I Einstein & Bohr Debate

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Quantum physics
Im reading a book called “Quantum” the deabate between Einstien and Bohr. I’ve read reviews on it and this one particular review said the book doen’t delve into the “epistimological paradox” theat caused the two debaters to take their stand in their arguement. My question is, what was their “stand” in regards to this epistimological paradox?
 

Andrew Mason

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Summary: Quantum physics

Im reading a book called “Quantum” the deabate between Einstein and Bohr. I’ve read reviews on it and this one particular review said the book doen’t delve into the “epistimological paradox” theat caused the two debaters to take their stand in their arguement. My question is, what was their “stand” in regards to this epistimological paradox?
Well, a lot has been written about it over the years and one of the things the writers who have written about it don't seem to agree on entirely is what their fundamental positions and disagreements were. Essentially it was a philosophical debate over whether physical behaviour was "knowable" or not. Bohr's Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics was that it provided as complete a picture of nature as could be found and that there were aspects that were unknowable: a particle can exist in many states and it is not possible to determine at any particular time what state it may be in. Einstein used arguments like "God does not play dice with the universe" and proposed the argument concerning Schrodinger's cat. He also criticised the fact that - at that time - it did not take into account relativity. Dirac, Yukawa, Feynman and others later addressed that.

The debate was not science at all, but philosophy (the theory of what it means to know something - or something like that, I think). However, it may have given an impetus to different ideas and ways of looking at things that may have impacted the development of quantum mechanics in some way.

AM
 
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The debate was not science at all, but philosophy
I would not call a discussion about the universality of Heisenberg uncertainty principle with propposed experimental setups as "not science".
 
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I would not call a discussion about the universality of Heisenberg uncertainty principle with propposed experimental setups as "not science".
It is science. But we have seen papers on the issue here. It's invariably a misconception about so called weak measurements, so one could call discussions on it both misunderstandings and philosophy and is especially bad when both happen together. The issue with Bohr is he and Einstein were good friends (despite a few interesting episodes at the end of Einsteins life that were probably caused by Einstein being simply too jaded to debate it further) and so Einstein understood quite well what Bohr meant, however for the rest of us mortals Bohr was a well known mumbler and known to not express himself always clearly. This has led to a number of different versions of Copenhagen and nobody is 100% sure exactly what Bohr subscribed to. He certainly did subscribe to QM being a complete theory and Einstein did not - that seems the main issue. From our current vantage the most common view is due to not having a complete quantum theory of gravity it probably is incomplete - so Einstein may get the last laugh. Really though we do not know. There is also something of a difference in the QM founders approach to science as revealed by a debate between Heisenberg and Dirac:

Personally I side with Dirac and reject Kuhn like views

Weinberg's remarks are also of interest here:

Basically both Einstein and Bohr were wrong - but for me Einstein was probably on the right track - QM is likely incomplete.

Thanks
Bill
 
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Lord Jestocost

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Einstein used arguments like "God does not play dice with the universe"...
…and Bohr replied in a striking way: “But still, it cannot be for us to tell God, how he is to run the world.”
 

Andrew Mason

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I would not call a discussion about the universality of Heisenberg uncertainty principle with propposed experimental setups as "not science".
I am not saying that science wasn't discussed. But the disagreement, which was the subject of the debate, was essentially philosophical. The debate was not focused on the accuracy of the experimental data or the validity of the experiments. The debate appears to have been, as far as I can tell, about the true state of the physical world that lay beyond the known experimental results.

AM
 

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