Edited by Jeffrey A. Barrett & Peter Byrne. - Princeton University Press, 2012. - 389 pp. Hugh Everett III was an American physicist best known for his many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which formed the basis of his PhD thesis at Princeton University in 1957. Although counterintuitive, Everett's revolutionary formulation of quantum mechanics offers the most direct solution to the infamous quantum measurement problem -- that is, how and why the singular world of our experience emerges from the multiplicities of alternatives available in the quantum world. The many-worlds interpretation postulates the existence of multiple universes. Whenever a measurement-like interaction occurs, the universe branches into relative states, one for each possible outcome of the measurement, and the world in which we find ourselves is but one of these many, but equally real, possibilities. Everett's challenge to the orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics was met with scorn from Niels Bohr and other leading physicists, and Everett subsequently abandoned academia to conduct military operations research. Today, however, Everett's formulation of quantum mechanics is widely recognized as one of the most controversial but promising physical theories of the last century. In this book, Jeffrey Barrett and Peter Byrne present the long and short versions of Everett's thesis along with a collection of his explanatory writings and correspondence. These primary source documents, many of them newly discovered and most unpublished until now, reveal how Everett's thinking evolved from his days as a graduate student to his untimely death in 1982. This definitive volume also features Barrett and Byrne's introductory essays, notes, and commentary that put Everett's extraordinary theory into historical and scientific perspective and discuss the puzzles that still remain.Contents: Preface. Introduction General Introduction. Biographical Introduction. Conceptual Introduction. The Evolution of the Thesis Minipaper: Objective versus Subjective Probability (1955). Minipaper: Quantitative Measure of Correlation (1955). Minipaper: Probability in Wave Mechanics (1955). Correspondence: Wheeler to Everett (1955). Long Thesis: Theory of the Universal Wave Function (1956). Short Thesis: “Relative State” Formulation of Quantum Mechanics (1957). Wheeler Article: Assessment of Everett’s “Relative State” Formulation of Quantum Theory (1957). The Copenhagen Debate Correspondence: Wheeler and Everett (1956). Correspondence: Wheeler, Everett, and Stern (1956). Correspondence: Groenewold to Everett (1957). Correspondence: Everett and Wiener (1957). Correspondence: Everett and Petersen (1957). Correspondence: Everett and DeWitt (1957). Correspondence: Everett and Frank (1957). Correspondence: Everett and Jaynes (1957). Post-Thesis Correspondence and Notes Transcript: Conference at Xavier University (1959). Notes: Everett on DeWitt (1970). Notes: Everett on Bell (1971). Correspondence: Jammer, Wheeler, and Everett (1972). Transcript: Everett and Misner (1977). Correspondence: Everett and Levy-Leblond (1977). Correspondence: Everett and Raub (1980). Appendixes Everett’s Notes on Possible Thesis Titles. Early Draft Outline for Long Thesis. Universal Wave Function Note. Handwritten Draft Introduction to the Long Thesis. Handwritten Draft Conclusion to the Long Thesis. Handwritten Revisions to the Long Thesis for Inclusion in DeWitt and Graham (1973). Handwritten Notes on Everett’s Copy of DeWitt and Graham (1973). Concluding Notes.
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