Explores what can be known within quantum theory, with special emphasis on the difference between prediction and explanation.
In straightforward and nontechnical language, a philosopher of science goes to the very heart of what is still the central subject in modern physics, namely, quantum theory, with its astonishing ability to predict—yet not explain. There, he encounters and unravels the maze of bewildering puzzles that, for nearly a century, have locked our most eminent theoreticians in a whirlpool of ongoing controversy. Salvator Cannavo breaks radically with this tradition of searching for a generally acceptable interpretation of quantum theory by urging a complete withdrawal from the fray. In doing so, he first highlights the now established adjunctive role of quantum theory in the elaboration of string theory and other developing branches of explanatory physical theory, and then recommends a new focus for the channeling of creative effort in contemporary theoretical physics.
Salvator Cannavo is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He is the author of Think to Win: The Power of Logic in Everyday Life and Nomic Inference: An Introduction to the Logic of Scientific Inquiry.
"…will be of interest to all practicing physical scientists and intellectually adventurous laypeople. " — CHOICE
"This concise, accurate, and compelling account of quantum theory development over the past one hundred years issues a challenge to reformulate quantum theory. It's a daunting move and will have its detractors for sure, but those who are intimately involved in the field knew this was coming. Cannavo's book will force the issue, and hopefully result in wide-ranging discourse about how to proceed. We may even be lucky enough to be part of it!" — Hank Keeton, coeditor of Physics and Whitehead: Quantum, Process, and Experience