Whose Knowledge?

  • N. David Mermin


I met John Bell two and a half times. The two times, both memorable for me, were in what turned out to be in the last year of his life. The first was at a summer school in Erice in August 1989, where he delivered what came close to being the most spell-binding lecture I have ever heard. (The only competitors are Richard Feynman’s 1965 Messenger lectures at Cornell.) The text was subsequently published in a much quoted article in Physics World, “Against Measurement” [1]. The article conveys his brilliance and his wit, but not, of course, the music of his voice.


Density Matrix Pure State Density Matrice Bell Inequality State Density Matrix 
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  1. 1.
    J.S. Bell: Phys. World, 33–40 (August 1990)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    N.D. Mermin: Space and Time in Special Relativity (McGraw Hill, New York 1968); reissued by Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL (1989)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J.S. Bell: Prog. Sci. Culture 1(2) (1976); reprinted in Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge 1987 ) pp. 67–80Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    R.E. Peierls: Phys. World, 19–21 (January 1991)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R.E. Peierls: More Surprises in Theoretical Physics, (Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ 1991 ) p. 11Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Quoted by J. Bernstein in Quantum Profiles (Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ 1991 ) p. 84Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

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  • N. David Mermin

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