Einstein’s Struggles with Quantum Theory

A Reappraisal

by Dipankar Home, Andrew Whitaker

Einstein’s Struggles with Quantum Theory: A Re-Appraisal, presents an account of all aspects of Einstein’s encounter with quantum theory. Until recently it was accepted that, after important early work, Einstein was simply unable to follow Niels Bohr’s approach to quantum theory, and that Einstein’s own views, centered on realism, were of no interest. This book follows modern scholarship arguing that Einstein’s arguments were well constructed, in the Einstein-Bohr debate his position was legitimate, and his pragmatic approach to realism stimulated John Bell and encouraged the emergence of quantum information theory. The book provides a readable account of Einstein’s achievements in quantum theory, his own views, and the progress his work has stimulated since his death. While some chapters use mathematics at an undergraduate physics level, a path is provided for the reader more concerned with ideas than equations, and the book should be of interest to anybody interested in Einstein and his approach to the quantum.

  • Springer New York; November 2007
  • ISBN: 9780387715209
  • Read online, or download in DRM-free PDF (digitally watermarked) format
  • Title: Einstein’s Struggles with Quantum Theory
  • Author: Dipankar Home; Andrew Whitaker
  • Imprint: Springer

In The Press

From the reviews:

"The book is serious, competent, and most engaging. Its declared aim is a reappraisal of Einstein’s critical attitude toward quantum theory. … I recommend Einstein’s Struggles with Quantum Theory to physicists who are interested in their past and to historians and philosophers who are curious about today’s quantum physics." (Tilman Sauer, Physics Today, May, 2008)

"This fascinating book presents and defends Einstein’s work on quantum theory. … Let me sum up by saying that I recommend this book in the very highest of terms: Home and Whitaker have produced a wonderful book that will appeal to physicists, historians, and philosophers alike. … Indeed, this book constitutes an excellent argument for quantum foundations research. Furthermore, although nominally about Einstein’s views, given its range, simplicity, and clarity I think it would make an excellent ‘first encounter’ with quantum theory." (Dean Rickles, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2008 g)

"The authors feel … that their book is the first to provide a comprehensive account of Einstein’s encounter with quantum theory. … the book should be of interest to a wide range of readers. Anybody with an interest in Einstein and quantum theory should be able understand the main themes of the book and appreciate Einstein’s underestimated influence in quantum theory." (Roland Carchon, Physicalia Magazine, Vol. 30 (4), 2008)

"This book presents a lot of commented historical facts together with the respective references. … this book is a precious and useful contribution to the history of quantum mechanics which especially gives insight into the thinking and influence to the development of quantum theory by Albert Einstein." (K.-E. Hellwig, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1167, 2009)

About The Author

Dipankar Home is Professor of Physics at Bose Institute, Calcutta. Over the past two decades he has been working extensively on the fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics, especially on topics related to entanglement and quantum nonlocality, quantum communications, the measurement problem, quantum Zeno effect, quantum time distributions and nonstandard interpretations of quantum mechanics such as the Bohmian model. One area of his research has involved linking the foundational issues of quantum mechanics with realizable experiments. Home's earlier book Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Physics (Plenum, New York, 1997) was positively reviewed in various publications such as Physics Today, Progress in Quantum Electronics, and in The Times (London) Higher Education Supplement.

Andrew Whitaker has been Professor of Physics at Queen's University Belfast since 1999. His early research was in the theory of pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance. In recent years he has been concerned with the foundations of quantum theory and has published over 50 papers in this area. He has had a special interest in the quantum Zeno effect, the interpretations of quantum theory and the Bohr-Einstein dispute. He has written several articles on Belfast-born John Bell.  In 1996 he published Einstein, Bohr and the Quantum Dilemma and in 2002 edited Physicists of Ireland: Passion and Precision with Mark McCartney.