Making Sense of the Many Worlds Interpretation

Research paper by Stephen Boughn

Indexed on: 25 Jan '18Published on: 25 Jan '18Published in: arXiv - Quantum Physics


It has been 61 years since Hugh Everett III's PhD dissertation, {\it On the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics}, was submitted to the Princeton University Physics Department. After more than a decade of relative obscurity it was resurrected by Bryce DeWitt as {\it The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics} and since then has become an active topic of discussion, reinterpretation, and modification, especially among philosophers of science, quantum cosmologists, and advocates of quantum decoherence and quantum computing. Many of these analyses are quite sophisticated and considered to be important contributions to physics and philosophy. I am primarily an experimental physicist and my pragmatic ruminations on the subject might viewed with some suspicion. Indeed, Bohr's pragmatic {\it Copenhagen Interpretation} is often disparaged by this same cohort. Still, I think that my experimentalist's vantage point has something to offer and I here offer it to you.