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John Stewart Bell (1928 – 1990)


Irish physicist who worked in the field of particle physics at CERN, and who developed one of the most important theorems of quantum physics, Bell's Theorem.
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John Stewart Bell
Is it not good to know what follows from what, even if it is not necessarily FAPP? [FAPP is Bell's suggested abbreviation of "for all practical purposes."] Suppose for example that quantum mechanics were found to resist precise formulation. Suppose that when formulation beyond FAPP was attempted, we find an unmovable finger obstinately pointing outside the subject, to the mind of the observor, to the Hindu scriptures, to God, or even only Gravitation? Would that not be very, very interesting?
Bell quotes
I am a Quantum Engineer, but on Sundays I Have Principles.
Bell
A final moral concerns terminology. Why did such serious people take so seriously axioms which now seem so arbitrary? I suspect that they were misled by the pernicious misuse of the word ‘measurement’ in contemporary theory. This word very strongly suggests the ascertaining of some preexisting property of some thing, any instrument involved playing a purely passive role. Quantum experiments are just not like that, as we learned especially from Bohr. The results have to be regarded as the joint product of ‘system’ and ‘apparatus,’ the complete experimental set-up.




Bell John Stewart quotes
The concept of 'measurement' becomes so fuzzy on reflection that it is quite surprising to have it appearing in physical theory at the most fundamental level... does not any analysis of measurement require concepts more fundamental than measurement? And should not the fundamental theory be about these more fundamental concepts?
Bell John Stewart
Theoretical physicists live in a classical world, looking out into a quantum-mechanical world. The latter we describe only subjectively, in terms of procedures and results in our classical domain.
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