Vanessa Seifert
University of Bristol
Alexander Franklin
King's College London
Whether or not quantum physics can account for molecular structure is a matter of considerable controversy. Three of the problems raised in this regard are the problems of molecular structure. We argue that these problems are just special cases of the measurement problem of quantum mechanics: insofar as the measurement problem is solved, the problems of molecular structure are resolved as well. In addition, we explore one consequence of our argument: that claims about the reduction or emergence of molecular structure cannot be settled independently of the choice of a particular resolution to the measurement problem. Specifically, we consider how three standard putative solutions to the measurement problem inform our under- standing of a molecule in isolation, as well as of chemistry’s relation to quantum physics.
Keywords molecular structure  reduction  emergence  measurement problem  symmetry breaking
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DOI 10.1086/715148
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References found in this work BETA

More is Different.P. W. Anderson - 1994 - In H. Gutfreund & G. Toulouse (eds.), Biology and Computation: A Physicist's Choice. World Scientific. pp. 3--21.
Emergent Physics and Micro-Ontology.Margaret Morrison - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (1):141-166.
Three Measurement Problems.Tim Maudlin - 1995 - Topoi 14 (1):7-15.
Collapse Theories.Giancarlo Ghirardi - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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Citations of this work BETA

Do Molecules Have Structure in Isolation? How Models Can Provide the Answer.Vanessa Seifert - 2022 - In Olimpia Lombardi, Juan Camilo Martínez & Sebastian Fortin (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Quantum Chemistry. Springer Cham. pp. 125–143.

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