabilities rather than definite values, and only predicting observations rather than underlying reality. It marked a significant departure from classical physics.

  • A particle in quantum mechanics can exist in a state of superposition, meaning it exists in multiple configurations or locations simultaneously. This is strange and counterintuitive.

  • A famous example is the double slit experiment, where particles can pass through two slits and interfere with themselves, as if they passed through both slits simultaneously.

  • If you observe or measure which slit the particle passes through, the interference pattern disappears. The act of observation collapses the superposition and forces the particle into a definite state.

  • This phenomenon challenges our classical notions of reality. A particle does not have a definite trajectory or position if unobserved. It is described by a wavefunction that incorporates all possible configurations.

  • Many interpretations have been proposed to understand or explain quantum superpositions and the measurement problem. But the underlying nature of reality according to quantum mechanics remains mysterious and enigmatic. The theory is extremely successful but puzzles over its philosophical implications remain.

  • The act of measuring or observing which path a photon takes causes the interference pattern to disappear in quantum double-slit experiments.

  • If we measure or observe where the photon passes through the slits, it no longer exhibits wave-like behavior and passes through one slit or the other, destroying the interference pattern.

  • Strangely, the photon’s behavior changes even if you don’t directly observe it - just the act of setting up an observation causes it to act like a particle instead of a wave.

  • This illustrates the core mystery of quantum mechanics - that observation or measurement somehow “collapses” the wave function and causes particles to choose definite properties, even if we don’t observe them directly.

  • Schrodinger used his famous thought experiment of a cat in a box to illustrate this same paradox - that according to the equations, the cat must exist in a superposition of being both alive and dead until observed.

  • This challenged our notions of reality and sparked debate among physicists about how to interpret quantum mechanics and reconcile it with ordinary experiences. Several interpretations were proposed to address this, including the Many Worlds interpretation.

So in summary, it discusses the key mystery of how observation seems to make particles “choose” properties in quantum experiments, exemplified by the double slit experiment and Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment. This challenged our understanding of reality and sparked debate about how to interpret quantum mechanics.

Here is a summary of the key points about Hidden Variables theory from the passage:

  • Hidden Variables theory proposes that there are real physical particles underneath the wavefunction description in quantum mechanics. The wavefunction is a real wave that guides the particles.

  • David Bohm developed an influential version of Hidden Variables theory where particles have definite positions but are guided by the wavefunction. The wavefunction obeys the Schrodinger equation.

  • This allows quantum phenomena like interference to occur through the wavefunction interacting with itself, even though particles only exist in one position.

  • It brings quantum mechanics back into the deterministic framework of classical physics, with everything predictable if we knew the particle positions and wavefunction values.

  • However, the wavefunction and particle positions are “hidden variables” that are inaccessible in principle. We only see the effects but not the underlying reality.

  • This requires accepting the existence of an unobservable reality, and it violates relativity by introducing a privileged reference frame. There are also difficulties applying it beyond single particles.

  • So while conceptually clear for single particles, Hidden Variables comes at the cost of introducing unobservable/non-relativistic elements with no empirical confirmation. It is less favored by physicists compared to other interpretations.

  • The author argues that quantum theory should be interpreted in a “relational” way, meaning it describes how physical systems manifest themselves and interact with each other, rather than how they are observed by a special observer.

  • All physical systems, including scientists, instruments, photons, cats, etc. are part of nature and can be considered observers of other systems. Quantum theory describes the interactions and manifestations between all physical systems.

  • There is nothing special about human observations - any interaction between two physical systems can be considered an observation according to quantum theory.

  • The key idea is that physical systems only exist and have properties through their interactions with other systems. Quantum theory is fundamentally a theory of how things influence each other.

  • This relational interpretation has radical implications that provide a better conceptual framework for understanding quantum phenomena than interpretations focusing on observations by a special observer. It allows quantum theory to be applied universally to all physical systems and interactions.

So in summary, the author argues for a relational interpretation of quantum theory where it describes interactions and mutual manifestations between all physical systems, rather than observations by a specific observer.

  • Bohr’s original observation that the properties of an atomic system only emerge through its interaction with measuring equipment can be generalized to all objects in the universe. Properties only manifest through interactions with other things.

  • Reality is a “web of interactions” where objects are nodes and their properties are how they act upon and affect other objects.

