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Quantum Mechanics|Views: 255|Likes: 6

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Quantum Mechanics

Quantum Mechanics

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- 1. Introductory Principles
- History of Quantum Mechanics
- Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics
- Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
- 2. The Quantum Theories
- Old Quantum Theory
- Quantum Mechanics after 1925
- 3. The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
- Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics
- The Copenhagen Interpretation
- 4. Einstein's Objections
- Principle of Locality
- EPR Paradox
- Bell's Theorem
- 5. Schrödinger's Objections
- Schrödinger's Cat
- 6. Measurement Problems
- The Measurement Problem
- Measurement in Quantum Mechanics
- 7. Advanced Concepts
- Quantum Number
- Quantum Information
- Quantum Statistical Mechanics
- 8. Advanced Topics
- Quantum Field Theory
- String Theory
- Quantum Gravity

An Introductory Framework

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Contents

Articles

1. Introductory Principles

History of Quantum Mechanics Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 1 1 7 26 45 45 52 72 72 85 93 93 96 106 121 121 127 127 129 137 137 142 145 148 148 159 178

**2. The Quantum Theories
**

Old Quantum Theory Quantum Mechanics after 1925

**3. The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
**

Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics The Copenhagen Interpretation

4. Einstein's Objections

Principle of Locality EPR Paradox Bell's Theorem

5. Schrödinger's Objections

Schrödinger's Cat

6. Measurement Problems

The Measurement Problem Measurement in Quantum Mechanics

7. Advanced Concepts

Quantum Number Quantum Information Quantum Statistical Mechanics

8. Advanced Topics

Quantum Field Theory String Theory Quantum Gravity

Appendix

Quantum Quantum state

188 188 190

References

Article Sources and Contributors Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors 196 201

Article Licenses

License 202

1

1. Introductory Principles

History of Quantum Mechanics

The history of quantum mechanics is a fundamental part of the history of modern physics. Quantum mechanics' history, as it interlaces with the history of quantum chemistry, began essentially with a number of different scientific discoveries: the 1838 discovery of cathode rays by Michael Faraday; the 1859-1860 winter statement of the black body radiation problem by Gustav Kirchhoff; the 1877 suggestion by Ludwig Boltzmann that the energy states of a physical system could be discrete; the discovery of the photoelectric effect by Heinrich Hertz in 1887; and the 1900 quantum hypothesis by Max Planck that any energy-radiating atomic system can theoretically be divided into a number of discrete "energy elements" ε (epsilon) such that each of these energy elements is proportional to the frequency ν with which each of them individually radiate energy, as defined by the following formula:

where h is a numerical value called Planck's constant. Then, Albert Einstein in 1905, in order to explain the photoelectric effect previously reported by Heinrich Hertz in 1887, postulated consistently with Max Planck's quantum hypothesis that light itself is made of individual quantum particles, which in 1926 came to be called photons by Gilbert N. Lewis. The photoelectric effect was observed upon shining light of particular wavelengths on certain materials, such as metals, which caused electrons to be ejected from those materials only if the light quantum energy was greater than the Fermi level (work function) in the metal. The phrase "quantum mechanics" was first used in Max Born's 1924 paper "Zur Quantenmechanik". In the years to follow, this theoretical basis slowly began to be applied to chemical structure, reactivity, and bonding.

10 influential figures in the history of quantum mechanics. Left to right:Max Planck, Albert Einstein,Niels Bohr, Louis de Broglie,Max Born, Paul Dirac,Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli,Erwin Schrödinger, Richard Feynman.

and T is the temperature of the body in degrees Kelvin. to calculate the magnetic moment of the electron. Boltzmann's rationale for the presence of discrete energy levels in molecules such as those of iodine gas had its origins in his statistical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics theories and was backed up by mathematical arguments. together with the mathematicians Gustav von Escherich and Emil Müller. k is the Boltzmann constant. the application of Planck's quantum theory to the electron allowed Ștefan Procopiu in 1911—1913. Photoelectric effect The emission of electrons from a metal plate caused by light quanta (photons) with energy greater than the Fermi level of the metal. but with numerically quite different values. Moreover. He was a founder of the Austrian Mathematical Society. called Planck's Law. ν is the frequency of the electromagnetic radiation. I(ν. The earlier Wien approximation may be derived from Planck's law by assuming . . and subsequently Niels Bohr in 1913. which was later called the "magneton". β) of overlap. Planck's law[1] can be stated as follows: where: Ludwig Boltzmann’s diagram of the I2 molecule proposed in 1898 showing the atomic "sensitive region" (α. In 1900. could be discrete. as it will also be the case twenty years later with the first quantum theory put forward by Max Planck. that included a Boltzmann distribution (applicable in the classical limit). c is the speed of light in a vacuum.T) is the energy per unit time (or the power) radiated per unit area of emitting surface in the normal direction per unit solid angle per unit frequency by a black body at temperature T. were subsequently made possible for both the magnetic moments of the proton and the neutron that are three orders of magnitude smaller than that of the electron. the German physicist Max Planck reluctantly introduced the idea that energy is quantized in order to derive a formula for the observed frequency dependence of the energy emitted by a black body. similar quantum computations. h is the Planck constant.History of Quantum Mechanics 2 Overview Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann suggested in 1877 that the energy levels of a physical system. such as a molecule.

It predicts electron spin and led Dirac to predict the existence of the positron. there was no rigorous justification for quantization. which occurred in theory if light were to be explained only in terms of waves. He also pioneered the use of operator theory. Low-energy phenomena: Photoelectric effect Mid-energy phenomena: Compton scattering High-energy phenomena: Pair production In 1905. Heisenberg formulated his uncertainty principle in 1927. Lewis in 1926. Einstein explained the photoelectric effect by postulating that light. The idea that each photon had to consist of energy in terms of quanta was a remarkable achievement. The short wavelength side of the curves was already approximated in 1896 by the Wien distribution law. aside. The blackbody radiation curves (1862) at left are also compared with the early. These theories. Starting around 1927. the energy is not distributed continuously over ever-increasing spaces. In 1924.[2] These energy quanta later came to be called "photons". the peak of the blackbody radiation curve shifts to longer wavelengths and also has lower intensities. again by using quantization. move without dividing. from Henri Poincaré's discussion of Planck's theory in his 1912 paper Sur la théorie des quanta. This theory was for a single particle and derived from special relativity theory. The phrase "quantum physics" was first used in Johnston's Planck's Universe in Light of Modern Physics (1931). . Building on de Broglie's approach. With decreasing temperature. a term introduced by Gilbert N.[3][4] They are collectively known as the old quantum theory. though successful. perhaps. classical limit model of Rayleigh and Jeans (1900) shown at right. and explained by Albert Einstein in 1905. modern quantum mechanics was born in 1925. and can be absorbed or generated only as a whole. "On a heuristic viewpoint concerning the emission and transformation of light". In 1913. Einstein states: "According to the assumption to be contemplated here. it effectively solved the problem of black body radiation attaining infinite energy. were strictly phenomenological: during this time. when a light ray is spreading from a point." This statement has been called the most revolutionary sentence written by a physicist of the twentieth century. the French physicist Louis de Broglie put forward his theory of matter waves by stating that particles can exhibit wave characteristics and vice versa. when the German physicists Werner Heisenberg and Adam Jonathon Davis[5][6] developed matrix mechanics and the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger invented wave mechanics and the non-relativistic Schrödinger equation as an approximation to the generalised case of de Broglie's theory. in his paper of July 1913 On the Constitution of Atoms and Molecules. Paul Dirac began the process of unifying quantum mechanics with special relativity by proposing the Dirac equation for the electron. From the introduction section of his March 1905 quantum paper. and the Copenhagen interpretation started to take shape at about the same time.[7] Schrödinger subsequently showed that the two approaches were equivalent. can be divided into a finite number of "energy quanta" that are localized points in space. Bohr explained the spectral lines of the hydrogen atom. but consists of a finite number of 'energy quanta' that are localized in points in space. The Dirac equation achieves the relativistic description of the wavefunction of an electron that Schrödinger failed to obtain.History of Quantum Mechanics 3 The photoelectric effect reported by Heinrich Hertz in 1887. or more generally all electromagnetic radiation.

Hungarian polymath John von Neumann formulated the rigorous mathematical basis for quantum mechanics as the theory of linear operators on Hilbert spaces. Albert Einstein's 1905 light quanta postulate. resulting in quantum field theories. F. J. for which they received the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics. positrons. The theory of Quantum Chromodynamics was formulated beginning in the early 1960s. and S. and John C. and remain widely used. W. The field of quantum chemistry was pioneered by physicists Walter Heitler and Fritz London. Thomson's 1904 plum pudding model. Quantum chemistry was subsequently developed by a large number of workers. Building on pioneering work by Schwinger. Tomonaga during the 1940s.[8][5][6] 4 Niels Bohr's 1913 quantum model of the atom. These. and the electromagnetic field. as described in his famous 1930 textbook. and P. including the American theoretical chemist Linus Pauling at Caltech. disappearing from the outer orbit and appearing in the inner one and cannot exist in the space between orbits 2 and 3. Feynman diagram of gluon radiation in Quantum Chromodynamics Founding experiments . and Ernest Rutherford's 1907 discovery of the atomic nucleus. Jordan. Slater into various theories such as Molecular Orbital Theory or Valence Theory.e.A. Quantum electrodynamics describes a quantum theory of electrons. Note that the electron does not travel along the black line when emitting a photon. J. Higgs and Goldstone. who published a study of the covalent bond of the hydrogen molecule in 1927. as described in his likewise famous 1932 textbook. Feynman. i. still stand. Weinberg and Salam independently showed how the weak nuclear force and quantum electrodynamics could be merged into a single electroweak force. Weisskopf. and served as a model for subsequent Quantum Field theories. Early workers in this area include P. This area of research culminated in the formulation of quantum electrodynamics by R. the physicists Glashow. Pauli.History of Quantum Mechanics including the influential bra-ket notation. The theory as we know it today was formulated by Politzer. Schwinger. Beginning in 1927. researchers made attempts at applying quantum mechanics to fields instead of single particles. that atomic energy radiators have discrete energy values (ε = hν). J. Dyson. It jumps. V.M.I.P. which incorporated an explanation of Johannes Rydberg's 1888 formula. Max Planck's 1900 quantum hypothesis. Gross and Wilczek in 1975. During the same period. like many other works from the founding period. Dirac.

Synthese. (c1805) Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity. Harold Wienfurter.1356056 [5] David Edwards. 2001).69. (1897) The study of black body radiation between 1850 and 1900. (December 1977). 1995. translated by M. ISBN 978-0-674-03541-6 • Jammer. particles of light with quantized energy. pp. P.A. International J. 1–70. (1927) Clyde L. Number 1/September. pp. gsu. Auyang. discovered in 1980 by Klaus von Klitzing. Valentini. [9] The Davisson-Germer experiment. "Henri Poincaré and the Quantum Theory".1086/351880 [8] S. Volume 42. (1909) Ernest Rutherford's gold foil experiment disproved the plum pudding model of the atom which suggested that the mass and positive charge of the atom are almost uniformly distributed. Albert Einstein: A Biography..ph. Bibcode 2001AmJPh. F. J. (1994) References [1] M. Viking [3] McCormmach. OCLC 227191829 • Bernstein. [6] D. New York: McGraw-Hill. pages 22. arXiv:quant-ph/0609184. Cowan and Frederick Reines confirm the existence of the neutrino in the neutrino experiment. Masius. Cambridge. Gauge Fields. (August. Bibcode 2006quant.. Quantum Leaps (http://books. Anton Zeilinger. Oxford University Press. (1955) Clauss Jönsson`s double-slit experiment with electrons. trans. which showed that electric charge occurs as quanta (whole units). Isis 58 (1): 37–55. doi:10. (1911) Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach conduct the Stern-Gerlach experiment. which demonstrates the wave nature of the electron (http:/ / hyperphysics. The conceptual development of quantum mechanics.1086/350182 [4] Irons. The theory of heat radiation. providing experimental verification of the Elitzur-Vadiman bomb tester. Blakiston's Son & Co.. 7 (1981). Thomson's cathode ray tube experiments (discovers the electron and its negative charge). (1982) • The Mach-Zehnder Interferometer experiment conducted by Paul Kwiat. "Poincaré's 1911–12 proof of quantum discontinuity interpreted as applying to atoms". and Mark Kasevich. The quantized version of the Hall effect has allowed for the definition of a new practical standard for electrical resistance and for an extremely precise independent determination of the fine structure constant. Jeremy (2009). [7] Hanle. No. Vol. Guido. Phys. American Journal of Physics 69 (8): 879–884.History of Quantum Mechanics • • • • • • • • • • • Thomas Young's double-slit experiment demonstrating the wave nature of light. second edition. Philadelphia. Ewald Osers. Russell (Spring. 26. • The experimental verification of quantum entanglement by Alain Aspect. The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Field Theory: Fermions. of Theor. ISBN 978-0-521-81421-8. 43. which demonstrates the quantized nature of particle spin. (1920) Clinton Davisson and Lester Germer demonstrate the wave nature of the electron[9] in the Electron diffraction experiment. proving Interaction-free measurement is possible.879I. 9184.". Valentini.com/?id=j0Me3brYOL0C& printsec=frontcover). (1896) J. doi:10. and Super-symmetry. UK: Cambridge University Press. OCLC 534562 . 42. 1979. Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Max (1966). Planck (1914). Isis 68 (4): 606–609. Part I: Lattice Field Theories. The photoelectric effect: Einstein explained this in 1905 (and later received a Nobel prize for it) using the concept of photons. Quantum theory at the crossroads: reconsidering the 1927 Solvay conference.The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Edwards.. phy-astr. (1961) 5 • The Quantum Hall effect. "Erwin Schrodinger's Reaction to Louis de Broglie's Thesis on the Quantum Theory.9184B. E. [2] Folsing. edu/ hbase/ quantum/ davger2. html) Further reading • Bacciagaluppi. 1967). doi:10. Cambridge.google.1119/1. Albrecht (1997). How is Quantum Field Theory Possible?. Thomas Herzog. which could not be explained without quantum concepts. Antony (2009). Robert Millikan's oil-drop experiment. 20.

(N. Max (1974).mpg. pp. Gleason. C. Understanding Quantum Mechanics. The New Quantum Age: From Bell's Theorem to Quantum Computation and Teleportation. Kadison. Sternheimer. Piron. This is a thorough and well-illustrated introduction. D. OCLC 969760 • F. New York: Wiley.uk/~history/HistTopics/ The_Quantum_age_begins. Phys.dcs.). Mackey. ACM SIGACT News. Lichnerowicz and D. 325–338. The philosophy of quantum mechanics: The interpretations of quantum mechanics in historical perspective. Measures on the Closed Subspaces of a Hilbert Space.html) • Homepage of the Quantum History Project (http://quantum-history. 1976. • A. • G. A. Ann. 61–110. Cohen.oberlin.de/) . An Introduction to Hilbert Space and Quantum Logic. 1951 • G. A. • N. ISBN 0-471-43958-4.History of Quantum Mechanics • Jammer.and II. • R. Ludwig. A.Y. Deformation theory and quantization I. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science V: 1969. Springer-Verlag. Springer-Verlag. W. Dover Publications. Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. • D. 2005. Space and Logic". Oxford University Press. 1963 (paperback reprint by Dover 2004). W. • R. Whitaker. M. 111 (1978) pp. 1950.. Reasoning Formally About Quantum Systems: An Overview. Annals of Mathematics. Foundations of Quantum Physics. Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Vol. Papanikolaou. Benjamin. Princeton University Press. with careful attention to the history of the subject). The Theory of Groups and Quantum Mechanics. 1957. • Finkelstein. • A.st-and. Fronsdal. ISBN 978-0-19-958913-5 6 External links • A History of Quantum Mechanics (http://www-groups. Isometries of Operator Algebras. Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics.mpiwg-berlin. 54. Omnès.ac. Bayen. 2011. Flato. 111-151. "Matter.html) • A Brief History of Quantum Mechanics (http://www. (Discusses logical and philosophical issues of quantum mechanics. 51–66. • Hermann Weyl. 1999. 1989. pp. • C. 1983. Benjamin.edu/physics/dstyer/StrangeQM/history. 36(3).

Classical physics explains matter and energy at the macroscopic level of the scale familiar to human experience. because they describe behavior quite different than that seen at larger length scales. the act of measuring the first property necessarily introduces additional energy into the micro-system being studied. in that only certain frequencies of light are present. measuring position first and then measuring momentum does not have the same outcome as measuring momentum first and then measuring position. From above and from left to right:Max Planck. including the behavior of astronomical bodies.[4] . the less precise another measurement pertaining to the same particle (such as its momentum) must become. Richard Feynman. entangled particles seem to exhibit what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance. but at the end of the 19th Century observers discovered phenomena in both the large (macro) and the small (micro) worlds that classical physics could not explain.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 7 Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics Quantum mechanics is the body of scientific principles that explains the behavior of matter and its interactions with energy on the scale of atoms and subatomic particles and how these phenomena could be related to everyday life (see: Schrodinger's cat). quantum mechanics deals with "nature as She is — absurd. behave in some respects like particles and in other respects like waves. a major revolution in physics. Louis de Broglie.Max Born. the colours. Radiators of photons (such as neon lights) have emission spectra that are discontinuous."[3] Many types of energy. Wolfgang Pauli. thereby perturbing that system." matches between states that classical physics would insist must be random even when distance and the speed of light ensure that no physical causation could account for these correlations. Quantum mechanics predicts the energies. Quantum mechanics ordains that the more closely one pins down one measure (such as the position of a particle)." As is described in more detail in the article on Quantum entanglement. where classical physics is an excellent approximation. Put another way.Werner Heisenberg. and the spectral intensities of all forms of electromagnetic radiation. It remains the key to measurement for much of modern science and technology. In the words of Richard Feynman. Some aspects of quantum mechanics can seem counter-intuitive or even paradoxical. This article describes how physicists discovered the limitations of classical physics and developed the main concepts of the quantum theory that replaced them in the early decades of the 20th century.Niels Bohr. pairs of particles can be created as "entangled twins.[2] These concepts are described in roughly the order they were first discovered. see History of quantum mechanics.[1] Coming to terms with these limitations led to the development of quantum mechanics. such as photons (discrete units of light). Albert Einstein. for a more complete history of the subject.Erwin Schrödinger. Paul Dirac. Even more disconcerting.

is known as the ultraviolet catastrophe. Planck's view was that quantization was purely a mathematical trick. The Planck constant. the constant of proportionality is now known as the Planck constant. thermal radiation had been fairly well-characterized experimentally. Hot metalwork from a blacksmith. as light at shorter wavelengths (higher frequencies) begins to be emitted. classical physics was unable to explain the relationship between temperatures and predominant frequencies of radiation. To reproduce the experimental results he had to assume that each oscillator produced an integer number of units of energy at its single characteristic frequency. In other words. because it absorbs all the light that falls on it and emits none. Heating it further causes the colour to change from red to yellow to blue to white. was proportional to the frequency of the oscillator. and so the energy E of an oscillator of frequency f is given by [7] Correct values (green) contrasted against the classical values (Rayleigh-Jeans law. but less brightly and at longer wavelengths than the human eye can detect. The yellow-orange glow is the visible part of the thermal radiation emitted due to the high temperature. The first model that was able to explain the full spectrum of thermal radiation was put forward by Max Planck in 1900. according to Planck. A far-infrared camera can observe this radiation. it starts to emit light at the red end of the spectrum — it is red hot.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 8 The first quantum theory: Max Planck and black body radiation Thermal radiation is electromagnetic radiation emitted from the surface of an object due to the object's temperature. and the overall power emitted per unit area is given by the Stefan–Boltzmann law.[5] He modeled the thermal radiation as being in equilibrium. If an object is heated sufficiently. blue). Physicists were searching for a single theory that explained why they got the experimental results that they did. an ideal thermal emitter is known as a black body. has the value 663 × 10−34 J s."[6] The quantum of energy for each oscillator. such an object looks perfectly black. usually written as h. classical physics predicted that energy will be emitted by a hot body at an infinite rate. rather than being able to emit any arbitrary amount of energy. and the radiation it emits is called black body radiation. using a set of harmonic oscillators. Planck's law was the first quantum theory in physics. How the wavelength at which the radiation is strongest changes with temperature is given by Wien's displacement law. rather than (as we now know) a fundamental change in our understanding of the world. at short wavelengths. red and Wien approximation."[8] At the time. however. This result. the energy of each oscillator was "quantized. In fact. which is clearly wrong. and Planck won the Nobel Prize in 1918 "in recognition of the services he rendered to the advancement of Physics by his discovery of energy quanta. Everything else in the picture is glowing with thermal radiation as well. It turns out that a perfect emitter is also a perfect absorber.[9] . Consequently. When it is cold. In the late 19th century. However.

not to its intensity. no electrons are ejected regardless of the intensity. the photon model became favoured. called the threshold frequency. Eventually. The ejected electron has a kinetic energy EK which is. Because of the preponderance of evidence in favour of the wave theory.[13] only its frequency determines the maximum energy that can be imparted to the electron. the wave analogy remained indispensable for helping to understand other characteristics of light. The lowest frequency of light that causes electrons to be emitted. to remove an electron from the metal. diffraction and polarization. which are the complete set of laws of Kamerlingh Onnes at the University of Leiden in 1920 classical electromagnetism. sufficient energy). the energy hf is enough to remove an electron. which imparts at most an energy hf to the electron. at most. and that if the beam is of frequency f then each photon has an energy equal to hf.[11] An electron is likely to be struck only by a single photon. electrons are ejected (blue arrows. is different for every metal. If the energy of the photon is less than the work function then it does not carry sufficient energy to remove the electron from the metal.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 9 Photons: the quantisation of light In 1905. He suggested that quantisation was not just a mathematical trick: the energy in a beam of light occurs in individual packets. This observation is at odds with classical electromagnetism.e.[10] The energy of a single photon is given by its frequency multiplied by Planck's constant: For centuries.[11] Therefore. the intensity of the beam has no effect. . The threshold frequency. equal to the photon's energy minus the energy needed to dislodge the electron from the metal: Light (red arrows. which are now called photons. described in the following section. Albert Einstein took an extra step. is the frequency of a photon whose energy is equal to the work function: If f is greater than f0. Einstein's ideas were met initially with great scepticism.[11] To explain the threshold effect. such as diffraction. Maxwell's equations. which predicts that the electron's energy should be proportional to the intensity of the radiation. If the light is of sufficient frequency (i. however. describe light as waves: a combination of oscillating electric and magnetic fields. magnetism and light are all manifestations of the same phenomenon: the Einstein's portrait by Harm electromagnetic field.[11] In 1902 Philipp Lenard discovered that the maximum possible energy of an ejected electron is related to the frequency of the light.[12]:24 Einstein explained the effect by postulating that a beam of light is a stream of particles (photons). left) is shone upon a metal. the debate was generally considered to have been settled in favour of the wave theory.[11] This amount of energy is different for each metal. as it was able to explain observed effects such as refraction. called the work function. right). denoted by φ. f0. scientists had debated between two possible theories of light: was it a wave or did it instead comprise a stream of tiny particles? By the 19th century. if the frequency is too low. James Clerk Maxwell had shown that electricity. one of the most significant pieces of evidence in its favour was its ability to explain several puzzling properties of the photoelectric effect. Nonetheless. Einstein argued that it takes a certain amount of energy. The photoelectric effect In 1887 Heinrich Hertz observed that light can eject electrons from metal.

