Berlin 2014 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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AGPhil: Arbeitsgruppe Philosophie der Physik

AGPhil 5: Quantum-Classical Divide III

AGPhil 5.4: Vortrag

Donnerstag, 20. März 2014, 18:30–19:00, SPA SR22

The Role of the Wave Function in the GRW Matter Density Theory — •Matthias Egg — University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Every approach to quantum mechanics postulating some kind of primitive ontology (e.g., Bohmian particles, a mass density field or flash-like collapse events) faces the challenge of clarifying the ontological status of the wave function. More precisely, one needs to spell out in what sense the wave function “governs” the behaviour of the primitive ontology, such that the empirical predictions of standard quantum mechanics are recovered. For Bohmian mechanics, this challenge has been addressed in recent papers by Belot (Eur. J. Phil. Sci. 2 (2012), 67-83) and Esfeld et al. (Brit. J. Phil. Sci. forthcoming, doi:10.1093/bjps/axt019). In my talk, I attempt to do the same for the matter density version of the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber theory (GRWm). Doing so will highlight relevant similarities and differences between Bohmian mechanics and GRWm. The differences are a crucial element in the evaluation of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches, while the similarities can shed light on general characteristics of the primitive ontology approach, as opposed to other interpretative approaches to quantum mechanics.

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