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Why are there so many interpretations of quantum mechanics? – Pierre Hohenberg

Date: Thu. September 1st, 2011, 4:15 pm-5:15 pm
Location: Rockefeller 301

The foundations of quantum mechanics have been plagued by controversy throughout the 85 year history of the field. It is argued that lack of clarity in the formulation of basic philosophical questions leads to unnecessary obscurity and controversy and an attempt is made to identify the main forks in the road that separate the most important interpretations of quantum theory. The consistent histories formulation, also known as ”consistent quantum theory”, is described as one particular way (favored by the author) to answer the essential questions of interpretation. The theory is shown to be a realistic formulation of quantum mechanics, in contrast to the orthodox or Copenhagen formulation which will be referred to as an operationalist theory.

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