Quantum Mechanics

Edited by Michael Cuffaro (Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München)
Assistant editor: Radin Dardashti (Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München, University of Wuppertal)
About this topic
Summary Issues in the philosophy of quantum mechanics include first and foremost, its interpretation. Probably the most well-known of these is the 'orthodox' Copenhagen interpretation associated with Neils Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, John von Neumann, and others. Beginning roughly at the midway point of the previous century, philosophers' attention began to be drawn towards alternative interpretations of the theory, including Bohmian mechanics, the relative state formulation of quantum mechanics and its variants (i.e., DeWit's "many worlds" variant, Albert and Loewer's "many minds" variant, etc.), and the dynamical collapse family of theories. One particular interpretational issue that has attracted very much attention since the seminal work of John Bell, is the issue of the extent to which quantum mechanical systems do or do not admit of a local realistic description. Bell's investigation of the properties of entangled quantum systems, inspired by the famous thought experiment of Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen, seems to lead one to the conclusion that the only realistic "hidden variables" interpretation compatible with the quantum mechanical formalism is a nonlocal one. In recent years, some of the attention has focused on applications of quantum mechanics and their potential for illuminating quantum foundations. These include the sciences of quantum information and quantum computation. Additional areas of research include philosophical investigation into the extensions of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics (such as quantum electrodynamics and quantum field theory more generally), as well as more formal logico-mathematical investigations into the structure of quantum states, state spaces, and their dynamics.
Key works Bohr 1928 and Heisenberg 1930 expound upon what has since become known as the 'Copenhagen interpretation' of quantum mechanics. The famous 'EPR' thought experiment of Einstein et al 1935 aims to show that quantum mechanics is an incomplete theory which should be supplemented by additional ('hidden') parameters. Bohr 1935 replies. More on Bohr's views can be found in Faye 1991, Folse 1985. Inspired by the EPR thought experiment, Bell 2004 [1964] proves what has since become known as "Bell's theorem." This, and a related result due to Kochen & Specker 1967 serve to revive the discussion of hidden variables and alternative interpretations of quantum mechanics. Jarrett 1984 analyses the key "factorisability" assumption Bell uses to derive his theorem into two distinct sub-assumptions, which Jarrett refers to as "locality" and "completeness". Two important volumes dedicated to the topics of entanglement and nonlocality are Cushing & McMullin 1989 and Maudlin 2002. Among the more discussed alternative interpretations of quantum mechanics are: Bohmian mechanics (Bohm 1952, and see also Cushing et al 1996), and Everett's relative state formulation (Everett Iii 1973). The latter gives rise to many variants, including the many worlds, many minds, and decoherence-based approaches (see Saunders et al 2010). Other notable interpretations and alternative theories include dynamical collapse theories (Ghirardi et al 1986), as well as the Copenhagen-inspired QBist view (Fuchs 2003, Fuchs 2010). An attempt to axiomatize quantum mechanics in terms of information theoretic constraints, and a discussion of the relevance of this for the interpretation of quantum mechanics is given in Clifton et al 2002. Discussion of this and other issues in quantum information theory can be found in: Timpson 2004. Key works in the philosophy of quantum field theory include: Redhead 1995, Redhead 1994, Ruetsche 2011, Teller 1995.
Introductions Hughes 1989 is an excellent introduction to the formalism and interpretation of quantum mechanics. Albert 1992 is another, which focuses particularly on the problem of measurement in quantum mechanics.
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  1. Ground State Quantum Vortex Proton Model.Peter Lynch, Kelly S. Verrall, Andrew Otto, Emily Friederick, Andrew Kaminsky, Micah Atkins & Steven C. Verrall - 2023 - Foundations of Physics 53 (1):1-22.
