2.1 Reductionism versus Organization Principles 27
are the uncertainty of the measurement of position andmomentum, respectively,
is the Planck constant divided by 2
.The general implication of the relationship was that quantum mechanicsis inherently indeterministic.Broadly speaking, quantum mechanics incorporates four classes of phe-nomena that classical physics cannot account for: (i) the quantization (dis-cretization) of certain physical quantities, (ii) wave-particle duality, (iii) theuncertainty principle, and (iv) quantum entanglement.
Atomism Versus Holism in Physics
The concept of wave-particle duality challenged our naive view. The naiveview suggested that electrons, as other particles, are discrete, localized entities.Since things we sense directly seem to be localized and discrete, one mightbelieve the elementary particles we do not sense directly are also localized anddiscrete. The
principle of local action
prescribes that if A and B are spatiallydistant things, then an external inﬂuence on A has no immediate eﬀect on B.
is one of the core concepts of current quantum physics, itchallenged the universal validity of the atomism, and basically implies theseparability of localized particles. In certain composite systems the state of the individual components can not be separated, so it should be consideredas a holistic system.The story goes back to the Einstein, Rosen and Podolsky (EPR) paradox,and is related to the concept of locality. EPR showed that under certaincircumstances quantum mechanics violates locality. Since they did not believethat this eﬀect, which Einstein later called“spooky action at a distance”, couldreally happen, they implied that quantum mechanics was incomplete.David Bohm (1917–1994) suggested the“local hidden variable”theory. Hedisproved von Neumann’s analysis about the impossibility of completing quan-tum mechanics by introducing hidden variables. However, classical quantumphysics worked well and proved to be extremely useful for calculating the be-havior of the physical systems, so the whole non-locality problem was left forphilosophers.John Bell (1928–1990) following Bohm’s spirit, established an inequality,which is valid under local realism but not under quantum mechanics. Basicallyhe suggested an experiment to decide whether or not hidden variables mayexist. The intrinsic non-locality of quantum mechanics has been demonstrated