Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (Oxford Philosophical Monographs)

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Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics is a conceptual analysis of one the most prominent and exciting new areas of physics, providing the first full-length philosophical treatment of quantum information theory and the questions it raises for our understanding of the quantum world.

Beginning from a careful, revisionary, analysis of the concepts of information in the everyday and classical information-theory settings, Christopher G. Timpson argues for an ontologically deflationary account of the nature of quantum information. Against what many have supposed, quantum information can be clearly defined (it is not a primitive or vague notion) but it is not part of the material contents of the world. Timpson's account sheds light on the nature of nonlocality and information flow in the presence of entanglement and, in particular, dissolves puzzles surrounding the remarkable process of quantum teleportation. In addition it permits a clear view of what the ontological and methodological lessons provided by quantum information theory are; lessons which bear on the gripping question of what role a concept like information has to play in fundamental physics. Topics discussed include the slogan 'Information is Physical', the prospects for an informational immaterialism (the view that information rather than matter might fundamentally constitute the world), and the status of the Church-Turing hypothesis in light of quantum computation.

With a clear grasp of the concept of information in hand, Timpson turns his attention to the pressing question of whether advances in quantum information theory pave the way for the resolution of the traditional conceptual problems of quantum mechanics: the deep problems which loom over measurement, nonlocality and the general nature of quantum ontology. He marks out a number of common pitfalls to be avoided before analysing in detail some concrete proposals, including the radical quantum Bayesian programme of Caves, Fuchs, and Schack. One central moral which is drawn is that, for all the interest that the quantum information-inspired approaches hold, no cheap resolutions to the traditional problems of quantum mechanics are to be had.

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ISBN-13: 9780198748137
ISBN-10: 0198748132
Pagini: 320
Dimensiuni: 157 x 232 x 17 mm
Greutate: 0.48 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Seria Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom


Timpson's is an important and highly informative work that touches on significant elements of the philosophical critique of quantum information theory. It also addresses the best-known novel information-focused proto-interpretations of quantum mechanics. The book very clearly treats its subject matter and carefully lays out its territory at each stage. It is recommended for both philosophers of science and physicists with a strong interest in quantum informationtheory or the foundations of quantum theory.
There are a lot of books on quantum information theory. But many of them have one good feature - a desire to teach. In contrast, this book aims to speak to the reader about the subject. This book is not a tutorial on quantum information theory or quantum mechanics. It's a nice and interesting introduction into stories about how scientists think about the result of their achievements.
This is a philosophy book that both physicists and philosophers would find interesting. Timpson presents the material well and does a very good job of addressing would-be detractors. He successfully presents a strong argument for the place of information in understanding the world.
For anyone interested in how quantum information theory can possibly help us understand the world, Timpsons book is essential reading. For no matter what particular area of quantum information theory one is interested in, one will find a related discussion in Timpsons book that demonstrates how to think clearly about information in that context, what the crucial issues are, and how to properly navigate them.

Notă biografică

Christopher G. Timpson read Physics and Philosophy as an undergraduate at Queen's College, Oxford, before going on to take the BPhil and DPhil in philosophy there. His DPhil thesis concerned philosophical aspects of quantum information theory. He then taught for three years at the University of Leeds as a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Division of History and Philosophy of Science, before taking up a Tutorial Fellowship and CUF Lectureship at BrasenoseCollege, Oxford in 2007.