publication . Preprint . Other literature type . Article . 1998

What is quantum mechanics trying to tell us?

N. David Mermin;
Open Access English
  • Published: 25 Jan 1998
I explore whether it is possible to make sense of the quantum mechanical description of physical reality by taking the proper subject of physics to be correlation and only correlation, and by separating the problem of understanding the nature of quantum mechanics from the hard problem of understanding the nature of objective probability in individual systems, and the even harder problem of understanding the nature of conscious awareness. The resulting perspective on quantum mechanics is supported by some elementary but insufficiently emphasized theorems. Whether or not it is adequate as a new Weltanschauung, this point of view toward quantum mechanics provides a...
free text keywords: Quantum Physics, General Physics and Astronomy, Quantum, Quantum cognition, Objective probability, Interpretations of quantum mechanics, Physical reality, Physics, Theoretical physics, Minority interpretations of quantum mechanics, Quantum mechanics, Conscious awareness, Quantum information science
Related Organizations
Funded by
NSF| Foundations of Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity
  • Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Project Code: 9722065
  • Funding stream: Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences | Division of Physics

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39. See, for example, Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind , Oxford, New York, 1989, and Shadows of the Mind , Oxford, New York, 1994; Henry Stapp, Mind, Matter, and Quantum Mechanics, Springer Verlag, New York, 1993.

40. See, for example, Jeffrey Bub, Interpreting the Quantum World , Cambridge, 1997 and Bas C. Van Fraassen, Quantum Mechanics: An Empiricist View , Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991, and references cited therein.

41. For a recent formulation and references see Robert B. Griffiths, “Consistent Histories and Quantum Reasoning”, Phys. Rev. A54, 2759-2774 (1996).

42. See, for example, Asher Peres, Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods, Kluwer Academic, Dodrecht, 1993, pp.123-126.

45. A. M. Gleason, “Measures on the Closed Subspaces of a Hilbert Space,” Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics 6, 885-893 (1957).

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