    A novel photon-based proton model is developed. A proton’s ground state is assumed to be coherent to the degree that all of its mass-energy precipitates into a single uncharged spherical structure. A quantum vortex, initiated by the strong force, but sustained in the proton’s ground state by the circular Unruh effect and a spherical Rindler horizon, is proposed to confine the proton’s mass-energy in its ground state. A direct connection between the circular Unruh effect, the zitterbewegung effect, spin, and general (...)
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  2. Popper, Bohr and the Contextuality in Quantum Mechanics.Sébastien Poinat - 2021 - Philosophia Scientiae:157-175.
    Durant toute sa vie intellectuelle, Karl Popper a accusé Niels Bohr d’avoir défendu des thèses subjectivistes à propos de la mécanique quantique et d’avoir introduit le concept de sujet au sein de la physique. Or, cette accusation va à l’encontre des textes de Bohr. L’objectif de cet article est de montrer que, dans sa restitution même des positions de Bohr, Popper n’a pas pris au sérieux une thèse centrale défendue par Bohr, qu’on appelle « la contextualité des phénomènes quantiques», et (...)
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  3. Quantum Molinism.Thomas Harvey, Frederick Kroon, Karl Svozil & Cristian Calude - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (3):167-194.
    In this paper we consider the possibility of a Quantum Molinism : such a view applies an analogue of the Molinistic account of free will‘s compatibility with God’s foreknowledge to God’s knowledge of (supposedly) indeterministic events at a quantum level. W e ask how (and why) a providential God could care for and know about a world with this kind of indeterminacy. We consider various formulations of such a Quantum Molinism, and after rejecting a number of options arrive at one (...)
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  4. Quantum physics wthout quantum philosophy.Detlef Dürr - 2013 - New York: Springer.
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  5. Quantum entanglement in electron optics: generation, characterization, and applications.Naresh Chandra - 2013 - New York: Springer.
    Introduction -- Quantum information: basic relevant concepts and applications -- Theory -- Part I. Atomic processes -- Coulombic entanglement: one-step single photoionization of atoms -- Coulombic entanglement: one-step double photoinonization of atoms -- Coulombic entanglement: two-step double photoinonization of atoms -- Fine-structure entanglement: bipartite states of flying particlees with rest mass different from zero -- Bipartite states and flying electronic qubits -- Part II. Molecular processes -- One-step double photoionization of molecules -- Two-step double photoionization of molecules -- Part III. (...)
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  6. Quantum concepts in physics: an alternative approach to the understanding of quantum mechanics.Malcolm S. Longair - 2013 - New york: Cambridge University Press.
    Written for advanced undergraduates, physicists, and historians and philosophers of physics, this book tells the story of the development of our understanding of quantum phenomena through the extraordinary years of the first three decades of the twentieth century. Rather than following the standard axiomatic approach, this book adopts a historical perspective, explaining clearly and authoritatively how pioneers such as Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Pauli and Dirac developed the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and merged them into a coherent theory, and why the mathematical (...)
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  7. Traditions and debates in recent quantum physics. Orthodoxies on the interpretation of quantum theory : the case of the consistent history approach / Olival Freire. From do-it-yourself quantum mechanics to nanotechnology? : the history of experimental semiconductor physics, 1970-2000.Christian Kehrt - 2013 - In Shaul Katzir, Christoph Lehner & Jürgen Renn (eds.), Traditions and transformations in the history of quantum physics: HQ-3, Third International Conference on the History of Quantum Physics, Berlin, June 28-July 2, 2010. Edition Open Access.
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  8. From classical to quantum physics. Theoretical challenges by experimental physics : radiation and its interaction with matter / Shaul Katzir. Challenging the boundaries between classical and quantum physics : the case of optical dispersion / Marta Jordi Taltavull. Putting the quantum to work : Otto Sackur's pioneering exploits in the quantum theory of gases. [REVIEW]Massimiliano Badino & Bretislav Friedrich - 2013 - In Shaul Katzir, Christoph Lehner & Jürgen Renn (eds.), Traditions and transformations in the history of quantum physics: HQ-3, Third International Conference on the History of Quantum Physics, Berlin, June 28-July 2, 2010. Edition Open Access.
