Sunday, September 03, 2017

Rebuilding Quantum Theory

Theorists and philosophers are trying to "rebuild" quantum theory's foundation and axioms. Good luck to them!

Still, this is a rather good article on some of the issues surrounding concepts that still do not sit well with many physicists. Those of us who are in the "Shut up and calculate" camp will leave it up to them to sort things out. We are busy with doing other things.




ppnl said...

The problem with looking for a deeper theory to explain quantum mechanics is that you will then need an even deeper theory to explain that theory. You can always ask the child's "why?" question. Maybe there is an infinite regression of answers to the why question. And maybe there just isn't.

Peter said...

I mostly suppose that "shut up and calculate" means "shut up and do something that I can see is likely to be more immediately useful" (there are perhaps some physicists in a "shut up and experiment" camp). Those in the "shut up and calculate" camp now are, I suppose, inheriting the work of those who in the past spent years working out what starting points to calculate from, a pastime that usually doesn't look very likely to be very immediately useful (most often, indeed, such efforts are a waste of time, and, as ppnl points out, success in the past does not mean there will be success in the future).
FWIW, however, I'm quite encouraged by your measured generosity towards this particular article.