Guidelines for Quantum Physics Forum

In summary: The guidelines for this new forum include strict moderation of discussions on interpretations and foundations, and the use of the minimal interpretation as the default approach unless otherwise specified.
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TL;DR Summary
Explanation of the guidelines needed for productive discussion in the Quantum Physics forum
Brief Description of New Quantum Forum Structure

A common topic of discussion regarding quantum mechanics is the foundations of QM as a theory structure and different interpretations of QM. These discussions are of interest to many PF members, but they present some unique challenges since they deal with matters for which there is not an established "right" answer that has been confirmed by experiment and is generally accepted by scientists in the field. As a result, such discussions do not usually reach a fairly quick resolution, and often do not reach a resolution at all; and when they appear in a thread that was originally about a question which *does* have an established "right" answer, the mixing of the two types of discussion is detrimental to both.

In order to better support such discussions while not detracting from PF's mission with respect to ordinary, non-foundational and non-interpretation questions about quantum mechanics, we have created a separate subforum for discussions on the foundations and interpretation of QM. This forum is called "Quantum Interpretations and Foundations" and is treated somewhat similarly to the "Beyond the Standard Model" forum in that discussions there are expected to be about matters which are not yet established mainstream science.

Cliff Note Version

QM guidelines
  1. All PF guidelines applicable to any forum apply here, plus the following.
  2. Only the basic mathematical framework and experimental predictions of QM are discussed here, not QM interpretations or foundations (i.e., shut up and calculate). More detail on the minimal QM interpretation to be used can be found in this Insights article.
  3. Questions that require discussion of QM interpretations or foundations will be moved to the Quantum Foundations and Interpretations forum.
  4. Claims about the merits or demerits of a particular QM interpretation are off topic in this forum and will be moderated strictly.

Expanded Version

The general guidelines for this forum are the same as for the other "ordinary" physics forums, such as General Physics, Classical Physics, and Special and General Relativity. In particular, the usual rules regarding acceptable references or sources apply. There is a lot of pop science misinformation out there about QM, probably more than about any other topic in physics. If you are not sure whether a particular reference or source about QM is acceptable, it probably isn't.

Because of the need to ensure that discussions of ordinary questions about quantum mechanics that can be answered without opening up a discussion on foundations or interpretations are kept within those boundaries, there are some additional guidelines specific to the subject matter of QM that apply in this forum:

- The official interpretation of QM in this forum is the minimal interpretation, also known as "shut up and calculate". Unless there is a particular reason to adopt another interpretation in a specific thread (for example, because the reference on which the question discussed in the thread is based uses a different interpretation in its analysis), this official interpretation shall be the one adopted in all discussions in this forum, and use of any other interpretation will be moderated strictly. For more details on what is contained in this minimal interpretation, see this Insights article.

Particular reasons to use a different interpretation from the official interpretation in this forum must be explained in the first post in a thread in which such an interpretation is used or referred to. Judgment as to whether such reasons are sufficient shall be reserved for the moderators. When in doubt, the moderators will err on the side of either deleting such posts, or, if deemed appropriate, moving them to the Quantum Foundations and Interpretations forum in accordance with the next guideline.

- Valid questions which cannot be answered without getting into a discussion of different interpretations, or QM foundations, will be moved to the Quantum Foundations and Interpretations forum with no penalty to the original poster. This includes questions about what particular interpretations say about different scenarios.

- Claims about the merits or demerits of a particular QM interpretation are off topic in this forum and will be moderated strictly.
 
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This includes claims that a particular interpretation is more "logical" or "intuitive" than others, as these are subjective opinions and not verifiable facts.

- Discussions in this forum are expected to be about matters which are not yet established mainstream science. This means that discussions about well-established interpretations or foundations of QM, such as the Copenhagen interpretation or the many-worlds interpretation, are not appropriate for this forum. Instead, this forum is intended for discussions about emerging or alternative interpretations and foundations that are still being explored and debated by scientists in the field.

In summary, the new quantum forum structure aims to provide a separate space for discussions on the foundations and interpretations of QM while maintaining the focus of the other physics forums on well-established science. This will allow for more focused and in-depth discussions on the more controversial and open-ended aspects of quantum mechanics, while also keeping the other physics forums on track with their intended purpose.
 

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