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  9. Extending the framework of quantum physics. Superposing dynamos and electrons : electrical engineering and quantum physics in the case of Nishina Yoshio / Kenji Ito. The origins of Maria Göppert's dissertation on two-photon quantum transitions at Göttingen's Institutes of Physics, 1920-1933 / Barry R. Masters. An act of creation : the Meitner-Frisch interpretation of nuclear fission. [REVIEW]Roger H. Stuewer - 2013 - In Shaul Katzir, Christoph Lehner & Jürgen Renn (eds.), Traditions and transformations in the history of quantum physics: HQ-3, Third International Conference on the History of Quantum Physics, Berlin, June 28-July 2, 2010. Edition Open Access.
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  10. Traditions and transformations in the history of quantum physics: HQ-3, Third International Conference on the History of Quantum Physics, Berlin, June 28-July 2, 2010. [REVIEW]Shaul Katzir, Christoph Lehner & Jürgen Renn (eds.) - 2013 - [Berlin]: Edition Open Access.
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  11. Causal ubiquity in quantum physics: a superluminal and local-causal physical ontology.Raphael Neelamkavil - 2014 - New York: Peter Lang Edition.
    Introduction: The law of causality and its methodology -- Recent causal realism in quantum physics -- The law of causality : Hume, Quine and quantum physics -- Ontological and probabilistic causalisms -- Laplacean causalism in quantum physics -- Ontological commitment in quantum physics -- Causality in some quantum experiments -- Interpretations of important results in quantum physics -- Causality in the EPR paradox: Part 1. The physics -- Causality in the EPR paradox: Part 2. The physical ontology -- Causality in (...)
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  12. Quantum Potential: Physics, Geometry and Algebra.Ignazio Licata - 2014 - Cham: Imprint: Springer.
    Recently the interest in Bohm realist interpretation of quantum mechanics has grown. The important advantage of this approach lies in the possibility to introduce non-locality ab initio, and not as an "unexpected host". In this book the authors give a detailed analysis of quantum potential, the non-locality term and its role in quantum cosmology and information. The different approaches to the quantum potential are analysed, starting from the original attempt to introduce a realism of particles trajectories (influenced by de Broglie's (...)
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  13. Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: physical, philosophical and logical perspectives: proceedings of the Young Quantum Meetings, CLEA, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 8-9 October, 2009. [REVIEW]Diederik Aerts, Sven Aerts & Christian de Ronde (eds.) - 2014 - Chennai: World Scientific.
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  14. Von der Physik zur Metaphysik: eine soziologische Rekonstruktion des Deutungsproblems der Quantentheorie.Werner Vogd - 2014 - Weilerswist: Velbrück Wissenschaft.
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  15. Quantum Objects: Non-Local Correlation, Causality and Objective Indefiniteness in the Quantum World.Gregg Jaeger - 2014 - Berlin, Heidelberg: Imprint: Springer.
    This monograph identifies the essential characteristics of the objects described by current quantum theory and considers their relationship to space-time. In the process, it explicates the senses in which quantum objects may be consistently considered to have parts of which they may be composed or into which they may be decomposed. The book also demonstrates the degree to which reduction is possible in quantum mechanics, showing it to be related to the objective indefiniteness of quantum properties and the strong non-local (...)
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  16. Quantum Chance: Nonlocality, Teleportation and Other Quantum Marvels.Nicolas Gisin - 2014 - Cham: Imprint: Copernicus.
    Quantum physics, which offers an explanation of the world on the smallest scale, has fundamental implications that pose a serious challenge to ordinary logic. Particularly counterintuitive is the notion of entanglement, which has been explored for the past 30 years and posits an ubiquitous randomness capable of manifesting itself simultaneously in more than one place. This amazing 'non-locality' is more than just an abstract curiosity or paradox: it has entirely down-to-earth applications in cryptography, serving for example to protect financial information; (...)
