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A skeptic of quantum theory explains his misgivings

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9:50am, November 5, 2010

In a 1905 paper, Albert Einstein proposed that light could travel in the form of particles later called photons. It was one of the pioneering papers in the research that led to quantum mechanics, the mathematical framework for describing matter and energy on a fundamental level. But in his later years, Einstein expressed grave dissatisfaction with quantum mechanics. He was especially unhappy with its description of reality in terms of probabilities, a view developed by the German physicist Max Born. Einstein preferred the deterministic cause-and-effect rigor of classical physics, expressing his displeasure by saying “God does not play dice.” But Einstein’s views on quantum mechanics are often oversimplified. For observable phenomena, he accepted the statistical view of quantum mechanics; his main concern was its incompleteness (in his view) in describing reality. To investigate those views, Science News Editor in Chief Tom Siegfried conducted

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