  • Without interaction, an object has no definite properties. Asking what an electron’s orbit is when not interacting is meaningless, as properties only exist in interaction.

  • Facts can be real relative to one observer but not another. For the cat, it is asleep or awake, but for the outside observer observing quantum superpositions, the cat is in a superposition of states.

  • Properties exist relationally - they describe how things affect each other during interactions. The quantum state ψ describes probabilistic interactions, and is always relative to the observer.

  • The world emerges as a network of relative, ephemeral interactions and events, rather than objects with fixed properties. Reality has a delicate, probabilistic texture at the quantum scale.

  • “Up” and “down” are descriptive terms for the values that variables can assume when objects interact with each other. The value is determined relative to the interacting objects, not in comparison to anything else.

  • An entity is neither one nor many, but depends on perspective. Reality fractured into different points of view without a single global vision.

  • Entanglement is a quantum phenomenon where two distant objects maintain a connection such that measuring one instantaneously determines the other, even over great distances.

  • Bell’s theorem showed the correlated properties cannot be predetermined, ruling out explanations like faster-than-light communication.

  • The relational perspective says properties only exist in relation to something else. The measurements in different places only become facts relative to each other when the results are communicated, such as by email.

  • At the moment of measurement, everything remains in quantum superposition relative to the other location. Facts are relative to the observer. Correlated properties between objects only become real when a third object interacts with both to observe the correlation. Reality is relational and perspective-dependent.

  • Entanglement is not just a phenomenon between two objects/systems, but involves a third system as well.

  • When two systems interact and become correlated or entangled, this correlation only exists from the perspective of an external, third system that did not participate in the interaction.

  • From the external perspective, the properties of the two interacting systems are no longer definite, but are in a quantum superposition/entanglement with each other.

  • Any measurement or interaction that establishes a correlation between two systems can be seen as creating an entanglement between those systems from the perspective of an external observer.

  • Entanglement is fundamentally about the relationships and correlations between systems, as observed from an external point of view. It is a property that exists in relation to a third object/system, not just between two partners.

  • All information and properties in the world only exists relationally through this web of entanglements between systems, as no system has properties intrinsically, only in how they are correlated or manifested to other systems.

So in summary, the key point is that entanglement involves a three-way relationship between the entangled systems and an external observer, not just a property of the two systems themselves. It is a relational property that emerges from an external perspective on the interaction between objects.

  • In 1909, Lenin published “Materialism and Empirio-Criticism” critiquing Aleksandr Bogdanov’s philosophical perspective called “empiriocriticism.”

  • “Empiriocriticism” was influenced by Ernst Mach’s ideas. Mach inspired early developments in relativity and quantum physics and the scientific study of perception.

  • Bogdanov and Lenin were previously friends and allies in the Bolshevik movement, but Lenin saw Bogdanov as a political rival due to his ideological influence.

  • Lenin strongly criticized “empiriocriticism” as a “reactionary philosophy” and defended what he called “materialism.”

  • Though Mach’s work lacked clarity at times, he had a major influence on 20th century culture through inspiring developments in physics and the Vienna Circle, an influential philosophical group. His work was at the center of political-philosophical debates in Russia prior to the revolution.

So in summary, Lenin critiqued Bogdanov’s perspective which was influenced by Ernst Mach, an underappreciated but hugely influential early 20th century thinker on science, perception, and philosophy. This debate was part of the ideological backdrop to the Russian Revolution.

  • Mach’s ideas had a direct influence on American pragmatism, which is considered one of the roots of today’s analytic philosophy.

  • The novelist Robert Musil wrote his doctoral thesis on Mach’s work, and Mach’s ideas about the scientific interpretation of the world informed Musil’s major novels.

  • Mach knew and influenced many key early 20th century physicists personally, including Wolfgang Pauli and Albert Einstein. His ideas about eliminating metaphysical assumptions from science aligned closely with Heisenberg’s views that led to the founding of quantum mechanics.

  • Mach occupied an interesting intersection of science, politics, philosophy and literature. His critique of 18th century mechanistic views of matter in motion and argument that knowledge should be based only on observable phenomena anticipated key ideas in early quantum theory. However, his views also drew criticism from Lenin and others for being too idealist. Overall, Mach questioned metaphysical assumptions and argued knowledge emerges from human experience and observation of the world.

