Popper's Propensity Interpretation and Heisenberg's Potentia Interpretation

Abstract

In other words, classically, probabilities add; quantum mechanically, the probability amplitudes add, leading to the presence of the extra product terms in the quantum case. What this means is that in quantum theory, even though always only one of the various outcomes is obtained in any given observation, some aspect of the non -occurring events, represented by the corresponding complex-valued quantum amplitudes, plays a role in determining the overall probabilities. Indeed, the observed quantum interference effects are correctly captured by the quantum statistical description only because of the presence of these product terms. Therefore, in a realistic construal of quantum theory, if we treat the superposed Ψ function as representing the real state of an individual quantum system, these quantum amplitudes need to be given an ontological status.

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