But that is not so for otherwise larger suns and larger pieces of iron in a forge would glow with colours more toward the violet end of the spectrum. The sun emits photons continuously at all electromagnetic frequencies. Einstein's idea that individual units of light may contain different amounts of energy depending on their frequency made it possible to explain the experimental results that hitherto had seemed quite counter-intuitive. and so on in that order. 10 . the particle account of light was being "compromised".[14][15] The relationship between the frequency of electromagnetic radiation and the energy of each individual photon is why ultraviolet light can cause sunburn. Therefore anomalous results may occur in the case of individual electrons. may both be said to contain a great deal of energy. The total energy emitted per unit of time by a sun or by a piece of iron in a forge depends on both the number of photons emitted per unit of time and also on the amount of energy carried by each of the photons involved. If each individual photon had identical energy. The emission sources available to Hertz and Lennard in the 19th century shared that characteristic. A sun that radiates red light. Once again. So an infrared lamp can warm a large surface. the effect that makes the light meters of modern cameras work. All photons of the same frequency have identical energy. but it cannot give anyone a sunburn. and increasing its temperature changes the quanta of energy that are available to excite individual atoms to higher levels and permit them to emit photons of higher frequencies. single photons are rarely encountered. A photon of ultraviolet light will deliver a high amount of energy—enough to contribute to cellular damage such as occurs in a sunburn. and all photons of different frequencies have proportionally different energies.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics Einstein's description of light as being composed of particles extended Planck's notion of quantised energy: a single photon of a given frequency f delivers an invariant amount of energy hf. however. Light of low frequency could carry more energy only for the same reason. When physicists were looking only at beams of light containing huge numbers of individual and virtually indistinguishable photons it was difficult to understand the importance of the energy levels of individual photons. perhaps large enough to keep people comfortable in a cold room. you would double the number of energy units arriving each second. is quantised). individual photons can deliver more or less energy. orange light. blue light. In other words. This point is helpful in comprehending the distinction between the study of individual particles in quantum dynamics and the study of massed particles in classical physics. In nature. If it were true that all photons carry the same energy. but visible or infrared light cannot. violet light. However. not as discrete units. although the photon is a particle it was still being described as having the wave-like property of frequency.e. They discovered that strong beams of light toward the red end of the spectrum might produce no electrical potential at all. So when physicists first discovered devices exhibiting the photoelectric effect. In other words. An electron that was already excited above the equilibrium level of the photoelectric device might be ejected when it absorbed uncharacteristically low frequency illumination. the characteristic behavior of a photoelectric device will reflect the behavior of the vast majority of its electrons. To change the color of such a radiating body it is necessary to change its temperature. it would not be correct to talk of a "high energy" photon. but only depending on their frequencies. Light of high frequency could carry more energy only because of flooding a surface with more photons arriving per second. green light. then if you doubled the rate of photon delivery. A photon of infrared light will deliver a lower amount of energy—only enough to warm one's skin. or a piece of iron in a forge that glows red. Einstein rejected that wave-dependent classical approach in favour of a particle-based analysis where the energy of the particle must be absolute and varies with frequency in discrete steps (i. Although the energy imparted by photons is invariant at any given frequency. so they appear to propagate as a continuous wave. the characteristic frequency of a radiating body is dependent on its temperature. It might be surmised that adding continuously to the total energy of some radiating body would make it radiate red light. yellow light. the initial energy-state of the electrons in a photoelectric device prior to absorption of light is not necessarily uniform. and that weak beams of light toward the violet end of the spectrum would produce higher and higher voltages. which will be at their equilibrium level. they initially expected that a higher intensity of light would produce a higher voltage from the photoelectric device. Statistically.

and n must be greater than m. the emission spectrum should contain certain ultraviolet wavelengths. it gives off light only at discrete frequencies. When excited. and for m = 3 and n > 3. it was known that atoms comprise a diffuse cloud of negatively-charged electrons surrounding a small. By contrast.56 nm. puzzle was the emission spectrum of atoms.e. it was also known that the atom in this model would be unstable: according to classical theory orbiting electrons are undergoing centripetal acceleration.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 11 The quantisation of matter: the Bohr model of the atom By the dawn of the 20th century. the loss of energy also causing them to spiral toward the nucleus. the visible light given off by hydrogen consists of four different colours. 6. In 1888 Johannes Rydberg generalized and greatly increased the explanatory utility of Balmer's formula. as well as a number of lines in the infra-red and ultra-violet. 4.[16] However. He predicted that λ is related to two integers n and m according to what is now known as the Rydberg formula:[17] where R is the Rydberg constant. quantised. hydrogen gas gives off light in four distinct colours (spectral lines) in the visible spectrum.0110 nm−1.[17] . dense. related. In 1885 the Swiss mathematician Johann Balmer discovered that each wavelength λ (lambda) in the visible spectrum of hydrogen is related to some integer n by the equation where B is a constant which Balmer determined to be equal to 364. it should also contain certain infrared wavelengths. equal to 0. This understanding suggested a model in which the electrons circle around the nucleus like planets orbiting a sun. as shown in the picture below. A second. Emission spectrum of hydrogen. integers. colliding with it in a fraction of a second. Experimental observation of these wavelengths came two decades later: in 1908 Louis Paschen found some of the predicted infrared wavelengths. positively-charged nucleus. For example. and in 1914 Theodore Lyman found some of the predicted ultraviolet wavelengths. and should therefore give off electromagnetic radiation. It also predicts additional wavelengths in the emission spectrum: for m = 1 and for n > 1. i. Rydberg's formula accounts for the four visible wavelengths of hydrogen by setting m = 2 and n = 3. white light consists of a continuous emission across the whole range of visible frequencies. Thus Balmer's constant was the basis of a system of discrete. 5. When a gas is heated.

Each photon from glowing atomic hydrogen is due to an electron moving from a higher orbit. Coulomb's law and the equations of circular motion show that an electron with n units of angular momentum will orbit a proton at a distance r given by . and it cannot come closer to the nucleus than a0 (the Bohr radius). Thus Bohr's assumption that angular momentum is quantised means that an electron can only inhabit certain orbits around the nucleus. as might be expected classically. Conversely.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 12 Bohr's model In 1913 Niels Bohr proposed a new model of the atom that included quantized electron orbits. An electron loses energy by jumping instantaneously from its original orbit to a lower orbit. where ke is the Coulomb constant.[20] Bohr theorised that the angular momentum. When an atom emitted (or absorbed) energy. and so the emission spectrum for each element would contain a number of lines.0529 nm. m is the mass of an electron. Starting from this assumption. and predicts that the constant R should be given by .[19] The possible energies of photons given off by each element were determined by the differences in energy between the orbits. The Bohr radius is the radius of the smallest allowed orbit. an electron that absorbs a photon gains energy. of an electron is quantised: The Bohr model of the atom. to a lower orbit. A consequence of these constraints is that the electron will not crash into the nucleus: it cannot continuously emit energy. the electron would jump instantaneously from one orbit to another. electrons could inhabit only certain orbits around the atomic nucleus. the extra energy is emitted in the form of a photon. hence it jumps to an orbit that is farther from the nucleus.[18] In Bohr's model. with radius rn. L. is equal to 0. The energy of the electron[21] can also be calculated. called the Bohr radius. rm. Instead. giving off the emitted light in the form of a photon. showing an electron quantum jumping to ground state n = 1. and is given by . For simplicity this is written as where a0. and e is the charge on an electron. where n is an integer and h is the Planck constant. the electron did not move in a continuous trajectory from one orbit around the nucleus to another. and that it can have only certain energies. The energy Eγ of this photon is the difference in the energies En and Em of the electron: Since Planck's equation shows that the photon's energy is related to its wavelength by Eγ = hc/λ. the wavelengths of light that can be emitted are given by This equation has the same form as the Rydberg formula.

called the de Broglie hypothesis. a beam of light is directed through two narrow. Eddington proposed in 1927 that "We can scarcely describe such an entity as a wave or as a particle. Thomson and Davisson shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1937 for their experimental work. Exactly the same behaviour can be demonstrated in water waves. Louis de Broglie proposed the idea that just as light has both wave-like and particle-like properties. In fact. a simple diffraction pattern.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 13 Therefore the Bohr model of the atom can predict the emission spectrum of hydrogen in terms of fundamental constants. Three years later. producing an interference pattern of light and dark bands on a screen. matter also has wave-like properties. perhaps as a compromise we had better call it a 'wavicle' ". Wave-particle duality In 1924. p through the Planck constant h :[24][25] The relationship. At the University of Aberdeen. If one of the slits is covered up. De Broglie's treatment of quantum events served as a jumping off point for Schrödinger when he set about to construct a wave equation to describe quantum theoretical events. just like a beam of light. a much simpler pattern is seen. At Bell Labs.)[27]:172 Wave-particle duality is an example of the principle of complementarity in quantum physics. λ . producing an interference pattern (the 3 fringes shown at the right). Indeed. the wave-like nature of electrons was demonstrated by showing that a beam of electrons could exhibit diffraction. The concept of wave-particle duality says that neither the classical concept of "particle" nor of "wave" can fully describe the behavior of quantum-scale objects. De Broglie was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1929 for his hypothesis. Light from one slit interferes with light from the other. or to explain why some spectral lines are brighter than others. either photons or matter. is discussed in the section below. the double slit experiment.[22] However. George Thomson passed a beam of electrons through a thin metal film and observed the predicted diffraction patterns. The double-slit experiment In the double-slit experiment as originally performed by Thomas Young and Augustin Fresnel in 1827. associated with a particle is related to its momentum. closely spaced slits. astrophysicist A.[23] The wavelength. Closing one slit results in a much simpler pattern diametrically opposite the open slit. An elegant example of wave-particle duality. it was not able to make accurate predictions for multi-electron atoms.S. Davisson and Germer guided their beam through a crystalline grid.[26] (This term was later popularised by mathematician Banesh Hoffmann. Similar wave-like phenomena were later shown for atoms and even small molecules. one might naively expect that the intensity of the fringes due to interference would be halved everywhere. and so the double-slit experiment was seen as a demonstration of the wave nature of light. Thus all matter exhibits properties of both particles and waves. holds for all types of matter. .

Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 14 The double-slit experiment has also been performed using electrons. an electron will be observed only in situations that permit a standing wave around a nucleus. Erwin Schrödinger. and even molecules. moving in a well of electrical potential created by the proton. but as a particle when it is detected. the same interference pattern develops over time.[28] In the paper that introduced Schrödinger's cat. moving from crest to trough in an up-and-down motion. Heisenberg wrote out the quantum mechanical analogue for the classical computation of intensities. Erwin Schrödinger developed the equation that describes the behaviour of a quantum mechanical wave. The interference pattern from two slits is much more complex. is central to quantum mechanics. For example. which is fixed at both ends and can be made to vibrate. The quantum particle acts as a wave when passing through the double slits.g. defines the permitted stationary states of a quantum system. This calculation accurately reproduced the energy levels of the Bohr model. The waves created by a stringed instrument appear to oscillate in place. photon or electron) is passing through the apparatus at a time. Where on the detector screen any individual particle shows up will be the result of an entirely random process. called the Schrödinger equation after its creator. building on de Broglie's hypothesis. and describes how the quantum state of a physical system changes in time. By means of a series of mathematical analogies. it can carry standing waves of wavelengths 2l/n." and that it therefore provides "future expectation[s] . atoms. Even if the source intensity is turned down so that only one particle (e. An example of a standing wave is a violin string. Heisenberg's colleague Max Born realised that Heisenberg's method of calculating the . The diffraction pattern produced when light is shone through one slit (top) and the interference pattern produced by two slits (bottom). Application to the Bohr model De Broglie expanded the Bohr model of the atom by showing that an electron in orbit around a nucleus could be thought of as having wave-like properties. about 1933. where l is the length and n is a positive integer. De Broglie suggested that the allowed electron orbits were those for which the circumference of the orbit would be an integer number of wavelengths. Thus it has been demonstrated that all matter possesses both particle and wave characteristics. Shortly afterwards. and the same type of interference pattern is seen. This is a typical feature of quantum complementarity: a quantum particle will act as a wave when we do an experiment to measure its wave-like properties. and like a particle when we do an experiment to measure its particle-like properties. In particular. because the violin string is fixed at both ends. The wavelength of a standing wave is related to the length of the vibrating object and the boundary conditions. age 46 At a somewhat earlier time. The equation. he says that the psi-function featured in his equation provides the "means for predicting probability of measurement results. demonstrating the wave-like propagation of light. Development of modern quantum mechanics In 1925. somewhat as laid down in a catalog."[29] Schrödinger was able to calculate the energy levels of hydrogen by treating a hydrogen atom's electron as a classical wave. Werner Heisenberg was trying to find an explanation for the intensities of the different lines in the hydrogen emission spectrum.

or its wave-like properties. and measure classical properties such as position and momentum. aimed to describe the nature of reality that was being probed by the measurements and described by the mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics. like energy. The probability of an event — for example. but not both at the same time. 3.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics probabilities for transitions between the different energy levels could best be expressed by using the mathematical concept of matrices. but Schrödinger hoped that a theory based on continuous wave-like properties could avoid what he called (in the words of Wilhelm Wien[31]) "this nonsense about quantum jumps. The description of nature is essentially probabilistic. Heisenberg saw no problem in the theoretical prediction of instantaneous transitions of electrons between orbits in an atom. Schrödinger proved that Heisenberg's matrix mechanics and his own wave mechanics made the same predictions about the properties and behaviour of the electron. For instance. mathematically. Heisenberg and others tried to explain what these experimental results and mathematical models really mean. A system is completely described by a wave function. The quantum mechanical description of large systems should closely approximate the classical description. the two theories were identical. How changes over time is given by the Schrödinger equation. An experiment can demonstrate the particle-like properties of matter. Measuring devices are essentially classical devices. It is not possible to know the values of all of the properties of the system at the same time. where on the screen a particle will show up in the two slit experiment — is related to the square of the amplitude of its wave function. those properties that are not known with precision must be described by probabilities. Yet the two men disagreed on the interpretation of their mutual theory. (Heisenberg) 2. (Complementarity principle due to Bohr) 6. Their description. The main principles of the Copenhagen interpretation are: 1. (Born rule. . (Correspondence principle of Bohr and Heisenberg) Various consequences of these principles are discussed in more detail in the following subsections." 15 Copenhagen interpretation Bohr. (Heisenberg's uncertainty principle) 5. which gives a physical meaning to the wavefunction in the Copenhagen interpretation: the probability amplitude) 4. exhibits a wave-particle duality. 7. due to Max Born.[30] In May 1926. Matter. known as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. .

[35] The uncertainty principle shows mathematically that the product of the uncertainty in the position and momentum of a particle (momentum is velocity multiplied by mass) could never be less than a certain value. from the collision products. for one is necessarily measuring its post-impact disturbed momentum. the higher the frequency of the photon the more accurate is the measurement of the position of the impact. e. Wave function collapse Wave function collapse is a forced term for whatever happened when it becomes appropriate to replace the description of an uncertain state of a system by a description of the system in a definite state. When it does show up.[33] Quantum mechanics shows that certain pairs of physical properties. However. The uncertainty principle isn't a statement about the accuracy of our measuring equipment. Explanations for the nature of the process of becoming certain are controversial. the photon has disappeared. cannot both be known to arbitrary precision: the more precisely one property is known. we will get a result that is closer to the true value.[34] Werner Heisenberg at the age of 26. which absorbs a random amount of energy. these uncertainties are too small to notice. In 1927. the time and the space where it interacted with the device are known within very tight limits.g. for instance in the CCD of an electronic camera. This statement is known as the uncertainty principle. and the wave function has disappeared with it. rendering the measurement obtained of its momentum increasingly uncertain (momentum is velocity multiplied by mass). . On a scale of cars and people. we would assume that how precisely we measure the speed of the car does not affect the measurement of its position.in the momentum is less. With a photon of lower frequency the disturbance . and that this value is related to Planck's constant. an exposed spot in a sheet of photographic film. and how accurately we can measure these values depends on the quality of our measuring equipment — if we improve the precision of our measuring equipment. Heisenberg won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the work that he [32] did at around this time. or a change in electric potential in some cell of a CCD. In particular.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 16 Uncertainty principle Suppose that we want to measure the position and speed of an object — for example a car going through a radar speed trap. but about the nature of the system itself — our naive assumption that the car had a definite position and speed was incorrect. In its place some physical change in the detection screen has appeared. and vice versa. but when dealing with atoms and electrons they become critical.hence uncertainty . not its original momentum. the measurement of the position and momentum of an electron using a photon of light. In measuring the electron's position.. we assume that the car has a definite position and speed at a particular moment in time. At any time before a photon "shows up" on a detection screen it can only be described by a set of probabilities for where it might show up. Naively. like position and speed. Heisenberg proved that these assumptions are not correct. the less precisely the other can be known. as an illustration. but so is the accuracy of the measurement of the position of the impact. Heisenberg gave. but the greater is the disturbance of the electron.

The collective name for these properties is the quantum state of the electron. and the state of something having a definite value. In the modern theory the orbit has been replaced by an atomic orbital. about an axis. spherical or otherwise. represented by the "wave function" Ψ. In particular. in a electric potential well. 3. Wolfgang Pauli proposed a new quantum degree of freedom (or quantum number). The solutions to Schrödinger's equation are distributions of probabilities for electron positions and locations." However. An "orbital" designation. each electron has four properties: 1. The quantum state of the electron is described by its wavefunction. and they accurately reproduce the energy levels of the Bohr model. The "spin" of the electron. with two possible values. a "cloud" of possible locations. When an object can definitely be "pinned-down" in some respect. was that electrons behave as if they rotate. The "shape" of the orbital. such as an electron in a probability cloud. it is said to possess an eigenstate. indicating whether the particle wave is one that is closer to the nucleus with less energy or one that is farther from the nucleus with more energy. Pauli formulated his exclusion principle. The Pauli exclusion principle In 1924. where only one line was expected. V. and allow two electrons in the same orbital to occupy distinct quantum states if they "spun" in opposite directions.[37] Schrödinger was able to calculate the energy levels of hydrogen by treating a hydrogen atom's electron as a wave. statements about both the position and momentum of particles can only assign a probability that the position or momentum will have some numerical value. Within Schrödinger's picture. determining the magnetic moment of the orbital around the z-axis. 4. or "spin". The quantum number represented the sense (positive or negative) of spin."[36] A year later. see: Introduction to eigenstates Because of the uncertainty principle. originating with Ralph Kronig. stating that "There cannot exist an atom in such a quantum state that two electrons within [it] have the same set of quantum numbers. The "inclination" of the orbital. these are known as the electron's quantum numbers. created by the proton. Spin would account for the missing magnetic moment. The quantum state can be described by giving a number to each of these properties. the uncertainty principle states that an electron cannot be viewed as having an exact location at any given time. Application to the hydrogen atom Bohr's model of the atom was essentially two-dimensional — an electron orbiting in a plane around its nuclear "sun. The energies of the different orbitals can be calculated. the spectrum of atomic hydrogen had a doublet. The idea. 2. . or pair of lines differing by a small amount. It is often depicted as a three-dimensional region within which there is a 95 percent probability of finding the electron. Therefore it is necessary to formulate clearly the difference between the state of something that is indeterminate. The Pauli exclusion principle demands that no two electrons within an atom may have the same values of all four numbers. thus satisfying the exclusion principle. Uhlenbeck and Goudsmit identified Pauli's new degree of freedom with a property called spin. Orbitals have a range of different shapes in three dimensions. to resolve inconsistencies between observed molecular spectra and the predictions of quantum mechanics.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 17 Eigenstates and eigenvalues For a more detailed introduction to this subject.

and are denoted by the letters d. conventionally the z-direction is chosen. The azimuthal quantum number represents the orbital angular momentum of an electron around its nucleus."[36] It is the underlying structure and symmetry of atomic orbitals.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 18 The first property describing the orbital is the principal quantum number. The possible values for n are integers: The shapes of the first five atomic orbitals: 1s. with values +1⁄2 or −1⁄2. denoted l. The angular momentum represents the resistance of a spinning object to speeding up or slowing down under the influence of external force. 2px. and ml are the same. 2s. The colours show the phase of the wavefunction. The next quantum number. The first shape is denoted by the letter s (a mnemonic being "sphere"). describes the shape of the orbital. n denotes the energy level of each orbital. the Pauli Exclusion Principle requires that the two electrons differ in the value of one quantum number. f. and g. The choice of direction is arbitrary. The other orbitals have more complicated shapes (see atomic orbital). that determines the organisation of the periodic table and the structure and strength of chemical bonds between atoms. and 2pz. and is denoted by ml (or simply m). The next shape is denoted by the letter p and has the form of a dumbbell. the azimuthal quantum number. The possible values for ml are integers from −l to l: The magnetic quantum number measures the component of the angular momentum in a particular direction. the spin quantum number (pertaining to the "orientation" of the electron's spin) is denoted ms. Their values of n. The possible values for l are integers from 0 to n − 1: The shape of each orbital has its own letter as well. The shape is a consequence of the angular momentum of the orbital. which can have the value of +1⁄2 for one electron and −1⁄2 for the other. Accordingly they must differ in the value of ms. the magnetic quantum number. by way of example: In the case of a helium atom with two electrons in the 1s orbital. The third quantum number. s = 1⁄2. l. which is the same as in Bohr's model. . they have the same spin. moreover. The fourth quantum number. The chemist Linus Pauling wrote. and the way that electrons fill them. n.2py. describes the magnetic moment of the electron.

and to reproduce from physical first principles Sommerfeld's successful formula for the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum. and two resolution possibilities. The situation there is already very abstract. So whenever it might be investigated after its twin had been measured. Nothing is certain until the superimposed waveforms "collapse. . of course) as a purple state. that two electrons can have both states "superimposed" over each of them. Nature leaves open the possibility. and the other one had traveled halfway to the nearest star. occurring at a substantial fraction of the speed of light. Dirac was able to predict the value of the magnetic moment associated with the electron's spin. He was able to solve for the spectral lines of the hydrogen atom. Two photons are produced as the result of the same atomic event. is as follows: Imagine that the superposition of a state that can be mentally labeled as blue and another state that can be mentally labeled as red will then appear (in imagination. that meant that the distant photon now had to lose its "purple" status too. then that experiment changes the photon involved from one having a superposition of "blue" and "red" characteristics to a photon that has only one of those characteristics.1984) Quantum entanglement The Pauli exclusion principle says that two electrons in one system cannot be in the same state. when its twin was made to reveal itself as either blue or red. emerge simultaneously from the double slits arrive at the detection screen in a state of superposition. for which he proposed a novel solution: he posited the existence of an antielectron and of a dynamical vacuum. which described spinning electrons. Recall that the wave functions that Superposition of two quantum characteristics. This led to the many-particle quantum field theory. which was too large to be that of a spinning charged sphere governed by classical physics. and found the experimentally observed value. photons in which two contrary states are superimposed on each of them in the same event. Dirac's equations sometimes yielded a negative value for energy." If the experimenter now performs some experiment that will determine whether one of the photons is either blue or red. such as the speed at which an electron orbits the nucleus. Perhaps they are produced by the excitation of a crystal that characteristically absorbs a photon of a certain frequency and emits two photons of half the original frequency. Paul Dirac extended the Pauli equation.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 19 Dirac wave equation In 1928. to account for special relativity. The result was a theory that dealt properly with events. The problem that Einstein had with such an imagined situation was that if one of these photons had been kept bouncing between mirrors in a laboratory on earth." At that instant an electron shows up somewhere in accordance with the probabilities that are the squares of the amplitudes of the two superimposed waveforms. however. A concrete way of thinking about entangled photons. Paul Dirac (1902 . By using the simplest electromagnetic interaction. So the two photons come out "purple. it would necessarily show up in the opposite state to whatever its twin had revealed.

that quantum mechanics is often used to refer to "the entire notion of quantum view. England — a series of clustering cones — presents the idea of small worlds that Paul Dirac studied to reach his discovery of anti-matter. He sought to explain this seeming interaction in a classical way.[41] In 2008." The argument is worked out in a famous paper. . proton. and preferably not by some "spooky action at a distance. The interacting electric and magnetic field is called an electromagnetic field." [38] The question of whether entanglement is a real condition is still in dispute. The magnetic field. 20 Quantum field theory The idea of quantum field theory began in the late 1920s with British physicist Paul Dirac. An electric field is a field which exerts a force on any particles that carry electric charges. Dirac proposed the existence of particles that later became known as anti-matter. As a force is exerted.[39] The Bell inequalities are the most powerful challenge to Einstein's claims. goes a step further and allows for the creation and annihilation of particles ."[40] Other effects that manifest themselves as fields are gravitation and static electricity. . and create."[42]:108 In 1931. Assuming what is now usually called local realism. Understanding QED begins with understanding electromagnetism. while according to the Copenhagen interpretation. setting out what is now called the EPR paradox. among others."[44] Quantum electrodynamics Quantum electrodynamics (QED) is the name of the quantum theory of the electromagnetic force. This includes the electron. . and the fields (such as the electromechanical field) are continuous classical entities. Einstein started with the theory's prediction that two or more particles that have interacted in the past can appear strongly correlated when their various properties are later measured. Einstein. through their common past. abbreviated EPR). at any point in space. physicist Richard Hammond wrote that Sometimes we distinguish between quantum mechanics (QM) and quantum field theory (QFT). EPR attempted to show from quantum theory that a particle has both position and momentum simultaneously. Podolsky. a current flows and a magnetic field is produced. Electromagnetism begins with the electric charge. He added. only one of those two properties actually exists and only at the moment that it is being measured. electric fields.) In the same year. Electromagnetism can be called "electrodynamics" because it is a dynamic interaction between electrical and magnetic forces. when he attempted to quantise the electromagnetic field — a procedure for constructing a quantum theory starting from a classical theory. EPR concluded that quantum theory is incomplete in that it refuses to consider physical properties which objectively exist in nature.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics In trying to show that quantum mechanics was not a complete theory. QFT . Electric charges are the sources of. Podolsky. & Rosen 1935 is currently Einstein's most cited publication in physics journals. (Einstein. in turn causes electric current (moving electrons). and Rosen (1935. A field in physics is "a region or space in which a given effect (such as magnetism) exists. . This sculpture in Bristol. . however. "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory. Erwin Schrödinger used the word "entanglement" and declared: "I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics. electric charges move. QM refers to a system in which the number of particles is fixed. and even quarks.[43] Dirac shared the Nobel Prize in physics for 1933 with Schrödinger. .

