fredag 15 april 2016

Spilled Ink of Quantum Mechanics

Leading physics spokesman Leon Susskind starts his recent contemplation over quantum mechanics Everett vs Copenhagen with the following quotes:
  • If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet. (Niels Bohr)
  • We have always had a great deal of difficulty understanding the world view that quantum mechanics represents. (Richard Feynman)
  • Quantum mechanics is so confusing that I can’t even tell if there is a problem, but maybe it’s all ok because it works. There is probably not much profit in thinking about “interpretations” and even less in arguing about them.  (Dirac)
Susskind then contributes his own doubts and confession:
  • Is there a problem, as Feynman suggests—and then suggests there isn’t—and then suggests that maybe there is? What is it that has caused so much angst and spilled ink? 
  • It is obvious that the Copenhagen Interpretation cannot be the last word. 
  • Now I feel that our current views of quantum mechanics are provisional.
We understand that what Susskind tells us, is that still after 100 years of intense intellectual work by several generations of most brilliant physicists, the state of quantum mechanics today is more confusing and speculative than ever (lots of spilled ink). No progress, only angst.

The game seems to be that the more you stress that quantum mechanics is not understood, the more insightful and knowledgeable you appear yourself.

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