Alumni and faculty members who would like to have their books considered for this listing should contact Stacey Himmelberger, editor of Hamilton magazine. This list, which dates back to 2018, is updated periodically with books appearing alphabetically on the date of entry.

Introduction to Dynamical Wave Function Collapse: Realism in Quantum Physics by Philip Pearle, professor of physics emeritus.

Tags Faculty Book

(Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2024).

This book discusses the continuous spontaneous localization theory (CSL) the author created more than 30 years ago, saying it “changes quantum theory.” According to Pearle, when an experiment is performed, the apparatus registers one of a number of possible results. A repetition of the experiment will likely give another result. Each result occurs randomly, he says, and many repetitions of the same experiment reveal that each result has a definite probability of occurring. Though quantum theory allows one to predict the probability of occurrence for each result, it does not describe what actually happens — the occurrence of an individual result. Pearle maintains his CSL theory is an alteration of quantum theory that not only describes the occurrence of an individual result, but also explains that occurrence.


The book includes a discussion of some of the experiments conducted over the last 30 years to test CSL. “The experiments have succeeded in narrowing the possible values of two parameters that characterize CSL,” Pearle says, noting that “the present experimental situation is consistent with the validity of both quantum theory and CSL.”


Cambridge University’s Jeremy Butterfield, one of the referees who approved publication of the manuscript, notes, “Pearle is the master of this material and writes with beautiful clarity and well-judged occasional witticisms and side-remarks. His experience as teacher, as well as researcher, shows in the vivid explanations, and the careful and consistent level of detail in the exposition.”

Buy Now

All Entries


Stacey Himmelberger

Editor of Hamilton magazine

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

Site Search