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Author : Günther Ludwig
ISBN : 9783540308324
Genre : Science
File Size : 55.81 MB
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Written in the tradition of G. Ludwig’s groundbreaking works, this book aims to clarify and formulate more precisely the fundamental ideas of physical theories. By introducing a basic descriptive language of simple form, in which it is possible to formulate recorded facts, ambiguities of physical theories are avoided as much as possible. In this approach the field of physics that should be described by a theory is determined by basic concepts only, i.e. concepts that can be explained without a theory. In this context the authors introduce a new concept of idealization and review the process of discovering new concepts. They believe that, when the theories are formulated within an axiomatic basis, solutions can be found to many difficult problems such as the interpretation of physical theories, the relations between theories as well as the introduction of physical concepts. The book addresses both physicists and philosophers of science and should encourage the reader to contribute to the understanding of the lasting core of physical knowledge about the real structures of the world.

Authored by an acclaimed teacher of quantum physics and philosophy, this textbook pays special attention to the aspects that many courses sweep under the carpet. Traditional courses in quantum mechanics teach students how to use the quantum formalism to make calculations. But even the best students - indeed, especially the best students - emerge rather confused about what, exactly, the theory says is going on, physically, in microscopic systems. This supplementary textbook is designed to help such students understand that they are not alone in their confusions (luminaries such as Albert Einstein, Erwin Schroedinger, and John Stewart Bell having shared them), to sharpen their understanding of the most important difficulties associated with interpreting quantum theory in a realistic manner, and to introduce them to the most promising attempts to formulate the theory in a way that is physically clear and coherent. The text is accessible to students with at least one semester of prior exposure to quantum (or "modern") physics and includes over a hundred engaging end-of-chapter "Projects" that make the book suitable for either a traditional classroom or for self-study.

Author : Michael Friedman
ISBN : 9781400855124
Genre : Science
File Size : 42.90 MB
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This book, explores the conceptual foundations of Einstein's theory of relativity: the fascinating, yet tangled, web of philosophical, mathematical, and physical ideas that is the source of the theory's enduring philosophical interest. Originally published in 1983. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Author : Lawrence Sklar
ISBN : 0521558816
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 22.6 MB
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Statistical mechanics is one of the crucial fundamental theories of physics, and in his new book Lawrence Sklar, one of the pre-eminent philosophers of physics, offers a comprehensive, non-technical introduction to that theory and to attempts to understand its foundational elements. Among the topics treated in detail are: probability and statistical explanation, the basic issues in both equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, the role of cosmology, the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics, and the alleged foundation of the very notion of time asymmetry in the entropic asymmetry of systems in time. The book emphasises the interaction of scientific and philosophical modes of reasoning, and in this way will interest all philosophers of science as well as those in physics and chemistry concerned with philosophical questions. The book could also be read by an informed general reader interested in the foundations of modern science.

Author : Mario Bunge
ISBN : 9783642492877
Genre : Science
File Size : 72.30 MB
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This is not an introduction to physics but an analysis of its founda tions. Indeed, the aims of this book are: (1) to analyze the form and content of some of the key ideas of physics; (2) to formulate several basic physical theories in an explicit and orderly (i. e. , axiomatic) fashion; (3) to exhibit their presuppositions and discuss some of their philosoph ical implications; (4) to discuss some of the controversial issues, and (5) to debunk certain dusty philosophical tenets that obscure the under standing of physics and hinder its progress. To the extent to which these goals are attained, the volume can serve as a companion to studies in theoretical physics aiming at deepening the understanding of the logical structure and the physical meaning of our science. In order to keep the book slender, whole fields of basic physical research had to be excluded - chiefly many-body physics, quantum field theories, and elementary particle theories. A large coverage was believed to be less important than a comparatively detailed analysis and reconstruction of three representative monuments: classical mechan ics, general relativity, and quantum mechanics, as well as their usually unrecognized presuppositions. The reader is invited to join the project and supply some of the many missing chapters - or to rewrite the present ones entirely.

