Quantum physics explains everything from semiconductors to the sun itself — to an extraordinary degree of accuracy. Yet it’s unclear what this fruitful theory says about reality. Is it really impossible to talk about what’s happening to atoms and subatomic particles when we’re not looking at them?
For years, the standard answer to questions like this was “shut up and calculate.” A historical myth went along with this answer, claiming Einstein had once worried about these questions but was proven wrong by Danish physicist Niels Bohr. Yet the myth is untrue, and these thorny quantum paradoxes are far more important than most physicists once believed.
Adam Becker will explain the puzzles at the heart of quantum physics, why they matter, and what really went down between Einstein and Bohr 90 years ago.
Cosponsored by Mount Holyoke philosophy and physics departments.
Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm