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Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics (is there a general consensus?) 
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#19
Feb1212, 04:10 PM

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Vectronix:
There are many interpretations...check here in Wikipedia for background and introduction http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum...ulus_formalism It's probably the 'abstract vector space' formulation thats leads to major disagreements. Here are a few quotes I saved from QUANTUM MECHANICS by Albert Messiah: This first may be the most controversial: So what we have, in my own words, are models. They provide some great insights, have been shown to offer many experimental predictions which have been verified to great precision, but which still leave remaining interpretational issues. 


#20
Feb1212, 09:37 PM

PF Gold
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#21
Feb1212, 09:46 PM

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#22
Feb1212, 10:46 PM

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1. configuration space "realism" (e.g. if wave function is real, then the 3D space of our ordinary experience must be an illusion). Or 2. at least a need to explain and find a way to recover 3D space from configuration space and wave function ontology. Some argue that there are problems with taking option 1. above (e.g. David Albert), however as noted by Maudlin and summarized here by Ney: Ontological Reduction and the Wave Function Ontology http://www.rochester.edu/college/fac...veFunction.pdf 


#23
Feb1312, 02:58 AM

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Thanks Bill 


#25
Feb1312, 04:59 PM

P: 20

The original question was Interpretation of QM;is there a general concensus? Why dosen't someone answer that question ?.
Does anyone still take the Copenhagen view as the best available?.What other interpretations are currently favoured?. 


#26
Feb1312, 06:17 PM

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PF Gold
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Thanks Bill 


#27
Feb1312, 06:24 PM

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Thanks Bill 


#28
Feb1312, 09:40 PM

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The reality of configuration space http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=554543 


#29
Feb1312, 10:02 PM

PF Gold
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You're saying that if the wavefunction is regarded as real, then the space on which it takes on values must be the space in which it "lives." If the particles are instead regarded as real, then the wavefunction can just be thought of as a way to organize information about those particles, in which case the particles can still "reside" in 3 space while the wave function takes on values from some information space. I think that's true, I just don't really buy the idea that either the wave function or the particles are real. It's all just the spaces we use to picture the information the information of a wave function takes on values from configuration space, but that's nothing new, we have many ways of organizing information about particles that is accessed from configuration space. But even the particle concept, and the 3space concept, are just more ways of organizing information. Why do we need to say which mode of information is real? All information is real, but it's still just information.
Hence I think a lot of this issue relies on what we think is "existing in" 3D space. The wavefunction of multiple particles is not a function on 3D space, we can agree there, but I don't see that it has any problem referring to other entities that "reside" in 3D space. We are interested in tracking correlations, so the correlations can't exist in 3D space, but what they are correlating can. I don't see why this issue is any different from using phase space to talk about N gas particles in a box, for example. The 6N dimensional phase space of those N particles is also not a 3 dimensional object, but it is clearly referring to particles that can be pictured as "residing" in 3 space, and moving through 3 space. It's just the mathematical treatment, like if we say F=ma we are looking at a second time derivative of a 3D position, but if we say F(x)=dp/dt and p=m*dx/dt, we are looking at two first time derivatives on a 6D space of x and p. No one thinks these two different formulations call into question the reality of whether particles "reside" in 3 space, if one is a realist in regard to particles, there is just a difference between the entities we are interested in versus what space we use to track our information about them. But I don't really see any point in being a realist in regard to either particles or wavefunctions physics manipulates information, get over it, is my attitude. (That isn't "shut up and calculate", it's "talk as much as you like, but what you are talking about is information.") 


#30
Feb1312, 10:44 PM

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#31
Feb1312, 11:16 PM

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#32
Feb1312, 11:23 PM

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#33
Feb1412, 03:13 AM

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I am with bohm2 on this one. And I am puzzled about what the meaning of 'real' is to people that say that the wave function is real! Usually it is said that it is real in the same way as the electromagnetic field is, but it is obviously not real in that way. To me real means that there is an object that is in 3D space that intereacts with other objects. Then clearly the wave function is not such a thing. So what does real mean to those poeple?



#34
Feb1412, 03:53 AM

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http://arxiv.org/pdf/1104.2822v1.pdf You mentioned Bohm2  Bohms pilot wave would be something that also had real existence  the theory is a bit vague about exactly what it is. Thanks Bill 


#35
Feb1412, 03:58 AM

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#36
Feb1412, 07:27 AM

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http://wwwphysique.ustrasbg.fr/cou.../Nine_form.pdf 'The quantum potential Q(x1,x2,t) changes instantaneously throughout conﬁguration space whenever the wavefunction changes, and this mechanism is responsible for the nonlocal correlations that are so characteristic of quantum mechanics. A rather natural mechanism prevents human beings from tapping into this instantaneous change for the purpose of fasterthanlight communications.' Interestingly that paper discusses another equivalent formulation of Quantum mechanics, the Second Quantization Formulation, usually associated with QFT, but can also be a formulation for bog standard QM, which can be viewed as a field of creation and annihilation operators at all points of space. Thanks Bill 


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