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Phenomena and Theory

Phenomena and Theory

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Phenomena and Theory
Source:
Quantum Ontology
Author(s):
Peter J. Lewis
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190469825.003.0001

The distinctively quantum mechanical phenomena of interference and entanglement are explained. The theory of quantum mechanics that accounts for these phenomena is presented in its two forms: matrix mechanics and wave mechanics. It is argued that while these accounts have some of the superficial trappings of scientific explanation, they fail to provide an explanation in the sense of a description of the entities or properties responsible for the phenomena. In fact, the theory is remarkably silent regarding the physical states represented by the theory. The need for an interpretation of the quantum formalism—a way of understanding it as descriptive of the world—is defended.

Keywords:   quantum mechanics, interference, entanglement, matrix mechanics, wave mechanics, interpretation

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