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  17. Quantum Dynamics of a Particle in a Tracking Chamber.Rodolfo Figari - 2014 - Berlin, Heidelberg: Imprint: Springer.
    In the original formulation of quantum mechanics the existence of a precise border between a microscopic world, governed by quantum mechanics, and a macroscopic world, described by classical mechanics was assumed. Modern theoretical and experimental physics has moved that border several times, carefully investigating its definition and making available to observation larger and larger quantum systems. The present book examines a paradigmatic case of the transition from quantum to classical behavior: A quantum particle is revealed in a tracking chamber as (...)
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  18. Realism in a quantum world".Kent A. Peacock - 2013 - In Jeffrey E. Foss (ed.), Science and the World: Philosophical Approaches. Broadview Press.
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  19. Realism in a quantum world".Kent A. Peacock - 2013 - In Jeffrey E. Foss (ed.), Science and the World: Philosophical Approaches. Broadview Press.
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  20. Einstein's dice and Schrödinger's cat: how two great minds battled quantum randomness to create a unified theory of physics.Paul Halpern - 2015 - New York: Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Group.
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  21. Interpreting quantum theory: a therapeutic approach.Simon Friederich - 2015 - Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave-Macmillan.
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  22. La pratique des possibles: une lecture pragmatiste et modale de la mécanique quantique.Michel Bitbol - 2015 - Paris: Hermann.
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  23. Liang zi ji shu zhe xue = LIANGZI JISHUZHEXUE.Guolin Wu - 2016 - Guangzhou: Hua nan li gong da xue chu ban she.
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  24. The observable: Heisenberg's philosophy of quantum mechanics.Patrick A. Heelan - 2016 - New York: Peter Lang.
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  25. Die vernünftigen und schönen Quanten: eine Quantenphilosophie des Lebens.Paul Drechsel - 2016 - Mainz: Prof. Dr. Paul Drechsel.
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  26. Philosophy and logic of quantum physics: an investigation of the metaphysical and logical implications of quantum physics.Jan Philipp Dapprich - 2016 - New York: Peter Lang Edition.
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  27. Contextuality from quantum physics to psychology.Ehtibar N. Dzhafarov (ed.) - 2016 - New Jersey: World Scientific.
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  28. Natural Deduction for Quantum Logic.K. Tokuo - 2022 - Logica Universalis 16 (3):469-497.
    This paper presents a natural deduction system for orthomodular quantum logic. The system is shown to be provably equivalent to Nishimura’s quantum sequent calculus. Through the Curry–Howard isomorphism, quantum $$\lambda $$ -calculus is also introduced for which strong normalization property is established.
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  29. Quantum causal models: the merits of the spirit of Reichenbach’s principle for understanding quantum causal structure.Robin Lorenz - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-27.
    Through the introduction of his ‘common cause principle’ [The Direction of Time, 1956], Hans Reichenbach was the first to formulate a precise link relating causal claims to statements of probability. Despite some criticism, the principle has been hugely influential and successful—a pillar of scientific practice, as well as guiding our reasoning in everyday life. However, Bell’s theorem, taken in conjunction with quantum theory, challenges this principle in a fundamental sense at the microscopic level. For the same reason, the celebrated causal (...)
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  30. The meaning of the wave function.Shan Gao - 2017 - New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
    Quantum mechanics and experience -- The wave function: ontic vs epistemic -- The nomological view -- Reality of the wave function -- Origin of the Schrödinger equation -- The ontology of quantum mechanics (I) -- The ontology of quantum mechanics (II) -- Implications for solving the measurement problem -- Quantum ontology and relativity.
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  31. Kontekstualność kwantowa i ontologia przyczynowości =.Marek Woszczek - 2018 - Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM.
