Student seminar: Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics

Winter term 2017.

Course description

In 1964 Richard Feynman famously said that "nobody understands quantum mechanics". We clearly do understand how to use the theory, and in fact quantum mechanics has been met with unparalleled experimental success. What we don't understand is what is the quantum mechanical picture of the world, unlike for Newtonian mechanics or general relativity. What is the source of so much difficulty? In this Seminar we shall study the fundamental problems of quantum mechanics, some of the attempted solutions (most of them from after 1964) and their shortcomings.

This seminar will be organized jointly by David Gross and Mateus Araújo. Students will do a presentation on a selected topic and produce a written summary.

Preliminary list of topics:

  • Interpretations of probability.
  • The measurement problem.
  • Decoherence.
  • Bell's theorem.
  • Objective collapse.
  • The Copenhagen interpretation.
  • Bohmian Mechanics.
  • Many Worlds interpretation.
  • Quantum Bayesianism.

Description of the topics and references.

Prerequisites

Quantum mechanics at Bachelor level.

Announcements

All meetings will take place at 1745 in the Room 0.01 of the THP Neubau.

Schedule

  • 26.10 - Interpretations of Probability - Felipe Montealegre.
  • 02.11 - The measurement problem - Stefanie Legler.
  • 23.11 - Decoherence - Chuangjun Yeo.
  • 30.11 - Bell's theorem - Roberto Moran.
  • 14.12 - Copenhagen interpretation - Mateus Araújo.
  • 11.01 - Bohmian mechanics - Judith Eilts.
  • 25.01 - Quantum Bayesianism - Shao Yu Chen.
  • 01.02 - Many Worlds - Mario Montero.
  • 08.02 - Collapse models - Angelos Bampounis.