What is Quantum interpretation: Definition and 33 Discussions

An interpretation of quantum mechanics is an attempt to explain how the mathematical theory of quantum mechanics "corresponds" to reality. Although quantum mechanics has held up to rigorous and extremely precise tests in an extraordinarily broad range of experiments (not one prediction from quantum mechanics has been found to be contradicted by experiments), there exist a number of contending schools of thought over their interpretation. These views on interpretation differ on such fundamental questions as whether quantum mechanics is deterministic or stochastic, which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered real, and what the nature of measurement is, among other matters.
Despite nearly a century of debate and experiment, no consensus has been reached among physicists and philosophers of physics concerning which interpretation best "represents" reality.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. P

    I What is the statistical minimal interpretation?

    I've been reading on some of the threads in this subforum and some times the concept of minimal statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics is brought up. What is that? Looking for it in Google leads me to articles on statistical independence, unaccessible papers or (in first place) to...
  2. P

    I Are there any accepted relativistic interpretations of quantum mechanics?

    From the few interpretations of quantum mechanics that I know, let's say: Copenhagen Many Worlds (MWI) Bohmian mechanics Superdeterminism Retrocausality/transactional Objective-collapse Qbism* Consistent histories* I believe the only one that accepts a relativistic version in Copenhagen...
  3. H

    A Is there still a Wigner's friend paradox?

    Happy new year to all the forumers. The Wigner's friend paradox appeared in the early years of quantum mechanics: Wigner knows that his friend looked inside the box to see if the cat is dead or alive. He has two cells in his mind to put what his friend saw. As he ignores the result, he may...
  4. entropy1

    I Why is this interpretation of MWI wrong?

    If we take the wave function Ψ of a particle X that gets measured in a basis with a finite countable number of eigenvectors N, then according to MWI and myself, the interpretation suggests that we can write Ψ as the sum of projections of Ψ on the eigenvectors the following way: Ψ= Σn |e(n)> ⊗...
  5. S

    I Can Decoherence Explain the Many Worlds Interpretation?

    I've been researching the MWI, and just when I thought I was starting to get it, I got confused again. There aren't many worlds; there's one in superposition? What's the difference? When do worlds(?) split? Will someone please explain the theory in a simple way, but not so simplistically I might...
  6. K

    I Spooky action at a distance not allowed?

    Sabine Hossenfelder implies spooky action at a distance is wrong. She says “They seem to think if you do something to one particle in an entangled pair, then that will immediately affect the other one. But this isn’t so. It’s only when you measure one particle, then you have to update the...
  7. S

    I Nima Arkani-Hamed's opinion on Many Worlds?

    I am writing a blog about physics and one of the sections is about the different interpretations of quantum mechanics and some of its supporters. I was wondering what was the opinion of the physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed towards the Many Worlds interpretation... I ask this because I found...
  8. S

    Nima Arkani-Hamed's opinion on Many Worlds?

    I was wondering what was the opinion of the physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed towards the Many Worlds interpretation. Is he open to the possibility of it being true? Does he support it?
  9. S

    I Multiple (Non-Interacting) Universes?

    Before anything, I would like to clarify that I am aware that this is speculative physics more than established mainstream physics (and Smoot is not claiming that his ideas are true). However I think that it is interesting to discuss these models even if they are not yet proven to be right. I...
  10. S

    I Many Worlds as Many Histories?

    I was reading this paper from George Smoot (https://arxiv.org/abs/1003.5952) where he assumes the holographic principle as true and conjectures that our universe would be encoded on the "surface" of an apparent horizon as the weighted average of all possible histories. In that way, there would...
  11. D

    I Quantum interpretation and classical-quantum distinction

    Are/were there any quantum interpretation according to which quantum mechanics COMPLETELY cease to apply at the macroscopic scale? If YES, please name it. I am interested to learn about such interpretation, even if it is inadequate and not widely supported. Of course, the big question remains...
  12. H

    A 't Hooft cellular automaton interpretation

    Hi Pfs, I am not sure that understand what the ontological state in the r' Hooft interpretation: Is this correct: A particle is never in a superposition of ontological properties. it is not here> + there> there is no free will . if it is here> Bob will choose to measure its position , not its...
  13. TheHeraclitus

    B Objective-collapse theory, collapse for large objects

    Let's say we have a big object like chair. According to Objective-collapse theory, is the wave of the chair collapsing and spreading out so fast we see it in one definite position or, does the chair collapse and it remains in this collapsed state longer than microscopic objects like atoms?
  14. T

    I Are there signs that any Quantum Interpretation can be proved or disproved?

    The concept of decoherence seems to be a major progress in quantum mechanics. Has decoherence or any other new finding the potential that a particular interpretation of quantum mechanics will prove correct or incorrect resp. in the foreseeable future?
  15. Demystifier

    A Criteria for a good quantum interpretation

    Matt Leifer gives criteria that any good quantum interpretation should satisfy. http://mattleifer.info/2006/06/28/professional-jealousy/?fbclid=IwAR2wl5kEzcfbn6doA53UMty42JP5dADhA5SDxRjaTMNPkq1i9Ag3WPCwB5Q
  16. EclogiteFacies

    A Does Everettian QM imply solipsism according to Travis Norsen and Sean Carroll?

