Philosophers
Mortimer Adler Rogers Albritton Alexander of Aphrodisias Samuel Alexander William Alston Anaximander G.E.M.Anscombe Anselm Louise Antony Thomas Aquinas Aristotle David Armstrong Harald Atmanspacher Robert Audi Augustine J.L.Austin A.J.Ayer Alexander Bain Mark Balaguer Jeffrey Barrett William Belsham Henri Bergson George Berkeley Isaiah Berlin Richard J. Bernstein Bernard Berofsky Robert Bishop Max Black Susanne Bobzien Emil du BoisReymond Hilary Bok Laurence BonJour George Boole Émile Boutroux F.H.Bradley C.D.Broad Michael Burke Lawrence Cahoone C.A.Campbell Joseph Keim Campbell Rudolf Carnap Carneades Ernst Cassirer David Chalmers Roderick Chisholm Chrysippus Cicero Randolph Clarke Samuel Clarke Anthony Collins Antonella Corradini Diodorus Cronus Jonathan Dancy Donald Davidson Mario De Caro Democritus Daniel Dennett Jacques Derrida René Descartes Richard Double Fred Dretske John Dupré John Earman Laura Waddell Ekstrom Epictetus Epicurus Herbert Feigl Arthur Fine John Martin Fischer Owen Flanagan Luciano Floridi Philippa Foot Alfred Fouilleé Harry Frankfurt Richard L. Franklin Michael Frede Gottlob Frege Peter Geach Edmund Gettier Carl Ginet Alvin Goldman Gorgias Nicholas St. John Green H.Paul Grice Ian Hacking Ishtiyaque Haji Stuart Hampshire W.F.R.Hardie Sam Harris William Hasker R.M.Hare Georg W.F. Hegel Martin Heidegger Heraclitus R.E.Hobart Thomas Hobbes David Hodgson Shadsworth Hodgson Baron d'Holbach Ted Honderich Pamela Huby David Hume Ferenc Huoranszki William James Lord Kames Robert Kane Immanuel Kant Tomis Kapitan Jaegwon Kim William King Hilary Kornblith Christine Korsgaard Saul Kripke Andrea Lavazza Christoph Lehner Keith Lehrer Gottfried Leibniz Jules Lequyer Leucippus Michael Levin George Henry Lewes C.I.Lewis David Lewis Peter Lipton C. Lloyd Morgan John Locke Michael Lockwood E. Jonathan Lowe John R. Lucas Lucretius Alasdair MacIntyre Ruth Barcan Marcus James Martineau Storrs McCall Hugh McCann Colin McGinn Michael McKenna Brian McLaughlin John McTaggart Paul E. Meehl Uwe Meixner Alfred Mele Trenton Merricks John Stuart Mill Dickinson Miller G.E.Moore Thomas Nagel Otto Neurath Friedrich Nietzsche John Norton P.H.NowellSmith Robert Nozick William of Ockham Timothy O'Connor Parmenides David F. Pears Charles Sanders Peirce Derk Pereboom Steven Pinker Plato Karl Popper Porphyry Huw Price H.A.Prichard Protagoras Hilary Putnam Willard van Orman Quine Frank Ramsey Ayn Rand Michael Rea Thomas Reid Charles Renouvier Nicholas Rescher C.W.Rietdijk Richard Rorty Josiah Royce Bertrand Russell Paul Russell Gilbert Ryle JeanPaul Sartre Kenneth Sayre T.M.Scanlon Moritz Schlick Arthur Schopenhauer John Searle Wilfrid Sellars Alan Sidelle Ted Sider Henry Sidgwick Walter SinnottArmstrong J.J.C.Smart Saul Smilansky Michael Smith Baruch Spinoza L. Susan Stebbing Isabelle Stengers George F. Stout Galen Strawson Peter Strawson Eleonore Stump Francisco Suárez Richard Taylor Kevin Timpe Mark Twain Peter Unger Peter van Inwagen Manuel Vargas John Venn Kadri Vihvelin Voltaire G.H. von Wright David Foster Wallace R. Jay Wallace W.G.Ward Ted Warfield Roy Weatherford C.F. von Weizsäcker William Whewell Alfred North Whitehead David Widerker David Wiggins Bernard Williams Timothy Williamson Ludwig Wittgenstein Susan Wolf Scientists Michael Arbib Walter Baade Bernard Baars Leslie Ballentine Gregory Bateson John S. Bell Mara Beller Charles Bennett Ludwig von Bertalanffy Susan Blackmore Margaret Boden David Bohm Niels Bohr Ludwig Boltzmann Emile Borel Max Born Satyendra Nath Bose Walther Bothe Hans Briegel Leon Brillouin Stephen Brush Henry Thomas Buckle S. H. Burbury Donald Campbell Anthony Cashmore Eric Chaisson JeanPierre Changeux Arthur Holly Compton John Conway John Cramer E. P. Culverwell Olivier Darrigol Charles Darwin Richard Dawkins Terrence Deacon Lüder Deecke Richard Dedekind Louis de