What quantum mechanics is trying to tell us

Ulrich Mohrhoff
2000 American Journal of Physics  
This article presents a novel interpretation of quantum mechanics. It extends the meaning of "measurement" to include all property-indicating facts. Intrinsically space is undifferentiated: there are no points on which a world of locally instantiated physical properties could be built. Instead, reality is built on facts, in the sense that the properties of things are extrinsic, or supervenient on property-indicating facts. The actual extent to which the world is spatially and temporally
more » ... temporally differentiated (that is, the extent to which spatiotemporal relations and distinctions are warranted by the facts) is necessarily limited. Notwithstanding that the state vector does nothing but assign probabilities, quantum mechanics affords a complete understanding of the actual world. If there is anything that is incomplete, it is the actual world, but its incompleteness exists only in relation to a conceptual framework that is more detailed than the actual world. Two deep-seated misconceptions are responsible for the interpretational difficulties associated with quantum mechanics: the notion that the spatial and temporal aspects of the world are adequately represented by sets with the cardinality of the real numbers, and the notion of an instantaneous state that evolves in time. The latter is an unwarranted (in fact, incoherent) projection of our apparent "motion in time" into the world of physics. Equally unwarranted, at bottom, is the use of causal concepts. There nevertheless exists a "classical" domain in which language suggestive of nomological necessity may be used. Quantum mechanics not only is strictly consistent with the existence of this domain but also presupposes it in several ways.
doi:10.1119/1.19535 fatcat:k3svruqvpncmrfbtdmw5rejomi