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Quantum mechanics is settled science. Case closed, and thank you very much — or so many would argue.
Thanks to pioneering work in the 1920s, many people believe that we now know everything we will ever need to know about motion on an atomic or subatomic scale. According to Danish physicist Niels Bohr and his followers, we can assert either the exact position of an atomic particle or its trajectory, but we cannot do both at the same time. That kind of prediction can only be probabilistic, never absolutely exact.
Physicist - Lee - Smolin - Perimeter - Institute
Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Toronto, has spent his entire career challenging this view. Smolin believes that Bohr's triumph is an example of charisma stifling legitimate dissent, even from such eminent dissenters as Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger.
Related: 8 Modern Astronomy Mysteries Scientists Still Can't Explain
Lee - Smolin - Physicist - Author - Einstein
Lee Smolin, theoretical physicist and author of "Einstein's Unfinished Revolution."
Today, Smolin, following in the footsteps of Albert Einstein and continuing a long tradition that includes other physicists including David Bohm, seeks a theory to "complete" quantum physics by allowing exact descriptions and not fuzzy probabilities. Smolin holds a "realistic" perspective, as opposed to the "anti-realistic" view of Bohr and his acolytes. Smolin sets out his perspective in "Einstein's Unfinished Revolution" (Penguin Press, April 2019). Space.com caught up with Smolin to discuss the book, how new ideas become dominant in science, and what he is up to now.
Space - Difference - Approaches - Mechanics
Space.com: What's the difference between realistic and anti-realistic approaches to quantum mechanics?
Lee Smolin: To me, the difference between somebody who is a realist about quantum phenomena versus somebody who is not a realist is, as a realist, you believe there is a complete story, and there's a complete description, that we can attain of any atomic process, of any nuclear...
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