Current Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics
Different interpretations of quantum mechanics are presented and discussed, comparing and contrasting the various approaches to understanding the formalism of the theory. We begin with “textbook quantum mechanics” and then discuss the Copenhagen view, operationalist quantum mechanics, hidden variable theories, Bohm-de Broglie theory, consistent histories, relational quantum mechanics, relative state approaches (many minds and many worlds), QBism, the interactional interpretation, and collapse theories.
- Recommended preparation
Not applicable. Some notes will be distributed to the class.
- Breadth requirement
- Distribution requirement
Realist, phenomenalist, and pragmatist perspectives on scientific theories. Review of conventional textbook quantum mechanics. Local causality and signal locality. Elements of formal measurement theory and wave function collapse; decoherence and the classical/quantum boundary. Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Operationalist quantum mechanics. Hidden variable theories: possibilities and problems. Contextuality and nonlocality; Bell’s theorem. Bohm deBroglie theory and generalizations. Modal interpretations and consistent histories quantum mechanics of Gell-Mann, Hartle, Omnes. Relative state interpretations (Everett’s “many worlds,” more recent work by Wallace and Carroll). Quantum Darwinism. QBism. Relational Quantum Mechanics. A sketch of collapse theories.
- course title
- year of study
- 4th year
- time and location
24L: LEC0101: MW3 24T: TUT0101: MW4 Students/TAs: Room information available on ACORN (https://www.acorn.utoronto.ca/) Instructors: Room information available in the LSM Portal (https://lsm.utoronto.ca/lsm_portal)