**Are you an EPFL student looking for a semester project?**

Work with us on data science and visualisation projects, and deploy your project as an app on top of GraphSearch.

Category# Interpretations of quantum mechanics

Summary

An interpretation of quantum mechanics is an attempt to explain how the mathematical theory of quantum mechanics might correspond to experienced reality. Although quantum mechanics has held up to rigorous and extremely precise tests in an extraordinarily broad range of experiments, there exist a number of contending schools of thought over their interpretation. These views on interpretation differ on such fundamental questions as whether quantum mechanics is deterministic or stochastic, local or non-local, which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered real, and what the nature of measurement is, among other matters.
Despite nearly a century of debate and experiment, no consensus has been reached among physicists and philosophers of physics concerning which interpretation best "represents" reality.
The definition of quantum theorists' terms, such as wave function and matrix mechanics, progressed through many stages. For instance, Erwin Schrödinger originally viewed the electron's wave function as its charge density smeared across space, but Max Born reinterpreted the absolute square value of the wave function as the electron's probability density distributed across space.
The views of several early pioneers of quantum mechanics, such as Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, are often grouped together as the "Copenhagen interpretation", though physicists and historians of physics have argued that this terminology obscures differences between the views so designated. Copenhagen-type ideas were never universally embraced, and challenges to a perceived Copenhagen orthodoxy gained increasing attention in the 1950s with the pilot-wave interpretation of David Bohm and the many-worlds interpretation of Hugh Everett III.
The physicist N. David Mermin once quipped, "New interpretations appear every year. None ever disappear." As a rough guide to development of the mainstream view during the 1990s and 2000s, a "snapshot" of opinions was collected in a poll by Schlosshauer et al. at the "Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality" conference of July 2011.

This page is automatically generated and may contain information that is not correct, complete, up-to-date, or relevant to your search query. The same applies to every other page on this website. Please make sure to verify the information with EPFL's official sources.

Related publications (5)

Related courses (3)

Related concepts (28)

Related categories (51)

PHYS-454: Quantum optics and quantum information

This lecture describes advanced concepts and applications of quantum optics. It emphasizes the connection with ongoing research, and with the fast growing field of quantum technologies. The topics cov

COM-309: Introduction to quantum information processing

Information is processed in physical devices. In the quantum regime the concept of classical bit is replaced by the quantum bit. We introduce quantum principles, and then quantum communications, key d

PHYS-758: Advanced Course on Quantum Communication

The aim of this doctoral course by Nicolas Sangouard is to lay the theoretical groundwork that is needed for students to understand how to take advantage of quantum effects for communication technolog

Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen paradox

The Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen (EPR) paradox is a thought experiment proposed by physicists Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen which argues that the description of physical reality provided by quantum mechanics is incomplete. In a 1935 paper titled "Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality be Considered Complete?", they argued for the existence of "elements of reality" that were not part of quantum theory, and speculated that it should be possible to construct a theory containing these hidden variables.

Quantum correlation

In quantum mechanics, quantum correlation is the expected value of the product of the alternative outcomes. In other words, it is the expected change in physical characteristics as one quantum system passes through an interaction site. In John Bell's 1964 paper that inspired the Bell test, it was assumed that the outcomes A and B could each only take one of two values, -1 or +1. It followed that the product, too, could only be -1 or +1, so that the average value of the product would be where, for example, N++ is the number of simultaneous instances ("coincidences") of the outcome +1 on both sides of the experiment.

Causality (physics)

Physical causality is a physical relationship between causes and effects. It is considered to be fundamental to all natural sciences and behavioural sciences, especially physics. Causality is also a topic studied from the perspectives of philosophy, statistics and logic. Causality means that an effect can not occur from a cause that is not in the back (past) light cone of that event. Similarly, a cause can not have an effect outside its front (future) light cone.

Quantum computing

A quantum computer is a computer that exploits quantum mechanical phenomena. At small scales, physical matter exhibits properties of both particles and waves, and quantum computing leverages this behavior, specifically quantum superposition and entanglement, using specialized hardware that supports the preparation and manipulation of quantum states. Classical physics cannot explain the operation of these quantum devices, and a scalable quantum computer could perform some calculations exponentially faster than any modern "classical" computer.

Mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics

The mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics are those mathematical formalisms that permit a rigorous description of quantum mechanics. This mathematical formalism uses mainly a part of functional analysis, especially Hilbert spaces, which are a kind of linear space. Such are distinguished from mathematical formalisms for physics theories developed prior to the early 1900s by the use of abstract mathematical structures, such as infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces (L2 space mainly), and operators on these spaces.

Topics in quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including quantum chemistry, quantum field theory, quantum technology, and quantum information science. Classical physics, the collection of theories that existed before the advent of quantum mechanics, describes many aspects of nature at an ordinary (macroscopic) scale, but is not sufficient for describing them at small (atomic and subatomic) scales.

This paper addresses the problem of sentiment classification of short messages on microblogging platforms. We apply machine learning and pattern recognition techniques to design and implement a classification system for microblog messages assigning them into one of three classes: positive, negative or neutral. As part of this work, we contributed a dataset consisting of approximately 10, 000 tweets, each labeled on a five point sentiment scale by three different people. Experiments demonstrate a detection rate between approximately 70% and an average false alarm rate of approximately 18% across all three classes. The developed classifier has been made available for online use.

Related lectures (28)

Why are classical theories often sufficient to describe the physics of our world even though everything around us is entirely composed of microscopic quantum systems? The boundary between these two fundamentally dissimilar theories remains an unsolved problem in modern physics. Position measurements of small objects allow us to probe the area where the classical approximation breaks down. In quantum mechanics, Heisenbergâs uncertainty principle dictates that any measurement of the position must be accompanied by measurement induced back-action---in this case manifested as an uncertainty in the momentum. In recent years, cavity optomechanics has become a powerful tool to perform precise position measurements and investigate their fundamental limitations. The utilization of optical micro-cavities greatly enhances the interaction between light and state-of-the-art nanomechanical oscillators. Therefore, quantum mechanical phenomena have been successfully observed in systems far beyond the microscopic world. In such a cavity optomechanical system, the fluctuations in the position of the oscillator are transduced onto the phase of the light, while fluctuations in the amplitude of the light disturb the momentum of the oscillator during the measurement. As a consequence, correlations are established between the amplitude and phase quadrature of the probe light. However, so far, observation of quantum effects has been limited exclusively to cryogenic experiments, and access to the quantum regime at room temperature has remained an elusive goal because the overwhelming amount of thermal motion masks the weak quantum effects. This thesis describes the engineering of a high-performance cavity optomechanical device and presents experimental results showing, for the first time, the broadband effects of quantum back-action at room temperature. The device strongly couples mechanical and optical modes of exceptionally high quality factors to provide a measurement sensitivity $\sim\!10^4$ times below the requirement to resolve the zero-point fluctuations of the mechanical oscillator. The quantum back-action is then observed through the correlations created between the probe light and the motion of the nanomechanical oscillator. A so-called âvariational measurementâ, which detects the transmitted light in a homodyne detector tuned close to the amplitude quadrature, resolves the quantum noise due to these correlations at the level of 10% of the thermal noise over more than an octave of Fourier frequencies around mechanical resonance. Moreover, building on this result, an additional experiment demonstrates the ability to achieve quantum enhanced metrology. In this case, the generated quantum correlations are used to cancel quantum noise in the measurement record, which then leads to an improved relative signal-to-noise ratio in measurements of an external force. In conclusion, the successful observation of broadband quantum behavior on a macroscopic object at room temperature is an important milestone in the field of cavity optomechanics. Specifically, this result heralds the rise of optomechanical systems as a platform for quantum physics at room temperature and shows promise for generation of ponderomotive squeezing in room-temperature interferometers.

Quantum Trajectories: Lindblad Equation and MeasurementsPHYS-454: Quantum optics and quantum information

Covers the stochastic Schrödinger equation, Lindblad equation, and continuous measurements in quantum optics.

Quantum EntanglementPHYS-758: Advanced Course on Quantum Communication

Explores quantum entanglement, Bell inequalities, and self-testing in quantum systems.

Quantum Trajectories: Stochastic Schrödinger EquationPHYS-454: Quantum optics and quantum information

Covers the Stochastic Schrödinger equation, Lindblad equation, Monte-Carlo w.f. algorithm, homodyning, and quantum state diffusion.