© 2017

Quantum Sense and Nonsense


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Jean Bricmont
    Pages 17-29
  3. Jean Bricmont
    Pages 49-68
  4. Jean Bricmont
    Pages 69-85
  5. Jean Bricmont
    Pages 101-136
  6. Jean Bricmont
    Pages 173-182
  7. Jean Bricmont
    Pages 183-207
  8. Jean Bricmont
    Pages 209-241
  9. Jean Bricmont
    Pages 243-247
  10. Jean Bricmont
    Pages E1-E1
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 249-286

About this book


Permeated by the author's delightful humor, this little book explains, with nearly no mathematics, the main conceptual issues associated with quantum mechanics:

 The issue of determinism. Does quantum mechanics signify the end of a deterministic word-view?

 The role of the human subject or of the "observer" in science. Since Copernicus, science has increasingly tended to dethrone Man from his formerly held special position in the Universe. But quantum mechanics, with its emphasis on the notion of observation, may once more have given a central role to the human subject.

 The issue of locality. Does quantum mechanics imply that instantaneous actions at a distance exist in Nature?

In these pages the author offers a variety of views and answers - bad as well as good - to these questions. The reader will be both entertained and enlightened by Jean Bricmont's clear and incisive arguments.


Quantum mechanics for the general reader Foundations of quantum mechanics Role of the observer in physics Nonlocality in physics de Broglie-Bohm approach History of quantum mechanics Realist interpretations of quantum mechanics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentUCLouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

About the authors

Jean Bricmont (born in 1952) is a theoretical physicist and a professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain. He works on statistical and mathematical physics but has also written about philosophy of science. He is mostly known to the non-academic audience for co-authoring Fashionable Nonsense (also known as Intellectual Impostures) with Alan Sokal, in which they criticize abuses of scientific concepts by postmodernist thinkers and relativism in the philosophy of science.

Bibliographic information


“Quantum Sense and Nonsense goes into the quantum physics in considerably more depth … . I would recommend this title if you want to get a distinctly different picture of quantum physics and an understanding of why, even after 80-90 years, physicists may be happy with the results of the calculations … .” (Brian Clegg, Popular Science,, March, 2018)