Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226798332 Will Publish September 2021
E-book $45.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226798479 Will Publish September 2021

From Data to Quanta

Niels Bohr’s Vision of Physics

Slobodan Perovic

From Data to Quanta

Slobodan Perovic

240 pages | 8 halftones, 1 line drawing | 6 x 9 | © 2021
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226798332 Will Publish September 2021
E-book $45.00 ISBN: 9780226798479 Will Publish September 2021
The first comprehensive philosophical and historical account of the experimental foundations of Niels Bohr’s practice of physics.

Niels Bohr was a central figure in quantum physics, well known for his work on atomic structure and his contributions to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. In this book, philosopher of science Slobodan Perović explores the way Bohr practiced and understood physics and analyzes its implications for our understanding of modern science. Perović develops a novel approach to Bohr’s understanding of physics and his method of inquiry, presenting an exploratory symbiosis of historical and philosophical analysis that uncovers the key aspects of Bohr’s philosophical vision of physics within a given historical context.

To better understand the methods that produced Bohr’s breakthrough results in quantum phenomena, Perović clarifies the nature of Bohr’s engagement with the experimental side of physics and lays out the basic distinctions and concepts that characterize his approach. Rich and insightful, Perović’s take on the early history of quantum mechanics and its methodological ramifications sheds vital new light on one of the key figures of modern physics.

Part 1: Preliminaries 

2  From Laboratory to Theory
3  From Classical Experiments to Quantum Theory

Part 2: Bohr’s Vision in Practice: the Old Quantum Theory 

4  Spectral Lines, Quantum States, and a Master Model of the Atom
5  The Correspondence Principle as an Intermediary Hypothesis 
6  Reception
7  The Scientific Moderator

Part 3: Toward Quantum Mechanics

8  Quantum Corpuscles, Quantum Waves, and the Experiments
9  The Uncertainty Principle as an Intermediary Hypothesis
10  Metaphysical Principles and Heuristic Rules
11 New Formalisms and Bohr’s Atom
12  Complementarity Established and Applied 

Part 4: Aftermath

13  Bohr and the “Copenhagen Orthodoxy” 
14  Bohr’s Response to the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Argument
15  The Mature Bohr and the Rise of Slick Theory and Theoreticians

Review Quotes
Helge Kragh, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
"Perović offers a novel and refreshingly unorthodox interpretation of Bohr’s seminal contributions to quantum physics and their philosophical implications. Adopting a method of historically sensitive analysis, he argues convincingly that the great Dane came to his overarching hypotheses, including the complementarity principle, by inductive reasoning inherently based on experiments. He skillfully defends Bohr against the charges that his epistemological and methodological views were amateurish armchair philosophy. Perović’s book on Bohr’s vision is recommendable from a scientific, historical, and philosophical perspective."
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