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Understanding quantum mechanics: a review and synthesis in precise language

Drummond, Brian (2019) Understanding quantum mechanics: a review and synthesis in precise language. Open Physics, 17 (1). pp. 390-437. ISSN (Online) 2391-5471

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Abstract

This review, of the understanding of quantum mechanics, is broad in scope, and aims to reflect enough of the literature to be representative of the current state of the subject. To enhance clarity, the main findings are presented in the form of a coherent synthesis of the reviewed sources. The review highlights core characteristics of quantum mechanics. One is statistical balance in the collective response of an ensemble of identically prepared systems, to differing measurement types. Another is that states are mathematical terms prescribing probability aspects of future events, relating to an ensemble of systems, in various situations. These characteristics then yield helpful insights on entanglement, measurement, and widely-discussed experiments and analyses. The review concludes by considering how these insights are supported, illustrated and developed by some specific approaches to understanding quantum mechanics. The review uses non-mathematical language precisely (terms defined) and rigorously (consistent meanings), and uses only such language. A theory more descriptive of independent reality than is quantum mechanics may yet be possible. One step in the pursuit of such a theory is to reach greater consensus on how to understand quantum mechanics. This review aims to contribute to achieving that greater consensus, and so to that pursuit.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Drummond, Briandrummond.work@phonecoop.coop0000-0002-1565-6542
Keywords: statistical balance; state; entanglement; measurement; independent reality
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Mr Brian Drummond
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2020 03:26
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2020 03:26
Item ID: 16793
Journal or Publication Title: Open Physics
Publisher: De Gruyter
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1515/phys-2019-0045
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1515/phys-2019-0045
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 17 September 2019
Page Range: pp. 390-437
Volume: 17
Number: 1
ISSN: (Online) 2391-5471
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16793

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