Does Quantum Mechanics Need Interpretation?

Research paper by Louis Marchildon

Indexed on: 17 Feb '09Published on: 17 Feb '09Published in: Quantum Physics


Since the beginning, quantum mechanics has raised major foundational and interpretative problems. Foundational research has been an important factor in the development of quantum cryptography, quantum information theory and, perhaps one day, practical quantum computers. Many believe that, in turn, quantum information theory has bearing on foundational research. This is largely related to the so-called epistemic view of quantum states, which maintains that the state vector represents information on a system and has led to the suggestion that quantum theory needs no interpretation. I will argue that this and related approaches fail to take into consideration two different explanatory functions of quantum mechanics, namely that of accounting for classically unexplainable correlations between classical phenomena and that of explaining the microscopic structure of classical objects. If interpreting quantum mechanics means answering the question, "How can the world be for quantum mechanics to be true?", there seems to be no way around it.