What is quantum interpretations: Definition and 18 Discussions

An interpretation of quantum mechanics is an attempt to explain how the mathematical theory of quantum mechanics might correspond to experienced reality. Although quantum mechanics has held up to rigorous and extremely precise tests in an extraordinarily broad range of 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, local or non-local, 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.

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  1. J

    I Carroll's Derivation of the Born Rule in MWI with Unequal Amplitudes

    In Caroll and Seben's paper, Many Worlds, the Born Rule, and Self-Locating Uncertainty, they present a derivation of the Born rule. For the equal probability case their derivation is based on the following principles. Self Locating Uncertainty - "the condition of an observer who knows that the...
  2. bhobba

    I A Bold New Take on Quantum Theory

    New Scientist recently published an article entitled 'A Bold New Take on Quantum Theory'. I found interesting Unfortunately, it is behind a paywall, but I will give my precis. How QM, which only predicts probabilities, gives rise to the solid, well-defined world around us is still a mystery...
  3. Spinnor

    I Nelson's Stochastic Mechanics, simple argument why interference exists?

    See, Derivation of the Schrödinger Equation from Newtonian Mechanics Edward Nelson Phys. Rev. 150, 1079 – Published 28 October 1966 Abstract, "We examine the hypothesis that every particle of mass m is subject to a Brownian motion with diffusion coefficient ℏ2m and no friction. The influence...
  4. K

    I The Self-Decoherence of Schroedinger's Cat

    A toy model might be to split the cat into two half-cats, each decohering the other. I'm intrigued by the idea that half-cat-1 is in a mixed state relative to half-cat-2 and vice versa. My question is, is there any reason to think that the actual cases observed by the two half-cats are going to...
  5. K

    I The Horrifying Implications of the Many-Worlds Interpretation

    In a different thread, hungrybear asks, Are the implications of MWI really this horrifying? The argument being that every conceivable world must happen to some extent, so that includes worlds so horrific that the mere possibility of their existing makes life intolerable here. Of course there...
  6. gentzen

    A Yakir Aharonov's time-symmetric formulation of quantum mechanics

    I recently watched "A New Approach to Quantum Mechanics" by Dr. Yakir Aharonov Part 1 (12.12.2023 | Institute for Quantum Studies) on YouTube (and also Part 2 and 3). I was naive enough to believe it was really new. Only when I searched for a valid reference in order to be allowed to ask about...
  7. DrChinese

    A Loophole-free test of local realism via Hardy's violation

    Loophole-free test of local realism via Hardy's violation (2024) Si-Ran Zhao, Shuai Zhao, Hai-Hao Dong, Wen-Zhao Liu, Jing-Ling Chen, Kai Chen, Qiang Zhang, Jian-Wei Pan "Bell's theorem states that quantum mechanical description on physical quantity cannot be fully explained by local realistic...
  8. K

    I Understanding Mixed Basis States in Hilbert Space: Uses and Applications

    We can represent a state as a vector in Hilbert space. The Hilbert space can be spanned by a set of base vectors. The set is not unique: we can choose to work in any convenient basis. The state vector is therefore a superposition in some (most) bases but not all. The above views everything as...
  9. bhobba

    I Could Tim Maudlin's Views on Bell and QM Be Flawed?

    Hi All I have never been particularly impressed with Tim Mauldin's general take on Bell and QM. I am reading an article of his at the moment. Here is an excerpt (lightly edited by Grammarly to have correct punctuation, etc). Start Quote But for expository purposes, the point is most...
  10. Fra

    A Game theory, quantum physics and the Bell inequality (paper)

    The reason for highlighting this paper is to highlight (and exemplify by how different researcher think about this) a new "perspective" to understanding the different between "ignorance of the physicists" which is reallly what Bell assumptions imples. And "ignorance of they players", which is...
  11. J

    I Can AIs act as conscious observers?

    Imagine that a spin-up silver atom is split into spin-left and spin-right components. The components interact with two artificial intelligences whose operation is then reversed so that when the spin components are brought together again we recover the original spin-up state. Is it true that...
  12. S

    I Quantum entanglement in the MWI

    As far as I know, we don't understand the apparent faster-than-light "communication" between a measured particle and one entangled to it. Does the Many Worlds Interpretation explain this? Does it have anything else to say about entanglement?
  13. Demystifier

    A Statistical ensemble interpretation done right

    Concerning statistical ensemble interpretation (SEI), a lot of confusion has been created and lot of nonsense has been said, especially in a recent thread on "missed opportunities in Bohmian mechanics". Even Ballentine himself said many things about it that do not always seem perfectly clear and...
  14. L

    B What are complex numbers good for?

    I was thinking of investigating field theory because i like reading about quantum interpretations. What role does complex numbers have in physics? I have a hard time seeing why properties of a point in that field are not just multi dimensional properties on some parameter space? Why start...
  15. L

    I Copenhagen Interpretation vs Pilot Waves

    I was unsatisfied with the measurement problem so I was looking at pilot wave (PW) Sabine says one downside of pilot wave is there is no QFT version for pilot wave yet. And a significant problem in replacing the QFT is that PW is non-local, and that copenhagen very much depends on being local...
  16. J

    I Why do we experience the Born Rule in Many Worlds?

    I hate to bring up an old saw again, but I've been listening to Carroll and some others wax poetically about Many Worlds. And Jurek's work on decoherence and pointer states seem to address some of the problems with the MWI. However, I haven't seen any compelling explanation as to why an...
  17. K

    I Realism in the entanglement swap experiment

    In the thread general-argument-that-entanglement-can-only-be-created-locally @Cthugha explains why the monogamy argument used by @DrChinese in his entanglement swapping experiment explanation is bunk. Given that the monogamy argument is bunk, if the raw measurement values of photons of 1 and 4...
  18. gentzen

    I QFT made Bohmian mechanics a non-starter: missed opportunities?

    I once conjectured that Bohmian mechanics arrived at an unfortunate point in time, when interest in QFT overshadowed potential opportunities offered by Bohmian mechanics: One of those opportunities was the analysis of non-locality, later done by Bell, and the reason why I brought up Bohmian...