
Alistair Rae
Quantum Physics:Illusion or Reality
The interpretation of quantum theory is often presented as an obscure topic, with links to mystical philosophies. Alistair Rae's Quantum Physics:Illusion or reality? is a nontechnical introduction to the subject and does a lot to clear up the mysteries. He starts with by looking at the dual particle/wave nature of light and matter, and in particular experiments involving the polarisation of light. Chapter 3 on Bell's inequalities has a few equations, but they are all fairly simple. Rae then gets on to the different interpretations of quantum theory, pointing out that they all tend to have similar flaws.
Rae starts with Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and then goes on to look at the idea that conscious observation plays a part. He also considers the the manyworlds interpretation. In the last few chapters Rae put forward some of his own ideas on what will be needed to understand quantum theory properly. He points out the for more experiments, such as finding out how much superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) behave as simple quantum systems. He also looks at the contribution of thermodynamics and chaos to the subject, leading up to Prigogene's ideas on the measurement problem, which seem to be Rae's favoured way forward.