Author Topic: QM and its interpretations  (Read 1058 times)

QM and its interpretations
« on: August 09, 2013, 02:45:34 PM »
There is no universal agreement on QM interpretation. Here's a survey of different opinions.

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Offline Colanth

Re: QM and its interpretations
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 05:01:31 PM »
The results of 13 and 14 are inconsistent.  ("I have no prefered interpretation")

I think we're at about the point in QM that the Greeks were in atomic "theory" - we're guessing and floundering right now.  We need to learn a lot more before quantum theory can be arrived at in anything like the way chemical or classical physical theory is.  I just wish I had a reasonable expectation of living long enough to see us get to some real knowledge about the quantum world.
Afflicting the comfortable for 70 years.
Science builds skyscrapers, faith flies planes into them.

Re: QM and its interpretations
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2013, 11:44:03 AM »
I think that the greatest obstacle to a definite interpretation is that we really don't know what it means when we say that a quantum state is a vector in a Hilbert space, and that an observable is an operator on those states. We know how to treat these objects mathematically. We know all the rules, and so we can derive principles from them, such as the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle or the spin-statistics theorem, make calculations and verify those with experiment. But we haven't come to terms in what those are vis-a-vis the wave/particle nature. We have a probability theory but can't figure out if this is due to epistomology(lack of knowledge of the system) or is it ontology( some intrinsic nature that can't be reduced to known quantities). Even though a good number of responders in that survey are willing to say that Einstein was wrong, I'm not sure if that is true. I thought so when I was studying this stuff as an undergraduate. However, after years of teaching this material, i'm not so sure if the great one has been well understood, and most likely was badly misjudged. As I'm getting older  :-D, I tend to be more understanding of Einstein's position.

Offline Solitary

Re: QM and its interpretations
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2013, 12:49:11 PM »
Quote from: "Colanth"
The results of 13 and 14 are inconsistent.  ("I have no prefered interpretation")

I think we're at about the point in QM that the Greeks were in atomic "theory" - we're guessing and floundering right now.  We need to learn a lot more before quantum theory can be arrived at in anything like the way chemical or classical physical theory is.  I just wish I had a reasonable expectation of living long enough to see us get to some real knowledge about the quantum world.


Who says it hasn't? It can be determined with complete certainty whether particles or fields, or neither, are the ultimate theory that is simply designed to describe observations and indeed does so very well. I think what is confusing the issue is that reality can be more reasonably assigned as localized particles rather than fields or wave functions. Even when a wave length is measured there are particles being detected and not waves.

And Einstein was right when he said particles can't travel faster than light. It's the hypothesis that the universe is holistic that is confusing quantum theory. If the view of quantum theory is an artifact, then as long as it successfully describes the data, it is complete. Einstein, however, was wrong to think every element in the theory had to have a counterpart in physical reality, as long as the theory does the job it is suppose to do. Just my opinion as always, or not. Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

 

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