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Do We Really Understand Quantum Mechanics?

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Quantum mechanics impacts on many areas of physics from pure theory to applications. However it is difficult to interpret, and philosophical contradictions and counter-intuitive results are apparent at a fundamental level. This book presents current understanding of the theory, providing a historical introduction and discussing many of its interpretations. Fully revised from the first edition, this book contains state-of-the-art research including loophole-free experimental Bell test, and theorems on the reality of the wave function including the PBR theorem, and a new section on quantum simulation. More interpretations are now included, and these are described and compared, including discussion of their successes and difficulties. Other sections have been expanded, including quantum error correction codes and the reference section. It is ideal for researchers in physics and maths, and philosophers of science interested in quantum physics and its foundations.

Presents experiments that show quantum measurement effects in real time, illustrating some extraordinary features of quantum mechanics

Presents a historical introduction to quantum mechanics, providing context and helping beginners understand the present difficulties and challenges

Provides a go-to reference for the specialist, including more than 700 citations and a detailed index

Edition Number:
Laloe Franck
Release Year:

Franck Laloë is a Researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and belongs to the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel at the Ecole Normale Supérieure. He is co-author of the volumes of Quantum Mechanics (1977), with Clause Cohen-Tannoudji and Bernard Diu, one of the most well-known textbooks on quantum mechanics.


1. Historical perspective
2. Present situation, remaining conceptual difficulties
3. The theorem of Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen
4. Bell theorem
5. Other inequalities, Cirelson's limit, signaling
6. More theorems
7. Quantum entanglement
8. Applications of quantum entanglement
9. Quantum measurement
10. Experiments: quantum reduction seen in real time
11. Various interpretations and reconstructions of quantum mechanics
12. Conclusion
13. Annex: basic mathematical tools of quantum mechanics
Appendix A. Mental content of the state vector
Appendix B. Bell inequalities in non-deterministic local theories
Appendix C. Attempting to construct a 'separable' quantum theory
Appendix D. Maximal probability for a state
Appendix E. The influence of pair selection
Appendix F. Impossibility of superluminal communication
Appendix G. Quantum measurements at different times
Appendix H. Manipulating and preparing additional variables
Appendix I. Correlations and trajectories in Bohmian theory
Appendix J. Models for spontaneous reduction of the state vector
Appendix K. Consistent families of histories
Appendix L. Attractive Schrödinger dynamics