The Centennial Celebration
for OU's Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy!
Public Lecture by Sir Anthony J. Leggett
- Time: 8:00 p.m.
- Date: Friday, October 8
- Place: Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
Title: Does the everyday world really obey quantum mechanics?
Quantum mechanics has been enormously successful in describing nature at the atomic level, and most physicists believe that it is in principle the "whole truth" about the world even at the everyday level. However, such a view prima facie leads to a severe problem:in certain circumstances, the most natural interpretation of the theory implies that no definite outcome of an experiment occurs until the act of "observation". For many decades this problem was regarded as "merely philosophical", in the sense that it was thought that it had no consequences which could be tested in experiment. However, in the last dozen or so years the situation has changed very dramatically in this respect. I will discuss the problem, some popular "resolutions" of it, the current experimental situation and prospects for the future.