Category Archives: Quantum Mechanics

Not So Spooky Action at a Distance

I’ve recently read another new popular book about quantum mechanics, Quantum Strangeness by George Greenstein. Before getting to saying something about the book, I need to get something off my chest: what’s all this nonsense about Bell’s theorem and supposed … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Quantum Mechanics | 62 Comments

Is Quantum Mechanics a Probabilistic Theory?

There is a simple question about quantum theory that has been increasingly bothering me. I keep hoping that my reading about interpretational issues will turn up a discussion of this point, but that hasn’t happened. I’m hoping someone expert in … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics | 74 Comments

What is Real?

There’s a new popular book out this week about the interpretation of quantum mechanics, Adam Becker’s What is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics. Ever since my high school days, the topic of quantum mechanics and … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Quantum Mechanics | 74 Comments

Various Topics in Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

A couple of recent discussions about quantum mechanics that may be of interest: There’s a recent paper out by Don Weingarten that looks looks like it might have a different take on the fundamental “many-worlds” problem of, as he writes: … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics | 19 Comments

The Free Particle

Following on my notes about Euler’s formula, I’ve finally finished some work on another piece of elementary exposition, a discussion of the free quantum particle, which can be found as chapters 10, 11 and 12 of the book I’m working … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics | 19 Comments

This Week’s Hype

From commenter Hendrik, there’s the news that USC has put out a press release claiming that String Theory Could Be the Foundation of Quantum Mechanics. These claims are based on this paper, which argues that finding the Heisenberg commutation relations … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics, This Week's Hype | 5 Comments

Use the Moment Map, not Noether’s Theorem

For a fourth provocative slogan about quantum mechanics I’ve chosen: Use the moment map, not Noether’s Theorem. Pretty much every physics textbook these days explains the way symmetry principles work as: Start with an action functional, invariant under a Lie … Continue reading

Posted in Favorite Old Posts, Quantum Mechanics | 25 Comments

Nature is Fundamentally Conformally Invariant

For a third slogan I’ve chosen: Nature is fundamentally conformally invariant. Note the weasel-word “fundamentally”. We know that nature is not conformally invariant, but the kind of thing I have in mind is pure QCD, where the underlying classical theory … Continue reading

Posted in Favorite Old Posts, Quantum Mechanics | 33 Comments

Grand Unification of Mathematics and Physics

For a second slogan about quantum mechanics I’ve chosen: Quantum mechanics is evidence of a grand unification of mathematics and physics. I’m not sure whether this slogan is likely to annoy physicists or mathematicians more, but in any case Edward … Continue reading

Posted in Favorite Old Posts, Quantum Mechanics, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Quantum Theory is Representation Theory

For a first slogan (see here for slogan zero) I’ve chosen: Quantum theory is representation theory. One aspect of what I’m referring to is explained in detail in chapter 14 of these notes. Whenever you have a classical phase space … Continue reading

Posted in Favorite Old Posts, Quantum Mechanics | 43 Comments