Re: Decoherence and MWI

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 09:15:43 +1000

On Mon, May 23, 2005 at 09:13:49PM +0100, Patrick Leahy wrote:
> For most physicists the Copenhagen interpretation (in some half-understood
> way) works perfectly well at the lab bench.

Having been such a physicist at some point in my past, I would
disagree that you average physicist even uses the Copenhagen
interpretation. What I used to use in my days as an atomic physics
theoretician was the "shut up and calculate" interpretation. Ie QM is
a mathematical theory - you put your parameters in one end, and crank
out your expected answers at the other end, which you could compare
with experiment.

I remember when being asked to think about it that the notion of wave
function collapse sounded wrong, one couldn't have a physical object
changing at superluminal speeds, which is what this implies. As for
Bohm, his writings were about as meaningful to me as the ravings of a
lunatic (note this is a reflection on me, not a reflection of
Bohm's actual content).

I can say that all experiments I worked on had millions of particles
per second, and we worked with "density matrices", which describe the
behaviour of particle ensembles. Such a description is perfectly
deterministic - no collapses or any other funny business going on. It
was only when I heard about Aspect's experiments that I realised there
was more to it. Ultimately, I realised that the MWI was the only
interpretation that made sense (to me).


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A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics                         	       0425 253119 (")
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Received on Mon May 23 2005 - 21:28:37 PDT

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