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Which interpretation is your favourite?

  1. MWI

    8 vote(s)
  2. MMI

    0 vote(s)
  3. Copenhagen?

    4 vote(s)
  4. Shut up and calculate

    9 vote(s)
  5. String theory

    1 vote(s)
  6. M-Theory

    1 vote(s)
  7. Stochastic models

    1 vote(s)
  8. LQG

    1 vote(s)
  9. Other

    4 vote(s)
  10. None of the above?

    4 vote(s)
  1. Dec 7, 2009 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2009 #2
    MWI of course
  4. Dec 7, 2009 #3
    Of course but why? :biggrin:
  5. Dec 7, 2009 #4
    1. It is minimalistic interpretation, it does not require additional assumptions (except may be a weak form of born rule)
    2. It is deterministic
    3. It is realistic
    4. It allows our Universe to start from very simple or null initial conditions at t=0
    5. It is compatible with Max Tegmarks MUH
    6. It's weirdness is beautiful
  6. Dec 7, 2009 #5
    BTW I dont think superstring and LQG stuff has anything to do with the Interpretations wars. While these theories will unify the gravity with other interactions, I dont expect TOE to resolve any interpretation issues.

    I believe in MWI, so QM is *already* complete, and all these collapse things is just invention of the tortles.
  7. Dec 7, 2009 #6
    Shut-up-and-calculate is even simpler.
  8. Dec 7, 2009 #7
    Yes, but it is not an interpretation. Those who claim that they use only 'Shut up and calculate' are not fair enough - they are using the interpretational things (Born rule for example) to map the number they get into what they observe. When they get 0.5498585 as a result they can say only 'I get 0.549885 after my calculations'. When they say 'I get 0.549885 and hence I expect blah blah blah they DO use interpretation, they just dont admit it.
  9. Dec 7, 2009 #8
    Would you argue with Dirac or Feynman?
  10. Dec 7, 2009 #9
    Many physicists have subscribed to the instrumentalist interpretation of quantum mechanics, a position often equated with eschewing all interpretation. It is summarized by the sentence "Shut up and calculate!". While this slogan is sometimes attributed to Paul Dirac[17] or Richard Feynman, it is in fact due to David Mermin.[18]


    "Shut up and calculate" is just a slogan. It really means 'When we do experiments we can forget about these weird things'. Like Big Bang, which is not a Bang at all...
  11. Dec 7, 2009 #10


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    Relational Blockworld
  12. Dec 7, 2009 #11
    There are many interpretations on the market. They all are interesting and have their own good features. The reason I chose "shut up and calculate" is not that I do not care about interpretations. It is because I consider most important first to be able to calculate on its own, 6 and a half days a week, while not closing one's eye on alternative interpretations on the basis of philosophical prejudice, but only do it on spare time. The vast majority of working physicists is not working on foundations, and they mostly "shut up and calculate". As far as I can tell, I have seen too often, on this very forum, people arguing about such interpretation while not being able to calculate, and I think it is vain.
  13. Dec 7, 2009 #12
    Is there somewhere a detailed description of each interpretation to learn "officially" or at least sufficiently professionally?
  14. Dec 8, 2009 #13


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    I usually do not use the word "stupid" on this forum, but this time I cannot resist. What other word to use for a poll in which string theory, M-theory and LQG are proclaimed - interpretations of QM?
  15. Dec 8, 2009 #14


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    I tend to agree.

    String / M and LQG are not interpretations of QM. In addition the list of interpretations is both incomplete and not detailed enough. If you read papers and books carefully you will learn that the experts are familiar with QM and philosophy; as such two people preferring the "same" interpretation will mostly differ in the details. Even Feynman was a realist in his normal course of life. He surely believed in the continuous existence of his bedroom during his labor time in the office. But of course Feynman would have never agreed to a realistic interpretation of QM. You will find many more examples ...

    So I would suggest to read a book on the subject. e.g.
    - Bernard d'Espagnat: On Physics and Philosophy
    - Jeffrey Bub: Interpreting the Quantum World
  16. Dec 18, 2009 #15
    I Like Transactional Interpretation.
    - It explains the whole process of "wave function collapse". Wave function does not magically disappeared after it is collapsed. It canceled out as the transaction is completed.
    - Wave function is physically "real" wave.
    - It's time symmetric.
    - Observer has no special role in collapse of wavefunction. Emitter and Absorber(Observer) of wave function are the same

  17. Dec 18, 2009 #16


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    What are emitters and absorbers? Does this interpretation say that there are objects not defined by wave functions? Is Schrodinger equation violated at the places where emitters and absorbers are present?
  18. Dec 18, 2009 #17
    Emitter and Absober are exactly the charged particle that radiate the wave. E.g., electron emits/absorbs a photon during transition to another energy state.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler–Feynman_absorber_theory" [Broken]. The idea of Transactional Interpretation came from this theory.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. Dec 18, 2009 #18
    That theory has the same problem as CI.
    Observer, or emitter, or absorber are not well defined and magic
  20. Dec 18, 2009 #19


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    Can you write down equations that govern the behavior of this particle? Is it the classical equation of motion? Also the question that I have already asked but you didn't answer: Is Schrodinger equation violated at the positions of charged particles? Finally, what about particles without charge?
  21. Dec 18, 2009 #20


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    Good point, but I'm afraid that the problem with the transactional interpretation could be even much worse than the problem with CI.
  22. Dec 18, 2009 #21
    Yes, it is not clear how it works for color charges, for example.

    In any case, TI is a collapse interpretation, which saves the realism at cost of assuming actions backward in time.

    Regarding the collapse it has the same problems as CI. For example, a mirror or a lense is not considered to be an 'absorber' even photon iteracts with atoms of the glass, while our retina is considered to be an absorber.
  23. Dec 23, 2009 #22
    To me ensemble interpretation is the way to go as it is the minimal interpretation consistent with all experiments. QM is incomplete and cannot describe individual events only their statistics.

    MWI on the other hand is an abomination - the most extreme violation of Ockham's Razor one can imagine and I can't see how it solves anything as there still has to be some kind of a "collapse." Something has to determine which possibility happens to each observer since there is at least one special observer - the one in which my conscious resides - and this special observer is only experiencing one possibility and not the other so there has to be a "collapse" to determine which one it is.
  24. Dec 23, 2009 #23
    1 No, it is minimalistic. It had been discussed many times. MWI does not introduce additional postulated hence it is minimalistic

    2 Quantum Decoherence

    3 How do you know that your consiousness resides in only one branch?
  25. Dec 23, 2009 #24
    1. It postulates existence of immense/infinite number of additional unobservable universes whose number is constantly growing and which are being created out of nothing.

    3. Experience, there is always only one possible outcome available to my consciousness.
  26. Dec 23, 2009 #25

    Agree 100%. I am also a fan of "Shut up and Calculate" and if you cannot Calculate then you should Shut Up. In the past I thought that it was quite fun and harmless to debate interpretations but now with so much quantum babble going around I am not so sure any more.
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