and predictions pertinent to quantum mechanics are all consistent and hold a very high level of confirmation. seventh printing with corrections. the transistor. org/ trasnsistor/ science/ info/ quantum. doi:10. in most countries money is effectively quantized.1002/andp. (1988).19013090310. pbs. [3] Feynman. However. electrical currents. the problem of unsolvable infinities developed in this relativistic quantum theory. pdf). N. . in the late 1940s Feynman's diagrams depicted all possible interactions pertaining to a given event. and magnetic resonance imaging. Applications Applications of quantum mechanics include the laser." page 5 of 7. spectral lines may shift or split. Phys.: Princeton University Press. The study of semiconductors led to the invention of the diode and the transistor. 21 Interpretations The physical measurements. electrical fields. the question of what these abstract models say about the underlying nature of the real world has received competing answers. [4] Alan Macdonald. ed. Something which is "quantized. In even the simple light switch. to erase their memory cells. physik. us/ webdocs/ Chem-History/ Planck-1901/ Planck-1901. This refers to an effect whereby the quantum nature of the electromagnetic field causes the energy levels in an atom or ion to deviate slightly from what they would otherwise be. renormalization solved this problem. and magnetic fields is called electromagnetism. Years later. Richard P. html)]] [2] Classical physics also does not accurately describe the universe on the largest scales or at speeds close to that of light. This was the progenitor to modern quantum electrodynamics.. downloaded 13 June 2012 from http:/ / faculty. quantum tunnelling is absolutely vital. uni-augsburg.. As a result. provisional procedure by some of its originators. For example. so "quantum mechanics" is the part of mechanics that deals with objects for which particular properties are quantized. k12. An example of a prediction of quantum electrodynamics which has been verified experimentally is the Lamb shift.. 309 (3): 553–63. de/ annalen/ history/ historic-papers/ 1901_309_553-563. QED : the strange theory of light and matter (1st Princeton pbk. The diagrams showed that the electromagnetic force is the interactions of photons between interacting particles.553P. [6] The word "quantum" comes from the Latin word for "how much" (as does "quantity"). Initially viewed as a suspect. as otherwise the electrons in the electric current could not penetrate the potential barrier made up of a layer of oxide. In 1928 Paul Dirac produced a relativistic quantum theory of electromagnetism. wvusd. equations. edu/ ~macdonal/ [5] This result was published (in German) as Planck. luther. "Spooky action at a distance: The puzzle of entanglement in quantum theory. "Mechanics" is the branch of science that deals with the action of forces on objects. which are indispensable for modern electronics. From this inconsistency the Standard Model of particle physics was discovered. in that it had essential ingredients of the modern theory.).309. Flash memory chips found in USB drives also use quantum tunnelling. "Ueber das Gesetz der Energieverteilung im Normalspectrum" (http:/ / www. Ann. English translation: " On the Law of Distribution of Energy in the Normal Spectrum (http:/ / dbhs. 10. which remedied the higher energy breakdown in theory. the electron microscope. renormalization eventually was embraced as an important and self-consistent tool in QED and other fields of physics. with the "quantum of money" being the lowest-value coin in circulation. In the 1960s physicists realized that QED broke down at extremely high energies. ISBN 978-0691024172. A special class of quantum mechanical applications is related to macroscopic quantum phenomena such as superfluid helium and superconductors. Also.J. Princeton. This is called the electroweak theory." like the energy of Planck's harmonic oscillators.[45] Notes [1] Quantum Mechanics from [[National Public Radio (http:/ / www. pp. An accurate description requires general relativity. ca. Bibcode 1901AnP. html)".Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics The physical description of interacting charged particles. The Standard Model unifies the electromagnetic and weak interactions into one theory. can only take specific values.. However. . Max (1901).

Zarate. univie. p. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 614029/ uncertainty-principle) [36] Linus Pauling.. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. Prentice Hall. Bibcode 1927ZPhy. 147–8. 555says: "When two systems. [20] Dicke and Wittke. Annalen der Physik 17 (6): 132–148.H." Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. 51f.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics [7] Francis Weston Sears (1958). p. 2005. (2004).132E. [14] Dicke and Wittke. com/ books?id=PGOTKcxSqMUC& pg=PA201& lpg=PA201& dq=We+ can+ scarcely+ describe+ such+ an+ entity+ as+ a+ wave+ or+ as+ a+ particle. P. 2003) ISBN 0-452-28457 [25] J.. D.43. pp. Schrödinger.S." Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. Zafiratos. The term "photon" was introduced in 1926.gov (http:/ / ntrs. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 1-84046-577-8. (2004). D. 9. Introducing Quantum Theory. and Heat (http:/ / books.. [32] Heisenberg's Nobel Prize citation (http:/ / nobelprize. 31 (1935). gov/ 19680009569_1968009569. p. Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers. [26] A. [And then appeared as Section I. translated into English as On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light (http:/ / lorentz. J. Introducing Quantum Theory. ISBN 0-13-589789-0.+ and+ Heat"+ "where+ n+ =+ 1. [18] McEvoy. or sometimes the Rutherford model after Ernest Rutherford who proposed it in 1911. jhu. google. The Strange Story of the Quantum. "This translation was originally published in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. Albert (1905). ac.11 of Part I of Quantum Theory and Measurement (J. [17] Taylor. J. R. 127–9.. phl. McEvoy and Oscar Zarate (2004). 201. Entanglrment.. pp.322. McEvoy and Oscar Zarate (2004). Bantam. "The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics.+ Wave+ Motion.1002/andp. Retrieved 2009-08-01. Totem Books. edu/ AnnusMirabilis/ AeReserveArticles/ eins_lq. 47 [37] "Orbital (chemistry and physics). com/ cws/ article/ print/ 373). com/ books?hl=en& q="Mechanics. as long as the electrons in the material are treated by the laws of quantum mechanics. Introducing Quantum Theory. M. The results are quantitatively correct for thermal light sources (the sun. pdf). M. britannica. The Nature of the Physical World. Phys. P. (Penguin. W.." Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www.. That is. "Max Planck: the reluctant revolutionary" (http:/ / physicsworld. based on the Geiger-Marsden gold foil experiment which first demonstrated the existence of the nucleus. incandescent lamps. 323-38. O. Zurek. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 528298/ Schrodinger-equation) [29] Erwin Schrödinger. 110f. The Nobel Foundation. especially p. [21] In this case. [9] Kragh. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. [22] The model can be easily modified to account of the emission spectrum of any system consisting of a nucleus and a single electron (that is. page 6. R. [34] Nobel Prize in Physics presentation speech. enter into a temporary physical interaction due to known forces between them and when after a time 22 . 222. pp. . [19] World Book Encyclopedia. etc) both for the rate of electron emission as well as their angular distribution. p. Moore. C. (1927). Cambridge University Press (1989). see Heisenberg's entryway to matrix mechanics. Wheeler and W.. For more on this point. Princeton university Press. 70–89. the course of Gifford Lectures that Eddington delivered in the University of Edinburgh in January to March 1927. [24] Aezel. of which we know the states by their respective representation. Bibcode 1905AnP. p.. at/ dokumente/ einstein1. Mechanics.172H. p. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1932/ press. eds. (2004). "Über den anschaulichen Inhalt der quantentheoretischen Kinematik und Mechanik". Kessinger Publishing. and potential energy because of its electromagnetic interaction with the nucleus. nasa. Prentice Hall. Helge (1 December 2000). ions such as He+ or O7+ which contain only one electron). org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1932/ ) [33] Heisenberg first published his work on the uncertainty principle in the leading German physics journal Zeitschrift für Physik: Heisenberg. 1932 (http:/ / nobelprize. [31] W. ISBN 0-13-589789-0. 89. ISBN 1-84046-577-8. the energy of the electron is the sum of its kinetic and potential energies. The electron has kinetic energy by virtue of its actual motion around the nucleus. zbp. (http:/ / books.A. [11] Taylor. " [30] For a somewhat more sophisticated look at how Heisenberg transitioned from the old quantum theory and classical physics to the new quantum mechanics. ntrs.NASA. gov/ archive/ nasa/ casi. Dubson. britannica. see NTRS. but at intensities achievable with non-laser sources these effects are unobservable. Amir D. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society.1007/BF01397280.. p.+ perhaps+ as+ a+ compromise+ we+ had+ better+ call+ it+ a+ `wavicle& source=bl& ots=K0IfGzaXli& sig=zgrQiBJbHRLuUzVBT-yy8jZhC1Y& hl=en& ei=i8g1SpOHC4PgtgOu_4jVDg& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=1) [27] Banesh Hoffman. 12 [15] Einstein's photoelectric effect equation can be derived and explained without requiring the concept of "photons". doi:10. 1959 [28] "Schrodinger Equation (Physics).19053220607. google.." p.. C.com. Totem Books. Schrödinger: Life and Thought. Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers. 10f. J.. . Wave Motion. The Nature of the Chemical Bond."& btnG=Search+ Books). 2007. [8] "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1918" (http:/ / nobelprize. p. A. britannica. New Jersey 1983). com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 431159/ orbital) [38] E. nasa. p. de/ rzt/ rzt/ it/ QM/ cat. pdf). [12] Stephen Hawking. p. This paper can be downloaded from http:/ / www. 43 (3–4): 172–198.. pdf) [16] The classical model of the atom is called the planetary model. doi:10. ISBN 1-84046-577-8. The Universe in a Nutshell. Dubson. Zafiratos. PhysicsWorld. [23] J. tu-harburg. [13] Actually there can be intensity-dependent effects. Totem Books. html) [35] "Uncertainty principle. . "Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt" (http:/ / www. html. Z. 537. the electromagnetic radiation can be treated as a classical electromagnetic wave. Dover. 114. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1918/ ). A. [10] Einstein. P. 2001. Eddington. 124.

New Page Books. LCCN 99010404. Richard P. Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist. html) [44] "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1933" (http:/ / nobelprize. eds. . Henry (1957). . J. • Reichenbach. Physical Review 76 (6): 769–789.edu/hbase/quacon..769F. • Beller. ASIN B00005VGVF. then they can no longer be described as before. "Space-Time Approach to Quantum Electrodynamics" (http://www. ISBN 0-486-40459-5. • Scientific American Reader. [45] Durrani. Michael (1999). 23 References • Bernstein. LCCN 51001018. Ahmed. • Peat. John G. com/ dictionary/ field) [41] "Field. ISBN 0-486-47011-3. "Heisenberg. Cramer. npl. • Fowler. 345." [39] "Quantum Nonlocality and the Possibility of Superluminal Effects". com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 206162/ field) [42] Richard Hammond. May (1953). Resonance. (1992). washington. (2004). University of Virginia. pp. S.). "Action and Passion at a Distance: An Essay in Honor of Professor Abner Shimony".phy-astr. Tudor Publishing Company. K. merriam-webster. Bibcode 1949PhRv. The Unknown Universe. (2008). • McEvoy. LCCN 50005340. • Schlipp.. Z. Retrieved 2007-11-24. J. ISBN 0-19-504601-3. Joseph Henry Press. The Nobel Foundation. Niels (1958). ISBN 978-981-4397-74-2. Brodbeck. Sandu. ISBN 0-486-47928-5. A. • Einstein..edu/~mcdonald/examples/QED/feynman_pr_76_769_49. A. 2008.. American Journal of Physics 73 (11). "(title not given in citation)".. Herbert. Margenau. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: Schrödinger Equation and Path Integral (2nd ed. html) [40] "Mechanics. html#quacon). org/ restless_universe/ html/ ru_dira. Vijay Kumar. John Wiley & Sons.edu (http:/ / www. by endowing each of them with a representative of its own. LCCN 53010401.. LCCN 53006438. Foundations of Physics. • Nave. H. Louis (1953). P. LCCN 55003947. Addison-Wesley. Werner (1958). Elsevier. Matrix Mechanics and the Uncertainty Principle". LCCN 57014416. Philosophical Library. Carl Rod (2005). I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics. Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. Hans (1944). viz. 1953. OCLC 530611. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ qm_nl. Introducing Quantum Theory. • Heisenberg. • Feigl. Mara (2001). • Lindsay. Foundations of Quantum Mechanics in the Light of New Technology (S. Oscar. Philosophic Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Richard L.).Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics of mutual influence the systems separate again. Introductory Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed.)." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (http:/ / www.769. University of California Press.gsu. HyperPhysics. ISBN 0-06-130549-9. Essays in Science. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1933/ ). • Feynman. Georgia State University. LCCN a44004471. Optics (3rd ed. Nanosilicon.washington. ISBN 0-390-30488-3. University of Chicago Press. ed. H. From Certainty to Uncertainty: The Story of Science and Ideas in the Twenty-First Century. Harper and Brothers. World Scientific. Physics and Philosophy. Readings in the Philosophy of Science. Tokyo: Japan Physical Society. Quantum Dialogue: The Making of a Revolution.physics. • Shimony. "Quantum Physics" (http://hyperphysics. britannica.1103/PhysRev. F." Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. Journal of Science Education 9 (8). (2012). • de Broglie. W. Kamefuchi et al. David (2002). Robert Bruce. The Bohr Atom. cited in: Popescu. Appleton-Century-Crofts. Jeremy (2005). arXiv:quant-ph/9605004 [quant-ph]. Dover. npl.pdf).76. The Revolution in Physics. • Müller-Kirsten. • Liboff. "Max Born and the quantum theory". ISBN 1-874166-37-4.. doi:10. ISBN 0-918024-18-8. p. Paul Arthur (1949). (1983). Daniel Rohrlich (1996). physicalworld. • Lakshmibala.76. • Bohr. • Sears. princeton. Zarate..). Francis Weston (1949). ISBN 978-1-60163-003-2 [43] The Physical World website (http:/ / www. ISBN 978-0-08-044528-1. (1949). Noonday Press. 225. Albert (1934).

Gerald Malsbary. ISBN 978-0-8135-3077-2. "Quantum Entanglement and the Nonexistence of Superluminal Signals". • Tony Hey and Walters.. doi:10. 14: 179. World Scientific. and bra-ket notation can be passed over on a first reading. Physics Today. H. (http://www. attempt to communicate quantum theory to lay people. Andreas.1103/RevModPhys. Press: 110–176. Bibcode 2009EJPh.chem1. European Journal of Physics 30 (5): 1189–1200. Acad. Richard P. • Martinus Veltman (2003) Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics. ISBN 0-691-08388-6 • Ford. GianCarlo (2004) Sneaking a Look at God's Cards. Princeton University Press." Proc. • Wheeler. Judith (illustrations) (2002). Jan-Peter (2009). • Westmoreland. 24 Further reading The following titles... trans. Nature Loves to Hide: Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality.1088/0143-0807/30/5/026. • Ghirardi.com/acad/ webtext/atoms/atpt-4. Patrick. Silberhorn.google. Includes much about the technologies quantum theory has made possible.1189B.com/?id=SELS0HbIhjYC&pg=PA200&dq=Wave+function+collapse). Cambridge Univ. The most technical of the works cited here. Provides an intuitive introduction in non-mathematical terms and an introduction in comparatively basic mathematical terms. "Demonstrating quantum random with single photons". Tijana T.425W. Kenneth (2005) The Quantum World. Passages using algebra. Includes elementary particle physics. The author is a rare physicist who tries to communicate to philosophers and humanists. across the universe. • Malin. Weidenfield & Nicholson. Strunz. • Roland Omnes (1999) Understanding Quantum Mechanics.21. Press.html) . Buffalo NY: Prometheus Books. • N. all by working physicists.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics • Tavel. "The Correspondence Principle in the Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Ivancevic (2008) Quantum leap: from Dirac and Feynman. using a minimum of technical apparatus. Katherine (2005).21. Rutgers University Press. Bibcode 1949RvMP. Meyn. Perkins. Press.1928.). Reviews of Modern Physics 21 (3): 425–433. J.. Press. Morton. Harvard Univ. John Archibald. "Transforming Physics Education". doi:10. "Classical Electrodynamics in Terms of Direct Interparticle Action". • Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (2011) The Quantum Universe. Princeton Univ. a Western Perspective (Revised ed. Patrick (2003) The New Quantum Universe.. (1949). • Bronner. Allen Lane. Benjamin Schumacher (1998). • Victor Stenger (2000) Timeless Reality: Symmetry. trigonometry. World Scientific Publishing Company. • Wieman. to human body and mind. 5–8.425. Press. Princeton Univ. Contemporary physics and the limits of knowledge (http:// books. Cambridge Univ. Ivancevic. and Multiple Universes.30. • Richard Feynman (1985) QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. Chpts. • Jim Al-Khalili (2003) Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed.. David Mermin (1990) “Spooky actions at a distance: mysteries of the QT” in his Boojums all the way through. Sci. Tavel. • Vladimir G. World Scientific Publishing Company. arXiv:quant-ph/9801014 [quant-ph]. • A website with good introduction to Quantum mechanics can be found here. Shimon (2012). Nat. Simplicity. • Van Vleck. ISBN 978-981-4324-57-1. Christine. Feynman. Carl.

aip. (http://www.uni-erlangen.de/quantumlab/english/) An introduction into quantum physics with interactive experiments • Hitachi video recording of double-slit experiment done with electrons.youtube.phys.com/ TimeEvolutionOfAWavepacketInASquareWell/) An animated demonstration of a wave packet dispersion over time.com/ht/index.pdf) • Everything you wanted to know about the quantum world.html)" • Quantum Theory.newscientist. • Experiments with single photons (http://www. (http://www.htm) • The spooky quantum (http://www.com/spacetime/index. You can see the interference pattern build up over time.didaktik.compadre.psu. (http://www.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 25 External links • Takada. (http://www2.kutl.html)" a recording of Werner Heisenberg's voice.wolfram.sa/Scientific_selections/abstracts/Physics/THE SPOOKY QUANTUM. • This Quantum World.org/history/heisenberg/p07.com/doc/1E1-quantumt. (http://www.org/quantum) (tutorials and open source learning software).kyushu-u. • Single and double slit interference (http://class.com) • " Uncertainty Principle.thebigview.imamu.ac. Emeritus professor at Kyushu University.php) • The Quantum Exchange (http://www.com/watch?v=oxknfn97vFE) .com/channel/ fundamentals/quantum-world) From the New Scientist.physik. • Theoretical Physics wiki (http://theoreticalphysics. " Microscopic World – Introduction to Quantum Mechanics.pdf) • Time-Evolution of a Wavepacket in a Square Well (http://demonstrations. (http://thisquantumworld.wetpaint. Kenjiro.html) • Quantum Mechanics.encyclopedia. (http://www.jp/seminar/MicroWorld1_E/MicroWorld_1_E.edu.edu/251Labs/10_Interference_&_Diffraction/ Single_and_Double-Slit_Interference.

Werner Heisenberg. Some aspects of quantum mechanics can seem counter-intuitive or even paradoxical. quantum mechanics deals with "nature as She is — absurd. measuring position first and then measuring momentum does not have the same outcome as measuring momentum first and then measuring position."[3] Many types of energy. Radiators of photons (such as neon lights) have emission spectra that are discontinuous. such as photons (discrete units of light).Niels Bohr. thereby perturbing that system. Classical physics explains matter and energy at the macroscopic level of the scale familiar to human experience.Erwin Schrödinger. In the words of Richard Feynman.[4] . the less precise another measurement pertaining to the same particle (such as its momentum) must become. Richard Feynman. in that only certain frequencies of light are present. pairs of particles can be created as "entangled twins. It remains the key to measurement for much of modern science and technology." matches between states that classical physics would insist must be random even when distance and the speed of light ensure that no physical causation could account for these correlations. Louis de Broglie. From above and from left to right:Max Planck. Albert Einstein. Paul Dirac. a major revolution in physics.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 26 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics Quantum mechanics is the body of scientific principles that explains the behavior of matter and its interactions with energy on the scale of atoms and subatomic particles and how these phenomena could be related to everyday life (see: Schrodinger's cat). the colours. Even more disconcerting. Put another way. and the spectral intensities of all forms of electromagnetic radiation.[2] These concepts are described in roughly the order they were first discovered. but at the end of the 19th Century observers discovered phenomena in both the large (macro) and the small (micro) worlds that classical physics could not explain." As is described in more detail in the article on Quantum entanglement.Max Born. because they describe behavior quite different than that seen at larger length scales. the act of measuring the first property necessarily introduces additional energy into the micro-system being studied. Wolfgang Pauli. Quantum mechanics predicts the energies.[1] Coming to terms with these limitations led to the development of quantum mechanics. This article describes how physicists discovered the limitations of classical physics and developed the main concepts of the quantum theory that replaced them in the early decades of the 20th century. for a more complete history of the subject. behave in some respects like particles and in other respects like waves. where classical physics is an excellent approximation. entangled particles seem to exhibit what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance. including the behavior of astronomical bodies. Quantum mechanics ordains that the more closely one pins down one measure (such as the position of a particle). see History of quantum mechanics.

as light at shorter wavelengths (higher frequencies) begins to be emitted. at short wavelengths. This result. has the value 663 × 10−34 J s. was proportional to the frequency of the oscillator.[5] He modeled the thermal radiation as being in equilibrium. rather than being able to emit any arbitrary amount of energy. and Planck won the Nobel Prize in 1918 "in recognition of the services he rendered to the advancement of Physics by his discovery of energy quanta. A far-infrared camera can observe this radiation. When it is cold. In fact. The first model that was able to explain the full spectrum of thermal radiation was put forward by Max Planck in 1900. it starts to emit light at the red end of the spectrum — it is red hot. such an object looks perfectly black. The Planck constant. rather than (as we now know) a fundamental change in our understanding of the world.[9] . If an object is heated sufficiently. How the wavelength at which the radiation is strongest changes with temperature is given by Wien's displacement law. which is clearly wrong. the constant of proportionality is now known as the Planck constant. usually written as h. classical physics predicted that energy will be emitted by a hot body at an infinite rate. To reproduce the experimental results he had to assume that each oscillator produced an integer number of units of energy at its single characteristic frequency. red and Wien approximation."[6] The quantum of energy for each oscillator. However. It turns out that a perfect emitter is also a perfect absorber. is known as the ultraviolet catastrophe. The yellow-orange glow is the visible part of the thermal radiation emitted due to the high temperature. In the late 19th century. but less brightly and at longer wavelengths than the human eye can detect. and the radiation it emits is called black body radiation. using a set of harmonic oscillators. Planck's view was that quantization was purely a mathematical trick. In other words. and the overall power emitted per unit area is given by the Stefan–Boltzmann law. Hot metalwork from a blacksmith. according to Planck."[8] At the time. however. and so the energy E of an oscillator of frequency f is given by [7] Correct values (green) contrasted against the classical values (Rayleigh-Jeans law. because it absorbs all the light that falls on it and emits none. the energy of each oscillator was "quantized. Consequently. Everything else in the picture is glowing with thermal radiation as well.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 27 The first quantum theory: Max Planck and black body radiation Thermal radiation is electromagnetic radiation emitted from the surface of an object due to the object's temperature. Planck's law was the first quantum theory in physics. thermal radiation had been fairly well-characterized experimentally. Physicists were searching for a single theory that explained why they got the experimental results that they did. blue). an ideal thermal emitter is known as a black body. classical physics was unable to explain the relationship between temperatures and predominant frequencies of radiation. Heating it further causes the colour to change from red to yellow to blue to white.