Broglie Max Delbrück Abraham de Moivre Paul Dirac Hans Driesch John Eccles Arthur Stanley Eddington Gerald Edelman Paul Ehrenfest Albert Einstein Hugh Everett, III Franz Exner Richard Feynman R. A. Fisher Joseph Fourier Philipp Frank Lila Gatlin Michael Gazzaniga GianCarlo Ghirardi J. Willard Gibbs Nicolas Gisin Paul Glimcher Thomas Gold A.O.Gomes Brian Goodwin Joshua Greene Jacques Hadamard Mark Hadley Patrick Haggard Stuart Hameroff Augustin Hamon Sam Harris Hyman Hartman JohnDylan Haynes Donald Hebb Martin Heisenberg Werner Heisenberg John Herschel Art Hobson Jesper Hoffmeyer E. T. Jaynes William Stanley Jevons Roman Jakobson Pascual Jordan Ruth E. Kastner Stuart Kauffman Martin J. Klein Simon Kochen Hans Kornhuber Stephen Kosslyn Ladislav Kovàč Leopold Kronecker Rolf Landauer Alfred Landé PierreSimon Laplace David Layzer Benjamin Libet Seth Lloyd Hendrik Lorentz Josef Loschmidt Ernst Mach Donald MacKay Henry Margenau James Clerk Maxwell Ernst Mayr John McCarthy Ulrich Mohrhoff Jacques Monod Emmy Noether Abraham Pais Howard Pattee Wolfgang Pauli Massimo Pauri Roger Penrose Steven Pinker Colin Pittendrigh Max Planck Susan Pockett Henri Poincaré Daniel Pollen Ilya Prigogine Hans Primas Adolphe Quételet Jürgen Renn/a> Juan Roederer Jerome Rothstein David Ruelle Tilman Sauer Erwin Schrödinger Aaron Schurger Claude Shannon David Shiang Herbert Simon Dean Keith Simonton B. F. Skinner Lee Smolin Roger Sperry John Stachel Henry Stapp Tom Stonier Antoine Suarez Leo Szilard Max Tegmark William Thomson (Kelvin) Giulio Tononi Peter Tse Vlatko Vedral Heinz von Foerster John von Neumann John B. Watson Daniel Wegner Steven Weinberg Paul A. Weiss John Wheeler Wilhelm Wien Norbert Wiener Eugene Wigner E. O. Wilson H. Dieter Zeh Ernst Zermelo Wojciech Zurek Konrad Zuse Fritz Zwicky Presentations Biosemiotics Free Will Mental Causation James Symposium 
WaveParticle Duality
In what sense can something be, at one and the same time, both a discrete particle (Werner Heisenberg) and a continuous wave (Erwin Schrödinger)? The information interpretation of quantum mechanics explains that the wave function is purely abstract immaterial information about where concrete material particles will be found statistically when a large number of particles are measured. Quantum waves are never seen. They are not "observables," which Heisenberg made his chief criterion for the new quantum mechanics. He declared that the electron orbits of the "old" quantum theory of the Bohr atom simply do not exist because they are not observable. Only the spectral lines of light given off by transitions between energy levels are observable, he said. Following the traditional Copenhagen Interpretation, many physicists today describe a quantum object as either a wave or a particle, depending on the free choice of the experimenter.
Calculations by a physicist describing the evolution of a quantum system, an electron or a photon, for example, goes in two stages. Between measurements there is a wave stage in which the wave function explores all the possibilities available, given the configuration of surrounding particles, especially those nearby, which represent the boundary conditions for the Schrödinger equation of motion for the wave function. Because the space where the possibilities are nonzero is large, we say that the wave function (or "possibilities function") is nonlocal. Albert Einstein always hoped for a local "objective reality."
An observer can not gain any empirical knowledge unless new information has first been irreversibly recorded, e.g., when a particle has been localized in the experimental apparatus.
The other stage is measurement, when the photon or electron interacts with one or more of the surrounding particles, including the measurement apparatus. At this point, one of the nonlocal possibilities may be "actualized" or localized.
