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Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics


  • 36 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 290 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.6 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 530.12
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: QC173.97 .B45 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Quantum theory

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521818629 | ISBN-10: 0521818621)

John Bell, FRS was one of the leading expositors and interpreters of modern quantum theory. He is particularly famous for his discovery of the crucial difference between the predictions of conventional quantum mechanics and the implications of local causality, a concept insisted on by Einstein. John Bell's work played a major role in the development of our current understanding of the profound nature of quantum concepts and of the fundamental limitations they impose on the applicability of the classical ideas of space, time and locality. This book includes all of John Bell's published and unpublished papers on the conceptual and philosophical problems of quantum mechanics, including two papers that appeared after the first edition was published. The book includes a short Preface written by the author for the first edition, and also an introduction by Alain Aspect that puts into context John Bell's enormous contribution to the quantum philosophy debate.

• First edition sold nearly 15,000 copies, and received exceptional reviews • Includes two papers published after the first edition was published and before Bell died, together with a long introduction by Alain Aspect • An excellent collection of John Bell's enormous contributions to the quantum philosophy debate


List of papers on quantum philosophy by J. S. Bell; Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction by Alain Aspect; 1. On the problem of hidden variables in quantum mechanics; 2. On the Einstein–Rosen–Podolsky paradox; 3. The moral aspects of quantum mechanics; 4. Introduction to the hidden-variable question; 5. Subject and object; 6. On wave packet reduction in the Coleman–Hepp model; 7. The theory of local beables; 8. Locality in quantum mechanics: reply to critics; 9. How to teach special relativity; 10. Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen experiments; 11. The measurement theory of Everett and de Broglie's pilot wave; 12. Free variables and local causality; 13. Atomic-cascade photons and quantum-mechanical nonlocality; 14. de Broglie–Bohm delayed choice double-slit experiments and density matrix; 15. Quantum mechanics for cosmologists; 16. Bertlmann's socks and the nature of reality; 17. On the impossible pilot wave; 18. Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics; 19. Beables for quantum field theory; 20. Six possible worlds of quantum mechanics; 21. EPR correlations and EPR distributions; 22. Are there quantum jumps?; 23. Against 'measurement'; 24. La Nouvelle cuisine.


From reviews of the first edition: '… a timely and immensely valuable book … much of [it] is so good that it surely could not be bettered.' New Scientist

'… an exemplary introduction to the continuing debates about quantum mechanics.' Nature

'Das Buch ist ein 'Muss' für jeden, der sich für Grundlagen dew Quantentheorieinteressiert.' Physikalische Blanter

'This book is lovely and thoughtful, and it should be read by everyone interested in fundamental questions of nature.' American Journal of Physics

'… the new edition of Bell's papers is a must-buy for anyone seriously interested in the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and in understanding Bell's contribution to our grasp of the subject.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

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