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The Debate between Einstein and Bohr, or How to Interpret Quantum Mechanics

From Classical to Quantum Mechanics
  • Pierre Marage
  • Grégoire Wallenborn
Chapter
  • 124 Downloads
Part of the Science Networks · Historical Studies book series (SNHS, volume 22)

Abstract

The famous debate between Einstein and Bohr began at the Solvay Council in 1927. The debate was about the interpretation of quantum mechanics, but also addressed the fundamental question of what the purpose and aim of a physical theory should be. Their conflicting positions were based on two diametrically opposed philosophical approaches to the fundamental problems of physics. The many books popularising quantum mechanics quite rightly place the emphasis on the problem of interpretation: they discuss the opposing positions of Einstein’s “realism” and the “Copenhagen interpretation” of which Bohr is seen as the leading protagonist.

Keywords

Quantum Mechanic Quantum Theory Uncertainty Principle Modern Physic Copenhagen Interpretation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    N. BOHR, Light and Life, in Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge, Science Editions, New York, 1961, p. 5.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. EINSTEIN to M. Born, 4 December 1926, in Einstein-Born. Correspondance 1916–1955Le Seuil, Paris, 1972, p. 107. Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    N. BOHR Physique atomique et connaissance humaineop. cit., p. 210. Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    N. BOHR to A. Einstein, 13 April 1927, quoted in M. Jammer The Philosophy of Quantum mechanicsWiley, New York, 1974, p. 125. Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Quoted in J. PELSENNER Historique des Instituts Internationaux de Physique et de Chimie Solvay depuis leur fondation jusqu’à la deuxième guerre Mondialeunpublished, p. 56 (SIIPC). Google Scholar
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    Discussion générale des idées nouvelles émises, in Electrons et photons (5th Solvay Council of Physics), op. cit., p. 261.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Id.,p. 263.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Id.,p. 264–265.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Id.,p. 265.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Id.,p. 254.Google Scholar
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    Id.,p. 255–256.Google Scholar
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    N. BOHR, Discussion with Einstein on epistemological problems in atomic physics, in Schilpp op. cit.p. 215–216. Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    N.BOHR, The Solvay Meetings and the Developments of Quantum Physics, in La théorie quantique des champs (Twelfth Solvay Council of Physics), op. cit., p. 27–28.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    N. BOHR, Discussion with Einstein on epistemological problems in atomic physics, in Schilpp op. cit.p. 224–226. Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    L. ROSENFELD, Some concluding Remarks and Reminiscences Fundamental Problems in Elementary Particle Physics (14th Solvay Council of Physics, held in Brussels in 1967), John Wiley Interscience, New York, 1968, p. 232. Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    N. BOHR, Discussion with Einstein on epistemological problems in atomic physics, in Schilpp op. cit.p. 228. Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Quoted in M. JAMMER, The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics: the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics in Historical Perspective, Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1974, p. 181.Google Scholar
  18. 18.

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Marage
    • 1
  • Grégoire Wallenborn
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculté des Sciences — CP 230Université Libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium
  2. 2.Institut de Philosophie — CP 175Université Libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium

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