Path Integral Aproach to Quantum Brownian Motion by Caldeira A.O., Leggett A.J.

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By Caldeira A.O., Leggett A.J.

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A more drastic version denies the existence of anything beyond physical objects. In this “materialist” view, consciousness, for example, should be ultimately understandable, in principle at least, in terms of the electrochemical properties of the brain. The tacit acceptance of such a materialist view, even its explicit defense, is not uncommon today. Contrasting with Newtonian realism or materialism is the philosophical stance of “idealism” holding that the world that we perceive is not the actual world.

He investigated a property of light we now call “interference,” a phenomenon uniquely characteristic of extended waves. Nevertheless, he came down strongly in favor of particles. His reasoning was that waves would require a medium in which to propagate, and this medium would impede the motion of the planets, something his universal equation of motion seemed to deny. As he put it: And against filling the Heavens with fluid Mediums, unless they be exceeding rare, a great Objection arises from the regular and very lasting Motions of the Planets and Comets in all manner of Courses through the Heavens.

If a theory meets these high standards, we are obligated to accept it as reliable science, no matter how violently it conflicts with our intuitions. Quantum theory will be our case in point. The Newtonian Worldview Isaac Newton was born in 1642, the year Galileo died. With the wide acceptance of the experimental method, there was a sense of scientific progress, though Aristotle’s erroneous physics was still often taught. The Royal Society of London, today a major scientific organization, was founded in 1660.

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