Materializing the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

Instruments and the First Bell Tests

Author: Climério Paulo da Silva Neto

Integrates developments in the Soviet Union using primary and secondary sources in Russian

The first book to cover the development of the instrumentation that allowed to perform the first Bell tests 

Offers a history of the instrumentation used to materialize early thought experiments

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology (BRIEFSHIST)

Table of contents  (7 chapters)

About this book

This book offers a history of the instrumentation used to materialize the early thought experiments devised in the Einstein-Bohr disputes over the foundations of quantum mechanics. It shows how the second world war and cold war fostered the development of materials, instruments, and systems that made it possible to create, manipulate, and detect single quantum systems, thus creating the material conditions for experiments in foundations of quantum mechanics and for a broad spectrum of experimental inquiries on the structure and properties of matter which underlay the creation of new research fields such as quantum optics, quantum information, and atomic, molecular, and optical physics. Discussing research and development performed in diverse contexts, this book reveals how physicists carried instruments, and the knowledge they embodied, through disciplinary and geographic frontiers to probe entanglement, a most intriguing feature of the quantum world.


History Positron Annihilation

Photomultiplier History

History of Spontaneous Parametric Down-conversion

Scientific Instruments

Material Culture

History of science

Philosophy of science

Bell tests

About the author

Climério Silva Neto is an assistant professor of physics and history of science at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Brazil. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics (2009) and master’s (2011) and doctoral (2015) degrees in history and philosophy of science and science teaching from UFBA. His Ph.D. dissertation on the making of the Soviet laser physics won the prize for best dissertation in history of science awarded by the Brazilian Society of History of Science and Technology. His training/research experience includes one academic year as a visiting graduate student at the University of British Columbia and shorter research stays at the American Institute of Physics, the Archives of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Centre for History of Sciences of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. His current research focuses on the history of physics in the 20th century from the perspective of instrumentation and transnational collaboration/competition. The present manuscript stemmed from a handbook chapter for The Oxford Handbook of the History of Quantum Interpretations (March 2022) on the instrumentation of experiments in the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Materializing the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

Book Subtitle

Instruments and the First Bell Tests


Climério Paulo da Silva Neto

Series Title

SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology



Springer Cham

Copyright Information

The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023

Softcover ISBN


eBook ISBN



24 May 2023


History of Science, Philosophy of Physics

Series ISSN


Series E-ISSN


Edition Number 1

Number of Pages IX, 73

Number of Illustrations: 14 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour.