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Books on Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics

  1. Sep 28, 2014 #1
    What are some good textbooks dealing with various Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics? I am not asking for popular science books. I have a book called 'Understanding Quantum Mechanics' by Ronald Omens on the consistent histories approach and I am looking for something like that.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2014 #2


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    The Copenhagen-style shut-up-and-calculate interpretation which works is, or should be :), loved by everyone. Nonetheless it has the "Measurement Problem", which is the main question interpretations aim to solve. A great and entertaining discussion of the problem is John Bell's "Against Measurement" http://www.tau.ac.il/~quantum/Vaidman/IQM/BellAM.pdf.

    Steven Weinberg's "Lectures on Quantum Mechanics" has a very good section on interpretation https://www.amazon.com/Lectures-Quantum-Mechanics-Steven-Weinberg/dp/1107028728.

    Franck Laloë's "Do We Really Understand Quantum Mechanics" is also excellent https://www.amazon.com/Do-Really-Understand-Quantum-Mechanics/dp/110702501X. An earlier article by Laloë with the same title is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0209123.

    I remain skeptical about the details, but I would really like the Deutsch-Wallace version of Many-Worlds to work because it is so intriguing. David Wallace describes the approach in "The Emergent Multiverse". https://www.amazon.com/The-Emergent-Multiverse-according-Interpretation/dp/0199546967
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  4. Oct 1, 2014 #3
    This one French physicist Bernard D'Espagnat wrote an interesting book which covers a lot of this material in depth called On Physics and Philosophy. In it he's putting forth his own interpretation, so he does confront and criticize all the other popular interpretations, but he still presents an in depth description of each one, and discusses their individual strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Jul 11, 2017 #4
    I recently came across a book by Gerard 't Hooft. If anyone can provide a feedback, I'd be really grateful.
    And you can even access it for free at http://www.springer.com/in/book/9783319412849

    The Cellular Automaton Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
    Authors: 't Hooft, Gerard

    • A radically different approach to the challenges of quantum theory
    • Authored by one of today's most creative theoretical physicists
    • Pedagogically structured to first introduce concepts and main arguments, with technical details presented separately
    This book presents the deterministic view of quantum mechanics developed by Nobel Laureate Gerard 't Hooft.

    Dissatisfied with the uncomfortable gaps in the way conventional quantum mechanics meshes with the classical world, 't Hooft has revived the old hidden variable ideas, but now in a much more systematic way than usual. In this, quantum mechanics is viewed as a tool rather than a theory.

    The author gives examples of models that are classical in essence, but can be analysed by the use of quantum techniques, and argues that even the Standard Model, together with gravitational interactions, might be viewed as a quantum mechanical approach to analysing a system that could be classical at its core. He shows how this approach, even though it is based on hidden variables, can be plausibly reconciled with Bell's theorem, and how the usual objections voiced against the idea of ‘superdeterminism' can be overcome, at least in principle.

    This framework elegantly explains - and automatically cures - the problems of the wave function collapse and the measurement problem. Even the existence of an “arrow of time" can perhaps be explained in a more elegant way than usual. As well as reviewing the author’s earlier work in the field, the book also contains many new observations and calculations. It provides stimulating reading for all physicists working on the foundations of quantum theory.
  6. Jul 13, 2017 #5


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    Another vote for Laloe!
    If you want to take only one book, let it be this one.
  7. Jul 18, 2017 #6
    In principle, there would be no need for various interpretations of Quantum Mechanics. The problem is that many physicists still insist on thinking about quantum phenomena within the scope of classical ideas and notions.
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