Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Philosophy

Reader 1

Brian Keeley

Rights Information

© 2011 Logan Kelley

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Abstract

A philosophic account of quantum physics. The thesis is divided into two parts. Part I is dedicated to laying the groundwork of quantum physics, and explaining some of the primary difficulties. Subjects of interest will include the principle of locality, the quantum uncertainty principle, and Einstein's criterion for reality. Quantum dilemmas discussed include the double-slit experiment, observations of spin and polarization, EPR, and Bell's theorem. The first part will argue that mathematical-physical descriptions of the world fall short of explaining the experimental observations of quantum phenomenon. The problem, as will be argued, is framework of the physical descriptive schema. Part I includes in-depth discussions of mathematical principles. Part II will discuss the Copenhagen interpretation as put forth by its founders. The Copenhagen interpretation will be expressed as a paradox: The classical physical language cannot describe quantum phenomenon completely and with certainty, yet this language is the only possible method of articulating the physical world. The paradox of Copenhagen will segway into Kant's critique of metaphysics. Kant's understanding of causality, things-in-themselves, and a priori synthetic metaphysics. The thesis will end with a conclusion of the quantum paradox by juxtaposing anti-materialist Martin Heidegger with quantum founder Werner Heisenberg. Our conclusion will be primarily a discussion of how we understand the world, and specifically how our understanding of the world creates potential for truth.

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