as it was able to explain observed effects such as refraction. magnetism and light are all manifestations of the same phenomenon: the Einstein's portrait by Harm electromagnetic field. the wave analogy remained indispensable for helping to understand other characteristics of light.[11] An electron is likely to be struck only by a single photon. The threshold frequency. no electrons are ejected regardless of the intensity. called the threshold frequency. The photoelectric effect In 1887 Heinrich Hertz observed that light can eject electrons from metal.[10] The energy of a single photon is given by its frequency multiplied by Planck's constant: For centuries.[11] This amount of energy is different for each metal. described in the following section. one of the most significant pieces of evidence in its favour was its ability to explain several puzzling properties of the photoelectric effect. the intensity of the beam has no effect. which predicts that the electron's energy should be proportional to the intensity of the radiation.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 28 Photons: the quantisation of light In 1905. electrons are ejected (blue arrows.[11] In 1902 Philipp Lenard discovered that the maximum possible energy of an ejected electron is related to the frequency of the light. The lowest frequency of light that causes electrons to be emitted. Einstein argued that it takes a certain amount of energy. at most.[11] Therefore. James Clerk Maxwell had shown that electricity. diffraction and polarization.[11] To explain the threshold effect. Eventually. sufficient energy). the debate was generally considered to have been settled in favour of the wave theory. however. denoted by φ. not to its intensity. called the work function. which imparts at most an energy hf to the electron. is the frequency of a photon whose energy is equal to the work function: If f is greater than f0. is different for every metal. f0. The ejected electron has a kinetic energy EK which is. Albert Einstein took an extra step.e.[13] only its frequency determines the maximum energy that can be imparted to the electron. and that if the beam is of frequency f then each photon has an energy equal to hf. describe light as waves: a combination of oscillating electric and magnetic fields. This observation is at odds with classical electromagnetism. Because of the preponderance of evidence in favour of the wave theory. Maxwell's equations. equal to the photon's energy minus the energy needed to dislodge the electron from the metal: Light (red arrows. the photon model became favoured. to remove an electron from the metal. which are the complete set of laws of Kamerlingh Onnes at the University of Leiden in 1920 classical electromagnetism. left) is shone upon a metal. the energy hf is enough to remove an electron. if the frequency is too low. Einstein's ideas were met initially with great scepticism. such as diffraction. He suggested that quantisation was not just a mathematical trick: the energy in a beam of light occurs in individual packets.[12]:24 Einstein explained the effect by postulating that a beam of light is a stream of particles (photons). scientists had debated between two possible theories of light: was it a wave or did it instead comprise a stream of tiny particles? By the 19th century. . Nonetheless. If the light is of sufficient frequency (i. If the energy of the photon is less than the work function then it does not carry sufficient energy to remove the electron from the metal. right). which are now called photons.

green light. and that weak beams of light toward the violet end of the spectrum would produce higher and higher voltages. Einstein rejected that wave-dependent classical approach in favour of a particle-based analysis where the energy of the particle must be absolute and varies with frequency in discrete steps (i. the characteristic frequency of a radiating body is dependent on its temperature.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics Einstein's description of light as being composed of particles extended Planck's notion of quantised energy: a single photon of a given frequency f delivers an invariant amount of energy hf. This point is helpful in comprehending the distinction between the study of individual particles in quantum dynamics and the study of massed particles in classical physics. They discovered that strong beams of light toward the red end of the spectrum might produce no electrical potential at all. blue light. but visible or infrared light cannot. 29 . and all photons of different frequencies have proportionally different energies. In other words. To change the color of such a radiating body it is necessary to change its temperature. So when physicists first discovered devices exhibiting the photoelectric effect. single photons are rarely encountered. is quantised). then if you doubled the rate of photon delivery. The total energy emitted per unit of time by a sun or by a piece of iron in a forge depends on both the number of photons emitted per unit of time and also on the amount of energy carried by each of the photons involved. If each individual photon had identical energy. Although the energy imparted by photons is invariant at any given frequency. however. A photon of ultraviolet light will deliver a high amount of energy—enough to contribute to cellular damage such as occurs in a sunburn. A sun that radiates red light. A photon of infrared light will deliver a lower amount of energy—only enough to warm one's skin. so they appear to propagate as a continuous wave. Light of low frequency could carry more energy only for the same reason. It might be surmised that adding continuously to the total energy of some radiating body would make it radiate red light. they initially expected that a higher intensity of light would produce a higher voltage from the photoelectric device. not as discrete units. orange light. Once again. Einstein's idea that individual units of light may contain different amounts of energy depending on their frequency made it possible to explain the experimental results that hitherto had seemed quite counter-intuitive. So an infrared lamp can warm a large surface. you would double the number of energy units arriving each second. However. All photons of the same frequency have identical energy. An electron that was already excited above the equilibrium level of the photoelectric device might be ejected when it absorbed uncharacteristically low frequency illumination. The sun emits photons continuously at all electromagnetic frequencies. Therefore anomalous results may occur in the case of individual electrons. and increasing its temperature changes the quanta of energy that are available to excite individual atoms to higher levels and permit them to emit photons of higher frequencies. When physicists were looking only at beams of light containing huge numbers of individual and virtually indistinguishable photons it was difficult to understand the importance of the energy levels of individual photons. although the photon is a particle it was still being described as having the wave-like property of frequency. the particle account of light was being "compromised".[14][15] The relationship between the frequency of electromagnetic radiation and the energy of each individual photon is why ultraviolet light can cause sunburn. individual photons can deliver more or less energy. the effect that makes the light meters of modern cameras work. but it cannot give anyone a sunburn. and so on in that order. Light of high frequency could carry more energy only because of flooding a surface with more photons arriving per second. In other words. or a piece of iron in a forge that glows red. In nature. Statistically. If it were true that all photons carry the same energy. but only depending on their frequencies. The emission sources available to Hertz and Lennard in the 19th century shared that characteristic. yellow light. violet light. the initial energy-state of the electrons in a photoelectric device prior to absorption of light is not necessarily uniform. perhaps large enough to keep people comfortable in a cold room. it would not be correct to talk of a "high energy" photon. the characteristic behavior of a photoelectric device will reflect the behavior of the vast majority of its electrons. may both be said to contain a great deal of energy.e. which will be at their equilibrium level. But that is not so for otherwise larger suns and larger pieces of iron in a forge would glow with colours more toward the violet end of the spectrum.

i. colliding with it in a fraction of a second. positively-charged nucleus. When a gas is heated. 6. and for m = 3 and n > 3.[16] However. it was known that atoms comprise a diffuse cloud of negatively-charged electrons surrounding a small. equal to 0. it was also known that the atom in this model would be unstable: according to classical theory orbiting electrons are undergoing centripetal acceleration. the emission spectrum should contain certain ultraviolet wavelengths. When excited.e. For example.0110 nm−1. In 1885 the Swiss mathematician Johann Balmer discovered that each wavelength λ (lambda) in the visible spectrum of hydrogen is related to some integer n by the equation where B is a constant which Balmer determined to be equal to 364. it gives off light only at discrete frequencies. hydrogen gas gives off light in four distinct colours (spectral lines) in the visible spectrum.56 nm. it should also contain certain infrared wavelengths. By contrast. Rydberg's formula accounts for the four visible wavelengths of hydrogen by setting m = 2 and n = 3. In 1888 Johannes Rydberg generalized and greatly increased the explanatory utility of Balmer's formula. and should therefore give off electromagnetic radiation. the visible light given off by hydrogen consists of four different colours. and in 1914 Theodore Lyman found some of the predicted ultraviolet wavelengths. 4. A second. Experimental observation of these wavelengths came two decades later: in 1908 Louis Paschen found some of the predicted infrared wavelengths. puzzle was the emission spectrum of atoms. quantised. the loss of energy also causing them to spiral toward the nucleus. Emission spectrum of hydrogen. He predicted that λ is related to two integers n and m according to what is now known as the Rydberg formula:[17] where R is the Rydberg constant. 5. It also predicts additional wavelengths in the emission spectrum: for m = 1 and for n > 1. dense. related.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 30 The quantisation of matter: the Bohr model of the atom By the dawn of the 20th century. as shown in the picture below. white light consists of a continuous emission across the whole range of visible frequencies. This understanding suggested a model in which the electrons circle around the nucleus like planets orbiting a sun. Thus Balmer's constant was the basis of a system of discrete. as well as a number of lines in the infra-red and ultra-violet.[17] . and n must be greater than m. integers.

0529 nm. m is the mass of an electron. An electron loses energy by jumping instantaneously from its original orbit to a lower orbit. Coulomb's law and the equations of circular motion show that an electron with n units of angular momentum will orbit a proton at a distance r given by .[18] In Bohr's model. Starting from this assumption. electrons could inhabit only certain orbits around the atomic nucleus. The energy Eγ of this photon is the difference in the energies En and Em of the electron: Since Planck's equation shows that the photon's energy is related to its wavelength by Eγ = hc/λ. giving off the emitted light in the form of a photon. For simplicity this is written as where a0. and is given by . The energy of the electron[21] can also be calculated. where n is an integer and h is the Planck constant. When an atom emitted (or absorbed) energy. an electron that absorbs a photon gains energy. the wavelengths of light that can be emitted are given by This equation has the same form as the Rydberg formula. of an electron is quantised: The Bohr model of the atom. rm. with radius rn. Thus Bohr's assumption that angular momentum is quantised means that an electron can only inhabit certain orbits around the nucleus. called the Bohr radius. the electron did not move in a continuous trajectory from one orbit around the nucleus to another. Each photon from glowing atomic hydrogen is due to an electron moving from a higher orbit. Conversely. and predicts that the constant R should be given by . as might be expected classically. to a lower orbit. and it cannot come closer to the nucleus than a0 (the Bohr radius). hence it jumps to an orbit that is farther from the nucleus. Instead.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 31 Bohr's model In 1913 Niels Bohr proposed a new model of the atom that included quantized electron orbits.[19] The possible energies of photons given off by each element were determined by the differences in energy between the orbits. and so the emission spectrum for each element would contain a number of lines. L. the electron would jump instantaneously from one orbit to another.[20] Bohr theorised that the angular momentum. The Bohr radius is the radius of the smallest allowed orbit. is equal to 0. the extra energy is emitted in the form of a photon. and that it can have only certain energies. A consequence of these constraints is that the electron will not crash into the nucleus: it cannot continuously emit energy. where ke is the Coulomb constant. and e is the charge on an electron. showing an electron quantum jumping to ground state n = 1.

[26] (This term was later popularised by mathematician Banesh Hoffmann. At the University of Aberdeen. one might naively expect that the intensity of the fringes due to interference would be halved everywhere. called the de Broglie hypothesis.)[27]:172 Wave-particle duality is an example of the principle of complementarity in quantum physics. closely spaced slits. a beam of light is directed through two narrow. Exactly the same behaviour can be demonstrated in water waves. the wave-like nature of electrons was demonstrated by showing that a beam of electrons could exhibit diffraction.[22] However. λ . At Bell Labs. producing an interference pattern (the 3 fringes shown at the right). Louis de Broglie proposed the idea that just as light has both wave-like and particle-like properties. just like a beam of light. George Thomson passed a beam of electrons through a thin metal film and observed the predicted diffraction patterns. Indeed. it was not able to make accurate predictions for multi-electron atoms. Thomson and Davisson shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1937 for their experimental work. either photons or matter. In fact. If one of the slits is covered up. and so the double-slit experiment was seen as a demonstration of the wave nature of light. . perhaps as a compromise we had better call it a 'wavicle' ".Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 32 Therefore the Bohr model of the atom can predict the emission spectrum of hydrogen in terms of fundamental constants. or to explain why some spectral lines are brighter than others. De Broglie was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1929 for his hypothesis. p through the Planck constant h :[24][25] The relationship. Eddington proposed in 1927 that "We can scarcely describe such an entity as a wave or as a particle. An elegant example of wave-particle duality. a much simpler pattern is seen. Wave-particle duality In 1924. Three years later. holds for all types of matter. the double slit experiment. The double-slit experiment In the double-slit experiment as originally performed by Thomas Young and Augustin Fresnel in 1827. Similar wave-like phenomena were later shown for atoms and even small molecules. associated with a particle is related to its momentum.[23] The wavelength. is discussed in the section below. a simple diffraction pattern. Light from one slit interferes with light from the other. De Broglie's treatment of quantum events served as a jumping off point for Schrödinger when he set about to construct a wave equation to describe quantum theoretical events. matter also has wave-like properties. Closing one slit results in a much simpler pattern diametrically opposite the open slit. Davisson and Germer guided their beam through a crystalline grid. astrophysicist A. Thus all matter exhibits properties of both particles and waves.S. The concept of wave-particle duality says that neither the classical concept of "particle" nor of "wave" can fully describe the behavior of quantum-scale objects. producing an interference pattern of light and dark bands on a screen.

an electron will be observed only in situations that permit a standing wave around a nucleus. The quantum particle acts as a wave when passing through the double slits. The waves created by a stringed instrument appear to oscillate in place. he says that the psi-function featured in his equation provides the "means for predicting probability of measurement results. it can carry standing waves of wavelengths 2l/n. and even molecules.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 33 The double-slit experiment has also been performed using electrons. and the same type of interference pattern is seen. called the Schrödinger equation after its creator. The diffraction pattern produced when light is shone through one slit (top) and the interference pattern produced by two slits (bottom). is central to quantum mechanics.[28] In the paper that introduced Schrödinger's cat." and that it therefore provides "future expectation[s] . photon or electron) is passing through the apparatus at a time. defines the permitted stationary states of a quantum system. By means of a series of mathematical analogies. and describes how the quantum state of a physical system changes in time. For example. The equation. moving from crest to trough in an up-and-down motion. Thus it has been demonstrated that all matter possesses both particle and wave characteristics. about 1933. Werner Heisenberg was trying to find an explanation for the intensities of the different lines in the hydrogen emission spectrum. which is fixed at both ends and can be made to vibrate. atoms. Heisenberg's colleague Max Born realised that Heisenberg's method of calculating the . Shortly afterwards. the same interference pattern develops over time. De Broglie suggested that the allowed electron orbits were those for which the circumference of the orbit would be an integer number of wavelengths. This is a typical feature of quantum complementarity: a quantum particle will act as a wave when we do an experiment to measure its wave-like properties. because the violin string is fixed at both ends.g. An example of a standing wave is a violin string. but as a particle when it is detected. Erwin Schrödinger developed the equation that describes the behaviour of a quantum mechanical wave. moving in a well of electrical potential created by the proton. Heisenberg wrote out the quantum mechanical analogue for the classical computation of intensities. Development of modern quantum mechanics In 1925. Where on the detector screen any individual particle shows up will be the result of an entirely random process. where l is the length and n is a positive integer. In particular."[29] Schrödinger was able to calculate the energy levels of hydrogen by treating a hydrogen atom's electron as a classical wave. age 46 At a somewhat earlier time. Application to the Bohr model De Broglie expanded the Bohr model of the atom by showing that an electron in orbit around a nucleus could be thought of as having wave-like properties. building on de Broglie's hypothesis. Even if the source intensity is turned down so that only one particle (e. and like a particle when we do an experiment to measure its particle-like properties. This calculation accurately reproduced the energy levels of the Bohr model. Erwin Schrödinger. somewhat as laid down in a catalog. The wavelength of a standing wave is related to the length of the vibrating object and the boundary conditions. demonstrating the wave-like propagation of light. The interference pattern from two slits is much more complex.

An experiment can demonstrate the particle-like properties of matter. Their description. known as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.[30] In May 1926. Heisenberg and others tried to explain what these experimental results and mathematical models really mean. (Heisenberg) 2. 7. The description of nature is essentially probabilistic. (Correspondence principle of Bohr and Heisenberg) Various consequences of these principles are discussed in more detail in the following subsections. 3. Heisenberg saw no problem in the theoretical prediction of instantaneous transitions of electrons between orbits in an atom. ." 34 Copenhagen interpretation Bohr. (Heisenberg's uncertainty principle) 5. The probability of an event — for example. mathematically. Yet the two men disagreed on the interpretation of their mutual theory. due to Max Born. It is not possible to know the values of all of the properties of the system at the same time. or its wave-like properties. the two theories were identical. (Complementarity principle due to Bohr) 6. exhibits a wave-particle duality. The quantum mechanical description of large systems should closely approximate the classical description. For instance. . but Schrödinger hoped that a theory based on continuous wave-like properties could avoid what he called (in the words of Wilhelm Wien[31]) "this nonsense about quantum jumps. (Born rule. like energy. Matter. How changes over time is given by the Schrödinger equation. where on the screen a particle will show up in the two slit experiment — is related to the square of the amplitude of its wave function. A system is completely described by a wave function. which gives a physical meaning to the wavefunction in the Copenhagen interpretation: the probability amplitude) 4. The main principles of the Copenhagen interpretation are: 1. but not both at the same time. Measuring devices are essentially classical devices. those properties that are not known with precision must be described by probabilities.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics probabilities for transitions between the different energy levels could best be expressed by using the mathematical concept of matrices. aimed to describe the nature of reality that was being probed by the measurements and described by the mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics. and measure classical properties such as position and momentum. Schrödinger proved that Heisenberg's matrix mechanics and his own wave mechanics made the same predictions about the properties and behaviour of the electron.

Explanations for the nature of the process of becoming certain are controversial. not its original momentum. The uncertainty principle isn't a statement about the accuracy of our measuring equipment. and vice versa. an exposed spot in a sheet of photographic film.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 35 Uncertainty principle Suppose that we want to measure the position and speed of an object — for example a car going through a radar speed trap. Wave function collapse Wave function collapse is a forced term for whatever happened when it becomes appropriate to replace the description of an uncertain state of a system by a description of the system in a definite state. e. Naively.hence uncertainty . At any time before a photon "shows up" on a detection screen it can only be described by a set of probabilities for where it might show up. rendering the measurement obtained of its momentum increasingly uncertain (momentum is velocity multiplied by mass). and the wave function has disappeared with it.[35] The uncertainty principle shows mathematically that the product of the uncertainty in the position and momentum of a particle (momentum is velocity multiplied by mass) could never be less than a certain value. these uncertainties are too small to notice. cannot both be known to arbitrary precision: the more precisely one property is known. Heisenberg gave. but when dealing with atoms and electrons they become critical.in the momentum is less. the measurement of the position and momentum of an electron using a photon of light.[34] Werner Heisenberg at the age of 26.[33] Quantum mechanics shows that certain pairs of physical properties. Heisenberg proved that these assumptions are not correct. .g. the higher the frequency of the photon the more accurate is the measurement of the position of the impact. but so is the accuracy of the measurement of the position of the impact. In measuring the electron's position. we would assume that how precisely we measure the speed of the car does not affect the measurement of its position. Heisenberg won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the work that he [32] did at around this time. the photon has disappeared. However. we assume that the car has a definite position and speed at a particular moment in time. With a photon of lower frequency the disturbance . which absorbs a random amount of energy. In particular. like position and speed. from the collision products. for instance in the CCD of an electronic camera. for one is necessarily measuring its post-impact disturbed momentum. the time and the space where it interacted with the device are known within very tight limits. In its place some physical change in the detection screen has appeared. This statement is known as the uncertainty principle. and that this value is related to Planck's constant.. or a change in electric potential in some cell of a CCD. the less precisely the other can be known. When it does show up. but about the nature of the system itself — our naive assumption that the car had a definite position and speed was incorrect. as an illustration. we will get a result that is closer to the true value. and how accurately we can measure these values depends on the quality of our measuring equipment — if we improve the precision of our measuring equipment. but the greater is the disturbance of the electron. In 1927. On a scale of cars and people.

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 36 Eigenstates and eigenvalues For a more detailed introduction to this subject. V. The quantum state of the electron is described by its wavefunction. 3. and the state of something having a definite value. The "shape" of the orbital. . In the modern theory the orbit has been replaced by an atomic orbital. 2. where only one line was expected. statements about both the position and momentum of particles can only assign a probability that the position or momentum will have some numerical value. was that electrons behave as if they rotate. The "inclination" of the orbital. The collective name for these properties is the quantum state of the electron. a "cloud" of possible locations. Wolfgang Pauli proposed a new quantum degree of freedom (or quantum number). the uncertainty principle states that an electron cannot be viewed as having an exact location at any given time. with two possible values. it is said to possess an eigenstate. represented by the "wave function" Ψ."[36] A year later. created by the proton. The Pauli exclusion principle In 1924. Application to the hydrogen atom Bohr's model of the atom was essentially two-dimensional — an electron orbiting in a plane around its nuclear "sun. these are known as the electron's quantum numbers. In particular. 4.[37] Schrödinger was able to calculate the energy levels of hydrogen by treating a hydrogen atom's electron as a wave. The idea. thus satisfying the exclusion principle. determining the magnetic moment of the orbital around the z-axis. originating with Ralph Kronig. Orbitals have a range of different shapes in three dimensions. or pair of lines differing by a small amount. The quantum state can be described by giving a number to each of these properties. It is often depicted as a three-dimensional region within which there is a 95 percent probability of finding the electron." However. and they accurately reproduce the energy levels of the Bohr model. each electron has four properties: 1. stating that "There cannot exist an atom in such a quantum state that two electrons within [it] have the same set of quantum numbers. Therefore it is necessary to formulate clearly the difference between the state of something that is indeterminate. see: Introduction to eigenstates Because of the uncertainty principle. or "spin". The "spin" of the electron. spherical or otherwise. The Pauli exclusion principle demands that no two electrons within an atom may have the same values of all four numbers. The solutions to Schrödinger's equation are distributions of probabilities for electron positions and locations. Pauli formulated his exclusion principle. Uhlenbeck and Goudsmit identified Pauli's new degree of freedom with a property called spin. An "orbital" designation. the spectrum of atomic hydrogen had a doublet. about an axis. indicating whether the particle wave is one that is closer to the nucleus with less energy or one that is farther from the nucleus with more energy. Within Schrödinger's picture. The energies of the different orbitals can be calculated. The quantum number represented the sense (positive or negative) of spin. in a electric potential well. such as an electron in a probability cloud. Spin would account for the missing magnetic moment. When an object can definitely be "pinned-down" in some respect. and allow two electrons in the same orbital to occupy distinct quantum states if they "spun" in opposite directions. to resolve inconsistencies between observed molecular spectra and the predictions of quantum mechanics.

conventionally the z-direction is chosen. 2px. s = 1⁄2. The angular momentum represents the resistance of a spinning object to speeding up or slowing down under the influence of external force. the azimuthal quantum number. f. The fourth quantum number. the Pauli Exclusion Principle requires that the two electrons differ in the value of one quantum number. denoted l. The next quantum number. The colours show the phase of the wavefunction. 2s. The possible values for ml are integers from −l to l: The magnetic quantum number measures the component of the angular momentum in a particular direction. they have the same spin. n. describes the magnetic moment of the electron. The azimuthal quantum number represents the orbital angular momentum of an electron around its nucleus. n denotes the energy level of each orbital.2py. Their values of n. the magnetic quantum number. The third quantum number. The other orbitals have more complicated shapes (see atomic orbital). which can have the value of +1⁄2 for one electron and −1⁄2 for the other. moreover. and the way that electrons fill them. that determines the organisation of the periodic table and the structure and strength of chemical bonds between atoms. The possible values for n are integers: The shapes of the first five atomic orbitals: 1s. by way of example: In the case of a helium atom with two electrons in the 1s orbital. and g. and 2pz. . The next shape is denoted by the letter p and has the form of a dumbbell. l.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 37 The first property describing the orbital is the principal quantum number. describes the shape of the orbital. The possible values for l are integers from 0 to n − 1: The shape of each orbital has its own letter as well. and are denoted by the letters d. with values +1⁄2 or −1⁄2. the spin quantum number (pertaining to the "orientation" of the electron's spin) is denoted ms. The shape is a consequence of the angular momentum of the orbital. and ml are the same. Accordingly they must differ in the value of ms."[36] It is the underlying structure and symmetry of atomic orbitals. which is the same as in Bohr's model. The first shape is denoted by the letter s (a mnemonic being "sphere"). and is denoted by ml (or simply m). The choice of direction is arbitrary. The chemist Linus Pauling wrote.

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

38

**Dirac wave equation
**

In 1928, Paul Dirac extended the Pauli equation, which described spinning electrons, to account for special relativity. The result was a theory that dealt properly with events, such as the speed at which an electron orbits the nucleus, occurring at a substantial fraction of the speed of light. By using the simplest electromagnetic interaction, Dirac was able to predict the value of the magnetic moment associated with the electron's spin, and found the experimentally observed value, which was too large to be that of a spinning charged sphere governed by classical physics. He was able to solve for the spectral lines of the hydrogen atom, and to reproduce from physical first principles Sommerfeld's successful formula for the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum. Dirac's equations sometimes yielded a negative value for energy, for which he proposed a novel solution: he posited the existence of an antielectron and of a dynamical vacuum. This led to the many-particle quantum field theory.

