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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Systems and Measurements, volume 2, numbers 2 and 3, 2009 // View article sysmea_v2_n23_2009_1


Quantum Mechanics Needs Interpretation

Authors:
Louis Marchildon

Keywords: quantum mechanics, correlation, interpretation

Abstract:
Since the beginning, quantum mechanics has raised major foundational and interpretative problems. Foundational research has been an important factor in the development of quantum cryptography, quantum information theory and, perhaps one day, practical quantum computers. Many believe that, in turn, quantum information theory has bearing on foundational research. This is largely related to the so-called epistemic view of quantum states, which maintains that the state vector represents information on a system and which has led to the suggestion that quantum theory needs no interpretation. I will argue that this and related approaches fail to take into consideration two different explanatory functions of quantum mechanics, that of accounting for classically unexplainable correlations between classical phenomena and that of explaining the microscopic structure of classical objects. The epistemic view provides no answer to what constitutes the main question of interpretation: How can the world be for quantum mechanics to be true? I will then review three different approaches to understanding quantum mechanics, namely, Bohmian mechanics, Everett’s relative states, and Cramer’s transactional interpretation. I will show that these approaches answer the above question, as well as other foundational ones. This paper is written from the perspective that different logically consistent interpretations, far from leading to confusion, in fact contribute to increased understanding of the theory.

Pages: 131 to 141

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2009. Used with permission.

Publication date: December 1, 2009

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-261x

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