Quantum physics is often perceive as a weird and abstract theory, which physicists must use in order to make correct predictions. But many recent experiments have shown that the weirdness of the theory simply mirrors the weirdness of phenomena: it is Nature itself, and not only our descriptions of it that behaves in an astonishing way. This book selects those, among these typical quantum phenomena, whose rigorous description requires neither the formalism, not an important background in physics. The first part of the book deals with the phenomenon of single-particle interference, covering the historical questions of wave-particle duality, objective randomness and the boundary between the quantum and the classical world, but also the recent idea of quantum cryptography. The second part introduces the modern theme of entanglement, by presenting two-particle interference phenomena and discussing Bell's inequalities. A concise review of the main interpretations of quantum physics is provided. The essential features of quantum physics, largely debated since its discovery, are presented in this book, through the description (without mathematics) of recent experiments. Putting the accent on physical phenomena, this book clarifies the historical issues (delocalisation, interferences) and reaches out to modern topics (quantum cryptography, non-locality and teleportation); the debate on interpretations is serenely reviewed.
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Oxford University Press, Incorporated
January 05, 2006
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