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The 7 Basic Rules of Quantum Mechanics

For reference purposes and to help focus discussions on Physics Forums in interpretation questions on the real issues, there is a need for fixing the common ground. There is no consensus about the interpretation of quantum mechanics, and – not surprisingly – there is disagreement even among the mentors and science advisors here on Physics…

Clarifying Common Issues with Indistinguishable Particles

Commonly there is a lot of imprecision in talking about ”indistinguishable” (or ”identical”) particles, even in serious work. This Insight article clarifies the issues involved in a conceptually precise way. Classical mechanics. Historically, indistinguishable particles were introduced in order to explain the failure of the thermodynamics of a Newtonian ##N##-particle system to describe the absence…

Exploring a Classical View of the Qubit

This Insight article is part of my paper Foundations of quantum physics III. Measurement, featuring the thermal interpretation of quantum physics. See this discussion. $$\def\D{\displaystyle} % display style \def\SS {{\bf S}} \def\Bsymbol#1{{\bm #1}} \def\Bsigma{{\sigma}} \def\half{\frac{1}{2}} \def\<{\langle} % expectation \def\>{\rangle} % expectation \def\fct#1{\mathop{\rm #1}} % e.g., \fct{tr} \def\fns#1{{\mbox{\rm \scriptsize#1}}} % subscript text \def\Tr{{\fct{Tr}}}$$ Stokes’ quantum counter. One…

Learn the Top Misconceptions about Virtual Particles

This Insight Article is a sequel to the Insight Article ”The Physics of Virtual Particles”, which contains an exposition of definitions that are physically justified, and in particular, makes precise what a virtual particle is and what being real means. As discussed in detail in the companion article, virtual particles are defined as (intuitive imagery…

Introduction to Causal Perturbation Theory

Relativistic quantum field theory is notorious for the occurrence of divergent expressions that must be renormalized by recipes that on first sight sound very arbitrary and counterintuitive. But it doesn’t have to be this way… Traditional approaches The starting point of any quantum field theory is free fields that serve to define irreducible representations of…