"There is no quantum world,” said Danish physicist Neils Bohr. “It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how Nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about Nature.” [Emphases added] Despite this bothersome paradox, Bohr’s interpretation of quantum mechanics has been scientific orthodoxy for nearly a century. That’s quite long enough, according to physics professor Travis Norsen. In “An Embarrassment of Beables,” Travis challenges the “Copenhagen interpretation” of quantum mechanics and supports a less paradoxical theory first developed in 1926.
Challenging the dominant paradigm is a long-standing tradition in the sciences and indeed a familiar practice across all disciplines at Marlboro. In this issue of Potash Hill you will also learn about student Sari Brown’s efforts to confront social patterns of gender oppression in Bolivia, and alumna Daniella Martin’s crusade against species discrimination in the kitchen. Even Marlboro’s new ceramics professor, Martina Lantin, challenges trenchant dichotomies between art and craft, sculptural and functional, in her practice and in the classroom.
If you find something in this Potash Hill that challenges your own way of thinking, or have any other comments, please drop me a line. You can see reactions to the last issue on page 46.
—Philip Johansson, editor