Paul Dirac (1902 - 1984)

Quantum entanglement

The Pauli exclusion principle says that two electrons in one system cannot be in the same state. Nature leaves open the possibility, however, that two electrons can have both states "superimposed" over each of them. Recall that the wave functions that Superposition of two quantum characteristics, and two resolution possibilities. emerge simultaneously from the double slits arrive at the detection screen in a state of superposition. Nothing is certain until the superimposed waveforms "collapse," At that instant an electron shows up somewhere in accordance with the probabilities that are the squares of the amplitudes of the two superimposed waveforms. The situation there is already very abstract. A concrete way of thinking about entangled photons, photons in which two contrary states are superimposed on each of them in the same event, is as follows: Imagine that the superposition of a state that can be mentally labeled as blue and another state that can be mentally labeled as red will then appear (in imagination, of course) as a purple state. Two photons are produced as the result of the same atomic event. Perhaps they are produced by the excitation of a crystal that characteristically absorbs a photon of a certain frequency and emits two photons of half the original frequency. So the two photons come out "purple." If the experimenter now performs some experiment that will determine whether one of the photons is either blue or red, then that experiment changes the photon involved from one having a superposition of "blue" and "red" characteristics to a photon that has only one of those characteristics. The problem that Einstein had with such an imagined situation was that if one of these photons had been kept bouncing between mirrors in a laboratory on earth, and the other one had traveled halfway to the nearest star, when its twin was made to reveal itself as either blue or red, that meant that the distant photon now had to lose its "purple" status too. So whenever it might be investigated after its twin had been measured, it would necessarily show up in the opposite state to whatever its twin had revealed.

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics In trying to show that quantum mechanics was not a complete theory, Einstein started with the theory's prediction that two or more particles that have interacted in the past can appear strongly correlated when their various properties are later measured. He sought to explain this seeming interaction in a classical way, through their common past, and preferably not by some "spooky action at a distance." The argument is worked out in a famous paper, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen (1935; abbreviated EPR), setting out what is now called the EPR paradox. Assuming what is now usually called local realism, EPR attempted to show from quantum theory that a particle has both position and momentum simultaneously, while according to the Copenhagen interpretation, only one of those two properties actually exists and only at the moment that it is being measured. EPR concluded that quantum theory is incomplete in that it refuses to consider physical properties which objectively exist in nature. (Einstein, Podolsky, & Rosen 1935 is currently Einstein's most cited publication in physics journals.) In the same year, Erwin Schrödinger used the word "entanglement" and declared: "I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics." [38] The question of whether entanglement is a real condition is still in dispute.[39] The Bell inequalities are the most powerful challenge to Einstein's claims.

39

**Quantum field theory
**

The idea of quantum field theory began in the late 1920s with British physicist Paul Dirac, when he attempted to quantise the electromagnetic field — a procedure for constructing a quantum theory starting from a classical theory. A field in physics is "a region or space in which a given effect (such as magnetism) exists."[40] Other effects that manifest themselves as fields are gravitation and static electricity.[41] In 2008, physicist Richard Hammond wrote that Sometimes we distinguish between quantum mechanics (QM) and quantum field theory (QFT). QM refers to a system in which the number of particles is fixed, and the fields (such as the electromechanical field) are continuous classical entities. QFT . . . goes a step further and allows for the creation and annihilation of particles . . . . He added, however, that quantum mechanics is often used to refer to "the entire notion of quantum view."[42]:108 In 1931, Dirac proposed the existence of particles that later became known as anti-matter.[43] Dirac shared the Nobel Prize in physics for 1933 with Schrödinger, "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory."[44]

Quantum electrodynamics

Quantum electrodynamics (QED) is the name of the quantum theory of the electromagnetic force. Understanding QED begins with understanding electromagnetism. Electromagnetism can be called "electrodynamics" because it is a dynamic interaction between electrical and magnetic forces. Electromagnetism begins with the electric charge. Electric charges are the sources of, and create, electric fields. An electric field is a field which exerts a force on any particles that carry electric charges, at any point in space. This includes the electron, proton, and even quarks, among others. As a force is exerted, electric charges move, a current flows and a magnetic field is produced. The magnetic field, in turn causes electric current (moving electrons). The interacting electric and magnetic field is called an electromagnetic field.

This sculpture in Bristol, England — a series of clustering cones — presents the idea of small worlds that Paul Dirac studied to reach his discovery of anti-matter.

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics The physical description of interacting charged particles, electrical currents, electrical fields, and magnetic fields is called electromagnetism. In 1928 Paul Dirac produced a relativistic quantum theory of electromagnetism. This was the progenitor to modern quantum electrodynamics, in that it had essential ingredients of the modern theory. However, the problem of unsolvable infinities developed in this relativistic quantum theory. Years later, renormalization solved this problem. Initially viewed as a suspect, provisional procedure by some of its originators, renormalization eventually was embraced as an important and self-consistent tool in QED and other fields of physics. Also, in the late 1940s Feynman's diagrams depicted all possible interactions pertaining to a given event. The diagrams showed that the electromagnetic force is the interactions of photons between interacting particles. An example of a prediction of quantum electrodynamics which has been verified experimentally is the Lamb shift. This refers to an effect whereby the quantum nature of the electromagnetic field causes the energy levels in an atom or ion to deviate slightly from what they would otherwise be. As a result, spectral lines may shift or split. In the 1960s physicists realized that QED broke down at extremely high energies. From this inconsistency the Standard Model of particle physics was discovered, which remedied the higher energy breakdown in theory. The Standard Model unifies the electromagnetic and weak interactions into one theory. This is called the electroweak theory.

40

Interpretations

The physical measurements, equations, and predictions pertinent to quantum mechanics are all consistent and hold a very high level of confirmation. However, the question of what these abstract models say about the underlying nature of the real world has received competing answers.

Applications

Applications of quantum mechanics include the laser, the transistor, the electron microscope, and magnetic resonance imaging. A special class of quantum mechanical applications is related to macroscopic quantum phenomena such as superfluid helium and superconductors. The study of semiconductors led to the invention of the diode and the transistor, which are indispensable for modern electronics. In even the simple light switch, quantum tunnelling is absolutely vital, as otherwise the electrons in the electric current could not penetrate the potential barrier made up of a layer of oxide. Flash memory chips found in USB drives also use quantum tunnelling, to erase their memory cells.[45]

Notes

[1] Quantum Mechanics from [[National Public Radio (http:/ / www. pbs. org/ trasnsistor/ science/ info/ quantum. html)]] [2] Classical physics also does not accurately describe the universe on the largest scales or at speeds close to that of light. An accurate description requires general relativity. [3] Feynman, Richard P. (1988). QED : the strange theory of light and matter (1st Princeton pbk., seventh printing with corrections. ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. pp. 10. ISBN 978-0691024172. [4] Alan Macdonald, "Spooky action at a distance: The puzzle of entanglement in quantum theory," page 5 of 7, downloaded 13 June 2012 from http:/ / faculty. luther. edu/ ~macdonal/ [5] This result was published (in German) as Planck, Max (1901). "Ueber das Gesetz der Energieverteilung im Normalspectrum" (http:/ / www. physik. uni-augsburg. de/ annalen/ history/ historic-papers/ 1901_309_553-563. pdf). Ann. Phys. 309 (3): 553–63. Bibcode 1901AnP...309..553P. doi:10.1002/andp.19013090310. . English translation: " On the Law of Distribution of Energy in the Normal Spectrum (http:/ / dbhs. wvusd. k12. ca. us/ webdocs/ Chem-History/ Planck-1901/ Planck-1901. html)". [6] The word "quantum" comes from the Latin word for "how much" (as does "quantity"). Something which is "quantized," like the energy of Planck's harmonic oscillators, can only take specific values. For example, in most countries money is effectively quantized, with the "quantum of money" being the lowest-value coin in circulation. "Mechanics" is the branch of science that deals with the action of forces on objects, so "quantum mechanics" is the part of mechanics that deals with objects for which particular properties are quantized.

**Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
**

[7] Francis Weston Sears (1958). Mechanics, Wave Motion, and Heat (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?hl=en& q="Mechanics,+ Wave+ Motion,+ and+ Heat"+ "where+ n+ =+ 1,"& btnG=Search+ Books). Addison-Wesley. p. 537. . [8] "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1918" (http:/ / nobelprize. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1918/ ). The Nobel Foundation. . Retrieved 2009-08-01. [9] Kragh, Helge (1 December 2000). "Max Planck: the reluctant revolutionary" (http:/ / physicsworld. com/ cws/ article/ print/ 373). PhysicsWorld.com. [10] Einstein, Albert (1905). "Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt" (http:/ / www. zbp. univie. ac. at/ dokumente/ einstein1. pdf). Annalen der Physik 17 (6): 132–148. Bibcode 1905AnP...322..132E. doi:10.1002/andp.19053220607. ., translated into English as On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light (http:/ / lorentz. phl. jhu. edu/ AnnusMirabilis/ AeReserveArticles/ eins_lq. pdf). The term "photon" was introduced in 1926. [11] Taylor, J. R.; Zafiratos, C. D.; Dubson, M. A. (2004). Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers. Prentice Hall. pp. 127–9. ISBN 0-13-589789-0. [12] Stephen Hawking, The Universe in a Nutshell, Bantam, 2001. [13] Actually there can be intensity-dependent effects, but at intensities achievable with non-laser sources these effects are unobservable. [14] Dicke and Wittke, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, p. 12 [15] Einstein's photoelectric effect equation can be derived and explained without requiring the concept of "photons". That is, the electromagnetic radiation can be treated as a classical electromagnetic wave, as long as the electrons in the material are treated by the laws of quantum mechanics. The results are quantitatively correct for thermal light sources (the sun, incandescent lamps, etc) both for the rate of electron emission as well as their angular distribution. For more on this point, see NTRS.NASA.gov (http:/ / ntrs. nasa. gov/ archive/ nasa/ casi. ntrs. nasa. gov/ 19680009569_1968009569. pdf) [16] The classical model of the atom is called the planetary model, or sometimes the Rutherford model after Ernest Rutherford who proposed it in 1911, based on the Geiger-Marsden gold foil experiment which first demonstrated the existence of the nucleus. [17] Taylor, J. R.; Zafiratos, C. D.; Dubson, M. A. (2004). Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers. Prentice Hall. pp. 147–8. ISBN 0-13-589789-0. [18] McEvoy, J. P.; Zarate, O. (2004). Introducing Quantum Theory. Totem Books. pp. 70–89, especially p. 89. ISBN 1-84046-577-8. [19] World Book Encyclopedia, page 6, 2007. [20] Dicke and Wittke, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, p. 10f. [21] In this case, the energy of the electron is the sum of its kinetic and potential energies. The electron has kinetic energy by virtue of its actual motion around the nucleus, and potential energy because of its electromagnetic interaction with the nucleus. [22] The model can be easily modified to account of the emission spectrum of any system consisting of a nucleus and a single electron (that is, ions such as He+ or O7+ which contain only one electron). [23] J. P. McEvoy and Oscar Zarate (2004). Introducing Quantum Theory. Totem Books. p. 110f. ISBN 1-84046-577-8. [24] Aezel, Amir D., Entanglrment, p. 51f. (Penguin, 2003) ISBN 0-452-28457 [25] J. P. McEvoy and Oscar Zarate (2004). Introducing Quantum Theory. Totem Books. p. 114. ISBN 1-84046-577-8. [26] A.S. Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, the course of Gifford Lectures that Eddington delivered in the University of Edinburgh in January to March 1927, Kessinger Publishing, 2005, p. 201. (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=PGOTKcxSqMUC& pg=PA201& lpg=PA201& dq=We+ can+ scarcely+ describe+ such+ an+ entity+ as+ a+ wave+ or+ as+ a+ particle;+ perhaps+ as+ a+ compromise+ we+ had+ better+ call+ it+ a+ `wavicle& source=bl& ots=K0IfGzaXli& sig=zgrQiBJbHRLuUzVBT-yy8jZhC1Y& hl=en& ei=i8g1SpOHC4PgtgOu_4jVDg& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=1) [27] Banesh Hoffman, The Strange Story of the Quantum, Dover, 1959 [28] "Schrodinger Equation (Physics)," Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. britannica. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 528298/ Schrodinger-equation) [29] Erwin Schrödinger, "The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics," p. 9. "This translation was originally published in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 124, 323-38. [And then appeared as Section I.11 of Part I of Quantum Theory and Measurement (J.A. Wheeler and W.H. Zurek, eds., Princeton university Press, New Jersey 1983). This paper can be downloaded from http:/ / www. tu-harburg. de/ rzt/ rzt/ it/ QM/ cat. html. " [30] For a somewhat more sophisticated look at how Heisenberg transitioned from the old quantum theory and classical physics to the new quantum mechanics, see Heisenberg's entryway to matrix mechanics. [31] W. Moore, Schrödinger: Life and Thought, Cambridge University Press (1989), p. 222. [32] Heisenberg's Nobel Prize citation (http:/ / nobelprize. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1932/ ) [33] Heisenberg first published his work on the uncertainty principle in the leading German physics journal Zeitschrift für Physik: Heisenberg, W. (1927). "Über den anschaulichen Inhalt der quantentheoretischen Kinematik und Mechanik". Z. Phys. 43 (3–4): 172–198. Bibcode 1927ZPhy...43..172H. doi:10.1007/BF01397280. [34] Nobel Prize in Physics presentation speech, 1932 (http:/ / nobelprize. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1932/ press. html) [35] "Uncertainty principle," Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. britannica. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 614029/ uncertainty-principle) [36] Linus Pauling, The Nature of the Chemical Bond, p. 47 [37] "Orbital (chemistry and physics)," Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. britannica. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 431159/ orbital) [38] E. Schrödinger, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 31 (1935), p. 555says: "When two systems, of which we know the states by their respective representation, enter into a temporary physical interaction due to known forces between them and when after a time

41

H.edu/~mcdonald/examples/QED/feynman_pr_76_769_49. • McEvoy.. Foundations of Quantum Mechanics in the Light of New Technology (S. S.. LCCN 53010401. washington. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: Schrödinger Equation and Path Integral (2nd ed. American Journal of Physics 73 (11). ISBN 978-1-60163-003-2 [43] The Physical World website (http:/ / www. Francis Weston (1949). (1992). K. • Reichenbach. arXiv:quant-ph/9605004 [quant-ph]. May (1953). The Nobel Foundation. (2008).phy-astr. University of Virginia.769. OCLC 530611.pdf). J. Richard L. LCCN 55003947. Nanosilicon. ISBN 0-486-47928-5. org/ restless_universe/ html/ ru_dira. F.edu (http:/ / www. 345. LCCN a44004471. P. Optics (3rd ed. The Bohr Atom. Albert (1934). • Sears.washington. pp. Readings in the Philosophy of Science. html#quacon). • Nave. University of California Press. • Beller. A. Noonday Press.. Tokyo: Japan Physical Society. Elsevier. Hans (1944).. Brodbeck. John Wiley & Sons. Quantum Dialogue: The Making of a Revolution. Z. doi:10.)." Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. Jeremy (2005). p. eds. Margenau. Sandu. Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. W. Richard P. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ qm_nl. Michael (1999). Resonance. . Joseph Henry Press. • Bohr. Physics and Philosophy. LCCN 57014416. Addison-Wesley. cited in: Popescu.edu/hbase/quacon.1103/PhysRev. • Feigl. • Heisenberg. ISBN 0-390-30488-3. Introducing Quantum Theory. 2008. html) [44] "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1933" (http:/ / nobelprize. ISBN 978-981-4397-74-2. From Certainty to Uncertainty: The Story of Science and Ideas in the Twenty-First Century. merriam-webster. I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics. Essays in Science. Zarate. [45] Durrani.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics of mutual influence the systems separate again. H. • Peat. Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist. • Lakshmibala. ISBN 0-918024-18-8. ASIN B00005VGVF. LCCN 53006438. Cramer. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1933/ ). by endowing each of them with a representative of its own. (2012). Journal of Science Education 9 (8). Philosophical Library. (1949). ISBN 978-0-08-044528-1.76. ISBN 0-06-130549-9. Philosophic Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. "Heisenberg. 42 References • Bernstein. J. Foundations of Physics. britannica. Oscar.physics. com/ dictionary/ field) [41] "Field. Paul Arthur (1949). Introductory Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed. html) [40] "Mechanics. Daniel Rohrlich (1996). New Page Books. • Schlipp. Mara (2001). Matrix Mechanics and the Uncertainty Principle".." [39] "Quantum Nonlocality and the Possibility of Superluminal Effects"." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (http:/ / www. Tudor Publishing Company. Henry (1957). Louis (1953). Georgia State University. Herbert. LCCN 51001018. • Müller-Kirsten. • Liboff. Harper and Brothers. ISBN 0-19-504601-3. ISBN 1-874166-37-4. David (2002). Robert Bruce. • Feynman. Physical Review 76 (6): 769–789. princeton. A. "Max Born and the quantum theory". then they can no longer be described as before. Kamefuchi et al. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 206162/ field) [42] Richard Hammond. ISBN 0-486-40459-5. ISBN 0-486-47011-3. "(title not given in citation)". npl. npl. Ahmed. University of Chicago Press. "Action and Passion at a Distance: An Essay in Honor of Professor Abner Shimony". Carl Rod (2005). Vijay Kumar. The Revolution in Physics. • Shimony.gsu. • Scientific American Reader. John G. The Unknown Universe.76. • Fowler. 225. ed. World Scientific. Werner (1958). • de Broglie. "Quantum Physics" (http://hyperphysics. LCCN 99010404.. viz.).. physicalworld.. LCCN 50005340.). • Lindsay.769F. (2004). • Einstein. Appleton-Century-Crofts. "Space-Time Approach to Quantum Electrodynamics" (http://www.). Niels (1958). . HyperPhysics. Bibcode 1949PhRv. 1953. Retrieved 2007-11-24. (1983). Dover.

trigonometry. Harvard Univ. • Tony Hey and Walters. Ivancevic. Perkins. "The Correspondence Principle in the Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. World Scientific. Includes much about the technologies quantum theory has made possible. doi:10. • A website with good introduction to Quantum mechanics can be found here. ISBN 978-981-4324-57-1.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics • Tavel. attempt to communicate quantum theory to lay people. Nat.. Simplicity. Includes elementary particle physics. Press. Benjamin Schumacher (1998). Kenneth (2005) The Quantum World. and Multiple Universes. and bra-ket notation can be passed over on a first reading. • Wieman. Press.com/acad/ webtext/atoms/atpt-4. Tijana T.30. Press. Provides an intuitive introduction in non-mathematical terms and an introduction in comparatively basic mathematical terms. Judith (illustrations) (2002).html) .21. Acad. Physics Today. using a minimum of technical apparatus. The most technical of the works cited here. Shimon (2012). 14: 179. • Richard Feynman (1985) QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. Silberhorn. ISBN 978-0-8135-3077-2. • Roland Omnes (1999) Understanding Quantum Mechanics. • Martinus Veltman (2003) Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics. • Victor Stenger (2000) Timeless Reality: Symmetry. GianCarlo (2004) Sneaking a Look at God's Cards. Princeton Univ. Buffalo NY: Prometheus Books. H. Sci.. The author is a rare physicist who tries to communicate to philosophers and humanists. 5–8. Press: 110–176. Weidenfield & Nicholson. Bibcode 1949RvMP. Andreas. Reviews of Modern Physics 21 (3): 425–433. "Demonstrating quantum random with single photons". arXiv:quant-ph/9801014 [quant-ph].. Press. Chpts. • Bronner. "Quantum Entanglement and the Nonexistence of Superluminal Signals". Christine. • N. 43 Further reading The following titles. all by working physicists. "Transforming Physics Education". Katherine (2005). Richard P. • Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (2011) The Quantum Universe. World Scientific Publishing Company. Strunz. • Jim Al-Khalili (2003) Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed.425.).. Allen Lane. • Malin. (1949).com/?id=SELS0HbIhjYC&pg=PA200&dq=Wave+function+collapse). European Journal of Physics 30 (5): 1189–1200. • Westmoreland. Passages using algebra. • Wheeler." Proc. • Ghirardi. Jan-Peter (2009). Patrick (2003) The New Quantum Universe. Cambridge Univ. Patrick. doi:10. David Mermin (1990) “Spooky actions at a distance: mysteries of the QT” in his Boojums all the way through.425W.1103/RevModPhys. Carl. • Van Vleck. ISBN 0-691-08388-6 • Ford. Nature Loves to Hide: Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality.1928. trans. • Vladimir G..chem1. (http://www.1189B. Cambridge Univ.1088/0143-0807/30/5/026. J. "Classical Electrodynamics in Terms of Direct Interparticle Action". Princeton Univ.. Contemporary physics and the limits of knowledge (http:// books.google. across the universe. Morton. Gerald Malsbary. Ivancevic (2008) Quantum leap: from Dirac and Feynman. Tavel. John Archibald. Princeton University Press.21. a Western Perspective (Revised ed. Meyn. World Scientific Publishing Company. Bibcode 2009EJPh. Rutgers University Press. to human body and mind. Feynman.

• This Quantum World.wolfram.com/ TimeEvolutionOfAWavepacketInASquareWell/) An animated demonstration of a wave packet dispersion over time.kyushu-u.psu.sa/Scientific_selections/abstracts/Physics/THE SPOOKY QUANTUM.html)" • Quantum Theory.encyclopedia.didaktik.pdf) • Everything you wanted to know about the quantum world.aip.org/quantum) (tutorials and open source learning software).com/channel/ fundamentals/quantum-world) From the New Scientist.com/spacetime/index.wetpaint.newscientist. • Theoretical Physics wiki (http://theoreticalphysics.htm) • The spooky quantum (http://www.php) • The Quantum Exchange (http://www.compadre.edu.de/quantumlab/english/) An introduction into quantum physics with interactive experiments • Hitachi video recording of double-slit experiment done with electrons.html) • Quantum Mechanics.edu/251Labs/10_Interference_&_Diffraction/ Single_and_Double-Slit_Interference. Kenjiro.kutl. (http://www. Emeritus professor at Kyushu University. (http://www2. • Experiments with single photons (http://www.com/doc/1E1-quantumt. (http://www.html)" a recording of Werner Heisenberg's voice.ac. (http://www. (http://www. (http://thisquantumworld.uni-erlangen.youtube.com/watch?v=oxknfn97vFE) .thebigview.physik.jp/seminar/MicroWorld1_E/MicroWorld_1_E. " Microscopic World – Introduction to Quantum Mechanics.pdf) • Time-Evolution of a Wavepacket in a Square Well (http://demonstrations.com) • " Uncertainty Principle. • Single and double slit interference (http://class. (http://www.org/history/heisenberg/p07.phys.imamu. You can see the interference pattern build up over time.com/ht/index.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 44 External links • Takada.

and Arnold Sommerfeld[2] made a crucial contribution by quantizing the z-component of the angular momentum. Planck's constant was often called the quantum of action. meaning that there are separate coordinates in terms of which the motion is periodic. only those motions which obey the old quantum condition: where the are the momenta of the system and the are the corresponding coordinates. The periods of the different motions do not have to be the same. The theory did not extend to chaotic motions. The system obeys classical mechanics except that not every motion is allowed. a procedure for selecting out certain discrete set of states of a classical integrable motion as allowed states. The Quantum Theories Old Quantum Theory The old quantum theory is a collection of results from the years 1900–1925 which predate modern quantum mechanics. Given Planck's quantization rule for the harmonic oscillator. .45 2. The quantum numbers are integers and the integral is taken over one period of the motion at constant energy (as described by the Hamiltonian). but was a collection of heuristic prescriptions which are now understood to be the first quantum corrections to classical mechanics.[1] The Bohr model was the focus of study. For this reason. either condition determines the correct classical quantity to quantize in a general system up to an additive constant. because it required a full multiply periodic trajectory of the classical system for all time in order to pose the quantum conditions. Basic principles The basic idea of the old quantum theory is that the motion in an atomic system is quantized. but there must be a set of coordinates where the motion decomposes in a multi-periodic way. they can even be incommensurate. These are like the allowed orbits of the Bohr model of the atom. The theory was never complete or self-consistent. or discrete. The theory would have correctly explained the Zeeman effect. and introduced the concept of quantum degeneracy. the classical motion must be separable. the system can only be in one of these states and not in any states in between. In order for the old quantum condition to make sense. complemented by the physical observation that the quantities which are quantized must be adiabatic invariants. which is a quantity called the action and is quantized in units of Planck's constant. The integral is an area in phase space. This allowed the orbits of the electron to be ellipses instead of circles. The main tool was Bohr–Sommerfeld quantization. which in the old quantum era was inappropriately called space quantization (Richtungsquantelung). The motivation for the old quantum condition was the correspondence principle. except for the issue of electron spin.

a reasonable model of a solid. There are overall three oscillators for each atom. storing next to no energy at all. The reason is that kT is the typical energy of random motion at temperature T. . and this observation is called the third law of thermodynamics. whose Hamiltonian is: The level sets of H are the orbits. is also exponentially small. The specific heat is smaller at colder temperatures. corresponding to the three possible directions of independent oscillations in three dimensions. and when this is smaller than . and used to formulate the old quantum condition. and the quantum condition is that the area enclosed by an orbit in phase space is an integer. for very low temperatures. The thermal properties of a quantized oscillator may be found by averaging the energy in each of the discrete states assuming that they are occupied with a Boltzmann weight: kT is Boltzmann constant times the absolute temperature. Debye gave a quantitative theory of solid specific heats in terms of quantized oscillators with various frequencies (see Einstein solid and Debye model). This is true for all material systems. This reproduces the equipartition theorem of classical thermodynamics: every harmonic oscillator at temperature T has energy kT on average. This means that at very cold temperatures. because in classical mechanics the specific heat is independent of the temperature. Einstein resolved this problem in 1906 by proposing that atomic motion is quantized. or equivalently the change in energy with respect to temperature. 3R per mole of atoms. the change in energy with respect to beta.Old Quantum Theory 46 Examples Harmonic oscillator The simplest system in the old quantum theory is the harmonic oscillator. So the oscillator stays in its ground state. there is not enough energy to give the oscillator even one quantum of energy. The change in energy with respect to temperature is the specific heat. A short while later. Monatomic solids at room temperatures have approximately the same specific heat of 3k per atom. the average energy U is equal to . The quantity is more fundamental in thermodynamics than the temperature. So the specific heat of a classical solid is always 3k per atom. exponentially fast. This contradiction between classical mechanics and the specific heat of cold materials was noted by James Clerk Maxwell in the 19th century. Please note that this result differs by from the results found with the help of quantum mechanics. but at low temperatures they don't. which is the temperature as measured in more natural units of energy. and remained a deep puzzle for those who advocated an atomic theory of matter. or in chemistry units. This constant is neglected in the derivation of the old quantum theory. For a collection of atoms connected by springs. This was the first application of quantum theory to mechanical systems. because it is the thermodynamic potential associated to the energy. This means that the specific heat of an oscillator is constant in classical mechanics and equal to k. so the specific heat is exponentially small at low temperatures. Classical mechanics cannot explain the third law. the total specific heat is equal to the total number of oscillators times k. It follows that the energy is quantized according to the Planck rule: a result which was known well before. and its value can not be determined using it. going to zero like At small values of . the average energy U in the Harmonic oscillator approaches zero very quickly. at high temperatures. and it goes to zero at absolute zero. it is easy to see that for large values of . From this expression.

