For almost thirty years, my main research interest has been in the foundations of quantum theory, and more recently the application of these foundations to the study of quantum information theory. In particular I was highly involved in the unraveling of the so-called quantum Zeno effect. See, for example, The Role of the Observer in Quantum Mechanics and the Zeno Paradox, I Singh and M.A.B. Whitaker, American Journal of Physics 50, 882-886 (1982); A Critical Re-Examination of the Quantum Zeno Paradox, D. Home and M.A.B. Whitaker, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and General Physics 25, 657-664 (1992). Much of this work up to 1997 was summarized in the much-cited review: A Conceptual Analysis of Quantum Zeno: Paradox, Measurement and Experiment, D. Home and M.A.B. Whitaker, Annals of Physics (New York) 258, 237-285 (1997).
Other aspects of study in this area have included studies of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen problem, and its discussion by Bohr: The EPR Paper and Bohr’s Response: A Re-Assessment, M.A.B. Whitaker, Foundations of Physics 34, 1305-1340 (2004).
Wide-ranging general reviews are: Ensemble Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Perspective, D. Home and M.A.B. Whitaker, Physics Reports 210, 223-317 (1992); Theory and Experiment in the Foundations of Quantum Theory, M.A.B. Whitaker, Progress in Quantum Electronics 24, 1-106 (2000).
In 1996, I published a well-received book on the foundations of quantum theory, and in particular the contributions and positions of Einstein and Bohr: Einstein, Bohr and the Quantum Dilemma, Andrew Whitaker (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996). In 2006 a second edition of this book was published, with extensive coverage of the advances of the recent decade and a full introduction to the modern topic of quantum information theory: Einstein, Bohr and the Quantum Dilemma: From Quantum Theory to Quantum Information, Andrew Whitaker (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006).
A book more specifically on Einstein’s contributions to quantum theory has also been published recently: Albert Einstein: the Struggles with Quantum Theory: A Reappraisal, D. Home and M.A.B.Whitaker (Springer, New York, 2007).
Another book on modern aspects of the foundations of quantum theory and quantum information is to be published in 2011: The New Quantum Age: From Bell’s Theorem to Quantum Computation and Teleportation (Oxford University Press, Oxford) In earlier years, I worked in the theory of solid spin-echoes in nuclear magnetic resonance, my PhD being under the supervision of Professor Sir Peter Mansfield FRS, later winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2003, as well as Professor Ken Stevens. Among the later publications in this area were: Spin-Echo Formation in Solids: Calculations for Spin-1/2 Cubic Lattice, M.A.B. Whitaker, Molecular Physics 53, 241-251 (1984); General Principles of Spin-Echo Formation in Solids, M.A.B. Whitaker, physica status solidi (b) 144, 793-807 (1987).
Another interest has been historical aspects of the foundation of quantum theory, in particular the life and work of John Stewart Bell, a massive presence in the area, who was born and educated in Belfast. I have written several short accounts of his life: John Bell and the Most Profound Discovery of Science, M.A.B. Whitaker, Physics World 11 (No. 12), 29-34 (1998); John Bell in Belfast: Early Years and Education, M.A.B. Whitaker, Quantum Unspeakables: From Bell to Quantum Information, (R. Bertlmann and A. Zeilinger, eds.) (Springer, Berlin, 2002), pp. 7-20; John Stewart Bell 1928-90, M.A.B. Whitaker, Physicists of Ireland (M.McCartney and M.A.B. Whitaker, eds.) (Institute of Physics, Bristol, 2002), p. 273-281; and I hope to write a more complete account in 2011-12.
With Mark McCartney I edited a book. Physicists of Ireland, M.McCartney and M.A.B. Whitaker, eds. (Institute of Physics, Bristol, 2002), which contained biographies of leading Irish physicists through history.
A book on Kelvin’s contributions to physics has been published at the centenary of his death: Kelvin: Life, Labours and Legacy, R. Flood, M. McCartney and M.A.B. Whitaker, eds. (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008). We also edited an account of Kelvin’s interactions with his native Ireland: Kelvin and Ireland, R. Flood, M. McCartney and M.A.B. Whitaker, eds (Journal of Physics Conference Series, Vol. 158, 2009) online at http://www.iop.org/EJ/toc/1742-6596/158/1 The same three editors are preparing a book similar to the Kelvin book on James Clerk Maxwell, which we hope will also be published by Oxford University Press.