Bonn 2020 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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AGPhil: Arbeitsgruppe Philosophie der Physik

AGPhil 6: Quantum Theory I

AGPhil 6.2: Vortrag

Mittwoch, 1. April 2020, 17:15–17:45, H-HS III

How to be a wave function realist---and why you should not be one — •Tushar Menon — University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK — University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Wavefunction realism is a metaphysical proposal for non-relativistic quantum mechanics according to which the state vector of quantum mechanics is interpreted as a complexvalued physical field in a (very) high-dimensional space. This high-dimensional space is its true arena, in the sense that it represents the fundamental spatial ontology associated with quantum theory. In this paper, I articulate an objection to wavefunction realism that applies even in its originally intended domain of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. I argue that the metaphysical motivation behind the arena view of physical space, together with a standard position regarding the definability of observables, mandate a belief that it is a principal fibre bundle, not a configuration space that should be taken to represent the physical arena of a non-relativistic quantum system. I conclude by considering amendments to the position, none of which, I contend, capture the original spirit of the proposal.

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