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Quantum reality in a technicolour fog
on 27 August 2008
This book is all over the place. It includes a 'history of light', and entertaining philosophical diversions, but fundamental insights are infrequent. Quantum reality is lost in the technicolour fog.
The author passes over his previously favoured "Many World Interpretation" for Cramer's "transactional" approach. Hardly mainstream physics. Gribbin himself seems half hearted about it. He sets up the kittens' thought experiment, but leaves them hanging on for 150 pages. He gets back to the kittens in the last few pages, but produces a far too hurried explanation of Cramer's "solution" .
It's essential, in a book of this nature, to give the best account of your main opposition. Then you dismantle it using your best arguments against it. Gribbin doesn't do this. He simply dismisses Copenhagen with little argument, and gets on with the "gosh, wow" stuff. The reader deserves to be treated better.
The title suggests this book might explain how quantum mechanics fits into a considered vision of reality. It doesn't deliver.