tisdag 7 maj 2019

Quantum Mechanics Still a Complete Mystery 2

Tim Maudlin introduces his new book Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory with the following credo:
  • A physical theory should clearly and forthrightly address two fundamental questions: what there is, and what it does. 
  • The answer to the first question is provided by the ontology of the theory, and the answer to the second by its dynamics. 
  • The ontology should have a sharp mathematical description, and the dynamics should be implemented by precise equations describing how the ontology will, or might, evolve.
  • The Copenhagen Interpretation, in contrast, does not. There is little agreement about just what this approach to quantum theory postulates to actually exist or how the dynamics can be unam- biguously formulated. Nowadays, the term is often used as short-hand for a general instrumentalism that treats the mathematical apparatus of the theory as merely a predictive device, uncommitted to any ontology or dynamics at all.
  •  Sometimes, accepting the Copenhagen Interpretation is understood as the decision simply to use the quantum recipe without further question: Shut up and calculate. Such an attitude rejects the aspiration to provide a physical theory, as defined above, at all. 
  • Hence it is not even in the running for a description of the physical world and what it does. More specific criticisms could be raised against this legacy of Bohr, but our time is better spent presenting what is clear than decrying what is obscure.
The Copenhagen Interpretation is the text book interpretation of quantum mechanics, which Maudlin thus refutes as meaningless. I agree totally. 

What does then Maudlin offer in the book instead of the Copenhagen Interpretation? Very little: pilot wave theory and many worlds theory, both failed attempts to give meaning to Schrödinger's wave function. The book thus gives yet another account of the mystery of quantum mechanics 100 years after its creation. 

The whole problem comes from the multi-dimensionality of Schrödinger's equation asking for a statistical unphysical interpretation. How many new books will be written on the theme that physicists do not understand the quantum mechanics they preach?

But there is light in the tunnel: Real Quantum Mechanics.

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