Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Friday 16 February 2024

Quantum Physics - a scientific and philosophical overview

My 2023 blog post on Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-Criticism - and Rovelli's critique of it in 'Helgoland' - has gained a lot more interest and feedback than I was expecting. 

There is clearly a thirst for discussion on scientific and philosophical issues amongst active socialists and Marxists, even if their time for those discussions is inevitably severely limited by the immediate pressures of activity in the immediate struggle. 

However, to engage in an informed manner in scientific and philosophical debates over the questions arising from modern 'quantum mechanical' interpretations of the true nature of reality, it's necessary to have at least a limited understanding of the mathematical methods and experimental evidence that underlie quantum theory.

To aid my own understanding, and hopefully to help others to do the same, I have produced the notes below - attached as images so as to not lose the mathematical notation. They are my attempt to summarise the foundations of quantum mechanics and some of the philosophical and scientific debates that have arisen during its development. The whole document can be downloaded as a pdf here.

I don't expect that these notes are totally free from error, and appreciate that some with more detailed knowledge may feel that they perhaps oversimplify issues in places, but I hope that they are sufficiently accurate to assist others in developing their understanding too.