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  32. Causality in science and Vedānta: leading to the solution of the quantum measurement problem.Paramananda Bharathi - 2018 - Bangalore, Karnataka, India: Jñānasamvardhani Pratiṣṭānam.
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  33. Quantum language and the migration of scientific concepts.Jennifer Burwell - 2018 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
    This book looks at the use of language in science and in the circulation of scienctific concepts in society at large. More precisely, the book looks at the difficulties physicists faced regarding the use of language while creating quantum mechanics, with the use of quantum concepts in literary criticism and in literature, and with the use of these concepts by the New Age and Post New Age inclined. The principles of quantum physics--and the strange phenomena they describe--originate in and are (...)
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  34. Nell'occhio del pettirosso: come la fisica quantistica ha cambiato la visione filosofica del mondo.Valter Bucelli - 2018 - Milano: Mimesis.
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  35. From Kant's starry skies to Kafka's Odradek : Benjamin and the quantum of history.Eric Kligerman - 2018 - In Nassima Sahraoui & Caroline Sauter (eds.), Thinking in constellations: Walter Benjamin in the humanities. Cambridge Scholars Press.
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  36. La realtà al tempo dei quanti: Einstein, Bohr e la nuova immagine del mondo.Federico Laudisa - 2019 - Torino: Bollati Boringhieri.
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  37. Quantum mechanics.Kate Shoup - 2019 - New York, NY: Cavendish Square Publishing.
    A book for high school students about the history and key scientists related to the discipline of quantum mechanics.
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  38. Quantum cognition goes beyond-quantum: modeling the collective participant in psychological measurements.Diederik Aerts, Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi, Sandro Sozzo & Tomas Veloz - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  39. Quantum cognitive modeling of concepts: an introduction.Tomas Veloz & Pablo Razeto - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  40. Ontic structral realism and quantum mechanics.Joao L. Cordovil - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  41. Epistemological vs. ontological relationalism in quantum mechanics: relativism or realism?Christian de Ronde & Raimundo Fernández Mouján - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  42. Qbism, Bohr, and the quantum omelette tossed by De Ronde.Ulrich Mohrhoff - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  43. Does identity hold a priori in standard quantum mechanics?Jonas R. Becker Arenhart & Décio Krause - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  44. Metaphors in science and in music. A quantum semantic approach.M. L. Dalla Chiara, R. Giuntini & E. Negri - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  45. Phase symmetries of coherent states in Galois quantum mechanics.Julien Page & Gabriel Catren - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  46. Fredkin and Toffoli quantum gates: fuzzy representations and comparison.Ranjith Venkatrama, Giuseppe Sergioli, Hector Freytes & Roberto Leporini - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  47. The extended bloch representation of quantum mechanics for infinite-dimensional entities.Diederik Aerts & Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi - 2019 - In Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.), Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels. World Scientific.
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  48. Probing the meaning of quantum mechanics: information, contextuality, relationalism and entanglement: Proceedings of the II International Workshop on Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information: Physical, Philosophical and Logical Approaches, CLEA, Brussels Free University, Belgium, 23-24 July 2015. [REVIEW]Diederik Aerts, Dalla Chiara, Maria Luisa, Christian de Ronde & Decio Krause (eds.) - 2019 - New Jersey: World Scientific.
    This book provides an interdisciplinary perspective on one of the most fascinating and important open questions in science: What is quantum mechanics talking about? Quantum theory is perhaps our best confirmed physical theory. However, despite its great empirical effectiveness and the subsequent technological developments that it gave rise to in the 20th century, from the interpretation of the periodic table of elements to CD players, holograms and quantum state teleportation, it stands even today without a universally accepted interpretation. The novelty (...)
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  49. Reflection in the waves: the interdividual observer in a quantum mechanical world.Pablo Bandera - 2019 - East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.
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  50. On the status of quantum state realism.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2020 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Scientific Realism and the Quantum. Oxford University Press.
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