Entanglement and Reality (Interpretations of Quantum Physics)

Posted: March 12, 2019 at 7:14 pm

The following is direct copy-paste from my notes. I have had some time to reflect on this, but I’m strongly leaning towards Karen Barad’s Agential Realist Interpretation, which I will post about after doing some more reading.

Bell’s Theorem and the EPR Paradox

Quantum entanglement means that one of these things is very different than we tend to accept:

  • Locality: distance has no meaning in some cases
  • Realism: reality does not exist without observation “counterfactual definiteness” coexistence of everything possible.
  • Freedom of choice: the universe and all of our actions are deterministic.

“namely (i) reality (that microscopic objects have real properties determining the outcomes of quantum mechanical measurements), and (ii) locality (that reality in one location is not influenced by measurements performed simultaneously at a distant location). ” (wikipedia)

Interpretations of Quantum Physics

Copehhagen interpreration

  • “In metaphysical terms, the Copenhagen interpretation views quantum mechanics as providing knowledge of phenomena, but not as pointing to ‘really existing objects’, which it regarded as residues of ordinary intuition.” (Wikipedia)
  • “Because it asserts that a wave function becomes ‘real’ only when the system is observed, the term “subjective” is sometimes proposed for the Copenhagen interpretation. This term is rejected by many Copenhagenists[23] because the process of observation is mechanical and does not depend on the individuality of the observer. ” (wikipedia)
  • Does the wave function hold all possible states? (Born rule)
  • “Bohm applied decoherence to Louis DeBroglie’s pilot wave theory, producing Bohmian mechanics,[33][34] the first successful hidden variables interpretation of quantum mechanics.” (Wikipedia)
  • ‘according to Paul Davies, “reality is in the observations, not in the electron”.[12]’

Ensemble interpretation

  • Wave functions define collections of systems, not individual systems.
  • link with SFU

De Broglie–Bohm theory

  • hidden variable theory

Relational quantum mechanics

  • the state of the system is a correlation between system and observer

Transactional interpretation

  • “time-symmetric transaction between a possibility wave from the source to the receiver (the wave function) and a possibility wave from the receiver to source (the complex conjugate of the wave function).”
  • sounds like your thinking and Merleau-Ponty
  • How does this relate to Barad’s Agential Realist interpretation?

Objective collapse theories

  • collapse happens randomly or once a threshold has been crossed.

von Neumann–Wigner interpretation

  • consciousness causes collapse (whose?)

Other concepts to consider in more detail

  • Heisenberg uncertainty principle / non-separability
  • Logical positivism
  • instrumetalism: if it’s not measured it does not matter, real or not.