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Science AMA Series: I’m Adam Becker, astrophysicist and author of WHAT IS REAL?, the story of the unfinished quest for the meaning of quantum physics. AMA!
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Hi, I’m Adam Becker, PhD, an astrophysicist and science writer. My new book, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics, is about the scientists who bucked the establishment and looked for a better way to understand what quantum mechanics is telling us about the nature of reality. It’s a history of quantum foundations from the initial development of quantum mechanics to the present, focusing on some people who don’t often get the spotlight in most books on quantum history: David Bohm, Hugh Everett III, John Bell, and the people who came after them (e.g. Clauser, Shimony, Zeh, Aspect). I’m happy to talk about all of their work: the physics, the history, the philosophy, and more. FWIW, I don’t subscribe to any particular interpretation, but I’m not a fan of the “Copenhagen interpretation” (which isn’t even a single coherent position anyhow). Please don’t shy away if you disagree. Feel free to throw whatever you’ve got at me, and let’s have a fun, engaging, and respectful conversation on one of the most contentious subjects in physics. Or just ask whatever else you want to ask—after all, this is AMA. Edit, 2PM Eastern: Gotta step away for a bit. I’ll be back in an hour or so to answer more questions. Edit, 6:25PM Eastern: Looks like I’ve answered all of your questions so far, but I’d be happy to answer more. I’ll check back in another couple of hours. Edit, 11:15PM Eastern: OK, I’m out for the night, but I’ll check in again tomorrow morning for any final questions.