In the Bohr model. a rigid rotator can be described by two angles — and . The old quantum is an integer multiple of Planck's constant: the angular momentum to be an integer multiple of was enough to determine the energy levels. so that the quantum condition is: Which determines the energy levels. . The integral is easiest for a particle in a box of length L. and unlike the other examples. the semiclassical answer here is not exact but approximate. . The kinetic energy is again the only contribution to the Lagrangian: And the conjugate momenta are and . The equation of motion for is trivial: is a constant: . the polar angle. where is the inclination relative to an arbitrarily chosen z-axis while is the rotator angle in the projection to the x–y plane. This case is much more difficult in the full quantum mechanical treatment.Old Quantum Theory 47 One-dimensional potential One-dimensional problems are easy to solve. becoming more accurate at large quantum numbers. this restriction imposed on circular orbits In three dimensions. the value of the momentum p is found from the conservation equation: which is integrated over all values of q between the classical turning points. Rotator Another simple system is the rotator. where the quantum condition is: which gives the allowed momenta: and the energy levels Another easy case to solve with the old quantum theory is a linear potential on the positive halfline. the constant confining force F binding a particle to an impenetrable wall. At any energy E. A rotator consists of a mass M at the end of a massless rigid rod of length R and in two dimensions has the Lagrangian: which determines that the angular momentum J conjugate to condition requires that J multiplied by the period of . the places where the momentum vanishes.

the quantum condition integral is: which is elementary. The semiclassical hydrogen atom is called the Sommerfeld model. The two quantum conditions restrict the total angular momentum and the z-component of the angular momentum to be the integers l. the quantization of angular momentum about an axis. Since k is positive. which can be solved. For this reason. the Hamiltonian for a classical Kepler problem is (the unit of mass and unit of energy redefined to absorb two constants): Fixing the energy to be (a negative) constant and solving for the radial momentum p. This phenomenon. The only remaining variable is the radial coordinate. the angular momentum is quantized the same way. was given the name space quantization. The energies reproduce those in the Bohr model. because the z component of the angular momentum is the magnetic moment of the rotator along the z direction in the case where the particle at the end of the rotator is charged. . and gives the quantum numbers l and m. but in the era of the old quantum theory it led to a paradox: how can the orientation of the angular momentum relative to the arbitrarily chosen z-axis be quantized? This seems to pick out a direction in space. which executes a periodic one-dimensional potential motion.m. The quantum condition demands that the integral of the constant as varies from 0 to is an integer multiple of h: 48 And m is called the magnetic quantum number. Hydrogen atom The angular part of the Hydrogen atom is just the rotator. because it seemed incompatible with rotational invariance. The energy is: and it only depends on the sum of k and l. the total angular momentum should be restricted in the same way as the two-dimensional rotator. with some ambiguity at the extreme values. For a fixed value of the total angular momentum L. Since the three-dimensional rotator is rotating about an axis. This condition is reproduced in modern quantum mechanics. In modern quantum mechanics. The Sommerfeld model predicted that the magnetic moment of an atom measured along an axis will only take on discrete values. Bohr–Sommerfeld theory is a part of the development of quantum mechanics and describes the possibility of atomic energy levels being split by a magnetic field. except with the correct quantum mechanical multiplicities. which is the principal quantum number n. and its orbits are ellipses of various sizes at discrete inclinations. so that the process of quantization does not pick out a preferred axis. the allowed values of l for any given n are no bigger than n. the name "space quantization" fell out of favor. and the same phenomenon is now called the quantization of angular momentum. but the discrete states of definite angular momentum in any one orientation are quantum superpositions of the states in other orientations.Old Quantum Theory which is the z-component of the angular momentum. a result which seems to contradict rotational invariance but which was confirmed by the Stern–Gerlach experiment. and gives a new quantum number k which determines the energy in combination with l.

Einstein noted that the entropy of the quantized electromagnetic field oscillators in a box is. more precisely that an electromagnetic standing wave with frequency with the quantized energy: . and so was not completely convincing. he concluded that light had attributes of both waves and particles.[3] We will start this derivation with the relativistic equation for energy in the electric potential After substitution we get For momentum equation) . and their ratio the equation of motion is (see Binet with solution The angular shift of periapsis per revolution is given by With the quantum conditions and we will obtain energies where is the fine-structure constant. and named them photons. This solution is same as the solution of the Dirac equation. Nevertheless. The number of point particles is equal to the number of quanta. Einstein concluded that the quanta could be treated as if they were localizable objects (see[5] page 139/140). Einstein's theoretical argument was based on thermodynamics. on counting the number of states. particles of light.[4] De Broglie waves In 1905. equal to the entropy of a gas of point particles in the same box.Old Quantum Theory 49 Relativistic orbit Arnold Sommerfeld derived the relativistic solution of atomic energy levels. for short wavelength.

Expressed in wavelengths. the number of wavelengths along a classical orbit must be an integer. it would be n–l–m in the Sommerfeld model. as it would be in classical mechanics. This development was given a more mathematical form by Einstein. Bohr had suggested that the k-th harmonic of the classical motion correspond to the transition from level n to level n−k. Kramers suggested that the orbits of a quantum system should be Fourier analyzed. and requires that it be an integer multiple of . since the Fourier components did . who noted that the phase function for the waves: in a mechanical system should be identified with the solution to the Hamilton–Jacobi equation. Nevertheless. and the momentum had to be the electromagnetic wave. Hendrik Kramers was able to find heuristics for describing how emission and absorption should be calculated. This is required by relativity. electrons as well as photons. Kramers transition matrix The old quantum theory was formulated only for special mechanical systems which could be separated into action angle variables which were periodic. . decomposed into harmonics at multiples of the orbit frequency: The index n describes the quantum numbers of the orbit. These ideas led to the development of the Schrödinger equation. are described by waves obeying the relations. He suggested that all matter. as a PhD candidate. It did not deal with the emission and absorption of radiation. as do the frequency and wave-number. The condition becomes: so that the quantized momenta are: reproducing the old quantum energy levels. The frequency is the angular frequency of the orbit while k is an index for the Fourier mode. The rate of emission of radiation is proportional to . He then noted that the quantum condition: counts the change in phase for the wave as it travels along the classical orbit. This is the condition for constructive interference. Louis de Broglie proposed a new interpretation of the quantum condition. Einstein could not describe how the where is the wavenumber of 50 The photons have momentum as well as energy. and it explained the reason for quantized orbits—the matter waves make standing waves only at discrete frequencies. expressed in terms of wavelength instead. an equation which even Hamilton considered to be the short-wavelength limit of wave mechanics. for a particle confined in a box. The description was approximate. Kramers proposed that the transition between states were analogous to classical emission of radiation. For example. or. In 1924.Old Quantum Theory should be thought of as consisting of n photons each with an energy photons were related to the wave. a standing wave must fit an integer number of wavelengths between twice the distance between the walls. which happens at frequencies at multiples of the orbit frequencies. at discrete energies. because the momentum and energy form a four-vector.

which was extended to a semiclassical equation for matter waves by Albert Einstein a short time later. Louis de Broglie introduced the wave theory of matter. leading to the confusion of half-integer quantum numbers. • It fails when applied to atoms with more than one electron. Niels Bohr identified the correspondence principle and used it to formulate a model of the hydrogen atom which explained the line spectrum. Max Planck introduced the zero point energy and Arnold Sommerfeld semiclassically quantized the relativistic hydrogen atom. . Kramers gave a prescription for calculating transition probabilities between quantum states in terms of Fourier components of the motion. Paul Dirac later proved in 1926 that both methods can be obtained from a more general method called transformation theory. it cannot be applied to many-body systems. 51 Limitations of the old quantum theory The old quantum theory had some limitations:[6] • The old quantum theory provides no means to calculate the intensities of the spectral lines.Old Quantum Theory not have frequencies that exactly match the energy spacings between levels. History The old quantum theory was sparked by the work of Max Planck on the emission and absorption of light. In the next few years Arnold Sommerfeld extended the quantum rule to arbitrary integrable systems making use of the principle of adiabatic invariance of the quantum numbers introduced by Lorentz and Einstein. This idea led to the development of matrix mechanics. That is. Heisenberg went on to reformulate all of quantum theory in terms of a version of these transition matrices. Throughout the 1910s and well into the 1920s. creating matrix mechanics. • It fails to explain the anomalous Zeeman effect (that is. In 1913. explaining the specific heat anomaly. and began in earnest after the work of Albert Einstein on the specific heats of solids. which reproduced all the successes of the old quantum theory without ambiguities and inconsistencies. It was later understood that the old quantum theory is in fact the semi-classical approximation (also called quasi-classical) to the Schrödinger equation[7] which has limited applicability. Sommerfeld's model was much closer to the modern quantum mechanical picture than Bohr's. Schrödinger's wave mechanics developed separately from matrix mechanics until Schrödinger and others proved that the two methods predicted the same experimental consequences. In 1926 Erwin Schrödinger found a completely quantum mechanical wave-equation. Molecular rotation and vibration spectra were understood and the electron's spin was discovered. ideas which were extended in collaboration with Werner Heisenberg to a semiclassical matrix-like description of atomic transition probabilities. many problems were attacked using the old quantum theory with mixed results. where the spin of the electron cannot be neglected). Hendrik Kramers explained the Stark effect. Einstein. Matrix mechanics and wave mechanics put an end to the era of the old-quantum theory. followed by Debye. applied quantum principles to the motion of atoms. Bose and Einstein gave the correct quantum statistics for photons. In 1924.

ed. iop. doi:10. Retrieved 2008-02-18. (1962). Quantum Mechanics: Non-Relativistic Theory. Arnold Sommerfeld (1924). The earliest versions of quantum mechanics were formulated in the first decade of the 20th century. Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Physics. respectively. Braunschweig. Atombau und Spektrallinien'. com/ books?id=Bzj2JcPeAHAC). The wavefunction treats the object as a quantum harmonic oscillator. Extract of page 9 (http:/ / books. ISBN 3-87144-484-7. Pergamon Press.).Old Quantum Theory 52 References [1] [2] [3] [4] ter Haar. . By 1930. and the mathematics is akin to that describing acoustic resonance. In advanced topics of quantum mechanics. de/ annalen/ history/ einstein-papers/ 1905_17_132-148. Max Born and Pascual Jordan. the atomic theory and the corpuscular theory of light (as updated by Einstein) first came to be widely accepted as scientific fact. D. quantum mechanics had been further .322. Further reading • Thewlis. For example. Bibcode 1905AnP. Quantum mechanics provides a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. the ground state in a quantum mechanical model is a non-zero energy state that is the lowest permitted energy state of a system. J. 206. 8-9. Early quantum theory was significantly reformulated in the mid-1920s by Werner Heisenberg. where the action is on the order of the Planck constant. analog) way. ISBN 978-0-08-020940-1.1002/andp. Annalen der Physik 17 (6): 132–148. Ya I Granovski (2004). and other atomic-scale objects. Lifshitz (1977). google. Braunschweig: Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn. chaotic possibilities. Physics ± Uspekhi 47 (5): 523–524. org/ EJ/ article/ 1063-7869/ 47/ 5/ L06/ PHU_47_5_L06. Many of the results of quantum mechanics are not easily visualized in terms of classical mechanics—for instance.132E. com/ books?id=Bzj2JcPeAHAC& pg=PA9)}} [7] L. "Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt" (http:/ / www. or quantum theory) is a branch of physics dealing with physical phenomena at microscopic scales. Quantum Mechanics after 1925 Quantum mechanics (QM – also known as quantum physics.[1] In the context of quantum mechanics. "Sommerfeld formula and Dirac's theory" (http:/ / www. pdf). [5] Einstein. Arnold (1919). physik.. Instead of a traditional static. Louis de Broglie and Erwin Schrodinger (Wave Mechanics).S. these latter theories can be viewed as quantum theories of matter and electromagnetic radiation. 3 (3rd ed. (2006). which requires an understanding of complex numbers and linear functionals. The Old Quantum Theory. Sommerfeld. E. Quantum mechanics departs from classical mechanics primarily at the quantum realm of atomic and subatomic length scales. [6] Chaddha. ISBN 81-224-1465-6. Landau. the angular momentum of an electron bound to an atom or molecule is quantized. And the Copenhagen interpretation of Niels Bohr became widely accepted. ISBN 3-87144-484-7. .D. A mathematical function called the wavefunction provides information about the probability amplitude of position.. New Dehli: New Age international. momentum.19053220607.. pdf). according to John Wheeler.. Pergamon Press. and other physical properties of a particle.. Vol. very low or very high) energies or temperatures. electrons. who created matrix mechanics. and Wolfgang Pauli and Satyendra Nath Bose (statistics of subatomic particles). The name quantum mechanics derives from the observation that some physical quantities can change only in discrete amounts (Latin quanta). uni-augsburg. the wave–particle duality of energy and matter and the uncertainty principle provide a unified view of the behavior of photons. p. some of these behaviors are macroscopic and only emerge at extreme (i.M.e. with zero kinetic energy. G. quantum mechanics allows for far more dynamic. (1967). Mathematical manipulations of the wavefunction usually involve the bra-ket notation. as opposed to a more "traditional" system that is thought of as simply being at rest. The mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics are abstract. and not in a continuous (cf. pp.. . unchanging zero state. Albert (1905). google. Atombau und Spektrallinien. ISBN 0-08-012101-2. At around the same time. Quantum Mechanics (http:/ / books.

Pieter Zeeman (each one of them has a quantum effect named after their works). At the same time Niels Bohr developed his theory of the atomic structure later confirmed with experiments by Henry Moseley. In 1838 with the discovery of cathode rays by Michael Faraday. each energy element E is proportional to its frequency ν: . Wilhelm Wien empirically determined a distribution law of black-body radiation. and its more advanced developments in terms of quantum field theory. This phase is known as Old quantum theory. which led to the development of quantum mechanics. and quantum information science.V. Millikan (both studied the Photoelectric effect). Peter Debye extended Niels Bohr's theory of atomic structure.[4] Planck's hypothesis that energy is radiated and absorbed in discrete "quanta" (or "energy elements") precisely matched the observed patterns of black-body radiation. and speculative quantum gravity theories. 53 History The first study of quantum mechanics goes back to the 17th and 18th centuries when scientists such as Robert Hooke. it was only valid at high frequencies. Quantum mechanics has since branched out into almost every aspect of 20th century physics and other disciplines. string theory. and philosophical speculation about the role of the observer. an English polymath. the 1877 suggestion by Ludwig Boltzmann that the energy states of a physical system can be discrete. introducing elliptical orbits. Albert Einstein and Robert A. Raman. later named Wien's law after him. the statistical nature of our knowledge of reality. Thomas Young. performed the famous double-slit experiment that he later described in a paper entitled "On the nature of light and colours". such as quantum chemistry. these studies were followed by the 1859 statement of the black-body radiation problem by Gustav Kirchhoff. C. and the 1900 quantum hypothesis of Max Planck. a concept also introduced by Arnold Sommerfeld[5] . According to Planck. Much 19th century physics has been re-evaluated as the "classical limit" of quantum mechanics. This experiment played a major role in the general acceptance of the wave theory of light. Later Max Planck corrected the theory and proposed what is now called Planck's law. In 1896. and underestimated the radiancy at low frequencies. The first studies of quantum phenomena in nature were by the work of several scientists as Arthur Compton. Paul Dirac and John von Neumann.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 unified and formalized by the work of David Hilbert. In 1913. Christian Huygens and Leonhard Euler proposed a wave theory of light based on experimental observations.[3] In 1803. quantum electronics.[2] with a greater emphasis placed on measurement in quantum mechanics. quantum optics. However.

Thus the entire field of quantum physics emerged.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 54 where h is Planck's constant. Freeman Dyson. developments in quantum mechanics led to its becoming the standard formulation for atomic physics. When it was found in 1900 by Max Planck that the energy of waves could be described as consisting of small packets or "quanta". Arnold Sommerfeld and others. Out of deference to their particle-like behavior in certain processes and measurements. Erwin Schrödinger. it refers to a discrete unit that quantum theory assigns to certain physical quantities. Max Born. Albert Einstein. such as visible light. Wolfgang Pauli. and testing. it is also needed to explain certain recently investigated macroscopic systems such as superconductors and superfluids. David Hilbert.[6] However. Niels Bohr. While quantum mechanics traditionally described the world of the very small. such as the energy of an atom at rest (see Figure 1). Albert Einstein further developed this idea to show that an electromagnetic wave such as light could be described as a particle (later called the photon) with a discrete quantum of energy that was dependent on its frequency. Louis de Broglie. leading to its wider acceptance at the Fifth Solvay Conference in 1927. In the summer of 1925. Paul Dirac. called wave–particle duality. meaning "how great" or "how much". solid-state . light quanta came to be called photons (1926). The word quantum derives from the Latin. including condensed matter physics. in 1905 Albert Einstein interpreted Planck's quantum hypothesis realistically and used it to explain the photoelectric effect. John von Neumann. Arthur Compton. The discovery that particles are discrete packets of energy with wave-like properties led to the branch of physics dealing with atomic and sub-atomic systems which is today called quantum mechanics. In the mid-1920s. The other exemplar that led to quantum mechanics was the study of electromagnetic waves. Max Von Laue. closed the "Old Quantum Theory". Bohr and Heisenberg published results that The 1927 Solvay Conference in Brussels.[8] In quantum mechanics. Planck is considered the father of the Quantum Theory The foundations of quantum mechanics were established during the first half of the 20th century by Max Planck. From Einstein's simple postulation was born a flurry of debating. in which shining light on certain materials can eject electrons from the material. theorizing. Satyendra Nath Bose. Wilhelm Wien. Planck (cautiously) insisted that this was simply an aspect of the processes of absorption and emission of radiation and had nothing to do with the physical reality of the radiation itself. Enrico Fermi. but had certain properties of both. It is the underlying mathematical framework of many fields of physics and chemistry.[7] This led to a theory of unity between subatomic particles and electromagnetic waves. in which particles and waves were neither one nor the other. Werner Heisenberg.

[16] According to one interpretation. it allows one to compute the probability of finding an electron in a particular region around the nucleus at a particular time. the nucleus. electrons may be considered (to a certain probability) to be located somewhere within a given region of space. if classical mechanics truly governed the workings of an atom. may be drawn around the nucleus of an atom to conceptualize where the electron might be located with the most probability. If the operator's spectrum is discrete. Each observable is represented by a maximally Hermitian (precisely: by a self-adjoint) linear operator acting on the state space.that is well defined up to a complex number of norm 1 (the phase factor). and collide with. The exact nature of this Hilbert space is dependent on the system .variously called the "state space" or the "associated Hilbert space" of the system . molecular physics. Each eigenstate of an observable corresponds to an eigenvector of the operator.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 physics. For instance. usually called the complex projective space. with accuracy. and nuclear physics. these reside in a complex separable Hilbert space . the state of a system at a given time is described by a complex wave function. but with their exact positions unknown. non-deterministic. in the natural world electrons normally remain in an uncertain. quantum chemistry.[9] Some fundamental aspects of the theory are still actively studied. Broadly speaking. often referred to as "clouds". one can never make simultaneous predictions of conjugate variables. Formally. The probability distribution of an observable in a given . The possible results of a measurement are the eigenvalues of the operator representing the observable — which explains the choice of Hermitian operators. Contrary to classical mechanics. probabilistic wave–particle wavefunction orbital path around (or through) the nucleus. In the formalism of quantum mechanics. the observable can only attain those discrete eigenvalues. atomic physics. quantum mechanics incorporates four classes of phenomena for which classical physics cannot account: • The quantization of certain physical properties • Wave–particle duality • The Uncertainty principle • Quantum entanglement. and the associated eigenvalue corresponds to the value of the observable in that eigenstate. "smeared".[14] the possible states of a quantum mechanical system are represented by unit vectors (called "state vectors"). as the result of a measurement the wave function containing the probability information for a system collapses from a given initial state to a particular eigenstate. for which all the eigenvalues are real.[11] Quantum mechanics was initially developed to provide a better explanation of the atom. computational chemistry. defying classical electromagnetism. In other words.[10] Quantum mechanics is essential to understanding the behavior of systems at atomic length scales and smaller. electrons would rapidly travel toward. However. 55 Mathematical formulations In the mathematically rigorous formulation of quantum mechanics developed by Paul Dirac[12] David Hilbert. computational physics. For example. such as position and momentum.[13] and John von Neumann. particle physics. also referred to as state vector in a complex vector space. especially the differences in the spectra of light emitted by different isotopes of the same element. the possible states are points in the projective space of a Hilbert space. while the state space for the spin of a single proton is just the product of two complex planes.[15] This abstract mathematical object allows for the calculation of probabilities of outcomes of concrete experiments. the state space for position and momentum states is the space of square-integrable functions. The quantum theory of the atom was developed as an explanation for the electron remaining in its orbit. nuclear chemistry. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle quantifies the inability to precisely locate the particle given its conjugate momentum. which could not be explained by Newton's laws of motion and Maxwell's laws of (classical) electromagnetism. For example. making stable atoms impossible. Contours of constant probability.for example.