This book presents a new economic theory developed from physical and biological principles. It explains how technology, social systems and economic values are intimately related to resources. Many people have recognized that mainstream (neoclassical) economic theories are not consistent with physical laws and often not consistent with empirical patterns, but most feel that economic activities are too complex to be described by a simple and coherent mathematical theory. While social systems are indeed complex, all life systems, including social systems, satisfy two principles. First, all systems need to extract resources from the external environment to compensate for their consumption. Second, for a system to be viable, the amount of resource extraction has to be no less than the level of consumption. From these two principles, we derive a quantitative theory of major factors in economic activities, such as fixed cost, variable cost, discount rate, uncertainty and duration. The mathematical theory enables us to systematically measure the effectiveness of different policies and institutional structures at varying levels of resource abundance and cost.The theory presented in this book shows that there do not exist universally optimal policies or institutional structures. Instead, the impacts of different policies or social structures have to be measured within the context of existing levels of resource abundance. As the physical costs of extracting resources rise steadily, many policy assumptions adopted in mainstream economic theories, and workable in times of cheap and abundant energy supplies and other resources, need to be reconsidered. In this rapidly changing world, the theory presented here provides a solid foundation for examining the long-term impacts of today's policy decisions.

Inflationary cosmology has been developed over the last twenty years to remedy serious shortcomings in the standard hot big bang model of the universe. This textbook, first published in 2005, explains the basis of modern cosmology and shows where the theoretical results come from. The book is divided into two parts; the first deals with the homogeneous and isotropic model of the Universe, the second part discusses how inhomogeneities can explain its structure. Established material such as the inflation and quantum cosmological perturbation are presented in great detail, however the reader is brought to the frontiers of current cosmological research by the discussion of more speculative ideas. An ideal textbook for both advanced students of physics and astrophysics, all of the necessary background material is included in every chapter and no prior knowledge of general relativity and quantum field theory is assumed.

This book studies the foundations of quantum theory through its relationship to classical physics. This idea goes back to the Copenhagen Interpretation (in the original version due to Bohr and Heisenberg), which the author relates to the mathematical formalism of operator algebras originally created by von Neumann. The book therefore includes comprehensive appendices on functional analysis and C*-algebras, as well as a briefer one on logic, category theory, and topos theory. Matters of foundational as well as mathematical interest that are covered in detail include symmetry (and its "spontaneous" breaking), the measurement problem, the Kochen-Specker, Free Will, and Bell Theorems, the Kadison-Singer conjecture, quantization, indistinguishable particles, the quantum theory of large systems, and quantum logic, the latter in connection with the topos approach to quantum theory. This book is Open Access under a CC BY licence.

Author : Jing Chen
ISBN : 9789812563231
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 62.80 MB
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All human activities, including mental activities, are governed by physical laws and are essentially thermodynamic processes. However, current economic theories are not established on these foundations. This pioneering book seeks to develop an analytical theory of economics on the foundation of thermodynamic laws. A unified understanding of economic and social phenomena is presented, an understanding that is much simpler than what mainstream economic theory has to offer. Its aim is to revolutionize thinking in economics and transform social sciences into an integral part of the physical and biological sciences.

Author : Herbert S. Green
ISBN : 354066517X
Genre : Computers
File Size : 66.99 MB
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In this book, H. S. Green, a former student of Max Born and well known as an author in physics and in philosophy of science, presents an individual and modern approach to theoretical physics and related fundamental problems. Starting from first principles, the links between physics and information science are unveiled step by step: modern information theory and the classical theory of the Turing machine are combined to create a new interpretation of quantum computability, which is then applied to field theory, gravitation and submicroscopic measurement theory and culminates in a detailed examination of the role of the conscious observer in physical measurements. The result is a highly readable book that unifies a wide range of scientific knowledge and is essential reading for all scientists and philosophers of science interested in the interpretation and the implications of the interaction between information science and basic physical theories.