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Galileo UnboundA Path Across Life, the Universe and Everything$
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David D. Nolte

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805847

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805847.001.0001

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On the Quantum Footpath

On the Quantum Footpath

Chapter:
(p.172) Chapter 8 On the Quantum Footpath
Source:
Galileo Unbound
Author(s):

David D. Nolte

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198805847.003.0008

This chapter shows how the concept of the trajectory of a quantum particle almost vanished in the battle between Werner Heisenberg’s matrix mechanics and Erwin Schrödinger’s wave mechanics. It took Niels Bohr and his complementarity principle of wave-particle duality to cede back some reality to quantum trajectories. However, Schrödinger and Einstein were not convinced and conceived of quantum entanglement to refute the growing acceptance of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics. Schrödinger’s cat was meant to be an absurdity, but ironically it has become a central paradigm of practical quantum computers. Quantum trajectories took on new meaning when Richard Feynman constructed quantum theory based on the principle of least action, inventing his famous Feynman Diagrams to help explain quantum electrodynamics.

Keywords:   Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, wave mechanics, matrix mechanics, Sommerfeld, Pauli, uncertainty principle, complementarity, entanglement

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