MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Is Paul Marmet's intrepretation to QM viable?

Date: Thu Apr 19 05:04:06 2001
Posted By: Michael Wohlgenannt, Grad student, Ph.D. student, Department of theoretical physics , university of munich
Area of science: Physics
ID: 984491406.Ph

hi John,

sorry for the delay. I think the interpretation the Paul Marmet ( offers, is not as new as he suggests. it is quite different from the Copenhagen interpretation, that's right. I always consider the Copenhagen interpretation as a "working definition" for quantum mechanics. What I refer to as Copenhagen interpretation is contained in Heisenberg's book Physik und Philosophie, Verlag Ullstein (1959) (english version Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science). I suspect that Paul Marmet in his first chapter often refers to a different Copenhagen interpretation, rather recently influenced by Cramer and others. I do agree with most of the first chapter, but I think that at some points when he wants to critisize Copenhagen interpretation he critisizes recent "developement" I would not call Copenhagen interpretation.
his "new" solution to interpretation problem is based on his concept of realism (chapter 4) and Einstein's principle of relativity (chapter 5). he shows explicitly that wave-particle duality has been removed, that there are no infinite velocities any more etc (chapter 6, 7). this seems quite natural. quantum mechanics is no relativistic theory, therefore do we encounter some contradictions to the theory of relativity. combining quantum mechanics and relativity gives relativistic quantum field theory, as is known. in this theory we do not have wave-particle duality! this is most clearly described by Feynman path integrals. there exists a phenomenal popular book by Feynman on that subject, QED.

I still want to say a few words on some aspects of the first chapter. First of all on the quotation of Feynman, I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics. this statement is very often used, and I think always in the wrong context, but I may be wrong. Feynman was pro Copenhagen. the point I want to stress is given in Heisenberg's book. in the chapter Copenhagen Interpretation, he begins The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics starts with a paradoxon. Every physical experiment, no matter whether it deals with atoms or things of our daily life, has to be described in terms of classical physics. The concepts of classical physics make up the language in which we state the setting of our experiment und the results. I think that language is vital for understanding. one way to understand something is to formulate it. the language we can understand is our daily language. classical physics and our daily language share the same concepts. we can understand classical physics, but not quantum physics which uses concepts which are not contained in our daily language. we deal with them via classical pictures we make in order to get a better understanding of it. so cannot understand quantum mechanics as it is, but you have to use classical physics to formulate the setting of the experiment and the results. but classical physics is in contradiction with quantum mechanics to some extend. so quantum mechanics can't be understood. maybe I am wrong.
maybe another problem talking about interpretation of physics is that one easily gets to the point thinking that physics and "reality" (in a conventional sense) are the same. one forgets that physicists are only modelling nature and reality. nature may be completely different but in some aspects she behaves like the modells. of course one wants to extract more and more knowledge about nature, but one has to be cautious, I guess.

I hope I could help you a bit, greetings


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