Often these results are skewed by many causes. Therefore. it describes the probability of obtaining the possible outcomes from measuring an observable. a controversial and much-debated process[21] that involves expanding the system under study to include the measurement device. if one measures the observable. rather. later wavefunction is not deterministic. where the amplitude of the wave function is large. Hence. it is natural and intuitive to think of everything (every observable) as being in an eigenstate. These are known as eigenstates of the observable ("eigen" can be translated from German as meaning "inherent" or "characteristic"). in which the two scientists attempted to clarify these fundamental principles by way of thought experiments. When one measures the position of the particle. but not certain.[17] Generally. The time evolution of wave functions is deterministic in the sense that . a definite energy. and a definite time of occurrence. For details. these probabilities will depend on the quantum state at the "instant" of the measurement. If one knows the corresponding wave function at the instant before the measurement. playing a role similar to Newton's second law in classical mechanics. it only provides a range of probabilities of where that particle might be given its momentum and momentum probability. applied to the aforementioned example of the free particle. For example. but better than the Bohr model. or quantum state nuclear attraction. quantum mechanics does not assign definite values. whereby electron location is given by a probability function. the wavefunction will instantaneously be an eigenstate (or "generalized" eigenstate) of that observable. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is represented by the statement that the operators corresponding to certain observables do not commute.e. predicts that the center of a wave packet will move through space at a 56 . it is helpful to use different words to describe states having uncertain values and states having definite values (eigenstates).[20] In the everyday world. on the other hand. Instead. This is one of the most difficult aspects of quantum systems to understand. in which the Hamiltonian (the operator corresponding to the total energy of the system) generates the time evolution. a definite momentum.[22] The time evolution of a quantum state is described by the Schrödinger equation. The probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics thus stems from the act of measurement.it makes a definite prediction of what the wavefunction will be at any later time. Usually. the free particle in the previous example will usually have a wavefunction that is a wave packet centered around some mean position x0 (neither an eigenstate of position nor of momentum). the wave function collapses into a position eigenstate centered at x. Everything appears to have a definite position. However. see the article on measurement in quantum mechanics. The Schrödinger equation. This process is known as wavefunction collapse.given a wavefunction at an initial time . such that the probability is the squared modulus of the complex amplitude. however. that is. certain states that are associated with a definite value of a particular observable. such as dense probability clouds. The basic idea is that when a quantum system interacts with a measuring apparatus. After the measurement is performed. The Schrödinger equation describes how wavefunctions change in time. that it will be near x0. uncertainty is involved in the value. the question of what constitutes a "measurement" has been extensively studied. A time-evolution simulation can be seen here. the wave function eigenvalue. a system will not be in an eigenstate of the observable (particle) we are interested in. so that the original quantum system ceases to exist as an independent entity. the relative state interpretation). Probability clouds are approximate. for example.[18][19] Naturally. It was the central topic in the famous Bohr-Einstein debates.[17] It is probable. Newer interpretations of quantum mechanics have been formulated that do away with the concept of "wavefunction collapse" (see.[23] During a measurement.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 state can be found by computing the spectral decomposition of the corresponding operator. However. There are. In the decades after the formulation of quantum mechanics. random). it makes a prediction using a probability distribution. it is unpredictable (i. the change of the initial wavefunction into another. their respective wavefunctions become entangled.[24][25] Wave functions change as time progresses. it is impossible to predict with certainty the result. one will be able to compute the probability of the wavefunction collapsing into each of the possible eigenstates. quantum mechanics does not pinpoint the exact values of a particle's position and momentum (since they are conjugate pairs) or its energy and time (since they too are conjugate pairs). having obtained some result x.

a single electron in an unexcited atom is pictured classically as a particle moving in a circular trajectory around the atomic nucleus. not merely its absolute Fig. p. This approach is particularly important in the field of quantum chaos.[26] Some wave functions produce probability distributions that are constant. and the hydrogen atom are the most important representatives. Many systems that are treated dynamically in classical mechanics are described by such "static" wave functions. or independent of time . Whereas the absolute value of the electron in a hydrogen atom possessing definite energy levels (increasing from the top of the image to the bottom: n = 1. As it turns out.such as when in a stationary state of constant energy. For example. one uses the analytic result for a simple quantum mechanical model to generate a result for a more complicated model that is related to the simpler model by (for one example) the addition of a weak potential energy. thus. its phase encodes information about correspond to higher probability density in a position measurement. .). the particle in a box. that only the lowest angular momentum states. 2. and take only Schrödinger equation are only available for a very discrete values like those shown (as is the case for resonant frequencies in small number of relatively simple model acoustics) Hamiltonians. 1: Probability densities corresponding to the wavefunctions of an value. however.. time vanishes in the absolute square of the wave function. the wave packet will also spread out as time progresses. analytic solutions of the frequency. spherically symmetric wavefunction surrounding the nucleus (Fig. possessing a sharp energy and. of which the quantum harmonic oscillator.which contains just one more electron than does the hydrogen atom . Another method is the "semi-classical equation of motion" approach. however. . The angular momentum and energy are quantized. certain) position eigenstate. 1) (note. There exist several techniques for generating approximate solutions. However..Quantum Mechanics after 1925 constant velocity (like a classical particle with no forces acting on it). a definite states.[27] The Schrödinger equation acts on the entire probability amplitude. which applies to systems for which quantum mechanics produces only weak (small) deviations from classical behavior. which means that the position becomes more uncertain with time. labeled s. This Wavefunctions like these are directly comparable to Chladni's figures of gives rise to the "wave-like" behavior of quantum acoustic modes of vibration in classical physics. the hydrogen molecular ion. are spherically symmetric). 57 . This also has the effect of turning a position eigenstate (which can be thought of as an infinitely sharp wave packet) into a broadened wave packet that no longer represents a (definite. d. Even the helium atom ..) and angular probability amplitude encodes information about momenta (increasing across from left to right: s. 3.has defied all attempts at a fully analytic treatment. These deviations can then be computed based on the classical motion. In the important method known as perturbation theory. Brighter areas probabilities. and are indeed modes of oscillation as well.. the interference between quantum states. whereas in quantum mechanics it is described by a static.

. One of the oldest and most commonly used formulations is the "transformation theory" proposed by the late Cambridge theoretical physicist Paul Dirac. the position of a particle) or discrete (e. classical mechanics is simply a quantum mechanics of large systems. they had certain unsatisfactory qualities stemming from their neglect of the relativistic creation and annihilation of particles.e. the role of Max Born in the development of QM has become somewhat confused and overlooked. the instantaneous state of a quantum system encodes the probabilities of its measurable properties. and is thus a quantum version of the classical harmonic oscillator.matrix mechanics (invented by Werner Heisenberg)[28] and wave mechanics (invented by Erwin Schrödinger).[29] Especially since Werner Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the creation of quantum mechanics.[31] An alternative formulation of quantum mechanics is Feynman's path integral formulation. and angular momentum. at the high energy limit. in which a quantum-mechanical amplitude is considered as a sum over all possible histories between the initial and final states. it was applied to models whose correspondence limit was non-relativistic classical mechanics. Interactions with other scientific theories The rules of quantum mechanics are fundamental. Examples of observables include energy. The first complete quantum field theory. A 2005 biography of Born details his role as the creator of the matrix formulation of quantum mechanics. One can even start from an established classical model of a particular system. Early attempts to merge quantum mechanics with special relativity involved the replacement of the Schrödinger equation with a covariant equation such as the Klein-Gordon equation or the Dirac equation. in systems incorporating millions of particles averaging takes over and. This "high energy" limit is known as the classical or correspondence limit... the statistical probability of random behaviour approaches zero. the well-known model of the quantum harmonic oscillator uses an explicitly non-relativistic expression for the kinetic energy of the oscillator. This is the quantum-mechanical counterpart of the action principle in classical mechanics. and that observables of that system are Hermitian operators acting on that space—although they do not tell us which Hilbert space or which operators. such as in the emission of photons by charged particles. quantum electrodynamics. This fact was recognized in a paper that Heisenberg himself published in 1940 honoring Max Planck. position. the energy of an electron bound to a hydrogen atom). When quantum mechanics was originally formulated. the elementary quantum model of the hydrogen atom describes the electric field of the hydrogen atom using a classical Coulomb potential. Observables can be either continuous (e. They assert that the state space of a system is a Hilbert space. In other words. A simpler approach. The full apparatus of quantum field theory is often unnecessary for describing electrodynamic systems. whereas a single particle exhibits a degree of randomness.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 58 Mathematically equivalent formulations of quantum mechanics There are numerous mathematically equivalent formulations of quantum mechanics. which states that the predictions of quantum mechanics reduce to those of classical mechanics when a system moves to higher energies or—equivalently—larger quantum numbers. This "semi-classical" approach fails if quantum fluctuations in the electromagnetic field play an important role. then attempt to guess the underlying quantum model that would give rise to the classical model in the correspondence limit.g. provides a fully quantum description of the electromagnetic interaction. A fully relativistic quantum theory required the development of quantum field theory. While these theories were successful in explaining many experimental results. i. which applies quantization to a field (rather than a fixed set of particles).g. For example. momentum. An important guide for making these choices is the correspondence principle.[30] and In the matrix formulation. which unifies and generalizes the two earliest formulations of quantum mechanics . These can be chosen appropriately in order to obtain a quantitative description of a quantum system. is to treat charged particles as quantum mechanical objects being acted on by a classical electromagnetic field. one that has been employed since the inception of quantum mechanics. For instance. or "observables".

The resolution of these incompatibilities is an area of active research. The weak nuclear force and the electromagnetic force were unified. the formulation of a complete theory of quantum gravity is hindered by apparent incompatibilities between general relativity (the most accurate theory of gravity currently known) and some of the fundamental assumptions of quantum theory. optical and magnetic properties of matter are all results of the interaction of electric charges under the rules of quantum mechanics. all objects obey the laws of quantum mechanics. into a single quantum field theory (known as electroweak theory). when quantum behavior can manifest itself on more macroscopic scales (see macroscopic quantum phenomena.[35] Quantum coherence is not typically evident at macroscopic scales .although an exception to this rule can occur at extremely low temperatures (i.e. Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg.[34] However. the rigidity of solids. Semi-classical approximations are workable. the extension of the system is much smaller than the coherence length. Quantum coherence is an essential difference between classical and quantum theories.[33] 59 Quantum mechanics and classical physics Predictions of quantum mechanics have been verified experimentally to an extremely high degree of accuracy. approaching absolute zero). For example. chaotic systems do not have good quantum numbers. and classical mechanics is just an approximation for large systems of objects (or a statistical quantum mechanics of a large collection of particles). These three men shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 for this work.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 Quantum field theories for the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force have also been developed. and quantum chaos studies the relationship between classical and quantum descriptions in these systems. Classical mechanics has also been extended into the complex domain.[32] It has proven difficult to construct quantum models of gravity. whereas classical "waves" infer that there is an adding together of intensities. chemical. and Quantum machine). by the physicists Abdus Salam. the laws of classical Newtonian physics remain accurate in predicting the behavior of the vast majority of "large" objects (on the order of the size of large molecules or bigger) at velocities much smaller than the velocity of light. the stability of bulk matter (which consists of atoms and molecules which would quickly collapse under electric forces alone). According to the correspondence principle between classical and quantum mechanics.[36] • While the seemingly "exotic" behavior of matter posited by quantum mechanics and relativity theory become more apparent when dealing with particles of extremely small size or velocities approaching the speed of light. The laws of classical mechanics thus follow from the laws of quantum mechanics as a statistical average at the limit of large systems or large quantum numbers. For microscopic bodies. thermal. and the mechanical. and is illustrated by the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox. in their quantized forms. Quantum interference involves adding together probability amplitudes. with complex classical mechanics exhibiting behaviors similar to quantum mechanics. and describes the interactions of subnuclear particles such as quarks and gluons. which gives rise to long-range entanglement and other nonlocal phenomena that are characteristic of quantum systems. Bose-Einstein condensate. and theories such as string theory are among the possible candidates for a future theory of quantum gravity. the remaining fundamental force. The quantum field theory of the strong nuclear force is called quantum chromodynamics. This is in accordance with the following observations: • Many macroscopic properties of a classical system are a direct consequence of the quantum behavior of its parts. However. and have led to predictions such as Hawking radiation.[37] .

This TOE would combine not only the different models of subatomic physics. cohesive model. This was 1935. electromagnetism.although Einstein was correct in identifying seemingly paradoxical implications of quantum mechanical nonlocality . he was also the first to notice some of the apparently exotic consequences of entanglement. at the same time: • a "realistic" theory and • a local theory. this effect does not violate causality.[38] Einstein himself is well known for rejecting some of the claims of quantum mechanics. Alain Aspect's initial experiments in 1982. Quantum electrodynamics (or "quantum electromagnetism").the strong force. However. but in 1964 it was shown by John Bell (see Bell inequality) that . Bell and the Copenhagen interpretation . including Stephen Hawking. expected to occur at roughly 1019 GeV. and used them to formulate the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox in the hope of showing that quantum mechanics had unacceptable implications. in response to this aspect. which is currently (in the perturbative regime at least) the most accurately tested physical theory.[40] (blog) has been successfully merged with the weak nuclear force into the electroweak force and work is currently being done to merge the electroweak and strong force into the electrostrong force. such as the lack of deterministic causality. While Stephen Hawking was initially a believer in the Theory of Everything.from a single force or phenomenon. He also had difficulty with the assertion that a single subatomic particle can occupy numerous areas of space at one time. Consequently. since no transfer of information happens. The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox shows in any case that there exist experiments by which one can measure the state of one particle and instantaneously change the state of its entangled partner . Quantum entanglement forms the basis of quantum cryptography. Current predictions state that at around 1014 GeV the three aforementioned forces are fused into a single unified field. He is famously quoted as saying. the lack of a correct theory of quantum gravity is an important issue in cosmology and the search by physicists for an elegant "Theory of Everything" (TOE).[41] Beyond this "grand unification. However — and while special relativity is parsimoniously . have labored for many years in the attempt to discover a theory underlying everything. quantum mechanics was not. they have proven extremely difficult to incorporate into one consistent. so that unification between general relativity and quantum mechanics is not an urgent issue in those particular applications. "My God does not play with dice". the weak force." it is speculated that it may be possible to merge gravity with the other three gauge symmetries. he did not accept many of the more "philosophical consequences and interpretations" of quantum mechanics.the common interpretation of quantum mechanics by physicists since 1927 .Quantum Mechanics after 1925 60 Relativity and quantum mechanics Main articles: Quantum gravity and Theory of everything Even with the defining postulates of both Einstein's theory of general relativity and quantum theory being indisputably supported by rigorous and repeated empirical evidence and while they do not directly contradict each other theoretically (at least with regard to their primary claims). However. resolving the inconsistencies between both theories has been a major goal of 20th and 21st century physics. but also derive the four fundamental forces of nature . and has stated so publicly in his lecture "Gödel and the End of Physics" (2002). he has concluded that one is not obtainable. and many subsequent experiments since. Many prominent physicists. According to the paper of J.[39] Attempts at a unified field theory The quest to unify the fundamental forces through quantum mechanics is still ongoing. Gravity is negligible in many areas of particle physics. and gravity . which is used in high-security commercial applications in banking and government.these implications could be experimentally tested.although the two particles can be an arbitrary distance apart.and contrary to Einstein's ideas. have definitively verified quantum entanglement. after considering Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. However. While clearly contributing to the field.

According to theory. Loop quantum Gravity was first proposed by Carlo Rovelli. Albert Einstein. But here it is space itself which is discrete. the geometry of spacetime is a manifestation of gravity. One of the leading authorities continuing the search for a coherent TOE is Edward Witten.completely "compactified" (or infinitely curved) and not readily amenable to measurement or probing. there is no meaning to length shorter than this (cf. is called a spin foam. Even fundamental issues. LQG is an attempt to merge and adapt standard quantum mechanics and standard general relativity. John Bell showed that this "EPR" paradox led to experimentally testable differences between quantum mechanics and local realistic theories. actually an 11-dimensional spacetime containing 10 spatial dimensions and 1 time dimension. currently the best theory describing the gravitation force. Indeed. the renowned physicist Richard Feynman once said. the many counter-intuitive aspects and results of quantum mechanics have provoked strong philosophical debates and many interpretations.at lower energies .[43] The Bohr-Einstein debates provide a vibrant critique of the Copenhagen Interpretation from an epistemological point of view. due to the complementarity nature of evidence obtained under different experimental situations. but also space itself. as in other interpretations . thereby demonstrating that the physical world cannot be described by any local realistic theory. by removing the axiom of the collapse of the wave packet. These networks of loops are called spin networks."[42] The Copenhagen interpretation .due largely to the Danish theoretical physicist Niels Bohr . All of the possible consistent states of the measured system and the measuring apparatus (including the observer) are present in a real physical .not just formally mathematical. The granularity is a direct consequence of the quantization. 61 Philosophical implications Since its inception. that the present theory was incomplete.[44] This is not accomplished by introducing some "new axiom" to quantum mechanics. in reality. It is also a theory of quantum space and quantum time. because. It is also believed therein that any well-defined application of the quantum mechanical formalism must always make reference to the experimental arrangement. Experiments have been performed confirming the accuracy of quantum mechanics. Planck scale energy). but instead must be considered a final renunciation of the classical idea of "causality". space can be viewed as an extremely fine fabric or network "woven" of finite loops. The evolution of a spin network over time. disliked this loss of determinism in measurement.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 incorporated into quantum electrodynamics — the expanded general relativity. a theoretical physicist who formulated the groundbreaking M-theory. the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics is not a temporary feature which will eventually be replaced by a deterministic theory. which is an attempt at describing the supersymmetrical based string theory. himself one of the founders of quantum theory. has an atomic structure. More precisely. has not been fully incorporated into quantum theory.remains the quantum mechanical formalism that is currently most widely accepted amongst physicists. "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. but on the contrary. formulated in 1956. which is approximately 1. consequently. It has the same nature of the granularity of the photons in the quantum theory of electromagnetism or the discrete levels of the energy of the atoms. such as Max Born's basic rules concerning probability amplitudes and probability distributions took decades to be appreciated by society and many leading scientists. The main output of the theory is a physical picture of space where space is granular. The predicted size of this structure is the Planck length. He produced a series of objections to the theory. The Everett many-worlds interpretation. holds that all the possibilities described by quantum theory simultaneously occur in a multiverse composed of mostly independent parallel universes.616×10−35 m. the most famous of which has become known as the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox. although 7 of the spatial dimensions are . Other popular theory is Loop quantum gravity (LQG) a theory that describes the quantum properties of gravity. According to this interpretation. Therefore LQG predicts that not just matter. as discovered with general relativity. Einstein held that there should be a local hidden variable theory underlying quantum mechanics and.quantum superposition. some 75 years after its enunciation. Such a superposition of consistent state combinations of different systems is . M-theory posits that our apparent 4-dimensional spacetime is.

[47] Furthermore. together with the system that was originally measured. Researchers are currently seeking robust methods of directly manipulating quantum states. Examples include the laser. Not only is this completely impractical. one would have to bring all these particles back and measure them again. Quantum mechanics is also critically important for understanding how individual atoms combine covalently to form molecules. Everett's interpretation is perfectly consistent with John Bell's experiments and makes them intuitively understandable. and others) can often only be satisfactorily described using quantum mechanics. the measured system becomes entangled with both the physicist who measured it and a huge number of other particles. In order to prove that the wave function did not collapse. Quantum mechanics can also provide quantitative insight into ionic and covalent bonding processes by explicitly showing which molecules are energetically favorable to which others. the consistent state contribution to the aforementioned superposition) that we. mathematically describe most of chemistry. which are indispensable parts of modern electronics systems and devices. but even if one could theoretically do this. as observers. the transistor (and thus the microchip). Relativistic quantum mechanics can.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 called an entangled state. neutrons. protons. While the multiverse is deterministic. and the magnitudes of the energies involved.[45] Relational quantum mechanics appeared in the late 1990s as the modern derivative of the Copenhagen Interpretation. Quantum mechanics has strongly influenced string theories. some of which are photons flying away at the speed of light towards the other end of the universe. because we can observe only the universe (i. most of the calculations performed in modern computational chemistry rely on quantum mechanics. and the multiverse hypotheses. The application of quantum mechanics to chemistry is known as quantum chemistry. In light of these Bell tests. Cramer (1986) formulated his Transactional interpretation. which will theoretically allow guaranteed secure transmission of information. and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). photons. Efforts are being made to more fully develop quantum cryptography. The study of semiconductors led to the invention of the diode and the transistor. candidates for a Theory of Everything (see reductionism). A more distant goal is the development of A working mechanism of a resonant tunneling diode device.e.. The inaccessibility can be understood as follows: once a measurement is done. in principle. However. we perceive non-deterministic behavior governed by probabilities. 62 Applications Quantum mechanics had enormous[46] success in explaining many of the features of our world. The individual behaviors of the subatomic particles that make up all forms of matter (electrons. according to the theory of quantum decoherence. A great deal of modern technological inventions operate at a scale where quantum effects are significant. the electron microscope. inhabit. it would destroy any evidence that the original measurement took place (to include the physicist's memory). based on the phenomenon of quantum tunneling through potential barriers . these "parallel universes" will never be accessible to us.

It has also given insight into the workings of many different biological systems. the frictionless flow of a liquid at temperatures near absolute zero. as otherwise the electrons in the electric current could not penetrate the potential barrier made up of a layer of oxide.[51] . The position and momentum of the particle are observables.[49] Even so. If one performs a position measurement on such a wavefunction. If the particle is in an eigenstate of position. including smell receptors and protein structures. This is called an eigenstate of position—or.even in the simple light switch. Another active research topic is quantum teleportation.. classical physics can often provide good approximations to results otherwise obtained by quantum physics. On the other hand.[50] In an eigenstate of momentum having a plane wave form. typically in circumstances with large numbers of particles or large quantum numbers. While quantum mechanics primarily applies to the atomic regimes of matter and energy. and zero everywhere else. where h is Planck's constant and p is the momentum of the eigenstate. which are expected to perform certain computational tasks exponentially faster than classical computers. one can measure the position (alone) of a moving free particle. 63 Examples Free particle For example. creating an eigenstate of position with a wavefunction that is very large (a Dirac delta) at a particular position x. However. then its position is completely unknown. Flash memory chips found in USB drives use quantum tunneling to erase their memory cells. it can be shown that the wavelength is equal to h/p. if the particle is in an eigenstate of momentum.superfluidity. The Uncertainty Principle states that both the position and the momentum cannot simultaneously be measured with complete precision. its quantum state can be represented as a wave of arbitrary shape and extending over space as a wave function. which deals with techniques to transmit quantum information over arbitrary distances. In quantum mechanics. then its momentum is completely unknown. a generalized position eigenstate (eigendistribution). some systems exhibit quantum mechanical effects on a large scale . Quantum theory also provides accurate descriptions for many previously unexplained phenomena. the resultant x will be obtained with 100% probability (i. with full certainty. such as black body radiation and the stability of the orbitals of electrons in atoms. or complete precision). stated in mathematical terms.e.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 quantum computers. Quantum tunneling is vital to the operation of many devices . so the properties of the particle can be described as the properties of a wave.[48] Recent work on photosynthesis has provided evidence that quantum correlations play an essential role in this basic fundamental process of the plant kingdom. consider a free particle. there is wave-particle duality. is one well-known example. Therefore.

Step potential The potential in this case is given by: The solutions are superpositions of left. Energy states in rectangular dots are more ‘s-type’ and ‘p-type’.and right-moving waves: . shown in green. reflected. or transmitted component of the wave. and Scattering at a finite potential step of height V0. and the coefficients A and B are determined from the boundary conditions and by imposing a continuous derivative on the solution. incident particles with energies higher than the size of the potential step are still partially reflected. Each term of the solution can be interpreted as an incident. blue are reflected and transmitted waves. allowing the calculation of transmission and reflection coefficients. The amplitudes and direction of left. the wave functions are mixed due to confinement symmetry.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 64 3D confined electron wave functions for each eigenstate in a Quantum Dot. Here. However. Yellow is the incident wave.and right-moving waves are indicated. . E > V0 for this figure. red does not occur. In contrast to classical mechanics. in a triangular dot. where the wave vectors are related to the energy via . rectangular and triangular-shaped quantum dots are shown.

from Euler's formula.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 65 Rectangular potential barrier This is a model for the quantum tunneling effect. and infinite potential energy everywhere outside' that region. At each wall (x = 0 and x = L). And additionally. D. ψ = 0. C cannot be zero. The presence of the walls of the box determines the values of C. since this would conflict with the Born interpretation. the time-independent Schrödinger equation can be written as:[52] Writing the differential operator 1-dimensional potential energy box (or infinite potential well) the previous equation can be seen to be evocative of the classic kinetic energy analogue with as the energy for the state . For the one-dimensional case in the direction. When x = L. sin kL = 0. The general solutions of the Schrödinger equation for the particle in a box are: or. Particle in a box The particle in a one-dimensional potential energy box is the most simple example where restraints lead to the quantization of energy levels. Therefore. and so it must be that kL is an integer multiple of π. and so D = 0. since . which in this case coincides with the kinetic energy of the particle. The box is defined as having zero potential energy everywhere inside a certain region. and k. The quantization of energy levels follows from this constraint on k. Thus when x = 0. which has important applications to modern devices such as flash memory and the scanning tunneling microscope.

This is another example which illustrates the quantization of energy for bound states. Harmonic oscillator As in the classical case.and F) are standing waves (or "stationary states").D. first proposed by Paul Dirac. the position of the ball is represented by a wave (called the wavefunction). or by using the more elegant "ladder method". In quantum mechanics.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 66 Finite potential well This is the generalization of the infinite potential well problem to potential wells of finite depth. Each standing-wave frequency is proportional to a possible energy level of the oscillator.e. . Some of the trajectories (such as C. where Hn are the Hermite polynomials: and the corresponding energy levels are . where the oscillator can have any energy. This "energy quantization" does not occur in classical physics. with the real part shown in blue and the imaginary part shown in red. which is not trivial. the potential for the quantum harmonic oscillator is given by: This problem can be solved either by solving the Schrödinger equation directly. a ball attached to a spring) in classical mechanics (A-B) and quantum mechanics (C-H). The eigenstates are given by: Some trajectories of a harmonic oscillator (i.E.