  • Ernst Mach advocated studying phenomena directly rather than postulating underlying realities. Objects should be seen as nodes between phenomena rather than as things with inherent properties.

  • This opposed metaphysical views of objects existing independently of observation. It influenced Einstein’s rejection of absolute space and Heisenberg removing trajectories from electrons.

  • It opened the possibility of a relational interpretation of quantum mechanics where properties only exist relationally between systems, not inherently in each system.

  • Alexander Bogdanov criticized Lenin for treating matter as an absolute, unchanging category, going against Marx/Engels’ view of knowledge as dynamic. Bogdanov predicted Lenin’s ideological dogmatism would stifle political and cultural development in Russia.

  • Bogdanov advocated leaving power and culture to the people to nurture new ideas, while Lenin sought to reinforce the revolutionary avant-garde’s control of truth.

  • Mach’s anti-metaphysical perspective of letting the world teach us, rather than imposing views on it, relates to Bohr responding to Einstein that “God does not play dice” by saying “Stop telling God what to do.” Nature has more complexity than our concepts.

  • Niels Bohr was instrumental in developing quantum mechanics and defending it from criticisms by Einstein, who never fully accepted the form the theory took.

  • Bohr’s key intuition was that in quantum physics, the interaction between an object and measuring apparatus cannot be ignored or compensated for - it is an integral part of describing the phenomenon.

  • This points to the relational aspect of quantum mechanics, but Bohr’s words could be misinterpreted as relating only to laboratory experiments with observers and instruments.

  • In reality, all of nature is quantum - there is nothing special about a physics lab. All phenomena involve interactions between objects, and properties emerge from these interactions rather than being intrinsic to isolated objects.

  • This “contextuality” means things exist in a relational context rather than having fixed, absolute properties. An isolated object has no particular state.

  • This discovery forces us to think of everything in terms of relations rather than objects with intrinsic attributes. It is a revolutionary conclusion.

  • Relational interpretations of quantum mechanics have been analyzed through various philosophical frameworks like constructive empiricism, neo-Kantianism, and structural realism. The idea of relations preceding objects also has a long history in philosophy.

So in summary, Bohr helped develop quantum mechanics but his words about measurements require clarification - the truly revolutionary aspect is that the theory shows all properties are relational and contextual rather than intrinsic to isolated objects.

  • Diotto and Pezzano published a book titled “The Philosophy of Relations” that explores the idea that the world is woven by relations and interactions rather than by independent objects.

  • This idea can be traced back to Plato’s later works like the Sophist, where he put forth a definition of reality as something that can act on or be acted upon by other things.

  • Even seemingly independent objects like a chair depend on human conception and relations for their meaning and characteristics. Their qualities only exist in relation to observers.

  • Fundamental physics originally sought an underlying basic reality of matter and motion to ground this relational world, but quantum physics shows matter is intrinsically contextual and relational as well.

  • The author was directed many times to Nāgārjuna’s 2nd century Buddhist text “Mūlamadhyamakakārikā,” which profoundly impressed him with its central thesis that nothing exists independently, but only in dependence and relation to other things. This resonates well with quantum phenomena.

  • For Nāgārjuna, concepts like “self” arise from interactions and have no ultimate essence - vanishing Western notions of consciousness. All is relational and “empty” of intrinsic existence. This provides a new lens for understanding quantum reality.

  • Nāgārjuna, an ancient Indian philosopher, argued that all things lack inherent existence or essence. There is no ultimate substance or reality that things derive from or depend on.

  • While conventional, everyday reality exists, one should not look for an underlying essence or substratum. Even concepts like emptiness are empty - they have no self-existence.

  • This perspective goes beyond conventional metaphysics which seeks a primary substance or essence. Nāgārjuna suggests the ultimate substance or point of departure does not exist.

  • His view radicalizes the Buddhist idea that the world is illusory (samsara). For Nāgārjuna, samsara and liberation from it (nirvana) are both empty of inherent existence.

  • His philosophy provides a conceptual tool for thinking about interdependence without autonomous essence. Interdependence requires forgetting autonomous essences.

  • Nāgārjuna’s emptiness liberates inquiry by recognizing questions about an ultimate foundation may not make sense. It does not shut down investigation but frees it up.

  • His perspective resonates with Western skepticism and Wittgenstein’s view of poorly posed questions. It avoids postulating unconvincing starting points for understanding.

