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Is the quantum world composed of propensitons?

Maxwell, N; (2011) Is the quantum world composed of propensitons? In: Suárez, M, (ed.) Probabilities, causes and propensities in physics. (221 - 243). Springer Verlag: Dordrecht, Holland. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper I outline my propensiton version of quantum theory (PQT). PQT is a fully micro-realistic version of quantum theory that provides us with a very natural possible solution to the fundamental wave/particle problem, and is free of the severe defects of orthodox quantum theory (OQT) as a result. PQT makes sense of the quantum world. PQT recovers all the empirical success of OQT and is, furthermore, empirically testable (although not as yet tested). I argue that Einstein almost put forward this version of quantum theory in 1916/17 in his papers on spontaneous and induced radiative transitions, but retreated from doing so because he disliked the probabilistic character of the idea. Subsequently, the idea was overlooked because debates about quantum theory polarised into the Bohr/Heisenberg camp, which argued for the abandonment of realism and determinism, and the Einstein/Schrödinger camp, which argued for the retention of realism and determinism, no one, as a result, pursuing the most obvious option of retaining realism but abandoning determinism. It is this third, overlooked option that leads to PQT. PQT has implications for quantum field theory, the standard model, string theory, and cosmology. The really important point, however, is that it is experimentally testable. I indicate two experiments in principle capable of deciding between PQT and OQT.

Type:Book chapter
Title:Is the quantum world composed of propensitons?
ISBN-13:9781402099038
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.1007/978-1-4020-9904-5_10
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9904-5_10
Language:English
Additional information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Keywords:Quantum theory, realism, probabilism, interpretation, testable, wave/particle problem, probabilistic entity, propensity.
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Science and Technology Studies

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