[PDF] The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science)

ISBN: 9027704651

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Posted on 2017-12-12, by luongquocchinh.

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Author: Jeffrey Bub | Publisher: Springer | Category: Physics | Language: English | Page: 156 | ISBN: 9027704651 | ISBN13: 9789027704658 |

Description: From the Preface: This book is a contribution to a problem in foundational studies, the problem of the interpretation of quantum mechanics, in the sense of the theoretical signijBicance of the transition from classical to quantum mechanics. The obvious difference between classical and quantum mechanics is that quantum mechanics is statistical and classical mechanics isn't. Moreover, the statistical character of the quantum theory appears to be irreducible: unlike classical statistical mechanics, the probabilities are not generated by measures on a probability space, i.e. by distributions over atomic events or classical states. But how can a theory of mechanics be statistical and complete? Answers to this question which originate with the Copenhagen interpretation of Bohr and Heisenberg appeal to the limited possibilities of measurement at the microlevel. To put it crudely: Those little electrons, protons, mesons, etc., are so tiny, and our fingers so clumsy, that whenever we poke an elementary particle to see which way it will jump, we disturb the system radically - so radically, in fact, that a considerable amount of information derived from previous measurements is no longer applicable to the system. We might replace our fingers by finer probes, but the finest possible probes are the elementary particles themselves, and it is argued that the difficulty really arises for these. Heisenberg's y-ray microscope, a thought experiment for measuring the position and momentum of an electron by a scattered photon, is designed to show a reciprocal relationship between information inferrable from the experiment concerning the position of the electron and information concerning the momentum of the electron. Because of this necessary information loss on measurement, it is suggested that we need a new kind of mechanics for the microlevel, a mechanics dealing with the dispositions for microsystems to be disturbed in certain ways in situations defined by macroscopic measuring instruments. A God's-eye view is rejected as an operationally meaningless abstraction...

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