This book tells the fascinating story of the people and events behind the turbulent changes in attitudes to quantum theory in the second half of the 20th century. The huge success of quantum mechanics as a predictive theory has been accompanied, from the very beginning, by doubts and controversy about its foundations and interpretation. This book looks in detail at how research on foundations evolved after WWII, when it was revived, until the mid 1990s, when most of this research merged into the technological promise of quantum information. It is the story of the quantum dissidents, the scientists who brought this subject from the margins of physics into its mainstream. It is also a history of concepts, experiments, and techniques, and of the relationships between physics and the world at large, touching on themes such as the Cold War, McCarthyism, Zhdanovism, and the unrest of the late 1960s.
Olival Freire, Jr. is a physicist and historian of physics. He is Associate Professor and Researcher at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, president of the Brazilian Society for the History of Science and vice-president of the Commission for the History of Modern Physics, International Union of History and Philosophy of Science.
Challenging the monocracy of the Copenhagen school.- The Everettian heresy.- The monocracy is broken.- The Tausk Controversy on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: Physics, Philosophy, and Politics.- Either local hidden variables or quantum theory.- Cultural revolution and the quantum dissidents.- Acceleration in research on foundations.- Quantum dissidents.- Epilogue.