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Does the quantum wave function represent reality

center_img Two meteorologists predicting the chance of sunshine in a weather forecast. The meteorologist on the left has access to additional data (today’s weather, which is partly cloudy), and consequently the two make different forecasts. Unlike a weather forecast, the quantum mechanical wave function gives a complete description of a quantum system’s future behavior, and nature itself is inherently probabilistic at small scales. Image credit: Colbeck and Renner. ©2012 APS (Phys.org) — At the heart of quantum mechanics lies the wave function, a probability function used by physicists to understand the nanoscale world. Using the wave function, physicists can calculate a system’s future behavior, but only with a certain probability. This inherently probabilistic nature of quantum theory differs from the certainty with which scientists can describe the classical world, leading to a nearly century-long debate on how to interpret the wave function: does it representative objective reality or merely the subjective knowledge of an observer? In a new paper, physicists Roger Colbeck of the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, and Renato Renner who is based at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have presented an argument strongly in favor of the objective reality of the wave function, which could lead to a better understanding of the fundamental meaning of quantum mechanics. Citation: Does the quantum wave function represent reality? (2012, April 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-quantum-function-reality.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img

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