Prospect magazine has an excellent new article by Philip Ball on recent developments in the fundamental problem of the interpretation of quantum mechanics: why don’t we see superpositions? Most popular discussions of this seem to me to be stuck back in debates from the 1930s, and ignore the main question. QM is a simple, beautiful mathematical structure that works perfectly experimentally, the confusing question is that of how classical behavior emerges during a measurement process (typically involving huge numbers of degrees of freedom, making analysis difficult).
At the end of the article, Ball mentions one particularly intriguing set of ideas, due to Wojciech Zurek, about “quantum Darwinism”. For more about this, see Zurek’s survey here.
There’s a new preprint out by Steven Weinberg on Collapse of the State Vector. Weinberg claims that “There is now no entirely satisfactory interpretation of quantum mechanics”, and refers for more detail about this claim to Section 3.7 of his Lectures on Quantum Mechanics, a manuscript that is “to be published”. I’m definitely looking forward to this book when it comes out. The sort of thing that Weinberg examines in the preprint though, modifying QM to take into account wave-function collapse, is the kind of idea I’ve never found promising. Why modify QM, it works perfectly and is mathematically extremely aesthetically compelling? Better to keep QM as is, and closely examine one’s understanding of what the problem really is.
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