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New Quantum Interpretation Poll

by bohm2
Tags: interpretation, poll, quantum
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bohm2
#1
Jan7-13, 08:42 PM
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Here, we present the results of a poll carried out among 33 participants of a conference on the foundations of quantum mechanics. The participants completed a questionnaire containing 16 multiple-choice questions probing opinions on quantum-foundational issues. Participants included physicists, philosophers, and mathematicians. We describe our findings, identify commonly held views, and determine strong, medium, and weak correlations between the answers. Our study provides a unique snapshot of current views in the field of quantum foundations, as well as an analysis of the relationships between these views...

The statements that found the support of a majority(i.e., answers checked by more than half of the participant)were, in order of the number of votes received:
1. Quantum information is a breath of fresh air for quantum foundations (76%).
2. Superpositions of macroscopically distinct states are in principle possible (67%).
3. Randomness is a fundamental concept in nature (64%).
4. Einstein's view of quantum theory is wrong (64%).
5. The message of the observed violations of Bell's inequalities is that local realism is untenable (64%).
6. Personal philosophical prejudice plays a large role in the choice of interpretation (58%).
7. The observer plays a fundamental role in the application of the formalism but plays no distinguished physical role (55%).
8. Physical objects have their properties well defined prior to and independent of measurement in some cases (52%).
9. The message of the observed violations of Bell's inequalities is that unperformed measurements have no results (52%).
A Snapshot of Foundational Attitudes Toward Quantum Mechanics
http://lanl.arxiv.org/pdf/1301.1069.pdf
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DrChinese
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Jan8-13, 12:58 PM
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Cool paper! There were 33 respondents, and these included some of the top names in the field.

A few additional comments from the paper:

-Interpretations themselves: 42% identified with Copenhagen, 18% with MWI, 0% with Bohmian, and the remainder split amongst various non-specific (such as "information based").

-They conclude: "Yet, nearly 90 years after the theory's development, there is still no consensus in the scientifi c community regarding the interpretation of the theory's foundational building blocks. Our poll is an urgent reminder of this peculiar situation."
bohm2
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Jan8-13, 01:12 PM
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Quote Quote by DrChinese View Post
-Interpretations themselves: 42% identified with Copenhagen, 18% with MWI, 0% with Bohmian, and the remainder split amongst various non-specific (such as "information based").
I'm not sure but I feel left out, for some reason.

DrChinese
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Jan8-13, 01:23 PM
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New Quantum Interpretation Poll

Quote Quote by bohm2 View Post
I'm not sure but I feel left out, for some reason.
Gosh, I have no idea why.

It is interesting that even though there were no Bohmians, 12% saw action-at-a-distance in Bell tests. And 36% had some notion of non-locality (although that could mean almost anything).
George Jones
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Jan8-13, 01:32 PM
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Quote Quote by DrChinese View Post
Cool paper!
Yes!
Quote Quote by DrChinese View Post
There were 33 respondents, and these included some of the top names in the field.
I would like to know the ages of the respondents, and the age distributions for the responses to the questions.
stevendaryl
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Jan8-13, 01:44 PM
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Quote Quote by DrChinese View Post
Cool paper! There were 33 respondents, and these included some of the top names in the field.

A few additional comments from the paper:

-Interpretations themselves: 42% identified with Copenhagen, 18% with MWI, 0% with Bohmian, and the remainder split amongst various non-specific (such as "information based").

-They conclude: "Yet, nearly 90 years after the theory's development, there is still no consensus in the scientifi c community regarding the interpretation of the theory's foundational building blocks. Our poll is an urgent reminder of this peculiar situation."
Is Copenhagen actually an interpretation? It seems to me an attempt, one that's mostly successful, to get on with using quantum mechanics without waiting for agreement about what it all means.
Nugatory
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Jan8-13, 01:56 PM
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Quote Quote by stevendaryl View Post
Is Copenhagen actually an interpretation? It seems to me an attempt, one that's mostly successful, to get on with using quantum mechanics without waiting for agreement about what it all means.
From a historical perspective, it seems fair to consider Copenhagen an interpretation (the first one?). That doesn't necessarily conflict with your equally fair description of it.
bohm2
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Jan8-13, 04:04 PM
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Quote Quote by Nugatory View Post
From a historical perspective, it seems fair to consider Copenhagen an interpretation (the first one?).
I believe the pilot-wave interpretation predated the Copenhagen interpretation. It just wasn't as well received.
kevinferreira
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Jan8-13, 04:06 PM
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Quote Quote by DrChinese View Post
Gosh, I have no idea why.

