The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (Princeton Series in Physics)
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"Peebles applies quantum theory, often in a simple, approximate way, to a variety of interesting problems.... Could prove quite a rewarding book for the more able and motivated student."--New Scientist
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The problem that Hugh Everett saw was that when no one is making a measurement, the world hums happily along according to the Schrodinger Wave Equation, which, for example, tells you the probability of finding an electron at any given place. But when you make a measurement, the wave function collapses, and the probability goes to 1 that the electron is where you measured it. So the world seems to be dual: the Wave Equation and the Collapse of the Wave Equation. Everett saw a way to make the World One always, never Two, at the cost of creating quite a few Worlds each of which would also be One. The way this works is that if quantum mechanics tells us the spin of the electron has half a chance of being Up and half of being Down, and then when we measure it and find it is pointing Up, a new Universe is instantly created in which the spin is Down. Everything in each Universe follows the Schrodinger Wave Equation always. Everett of course died a bitter man with his great idea forgotten by all, but a later student, Bryce DeWitt, stumbled across the idea years later and helped to bring it forward again. This book is a record of that experience, with Everett's main papers and appreciations of the papers by several physicists. It's a great intellectual adventure, and you may find yourself captivated by the terrific simplicity of Everett's Great Idea.
This book represented the two principal schools of physics which existed at the time. One was the traditional school which dealt with a world of logical order (comparitively speaking). The other school consisted of the outsiders, new thinkers in the classical representation. They postulated an infinitiely growing universe of multiple universes, each universe bursting into existence based on decisions and actions in another. This concept was so radical that even today, many noted physicists dispute its credibility. I, on the other hand, find it impossible not to believe. To me, it is the only paradigm which works and it explains my own experiences and discoveries with great efficiency.
This book is one of those I continue to refer to, which paralleled and confirmed my own discoveries and which began a long, fascinating journey into the realm of theoretical physics. This book gets me going! Perry Jones
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