If you ask Google to search for “no quantum world,” you will get nearly 300 hits. They all give the following quotation (or recognizable corruptions of it):

Over 90% of them attribute the statement to Niels Bohr, with phrases like “Bohr’s dictum …,” “Bohr insisted that …,” “Bohr proclaimed …,” “Niels Bohr said, in a frequently quoted passage …,” “Niels Bohr wrote [my emphasis] …,” and even “Explain and evaluate Bohr’s philosophy of quantum theory with reference to his assertion ….”

Here is yet another example of the power of the internet to enrich our knowledge. There is only one problem. Bohr, who took writing very seriously indeed, never published such an assertion in any of his writings, although he repeatedly refined, reformulated, and often simply repeated his position on the philosophical foundations of the quantum theory.

The statement actually comes from an essay by Aage Petersen, “The Philosophy of...

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