It is interesting that even though there were no Bohmians, 12% saw action-at-a-distance in Bell tests. And 36% had some notion of non-locality (although that could mean almost anything).
12% means 4 people according to the paper, maybe that could be the 3 mathematicians and 1 philosopher....!
atyy
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Jan8-13, 04:22 PM
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The poll only included many-worlds worlds in which the respondents were not Bohmian. In other worlds, there were definitely Bohmians;)
DrChinese
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Jan8-13, 04:45 PM
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Quote Quote by bohm2 View Post
I believe the pilot-wave interpretation predated the Copenhagen interpretation. It just wasn't as well received.
I would be cautious on this point, there may be a slight bit of revisionism going on with this particular idea (not on your part, from the recent historical paper I am fairly sure you are familiar with). There are some rabid dBB folk out there who are trying very hard to twist historical opinion around in some very odd ways. You can see it in Wiki and several other prominent spots, and their views are quite at variance with the mainstream. The basic idea is that Bohmian mechanics should be considered as the "standard" or first interpretation and that Bohr and others squeezed out that viewpoint in favor of Copenhagen. That is far fetched, seriously.

Much of the school of thought known as Copenhagen really came out of the same conference where de Broglie presented his early ideas on the matter. Obviously, people were trying to get their heads around the new ideas being presented. And as has been pointed out by many, Copenhagen can really mean a lot of different things anyway. I think of it as a minimalist interpretation where the formalism rules, not as an expression (for example) of Bohr's viewpoint.
DrChinese
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Jan8-13, 04:45 PM
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Quote Quote by atyy View Post
The poll only included many-worlds worlds in which the respondents were not Bohmian. In other worlds, there were definitely Bohmians;)
They were all Bohmian in some branches.
atyy
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Jan8-13, 07:36 PM
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Technically, people like Valentini, although definitely Bohmian, are not in favour of the Bohmian "interpretation", since the consideration of non-equilibrium presumably allows deviations from quantum mechanics, ie it is a different theory and not just an interpretation. Do the questions allow for this possibility?
kith
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Jan8-13, 10:02 PM
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Quote Quote by atyy View Post
Technically, people like Valentini, although definitely Bohmian, are not in favour of the Bohmian "interpretation", since the consideration of non-equilibrium presumably allows deviations from quantum mechanics, ie it is a different theory and not just an interpretation. Do the questions allow for this possibility?
Yes. Nobody chose the answer "There is a hidden determinism" to the question "What is your opinion about the randomness of individual quantum events?"

It is quite interesting that not a single one of these foundations researches takes the possibility of (deterministic) hidden variables seriously.
atyy
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Jan8-13, 10:17 PM
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Quote Quote by kith View Post
Yes. Nobody chose the answer "There is a hidden determinism" to the question "What is your opinion about the randomness of individual quantum events?"

It is quite interesting that not a single one of these foundations researches takes the possibility of (deterministic) hidden variables seriously.
Interesting indeed. However, since no names were attached to the votes, we don't know who voted for what. So how do we know they took the poll seriously?
kith
#16
Jan8-13, 10:39 PM
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We don't know for sure but I personally think the people answered honestly. Why should they spoil Schlosshauer's and Zeilinger's poll instead of just not taking part if they are not interested in contributing?

The fair sampling loophole seems more important to me. ;-)
atyy
#17
Jan8-13, 10:42 PM
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Quote Quote by kith View Post
We don't know for sure but I personally think the people answered honestly. Why should they spoil Schlosshauer's and Zeilinger's poll instead of just not taking part if they are not interested in it?

The fair sampling loophole seems more important to me. ;-)
Demystifier
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Jan9-13, 03:46 AM
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Quote Quote by kith View Post
The fair sampling loophole seems more important to me. ;-)
Agree!
For example, at page 8 they say:
"Similarly, the fact that de Broglie–Bohm interpretation did not receive any votes may simply be an artifact of the particular set of participants we polled."

For comparison, in another recent unfair sampling of leading quantum foundationalists:
M. Schlosshauer, Elegance and Enigma - The Quantum Interviews (2011)
3 of 17 (i.e., 18%) people prefer de Broglie–Bohm interpretation.


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