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B QM Interpretation Inquiry

  1. Apr 21, 2016 #1
    Could physics ever be able to confirm that a certain interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct or is the matter entirely philosophical and thus doomed to the depths of subjectivity?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2016 #2

    Demystifier

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    An interpretation as such cannot be directly confirmed by strict scientific methods, but it can influence a style of thinking that eventually leads to results that can be directly confirmed by such methods.
     
  4. Apr 21, 2016 #3

    Nugatory

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    If two interpretations make different predictions about the results of some experiment, then an experiment would be able to show that one or the other was wrong. (We'd also stop calling them "interpretations" because an interpretation is, by definition, not testable). That wouldn't necessarily tell is which one was right, but at least it would eliminate a wrong one.

    It can happen; the EPR suggestion that QM emerges from some underlying deterministic and local theory was a plausible interpretation until Bell found that it implied Bell's inequality and experiments showed that Bell's inequality is violated. Today GRW makes different predictions than standard QM; in principle these are testable although the effects are far too small to observe in any practical experiment.

    However, unless we have a specific testable prediction in mind (and none are known today), the discussion remains futile. Yes, if we could find a testable difference we could test it... Yes, we can't prove that we'll never find such a thing... But we don't know of any today, which leaves us with nothing to talk about.

    [Note - edited to change "GHZ" to "GRW" which is what I meant. Thanks to demystifier for catching this]
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  5. Apr 21, 2016 #4

    Demystifier

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  6. Apr 21, 2016 #5
    In another thread it was mentioned an extremely speculative way to experimentally test MWI, but I didn't understand what it involved.
     
  7. Apr 21, 2016 #6
    That sounds extremely interesting; could you please provide a link to the thread?
     
  8. Apr 21, 2016 #7
    Quoting it directly, you can click on the arrow to go to the thread:

     
  9. Apr 21, 2016 #8

    Nugatory

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