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Quantum Mechanics: Keeping It Real?

Callender, Craig (2020) Quantum Mechanics: Keeping It Real? [Preprint]

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Abstract

It is well-known that Schrödinger wanted to interpret the quantum wavefunction ψ as representing a continuous distribution of charge traveling through three-dimensional space. What is less appreciated is that Schrödinger also originally desired that his wavefunction be represented by a real-valued function and not a complex one. This paper is an introduction to and advertisement of Schrödinger’s 4th-order real wave equation, the first published time dependent Schrödinger equation. I introduce two ways of interpreting this equation and show how this equation provides insight into quantum time reversal invariance. My hope is that readers will find other examples where “keeping it real” can help.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Callender, Craigccallender@ucsd.edu
Additional Information: Rough draft. Comments welcome.
Keywords: wavefunction, real-valued, complex, Schrödinger, quantum theory
Subjects: General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Craig Callender
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2020 03:34
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2020 03:34
Item ID: 17641
Subjects: General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 23 July 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17641

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