  • Quantum phenomena may shape microscopic structures like atoms and photons, but quantum theory does not directly help understand higher-level mental processes like thoughts, perceptions, and consciousness.

  • However, quantum physics teaches us that our intuitive conceptions of “simple matter” need revising. At the quantum scale, particles interact in complex, probabilistic ways rather than having fixed, intrinsic properties.

  • This challenges the idea that matter is fundamentally simple and separate from mind. If matter’s fundamentality comes from relational properties rather than substance, it may be easier to see how complex mental phenomena could emerge from physical interactions.

  • Information and evolution provide partial explanations for how meaning arises in the physical world, but are not sufficient. Information correlates physical variables but does not imbue them with significance. Evolution explains functional utility but not intentional meaning.

  • The ultimate physical basis of concepts like meaning, intentionality, and relevance is still unclear. Quantum physics prompts a reexamination of crude distinctions between objective matter and subjective mind, but does not fully resolve how semantics emerges naturally. The nature of “meaning” in physical terms remains ambiguous.

  • Relative information refers to correlations between two objects. If I observe the objects, I can find correlations between them. For example, if you have information about the color of the sky, then what you tell me about the sky color should correlate with what I observe.

  • An entity like an animal or human that can make calculations and predictions based on information they have can be said to have a stronger sense of “information”. They can use the information to predict future observations, like predicting the sky color if they close and reopen their eyes.

  • This elementary notion of relative information provides the physical foundation for more complex notions of information that have semantic value, like knowledge and meaning.

  • Our knowledge of the world is an example of meaningful information that results from interactions and correlations between ourselves and the external world. Our memories correlate with external observations.

  • The “double meaning” of information gives it an ambiguous character. We understand the world based on our information about it, which is a correlation between us and the world. We know the world from within it as part of it.

  • Rethinking reality in terms of interactions and correlations as suggested by quantum theory helps dispel the myth of a radical difference between the mental and physical worlds. Our mental aspects like meaning, intentionality, emotions can be understood as emerging from physical correlations and interactions.

David Chalmers proposed dividing the problem of consciousness into the “easy” and “hard” problems. The easy problem is understanding how the brain gives rise to behaviors associated with mental life, through neuroscience. The hard problem is understanding subjective experience itself.

Chalmers suggests it may be possible to solve the easy problem through current physics, but doubts the hard problem can be solved the same way. He uses the example of a “zombie” that outwardly acts like a human but lacks subjective experience, to argue that something beyond physics is needed to account for consciousness.

However, the author argues that quantum physics changes the framework. If the world consists only of relationships and perspectives, then all descriptions are inherently first-person, from inside the world, not third-person observers outside it. Mental phenomena like qualia may be seen as complex natural phenomena emerging from interactions, not a leap from physical phenomena.

The author claims asking what consciousness is after explaining neural processes is meaningless, like asking what a storm is after understanding its physics. The commonly held conceptions of an independent “I” and of “matter” are metaphysical errors that contribute to confusion around these questions. A better approach is to think in terms of processes, events and relations, not substances, and see both mental and physical as part of the natural web of information in the world.

  • The passage discusses quantum theory and its implications for how we understand reality. It notes that quantum theory changes the terms of problems like the mind-body problem.

  • It discusses how our visual system works based on recent neuroscience findings. The brain predicts what we should see based on prior knowledge and expectations, and only detects discrepancies between those predictions and sensory input. So vision starts in the brain, not the eyes.

  • This implies that we do not truly observe the external world, but rather dream/expect what we will see based on our knowledge and check for discrepancies. Relevant input is what contradicts expectations, not what confirms them.

  • The whole of human knowledge, including science, operates in the same way - we construct visions/maps of reality and update them when discrepancies are found between ideas and observations.

  • Quantum theory fits into this process - it reveals new maps for thinking about reality that better describe the world. It requires abandoning old prejudices like objects having inherent qualities independent of observation or measurement.

  • In summary, the passage discusses how quantum theory changes our understanding of reality by fitting into this broader process by which the brain and society improve knowledge of the world through detecting and incorporating unexpected information.

Here is a summary of the epigraph:

The epigraph is taken from the ending of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. In the play, Prospero uses the language of the epigraph to comfort the audience after taking them on an imaginative journey through his magical world.