The quantum process raises deep metaphysical questions about possibilities, with their calculable probabilities, and the actualities. Information about the new interaction may or may not be recorded. If the new information is irreversibly recorded, it may later be observed. It must be recorded before it can be observed. A "conscious observer" is not involved in the recording of the measurement. The recording of a measurement happens before the observer makes an observation. In modern physics, that can be days or weeks before the observation which requires lengthy calculations and "data reduction." When you hear or read that electrons are both waves and particles, you might think "eitheror"  between measurements a wave of possibilities, then an actual particle. Or you might accept Einstein's deeply help belief that it is always a particle with a path, despite the practical impossibility of making measurements along the path. That a light wave might actually be composed of quanta (later called photons) was first proposed by Albert Einstein as his "lightquantum hypothesis." He wrote in 1905:
On the modern quantum view, what spreads out is a "nonlocal" wave of probability amplitude,
the possibilities for absorption, followed by a whole photon actually being absorbed ("localized") somewhere. In accordance with the assumption to be considered here, the energy of a light ray spreading out from a point source is not continuously distributed over an increasing space but consists of a finite number of energy quanta which are localized at points in space, which move without dividing, and which can only be produced and absorbed as whole units. In 1909, Einstein speculated about the connection between wave and particle views:
Also in 1909, Einstein’s imagined an experiment in which the energy of an electron (a cathode ray) is converted to a light quantum and back. Consider the laws governing the production of secondary cathode radiation by Xrays. If primary cathode rays impinge on a metal plate P1, they produce Xrays. If these Xrays impinge on a second metal plate P2, cathode rays are again produced whose speed is of the same order as that of the primary cathode rays. Extending his 1905 hypothesis, Einstein shows energy can not spread out like a wave continuously over a large volume, because it is absorbed in its entirety to produce an ejected electron at P2, with essentially the same energy as the original electron absorbed at P1.
Rather, at least a large part of this energy seems to be available at some place on P2, or somewhere else. The elementary process of the emission of radiation appears to be directional. Moreover, one has the impression that the production of Xrays at P1 and the production of secondary cathode rays at P2 are essentially inverse processes...Therefore, the constitution of radiation seems to be different from what our oscillation theory predicts. Einstein thus imagines many singular points (his light quanta) whose average behavior has the shape of a light wave. Just as a large number of randomly distributed discrete points approaches the smooth continuous appearance of the normal distribution, Einstein imagines the “totality” of points would look like an oscillating light wave or field. Einstein never published the implicit idea that the light wave would be stronger where there are many particles, less where there are few. But he described to many friends, including Max Born, the idea of a “ghost field” (Gespensterfeld) or “guiding field” (Führungsfeld) that represents the probability of finding a particle at different positions. Our modern view of the relationship between waves and particles is straightforward. The wave is a complex function with values at every place in space whose absolute square gives us the probability of finding a discrete particle there. The wave (later the wave function ψ) is similar to the continuous gravitational or electromagnetic fields that specify the force on a test particle at any place in space and time. These “probability” fields are not substantial or as Einstein called them “ponderable.” The “fusion of wave and emission theories of light” that Einstein expected is now seen to consist of a theoretical continuous field that provides abstract information (probabilities) about the outcomes of experiments on localized discrete particles.
Dueling Wave and Particle Theories
Not only do we have the problem of understanding waveparticle duality in a quantum system, we have a fullblown wave mechanical theory (deBroglie and Schrödinger) versus a particle mechanics theory (Heisenberg, Max Born, Pascual Jordan).
Before either of these theories was developed in the mid1920's, Einstein in 1916 showed how both wavelike and particlelike behaviors are seen in light quanta, and that the emission of light is done at random times and in random directions. This was the introduction of ontological chance (Zufall) into physics, over a decade before Heisenberg announced that quantum mechanics is acausal in his "uncertainty principle" paper of 1927.
