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IMHO the measurement problem stems from von Neumann's introduction of a "collapse of the wavefunction" axiom in his (1931?) Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Personally, I go for Everett's "relative state" formulation. But that has ontological problems.

Bohm's model works for spinless, newtonian particles. I am not aware of a workable generalisation of Bohm's "pilot wave" formulation to quantum fields, variable unmbers of particles, or particles with spin or internal degrees of freedom.

The "classical limit" is related, but not the same, as the measurement problem. It is related because we describe "measurement" in terms of macroscopic objects. Imagining that von Neumann's "collapse" applies to any interaction that one might call a "measurement" leads to the quantum zeno paradox. But the quantum zeno paradox assumes that interactions are instantaneous, which is unphysical.

The fact is, every single counterintuitive or paradoxical prediction of quantum mechanics that has been tested experimentally has been confirmed, so when I say above that a particular interpretation on quantum mechanics has "ontological problems" I have to wonder whether it's not Ontology that has experimental problems.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 26th, 2007 at 11:07:28 AM EST
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