He acknowledges that the cloud-capp’d towers, gorgeous palaces, solemn temples, and great globe that he conjured seem as substantial as a “baseless fabric” or “insubstantial pageant.” But he assures the audience that though the visions will “dissolve” and “fade,” leaving “not a rack behind,” they should still feel “cheerful.”

The author sees a parallel between this passage and their experience exploring quantum physics. Just as Prospero’s solid visions melted into thin air, the author feels the solidity of the physical world seems to have dissolved into nothingness through quantum theory. Reality has broken up like a “play of mirrors.”

Though not a work of mere imagination but of rigorous science, quantum physics has profoundly destabilized our sense of a solid, substantial reality. The author hopes to share this transformative understanding more broadly, just as Shakespeare’s words distilled a “sweet and intoxicating” insight for all of culture. In the end, both Prospero’s magic and quantum physics reveal a strangely beautiful interior to reality.

  • Schrödinger was initially convinced that quantum mechanics was wrong due to its statistical nature. However, he realized studying the non-relativistic limit worked.

  • Born proposed a statistical interpretation of the wave function which resolved issues Schrödinger had. However, Schrödinger remained uncomfortable with the lack of causality and detached nature from reality.

  • Entanglement shows that the full quantum state of two or more objects cannot be described independently. The quantum state of the composite system contains information about correlations that is not contained in the individual states. This indicates objects can be related even when separated in space.

  • Bell’s theorem proved that no local hidden variable theory can reproduce all predictions of quantum mechanics. Experiments have confirmed entanglement and that quantum mechanics is correct even if strange and unfamiliar.

So in summary, Schrödinger had issues with randomness but studying limits worked, while entanglement shows relationships even over distance, supported by Bell’s theorem and experiments.

The definition of an entangled state ψ12(x1,x2) = ψ1(x1)ψ2(x2) includes entangled states. This means the state of the composite system (described by the wavefunction ψ12) cannot be separated or factorized into individual states of the subsystems (ψ1 and ψ2). Entangled states exhibit correlations between the subsystems that cannot be explained by local hidden variables.

Measuring one subsystem instantaneously affects the other, even if they are spatially separated, due to the non-separability of the entangled state. The relationship between the subsystems is external and relational - it does not supervene on the intrinsic properties of the individual subsystems alone. The separability of the Hilbert spaces is lost for entangled states. Entanglement captures holistic, non-separable relations between physical systems.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article “Carlo Rovelli’s Relational Worldview” by Michel Bitbol:

  • The article discusses Carlo Rovelli’s interpretation of quantum mechanics known as relational quantum mechanics. It focuses on the relational and anti-reductionist aspects of Rovelli’s approach.

  • Relational quantum mechanics holds that physical quantities only emerge through interactions and relations between systems, rather than existing as intrinsic properties. There are no predefined properties independent of observation or measurement.

  • Rovelli rejects the notion of an objective reality existing independent of observation. Instead, he proposes a process-based ontology where physical reality is constituted by interactions and relations occurring over time.

  • His view challenges reductionism by denying the existence of elementary constituents of matter that make up a lower-level substrate upon which higher-level phenomena supervene. Rather, there are only structures and relationships that evolve relationally.

  • Rovelli’s approach embraces an anti-monist or non-dualist metaphysics where no single entity or substance constitutes fundamental reality. Reality is composed of dynamic relations rather than fixed objects or properties.

  • Relational quantum mechanics reflects a shift towards a new conception of objectivity based on intersubjective agreement rather than correspondence to independently existing phenomena. Objectivity emerges from coordinated perspectives and experiences.

  • Heisenberg meets Bohr in occupied Denmark in 1927 and develops the quantum theory of the atom, known as matrix mechanics. This involves observable quantities, the Heisenberg matrix, and noncommutative algebra.

  • He receives the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the creation of quantum mechanics. He works on the theory of wave mechanics pioneered by Schrödinger.

  • His “uncertainty principle” establishes fundamental limits on what can be known about quantum systems. This has philosophical implications explored by figures like Mach and Nāgārjuna.

  • The “hidden variables” theory seeks deterministic explanations for quantum phenomena, while the “many worlds” theory provides an interpretation of wave function collapse.

  • Relations and information content are key aspects of the “relational interpretation” of quantum mechanics developed by Rovelli, which avoids metaphysical realism through a relational understanding of quantum events.

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