The combination of a very pleasant but busy holiday visit with my In-laws and feeling a bit under the weather has caused my blogging to drop precipitously this past week. I'm back, ready to start off the New Year on the right foot with some free, meaty, internet science reading. (No, I'm not talking about my writing!)

Is there something missing at the heart of quantum mechanics? Einstein and Bohr, like King Kong vs. Godzilla, famously battled over the possible incompleteness of quantum mechanics.

According to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, the more precisely we measure the momentum particle, the less precisely we can know about the particle's position. We cannot simultaneously measure position and momentum with arbitrary precision. But does this mean that a particle doesn't have a precise position when we measure momentum, or is it just a limitation of our ability to measure (given that our measurement apparatus is also made up of atoms that behave in quantum mechanical ways, and thus are not independent of the system we're measuring)?

The purpose my extremely crude (non-)summary is to direct you to an interesting and very readable paper by historian/philosopher of science Don Howard: "Revisiting the Einstein-Bohr Dialogue" (PDF). At the heart of this argument is the phenomenon of entanglement, which is the basis for quantum computing. Heady and still somewhat mysterious stuff.

In terms of Einstein and Bohr, Howard cuts through a lot of confusion and makes clear the fascinating argument between these two titans.