La natura delle cose: introduzione ai fondamenti e alla filosofia della fisica

Roma: Carocci (2005)
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The year 2005 has been named the World Year of Physics in recognition of the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's "Miracle Year," in which he published four landmark papers which had deep and great influence on the last and the current century: quantum theory, general relativity, and statistical mechanics. Despite the enormous importance that Einstein’s discoveries played in these theories, most physicists adopt a version of quantum theory which is incompatible with the idea that motivated Einstein in the first place. This seems to suggest that Einstein was fundamentally incapable of appreciating the `quantum revolution,’ and that his vision of physics as an attempt to reach a complete and comprehensive description of reality was ultimately impossible to obtain. Relativity theory has provided us with a picture of reality in which the world can be though as independent on who observes it, and the same can be said for statistical mechanics. Instead, quantum mechanics seems to suggest that physical objects do not exist `out there’ when someone is not observing them. In this framework, it is often suggested that any kind of causal explanation is impossible in the atomic and subatomic world, and therefore should be abandoned. This is why many think that it is in principle impossible for quantum theory to provide us with a coherent and comprehensive view of the world, in contrast with what happens with relativity and statistical mechanics. Is it really impossible to pursue Einstein’s ideal of physics also in the quantum framework? This book argues that this is not the case: the central idea is that Einstein’s vision of physics is still a live option, and indeed it is the one that best allows obtaining a unitary understanding of our physical theories. One can consider all the three theories mentioned above, suitably modified, as theories that are able to account and explain the world around us without too much departure from the classical framework. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ La teoria della relatività, la meccanica statistica e la meccanica quantistica hanno profondamente rivoluzionato il nostro modo di concepire spazio, tempo, materia, probabilità e causalità, nonché il rapporto tra universo fisico ed osservatore, nozioni che sono state al centro della discussione filosofica dal mondo greco fino ai nostri giorni. Questo volume, opera di Valia Allori, Mauro Dorato, Federico Laudisa e Nino Zanghì, non solo intende suggerire nuovi metodi di confronto tra fisica e filosofia, ma prova altresì a rendere espliciti i presupposti filosofici che sono presenti nell'interpretazione che i fisici stessi danno del formalismo matematico.



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Author Profiles

Federico Laudisa
University of Milan Bicocca
Mauro Dorato
Università degli Studi Roma Tre

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