The philosophy of Niels Bohr : the framework of complementarity


The philosophy of Niels Bohr : the framework of complementarity

Henry J. Folse

North-Holland , Sole distributors for the U.S.A. and Canada, Elsevier Science Pub. Co., 1985

  • : hardbound

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Bibliography: p. 261-273

Includes index



Of all the developments in twentieth century physics, none has given rise to more heated debates than the changes in our understanding of science precipitated by the ``quantum revolution''. In this revolution, Niels Bohr's dramatically non-classical theory of the atom proved to be the springboard from which the new atomic physics drew it's momentum. Furthermore, Bohr's contribution was crucial not only because his interpretation of quantum mechanics became the most widely accepted view but also because in his role as educator and spokesman for atomic physics Bohr was very much the patron spirit of the entire quantum revolution. The conceptual framework which he proposed to provide a new viewpoint for understanding the quantum theoretical description of atomic systems became for most of this century the dominant outlook of countless productive experimental and theoretical physicists. He called this new framework ``complementarity''.


Introduction. 1 . What is complementarity? 2 . Bohr's philosophical orientation. 3 . Quantum theory and the description of nature. 4 . The birth of complementarity. 5 . The refinement of complementarity. 6 . The extension of complementarity. 7 . Complementarity and the nature of empirical knowledge. 8 . Complementarity and the nature of physical reality.

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