As late as 1917, Einstein felt very much alone in believing the reality (his emphasis) of light quanta: I do not doubt anymore the reality of radiation quanta, although I still stand quite alone in this conviction
Einstein in 1916 had just derived his A and B coefficients describing the absorption, spontaneous emission, and (his newly predicted) stimulated emission of radiation. In two papers, "Emission and Absorption of Radiation in Quantum Theory," and "On the Quantum Theory of Radiation," he derived the Planck law (for Planck it was mostly a guess at the formula), he derived Planck's postulate E = hν, and he derived Bohr's second postulate
The formal similarity between the chromatic distribution curve for thermal radiation and the Maxwell velocitydistribution law is too striking to have remained hidden for long. In fact, it was this similarity which led W. Wien, some time ago, to an extension of the radiation formula in his important theoretical paper, in which he derived his displacement law...Not long ago I discovered a derivation of Planck's formula which was closely related to Wien's original argument and which was based on the fundamental assumption of quantum theory. This derivation displays the relationship between Maxwell's curve and the chromatic distribution curve and deserves attention not only because of its simplicity, but especially because it seems to throw some light on the mechanism of emission and absorption of radiation by matter, a process which is still obscure to us.But the introduction of MaxwellBoltzmann statistical mechanical thinking to electromagnetic theory has produced what Einstein called a "weakness in the theory." It introduces the reality of an irreducible objective chance! If light quanta are particles with energy E = hν traveling at the velocity of light c, then they should have a momentum p = E/c = hν/c. When light is absorbed by material particles, this momentum will clearly be transferred to the particle. But when light is emitted by an atom or molecule, a problem appears.
The "statistical interpretation" of Max Born, which was based on Einstein's ideas about a "ghost field" (Gespensterfeld) or "guiding field" (Führungsfeld), tells us the outgoing wave is the probability amplitude wave function Ψ, whose absolute square is the probability of finding a light particle in an arbitrary direction.
Conservation of momentum requires that the momentum of the emitted particle will cause an atom to recoil with momentum hν/c in the opposite direction. However, the standard theory of spontaneous emission of radiation is that it produces a spherical wave going out in all directions. A spherically symmetric wave has no preferred direction. In which direction does the atom recoil? Einstein asked:
Does the molecule receive an impulse when it absorbs or emits the energy ε? For example, let us look at emission from the point of view of classical electrodynamics. When a body emits the radiation ε it suffers a recoil (momentum) ε/c if the entire amount of radiation energy is emitted in the same direction. If, however, the emission is a spatially symmetric process, e.g., a spherical wave, no recoil at all occurs. This alternative also plays a role in the quantum theory of radiation. When a molecule absorbs or emits the energy ε in the form of radiation during the transition between quantum theoretically possible states, then this elementary process can be viewed either as a completely or partially directed one in space, or also as a symmetrical (nondirected) one. It turns out that we arrive at a theory that is free of contradictions, only if we interpret those elementary processes as completely directed processes. An outgoing light particle must impart momentum hν/c to the atom or molecule, but the direction of the momentum can not be predicted! Neither can the theory predict the time when the light quantum will be emitted. Such a random time was not unknown to physics. When Ernest Rutherford derived the law for radioactive decay of unstable atomic nuclei in 1900, he could only give the probability of decay time. Einstein saw the connection with radiation emission: It speaks in favor of the theory that the statistical law assumed for [spontaneous] emission is nothing but the Rutherford law of radioactive decay.But the inability to predict both the time and direction of light particle emissions, said Einstein in 1917, is "a weakness in the theory..., that it leaves time and direction of elementary processes to chance (Zufall, ibid.)." It is only a weakness for Einstein, of course, because his God does not play dice. Einstein clearly saw, as none of his contemporaries did, that since spontaneous emission is a statistical process, it cannot possibly be described with classical physics. The properties of elementary processes required...make it seem almost inevitable to formulate a truly quantized theory of radiation.
How Einstein Discovered WaveParticle Duality
Einstein was bothered by Planck's discovery of the blackbody radiation law. He said that it "rests on a seemingly monstrous assumption."
Eight years later, in his paper on the A and B coefficients (transition probabilities) for the emission and absorption of radiation, Einstein carried through his attempt to understand the Planck law. He confirmed that light behaves sometimes like waves (notably when a great number of particles are present and for low energies), at other times like the particles of a gas (for few particles and high energies).
Dirac on WaveParticle Duality
Quantum mechanics is able to effect a reconciliation of the wave and corpuscular properties of light. The essential point is the association of each of the translational states of a photon with one of the wave functions of ordinary wave optics. The nature of this association cannot be pictured on a basis of classical mechanics, but is something entirely new. It would be quite wrong to picture the photon and its associated wave as interacting in the way in which particles and waves can interact in classical mechanics. The association can be interpreted only statistically, the wave function giving us information about the probability of our finding the photon in any particular place when we make an observation of where it is.Einstein, deBroglie, and Schrödinger had all argued that the light wave at some point might be the probable number of photons at that point. But if we accept that Einstein always conceived the particle as indivisible and located at a given point in space and time (his local "objective reality"), we can agree with Dirac that the wave function gives us the probability of the individual particle "being in a particular place." For Teachers
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