The gestalt problem in quantum theory: Generation of molecular shape by the environment [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 97 (1):125 - 156 (1993)
Quantum systems have a holistic structure, which implies that they cannot be divided into parts. In order tocreate (sub)objects like individual substances, molecules, nuclei, etc., in a universal whole, the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen correlations between all the subentities, e.g. all the molecules in a substance, must be suppressed by perceptual and mental processes.Here the particular problems ofGestalt (shape)perception are compared with the attempts toattribute a shape to a quantum mechanical system like a molecule. Gestalt perception and quantum mechanics turn out (on an informal level) to show similar features and problems: holistic aspects, creation of objects, dressing procedures, influence of the observer, classical quantities and structures. The attribute classical of a property or structure means thatholistic correlations to any other quantity do not exist or that these correlations are considered as irrelevant and therefore eliminated (either deliberately and by declaration or in a mental process that is not under rational control). An example of animposed classical structure is the nuclear frame of a molecule. Candidates for classical properties that arenot imposed by the observer could be the charge of a particle or the handedness of a molecule. It is argued here that at least part of a molecule's shape can begenerated automatically by the environment. A molecular shape of this sort arises in addition to Lamb shift-type energy corrections.
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References found in this work BETA
Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky & Nathan Rosen (1935). Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete? Physical Review (47):777-780.
Jan Christiaan Smuts (1926). Holism and Evolution. N & S Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Robert C. Bishop & Harald Atmanspacher (2006). Contextual Emergence in the Description of Properties. Foundations of Physics 36 (12):1753-1777.
Paweł Zeidler & Danuta Sobczyńska (1995). The Idea of Realism in the New Experimentalism and the Problem of the Existence of Theoretical Entities in Chemistry. Foundations of Science 1 (4):517-535.
Robert C. Bishop (2010). Whence Chemistry? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (2):171-177.
Harald Atmanspacher (1997). Cartesian Cut, Heisenberg Cut, and the Concept of Complexity. World Futures 49 (3):333-355.
Robert C. Bishop (2010). Whence Chemistry? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2):171-177.
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