    Travis Norsen in his paper Quantum Solipsism and Non-Locality seems to believe that Everettian QM implies some sort of solipsism. He falls it FAPP (for all present purposes) solipsism. (I must say that as a geologist this goes over my head a bit!) However I have recently read Sean Carrolls...
  17. EclogiteFacies

    I Consistent Histories Interpretation - History

    I have just finished reading the book 'Three Roads to Quantum Gravity' by Lee Smolin. My question interestingly is associated with my geology background. Lee Smolin notes Fay Dowker concludes that if Consistent Histories is true then we cannot deduce the existence of dinosaurs 100 million...
  18. Q

    I What is the current perspective on quantum interpretation?

    Back in the day, there were a few Quantum Interpretation polls on here, as of late I have not seen any. I love that we now have a sub-forum for Foundations discussions. I figured it would be interesting to see how the participants of PhysicsForums feel about the different interpretations these...
  19. J

    I A simple explanation of the Born rule?

    Summary: Perhaps the Born rule can be understood by considering quantum transitions going both forward and backward in time simultaneously. The probability that an initial quantum state ##|\psi_i\rangle## becomes the final quantum state ##|\psi_f\rangle## is given by \begin{eqnarray*} P(i...
  20. S

    A Relation between Bohm's Interpretation and Implicate order?

    What relation exists between Bohm's Implicate-Explicate order and De Broglie-Bohm interpretation? If any relation exists at all...
  21. A

    A Why is this Pilot-wave model on a discrete spacetime stochastic?

    Look at the paper in the link below: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10701-016-0026-7.pdf It introduces a pilot-wave model on a discrete spacetime lattice. However, the pilot-wave model is not deterministic; the motion of quantum particles is described by a |Ψ|^2-distributed...
  22. Demystifier

    I Find your ideal quantum interpretation

    Find the interpretation of QM that best suits your personality. You don't need to think much about quantum interpretations to decide which one is the best for you. Just choose one of the offered answers to a couple of questions on the graph. You don't need to think much about the offered...
  23. A

    B Is string theory a deterministic hidden variable theory?

    There are several interpretations of QM which differ from being deterministic or non deterministic, with or without hidden variables and local or non-local. As I understand it ST poses the existence of vibrating strings, that is, physical objects with definite properties, moving along a world...
  24. Truecrimson

    I "Single-world interpretations.... cannot be self-consistent"

    A new preprint by Daniela Frauchiger and Renato Renner argues that any interpretation of quantum theory that posits only a single world gives contradictory predictions provided that an observer (which makes predictions) can be observed (Wigner's friend scenarios). This might be of interest to...
  25. Hybrid

    The Two-State Vector Formalism

    Within Two-state vector formalism is the universe probabilistic or determined? I have read into this interpretation, but I cannot figure out which. Thanks guys https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-state_vector_formalism http://www.tau.ac.il/~yakir/yahp/yh165.pdf...
  26. Hybrid

    If we restarted the Universe n Times from T=0......

    Would it always be identical? Would it ever be identical? Essentially with the current state of physics and taking quantum fluctuations into consideration, would it always be the same? Is there motion at T=0?Another question: If we restarted the Universe from the big bang and let it play out...
  27. Diploria

    In what sense do within-H-atom electrons "move" at ~1/137c?

    Hello, 1. I read here and here that in the hydrogen atom, electrons move at approximately ~1/137c. In the first link they speak of "zipping around the nucleus", presumably figuratively, because it is often stressed that QM has superseded the earlier model of electrons flying around. Instead we...
  28. Gort

    Can there ever be a Theory of Everything?

    This article triggered the topic: http://physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com/2010/09/hawking-mlodinow-no-theory-of_30.html In "The Grand Design", Hawking argues that there may never be a Theory of Everything (in spite of a movie by the same name). The article says "In a quantum world, particles...
  29. bohm2

    New Quantum Interpretation Poll

    A Snapshot of Foundational Attitudes Toward Quantum Mechanics http://lanl.arxiv.org/pdf/1301.1069.pdf
  30. Z

    Classical vs. Quantum interpretation of spin 4-vector

    I have a few basic questions about the Pauli-Lubanski spin 4-vector S. 1. I've used it in quantum mechanical calculations as an operator, that is to say each of the components of S is a matrix operator that operates on an eigenvector or eigenspinor. But my question is about the utility of S...
  31. G

    Which Quantum Interpretation could make a difference?

    Is there an interpretation of quantum mechanics, which could make a difference to future calculations and results? Maybe an interpretation which could rewrite and simplify the algebra? Or one which has new testible results which when correct would change the quantum mechanical equations to make...
  32. F

    Quantum Interpretation Poll (2011)

    I think it's time for the annual quantum interpretation poll. Vote for which interpretation you currently think represents reality.
  33. C

    Quantum interpretation of Ring Laser Interferometry

    I have a question about Ring Laser Interferometry. A couple of years ago I contributed some text and several pictures to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagnac_effect" . Ever since I have been curious about the quantum interpretation of Ring laser interferometry. The special thing about...