Quantum realism mounts a charge. Prepare phenomenological defenses.
December 5, 2011 2:11 PM Subscribe
posted by wjzeng (42 comments total)
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A mixed (superpositioned?) state of buzz among those working in quantum foundations
over a new paper
by Matt Pusey
asserting that quantum states are real physical objects and not simply statistical probability distributions. Matt Leifer
does a balanced contextualization and explication. A giddy article in nature news
and David Wallace
support and summarize.
This type of reasoning, seeking to develop experimental tests to rule out certain interpretations
(and accompanying metaphysical baggage) of quantum theory, follows in the footsteps of the famous Bell's Theorem
, which rules out certain kinds of hidden-variable theories
. This new paper by Pusey, et. al. asserts that what is commonly referred to as the Copenhagen interpretation
(i.e. quantum mechanics is merely a way of describing the things in our head that we know about the system) is untenable.
Here are some more rapidly developing encapsulations
to the original Pusey, et. al. result. Grain of salt reminder: terms like "physically real", "physical property", and "statistical property" need to be read carefully within how they are defined (or not well defined) within each paper. On-going discussion at shetl-optimized.