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Can quantum-mechanical description of physical reality be considered complete?
American Physical Society, Lancaster, PA & New York 1935 - A very fine copy, in the original wrappers, of Bohr’s response to the famous ‘EPR paradox,’ which he resolved by introducing the notion of ‘quantum entanglement.’ Bohr’s paper also marks the conclusion of the Bohr-Einstein debate on the foundations of quantum mechanics that had begun at the Solvay Conference in 1927."In the May 15, 1935 issue of Physical Review Albert Einstein co-authored a paper with his two postdoctoral research associates at the Institute for Advanced Study, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen. The article was entitled ‘Can Quantum Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?’. Generally referred to as ‘EPR’, this paper quickly became a centerpiece in the debate over the interpretation of the quantum theory, a debate that continues today" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).The thought experiment proposed by Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen involves two systems that interact with each other and are then separated so that they presumably interact no longer. Then, the position of one of the systems is measured, and due to the known relationship between the measured value of the first particle and the value of the second particle, the observer is aware of the position of the second particle. A measurement is then made of the momentum of the second particle. This seems to violate the uncertainty principle, since both the position and momentum of a the second particle would be known with certainty. "By the time of the EPR paper many of the early interpretive battles over the quantum theory had been settled, at least to the satisfaction of working physicists. Bohr had emerged as the "philosopher" of the new theory and the community of quantum theorists, busy with the development and extension of the theory, were content to follow Bohr’s leadership when it came to explaining and defending its conceptual underpinnings. Thus in 1935 the burden fell to Bohr to explain what was wrong with the EPR "paradox". The major article that he wrote in discharging this burden [the present paper] became the canon for how to respond to EPR" (ibid.). "When the EPR paper reached Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, he realized that he had once again been cast in the role, which he played so well at the Solvay Conferences, of defending quantum mechanics from yet another Einstein assault. "This onslaught came down on us as a bolt from the blue," a colleague [Leon Rosenfeld] of Bohr’s reported. "Its effect on Bohr was remarkable Everything else was abandoned. We had to clear up such a misunderstanding at once." Even with such intensity it took Bohr more than six weeks of fretting, writing, revising, dictating, and talking aloud before he finally sent off his response to EPR. "It was longer than the original paper. In it Bohr backed away somewhat from what had been an aspect of the uncertainty principle: that the mechanical disturbance caused by the act of observation was a cause of the uncertainty. He admitted that in Einstein’s thought experiment, "there is no question of a mechanical disturbance of the system under investigation." "However, using his concept of complementarity, Bohr added a significant caveat. He pointed out that the two particles were part of one whole phenomenon. Because they have interacted, the two particles are therefore ‘entangled.’ They are part of one whole phenomenon or one whole system that has one wave function. "Einstein continued to insist, however, that he had pinpointed an important example of the incompleteness of quantum mechanics by showing how it violated the principle of separability, which holds that two systems that are spatially separated have an independent existence. It likewise violated the related principle of locality, which says that an action on one of those systems cannot immediately affect the other. As an adherent of field theory, which defines reality using a spacetime continuum, Einstein believed that separability was a fundamental feature of nature. And as a defender of his [Attributes: First Edition]
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