Thirty Years of ‘Against Measurement’

Despite its many successes, physicists are still struggling to nail down a coherent interpretation of quantum mechanics, as it best represents “reality”. Jim Baggott explores the arguments first put forth by John Bell three decades ago, and looks at theoretical and experimental evidence accumulated since.

“Surely, after 62 years, we should have an exact formulation of some serious part of quantum mechanics?” wrote the eminent Northern Irish physicist John Bell in the opening salvo of his Physics World article, “Against ‘measurement’ ”. Published in August 1990 just two months before his untimely death at the age of 62, Bell’s article outlined his concerns. As he further explained, “By ‘exact’ I do not of course mean ‘exactly true’. I mean only that the theory should be fully formulated in mathematical terms, with nothing left to the discretion of the theoretical physicist…until workable approximations are needed in applications.”

Published by Physics World.

Thirty years of ‘against measurement’ – Physics World