Second Quantum Revolution: The Legacy of John S. Bell

Tadeusz Pabjan


The history of quantum mechanics is divided into two periods which are labeled as the first and the second quantum revolutions. During the first of these periods mathematical formalism of quantum theory was formulated and interpreted, during the second – new quantum technologies were developed. It turns out that conceptual revolution of the first period enabled technological revolution of the second. In this article it is argued, that Irish physicist, John S. Bell, played an important role in the process of triggering the second quantum revolution. His work on quantum entanglement of the EPR particles made possible elaborating some new methods and theoretical approaches clarifying the quantum description of single objects. These methods and approaches became the core of new scientific domains which are hybrids of quantum mechanics and some classical sciences. The quantum cryptography and the quantum computation are examples of such domains and in the paper special attention is paid to them. It is showed that theoretical analyses of John S. Bell provide a conceptual background for these disciplines and this is why it’s not improper to call this physicist – as Alain Aspect did – a prophet of the second quantum revolution.


John S. Bell; quantum mechanics; EPR; philosophy of science

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