.. eu/ deutsch-englisch/ eigen) [21] "Topics: Wave-Function Collapse" (http:/ / www. Annalen der Physik 17 (6): 132–148. fccj.M. Oxford: Clarendon Press. H. [7] Einstein. [15] Greiner. google. ias. com/ dictionary/ quantum). com/ physics-quantum-mechanics-werner-heisenberg. . Piravonu Mathews. [27] "Wave Functions and the Schrödinger Equation" (http:/ / physics. Berlin. . Rechenberg.322. [3] Max Born & Emil Wolf. Spaceandmotion. 2005). Jack (2001). 1955). Jones and Bartlett Publishers. htm). aip. . The historical development of quantum theory. Springer. html) at the Wayback Machine (archived October 26. Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 64: Part2:95–99.Quantum Mechanics. uj. Campbridge University Press. html). Retrieved 2010-10-15. doi:10. . Retrieved 2012-08-18.com. 2009) [12] P. Retrieved 2012-08-18. Retrieved 2012-08-18. ac.ph. com/ books?id=5t0tm0FB1CsC& pg=PA215). p. p. . actapress. Clarendon Press. html) De.edu. 124-8 and 285-6. ibid. html). [33] Carl M. com/ PaperInfo. Retrieved 2012-08-18. in German. Princeton University Press. pdf [30] Nancy Thorndike Greenspan. pp. Demonstrations. . ISBN 0-521-80412-4. Reprinted in The collected papers of Albert Einstein. [22] "Collapse of the wave-function" (http:/ / farside. S. google. 2. org/ 20091026095410/ http:/ / geocities. wolfram. Oxford. [24] Michael Trott.. is not quantized. 36. in/ resonance/ December2010/ p1056-1059. [13] D. in contrast. ISBN 0-07-096510-2. . A Textbook of Quantum Mechanics (http:/ / books. Phy..wolfram. reddit. "Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt [On a heuristic point of view concerning the production and transformation of light]". Retrieved 2012-08-18. John Stachel. (1976). [26] Mathews.pons. ukzn. Walter. Principles of Optics.cc (http:/ / www. [16] "Heisenberg . Merriam-webster. editor. pdf [6] Kuhn. 1925-1927: The Uncertainty Relations" (http:/ / www. 149-166.. p. [28] "Quantum Physics: Werner Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Mechanics. [2] van Hove. Berndt (1994). Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik. "Time Evolution of a Wavepacket In a Square Well" (http:/ / demonstrations.. Retrieved 2012-08-18. Nobel Foundation. google. J. 2009-06-01.com. 1915-1927 [14] J. K. [20] Dict. ISBN 0-7637-2470-X. com/ ) [11] Oocities. Tata McGraw-Hill.com. pp. 1989. ph. . [9] http:/ / mooni. com/ TimeEvolutionOfAWavepacketInASquareWell/ ). com/ books?id=_qzs1DD3TcsC& pg=PA36). ams. Bibcode 1905AnP. Werner Heisenberg Biography" (http:/ / www. A. Retrieved 2010-10-15. com/ r/ philosophy/ comments/ 8p2qv/ determinism_and_naive_realism/ ). 2012-07-27. ISBN 0195023838. Arthur (2006). cc/ german-english/ eigen. dict. Actapress. org/ history/ heisenberg/ p08a.com (http:/ / web. pl/ acta/ vol19/ pdf/ v19p0683. pons. . Princeton University Press. . spaceandmotion.wolfram. Second edition (http:/ / books. p. za/ ~petruccione/ Phys120/ Wave Functions and the Schrödinger Equation. com/ books?id=W2J2IXgiZVgC& pg=PA265). aspx?PaperID=25988& reason=500). [8] "Quantum . 215. htm [10] Compare the list of conferences presented here (http:/ / ysfine. The Principles of Quantum Mechanics.1002/andp. edu/ physics/ classical-mechanics/ pdf_lectures/ 06. org/ ~ethall/ quantum/ quant.edu. . archive. Springer-Verlag. org/ journals/ bull/ 1958-64-03/ S0002-9904-1958-10206-2/ S0002-9904-1958-10206-2. [25] Michael Trott. Dirac. [31] http:/ / ocw.. 1930. "Von Neumann's contributions to quantum mechanics" (http:/ / www. 134-148. [5] http:/ / www.0131 [hep-th]. ISBN 3-540-58080-8. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1979/ index. Zajonc. phy. edu/ ~luca/ Topics/ qm/ collapse.olemiss. "The End of the Certain World: The Life and Science of Max Born" (Basic Books. [29] http:/ / th-www. com/ mik_malm/ quantmech. [19] Hirshleifer. Bender. usu. "Time-Evolution of a Wavepacket in a Square Well — Wolfram Demonstrations Project" (http:/ / demonstrations. pp.eu (http:/ / de. New York: Springer-Verlag.132E. George. Leon (1958). olemiss. . html). von Neumann.utexas. Retrieved 2010-02-16. [18] "[Abstract] Visualization of Uncertain Particle Movement" (http:/ / www. 1976-02-01. Demonstrations. Inc.Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary" (http:/ / www. Reddit. ISBN 0387906428. arXiv:1001. . merriam-webster. .Quantum Mechanics after 1925 67 Notes [1] The angular momentum of an unbound electron. . . Hilbert Lectures on Quantum Theory. Cambridge University Press [4] Mehra. com/ books?id=gCfvWx6vuzUC& pg=PA52). Retrieved 2010-10-15.com. pdf [32] "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1979" (http:/ / nobelprize. The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Aip. Venkatesan. 265..com. google. (1905). (1978). pdf) (PDF). Farside. [23] "Determinism and Naive Realism : philosophy" (http:/ / www. ac. wolfram. 52. Second edition (http:/ / books. Vol. if. utexas.19053220607. Müller. "Complex Elliptic Pendulum". htm). pdf) (PDF). edu/ teaching/ qmech/ lectures/ node28. Karta Kooner (2009-12-31). . 1999. Daniel W. 1932 (English translation: Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. The Dark Side of the Force: Economic Foundations of Conflict Theory (http:/ / books.org. T. [17] Greenstein. edu. see also Einstein's early work on the quantum hypothesis. (1982). Black-body theory and the quantum discontinuity 1894-1912. Retrieved 2012-08-18.com. com/ TimeEvolutionOfAWavepacketInASquareWell/ ). Quantum Mechanics Symmetries.A. Hook.

**Quantum Mechanics after 1925
**

[34] "Quantum mechanics course iwhatisquantummechanics" (http:/ / www. scribd. com/ doc/ 5998949/ Quantum-mechanics-course-iwhatisquantummechanics). Scribd.com. 2008-09-14. . Retrieved 2012-08-18. [35] "Between classical and quantum�" (http:/ / philsci-archive. pitt. edu/ 2328/ 1/ handbook. pdf) (PDF). . Retrieved 2012-08-19. [36] "Atomic Properties" (http:/ / academic. brooklyn. cuny. edu/ physics/ sobel/ Nucphys/ atomprop. html). Academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu. . Retrieved 2012-08-18. [37] http:/ / assets. cambridge. org/ 97805218/ 29526/ excerpt/ 9780521829526_excerpt. pdf [38] "There is as yet no logically consistent and complete relativistic quantum field theory.", p. 4. — V. B. Berestetskii, E. M. Lifshitz, L P Pitaevskii (1971). J. B. Sykes, J. S. Bell (translators). Relativistic Quantum Theory 4, part I. Course of Theoretical Physics (Landau and Lifshitz) ISBN 0-08-016025-5 [39] http:/ / www. damtp. cam. ac. uk/ strings02/ dirac/ hawking/ [40] "Life on the lattice: The most accurate theory we have" (http:/ / latticeqcd. blogspot. com/ 2005/ 06/ most-accurate-theory-we-have. html). Latticeqcd.blogspot.com. 2005-06-03. . Retrieved 2010-10-15. [41] Parker, B. (1993). Overcoming some of the problems. pp. 259–279. [42] The Character of Physical Law (1965) Ch. 6; also quoted in The New Quantum Universe (2003), by Tony Hey and Patrick Walters [43] "Action at a Distance in Quantum Mechanics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)" (http:/ / plato. stanford. edu/ entries/ qm-action-distance/ ). Plato.stanford.edu. 2007-01-26. . Retrieved 2012-08-18. [44] "Everett's Relative-State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)" (http:/ / plato. stanford. edu/ entries/ qm-everett/ ). Plato.stanford.edu. . Retrieved 2012-08-18. [45] The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http:/ / www. npl. washington. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ tiqm/ TI_toc. html) by John Cramer. Reviews of Modern Physics 58, 647-688, July (1986) [46] See, for example, the Feynman Lectures on Physics for some of the technological applications which use quantum mechanics, e.g., transistors (vol III, pp. 14-11 ff), integrated circuits, which are follow-on technology in solid-state physics (vol II, pp. 8-6), and lasers (vol III, pp. 9-13). [47] Introduction to Quantum Mechanics with Applications to Chemistry - Linus Pauling, E. Bright Wilson (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=vdXU6SD4_UYC). Books.google.com. 1985-03-01. ISBN 9780486648712. . Retrieved 2012-08-18. [48] Anderson, Mark (2009-01-13). "Is Quantum Mechanics Controlling Your Thoughts? | Subatomic Particles" (http:/ / discovermagazine. com/ 2009/ feb/ 13-is-quantum-mechanics-controlling-your-thoughts/ article_view?b_start:int=1& -C). DISCOVER Magazine. . Retrieved 2012-08-18. [49] "Quantum mechanics boosts photosynthesis" (http:/ / physicsworld. com/ cws/ article/ news/ 41632). physicsworld.com. . Retrieved 2010-10-23. [50] Davies, P. C. W.; Betts, David S. (1984). Quantum Mechanics, Second edition (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=XRyHCrGNstoC& pg=PA79). Chapman and Hall. p. 79. ISBN 0-7487-4446-0. ., [51] Baofu, Peter (2007-12-31). The Future of Complexity: Conceiving a Better Way to Understand Order and Chaos (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=tKm-Ekwke_UC). Books.google.com. ISBN 9789812708991. . Retrieved 2012-08-18. [52] Derivation of particle in a box, chemistry.tidalswan.com (http:/ / chemistry. tidalswan. com/ index. php?title=Quantum_Mechanics)

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References

The following titles, all by working physicists, attempt to communicate quantum theory to lay people, using a minimum of technical apparatus. • Malin, Shimon (2012). Nature Loves to Hide: Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality, a Western Perspective (Revised ed.). World Scientific. ISBN 978-981-4324-57-1. • Chester, Marvin (1987) Primer of Quantum Mechanics. John Wiley. ISBN 0-486-42878-8 • Richard Feynman, 1985. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08388-6. Four elementary lectures on quantum electrodynamics and quantum field theory, yet containing many insights for the expert. • Ghirardi, GianCarlo, 2004. Sneaking a Look at God's Cards, Gerald Malsbary, trans. Princeton Univ. Press. The most technical of the works cited here. Passages using algebra, trigonometry, and bra-ket notation can be passed over on a first reading. • N. David Mermin, 1990, "Spooky actions at a distance: mysteries of the QT" in his Boojums all the way through. Cambridge University Press: 110-76. • Victor Stenger, 2000. Timeless Reality: Symmetry, Simplicity, and Multiple Universes. Buffalo NY: Prometheus Books. Chpts. 5-8. Includes cosmological and philosophical considerations. More technical:

Quantum Mechanics after 1925 • Bryce DeWitt, R. Neill Graham, eds., 1973. The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, Princeton Series in Physics, Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08131-X • Dirac, P. A. M. (1930). The Principles of Quantum Mechanics. ISBN 0-19-852011-5. The beginning chapters make up a very clear and comprehensible introduction. • Hugh Everett, 1957, "Relative State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics," Reviews of Modern Physics 29: 454-62. • Feynman, Richard P.; Leighton, Robert B.; Sands, Matthew (1965). The Feynman Lectures on Physics. 1-3. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-7382-0008-5. • Griffiths, David J. (2004). Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-111892-7. OCLC 40251748. A standard undergraduate text. • Max Jammer, 1966. The Conceptual Development of Quantum Mechanics. McGraw Hill. • Hagen Kleinert, 2004. Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics, Statistics, Polymer Physics, and Financial Markets, 3rd ed. Singapore: World Scientific. Draft of 4th edition. (http://www.physik.fu-berlin.de/~kleinert/b5) • Gunther Ludwig, 1968. Wave Mechanics. London: Pergamon Press. ISBN 0-08-203204-1 • George Mackey (2004). The mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics. Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-43517-2. • Albert Messiah, 1966. Quantum Mechanics (Vol. I), English translation from French by G. M. Temmer. North Holland, John Wiley & Sons. Cf. chpt. IV, section III. • Omnès, Roland (1999). Understanding Quantum Mechanics. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-00435-8. OCLC 39849482. • Scerri, Eric R., 2006. The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance. Oxford University Press. Considers the extent to which chemistry and the periodic system have been reduced to quantum mechanics. ISBN 0-19-530573-6 • Transnational College of Lex (1996). What is Quantum Mechanics? A Physics Adventure. Language Research Foundation, Boston. ISBN 0-9643504-1-6. OCLC 34661512. • von Neumann, John (1955). Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02893-1. • Hermann Weyl, 1950. The Theory of Groups and Quantum Mechanics, Dover Publications. • D. Greenberger, K. Hentschel, F. Weinert, eds., 2009. Compendium of quantum physics, Concepts, experiments, history and philosophy, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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Further reading

• Bernstein, Jeremy (2009). Quantum Leaps (http://books.google.com/books?id=j0Me3brYOL0C& printsec=frontcover). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-03541-6. • Müller-Kirsten, H. J. W. (2012). Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: Schrödinger Equation and Path Integral (2nd ed.). World Scientific. ISBN 978-981-4397-74-2. • Bohm, David (1989). Quantum Theory. Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-65969-0. • Eisberg, Robert; Resnick, Robert (1985). Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles (2nd ed.). Wiley. ISBN 0-471-87373-X. • Liboff, Richard L. (2002). Introductory Quantum Mechanics. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-8053-8714-5. • Merzbacher, Eugen (1998). Quantum Mechanics. Wiley, John & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-88702-1. • Sakurai, J. J. (1994). Modern Quantum Mechanics. Addison Wesley. ISBN 0-201-53929-2. • Shankar, R. (1994). Principles of Quantum Mechanics. Springer. ISBN 0-306-44790-8. • Cox, Brian; Forshaw, Jeff (2011). The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen. Allen Lane. ISBN 1-84614-432-9.

Quantum Mechanics after 1925

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External links

• Quantum Cook Book (http://oyc.yale.edu/sites/default/files/notes_quantum_cookbook.pdf) by R. Shankar, Open Yale PHYS 201 material (4pp) • A foundation approach to quantum Theory that does not rely on wave-particle duality. (http://www.mesacc. edu/~kevinlg/i256/QM_basics.pdf) • The Modern Revolution in Physics (http://www.lightandmatter.com/lm/) - an online textbook. • J. O'Connor and E. F. Robertson: A history of quantum mechanics. (http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/ history/HistTopics/The_Quantum_age_begins.html) • Introduction to Quantum Theory at Quantiki. (http://www.quantiki.org/wiki/index.php/ Introduction_to_Quantum_Theory) • Quantum Physics Made Relatively Simple (http://bethe.cornell.edu/): three video lectures by Hans Bethe • H is for h-bar. (http://www.nonlocal.com/hbar/) • Quantum Mechanics Books Collection (http://www.freebookcentre.net/Physics/Quantum-Mechanics-Books. html): Collection of free books Course material • Doron Cohen: Lecture notes in Quantum Mechanics (comprehensive, with advanced topics). (http://arxiv.org/ abs/quant-ph/0605180) • MIT OpenCourseWare: Chemistry (http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Chemistry/index.htm). • MIT OpenCourseWare: Physics (http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/index.htm). See 8.04 (http://ocw. mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-04Spring-2006/CourseHome/index.htm) • Stanford Continuing Education PHY 25: Quantum Mechanics (http://www.youtube.com/stanford#g/c/ 84C10A9CB1D13841) by Leonard Susskind, see course description (http://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/ courses/course.php?cid=20072_PHY 25) Fall 2007 • 5½ Examples in Quantum Mechanics (http://www.physics.csbsju.edu/QM/) • Imperial College Quantum Mechanics Course. (http://www.imperial.ac.uk/quantuminformation/qi/tutorials) • Spark Notes - Quantum Physics. (http://www.sparknotes.com/testprep/books/sat2/physics/ chapter19section3.rhtml) • Quantum Physics Online : interactive introduction to quantum mechanics (RS applets). (http://www. quantum-physics.polytechnique.fr/) • Experiments to the foundations of quantum physics with single photons. (http://www.didaktik.physik. uni-erlangen.de/quantumlab/english/index.html) • AQME (http://www.nanohub.org/topics/AQME) : Advancing Quantum Mechanics for Engineers — by T.Barzso, D.Vasileska and G.Klimeck online learning resource with simulation tools on nanohub • Quantum Mechanics (http://www.lsr.ph.ic.ac.uk/~plenio/lecture.pdf) by Martin Plenio • Quantum Mechanics (http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/qm/389.pdf) by Richard Fitzpatrick • Online course on Quantum Transport (http://nanohub.org/resources/2039) FAQs • Many-worlds or relative-state interpretation. (http://www.hedweb.com/manworld.htm) • Measurement in Quantum mechanics. (http://www.mtnmath.com/faq/meas-qm.html) Media • PHYS 201: Fundamentals of Physics II (http://oyc.yale.edu/physics/phys-201#sessions) by Ramamurti Shankar, Open Yale Course • Lectures on Quantum Mechanics (http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=84C10A9CB1D13841) by Leonard Susskind • Everything you wanted to know about the quantum world (http://www.newscientist.com/channel/ fundamentals/quantum-world) — archive of articles from New Scientist.

Quantum Mechanics after 1925 • Quantum Physics Research (http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/matter_energy/quantum_physics/) from Science Daily • Overbye, Dennis (December 27, 2005). "Quantum Trickery: Testing Einstein's Strangest Theory" (http://www. nytimes.com/2005/12/27/science/27eins.html?scp=1&sq=quantum trickery&st=cse). The New York Times. Retrieved April 12, 2010. • Audio: Astronomy Cast (http://www.astronomycast.com/physics/ep-138-quantum-mechanics/) Quantum Mechanics — June 2009. Fraser Cain interviews Pamela L. Gay. Philosophy • "Quantum Mechanics" (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm) entry by Jenann Ismael in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy • "Measurement in Quantum Theory" (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-measurement) entry by Henry Krips in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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The qualities that vary between interpretations are: 1. Although quantum mechanics has held up to rigorous and thorough experimental testing. e. There exist a number of contending schools of thought. how are we acquiring it and to what extent is it possible for a given subject or entity to be known. The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics An interpretation of quantum mechanics is a set of statements which attempt to explain how quantum mechanics informs our understanding of nature. They usually consider an interpretation of quantum mechanics as an interpretation of the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. often misattributed to Richard Feynman. Historical background The definition of terms used by researchers in quantum theory (such as wavefunctions and matrix mechanics) progressed through many stages. next to a purely instrumentalist position that denies any need for explanation (a view expressed in David Mermin's famous quote "shut up and calculate". the epistemology which is concerned in what is knowledge.[5] The nature of interpretation More or less all interpretations of quantum mechanics share two qualities: 1. 2. The Copenhagen interpretation was traditionally the most popular among physicists. . In one it corresponds to a material field.[1]) However. as physicists continue to show a strong interest in the subject.72 3. the instrumentalist position has been challenged by proposals for falsifiable experiments that might one day distinguish interpretations. Max Born interpreted it as simply corresponding to a probability distribution. including both those obtained by empirical research. the ontology which is concerned with what.[3] Moreover. This question is of special interest to philosophers of physics. They are interpretations of a formalism — a set of equations and formulae for generating results and predictions — and 2. differing over whether quantum mechanics can be understood to be deterministic. they are interpretations of a phenomenology. if anything. For instance. a set of observations. many of these experiments are open to different interpretations. in the other it corresponds to a probability distribution — specifically. of 72 "leading cosmologists and other quantum field theorists" found that 58% supported the many-worlds interpretation. specifying the physical meaning of the mathematical entities of the theory. the interpreted theory is "really about" and 2.g. possibly infinite. by measuring an AI consciousness[4] or via quantum computing. There are two different interpretations of the wavefunction: 1. the many-worlds interpretation has been gaining acceptance. volume of space. which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered "real".[2] a controversial poll mentioned in "The Physics of Immortality" (published in 1994). Schrödinger originally viewed the wavefunction associated with the electron as corresponding to the charge density of an object smeared out over an extended. including Stephen Hawking and Nobel laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman. the probability that the quantum of charge is located at any particular point within spatial dimensions. and other matters. and more informal subjective ones (that humans invariably observe an unequivocal world is important in the interpretation of quantum mechanics).

The rapid rate at which quantum descriptions become more complicated as the size of a system increases. including: 1. Examples include the transformations undergone by a system as a result of measurement. In some cases. as offered by the many-worlds or the consistent histories interpretations. • Non-reversible and unpredictable transformations described by mathematically more complicated transformations (see quantum operations). such as Hilbert spaces and operators on those spaces. The existence of what appear to be non-deterministic and irreversible processes. strictly speaking. Measurement can interact with the system state in somewhat peculiar ways.a hotly contested point. the wave-function assigns non-zero probabilities to all possible values of any given physical quantity. 4. it is open to debate as to whether an approach is equivalent to the standard formalism. Interpretations may be broadly classed as leaning more towards ontology.e. In classical mechanics and electromagnetism. Other approaches suggest modifications to the formalism. Firstly. and in these theories there seems to be less need to provide special interpretation for those numbers or functions. 6. 73 Problems of interpretation The difficulties of interpretation reflect a number of points about the orthodox description of quantum mechanics. These can be described as instrumentalist. spatial meaning. The world around us seems to be in a specific state. 3. The phenomenon of entanglement. properties of a point mass or properties of a field are described by real numbers or functions defined on two or three dimensional sets. These transformations are determined by solutions to the Schrödinger equation. the process of measurement may play an essential role in quantum theory . wave functions interact with each other and evolve in time in accordance with the laws of quantum mechanics until a measurement is performed. with a probability that's governed by the wave-function. For instance. alternative theories rather than interpretations. How. Thus the mathematical formalism used to describe the time evolution of a non-relativistic system proposes two opposed kinds of transformation: • Reversible transformations described by unitary operators on the state space. the direct interpretation introduced the concept of measurement. on the other hand. for instance Bohmian mechanics. and an epistemological one under another. as is illustrated by the double-slit experiment. and are therefore. This can be achieved by purely mathematical solutions. but quantum mechanics describes it by wave functions that govern the probability of all values. such as position. The complementarity of the proffered descriptions of reality. 2. by resolving the second kind of transformation. or towards anti-realism. The role played by observers and the process of measurement. According to the theory. the accepted mathematical structure of quantum mechanics is based on fairly abstract mathematics. In general. i. mathematical nature of that description. then. indeterminism may be attributed to the real existence of a "maybe" in the universe (ontology) or to limitations of an observer's information and predictive abilities (epistemology). . realism. Some approaches tend to avoid giving any interpretation of phenomena or formalism. These have direct. at which point the system takes on one of its possible values. Furthermore. 5.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics The same phenomenon may be given an ontological reading under one interpretation. The abstract. A solution to the problem of interpretation consists in providing some form of plausible picture. and in particular the correlations between remote events that are not expected in classical theory. do we see a particle in a specific position when its wave function is spread across all space? In order to describe how specific outcomes arise from the probabilities.

anything said outside the mathematical formulation is necessarily limited in accuracy. does not obey the rules of classical propositional logic (see also Quantum logic). it is associated with a vector in H. such as its expectation value. The latter statement is one part of Niels Bohr's original formulation. Also. which is often equated to the principle of complementarity itself. particles) in quantum mechanics. That is. it is difficult to overlap the quantum and classical descriptions to see how the classical approximations are being made. This is often phrased by saying that there are "complementary" propositions A and B that can each describe S. Repeated measurement of an observable A where S is prepared in state ψ yields a distribution of values. in a new guise. Complementarity does not usually imply that it is classical logic which is at fault (although Hilary Putnam did take that view in his paper "Is logic empirical?"). what is the status of Y? This is the old question of saving the phenomena. quantum mechanics provides a computational instrument to determine statistical properties of this distribution. each time starting with the same initial conditions. Rather. 1999) the "origin of complementarity lies in the non-commutativity of [the] operators" that describe observables (i. which seemingly violates principles of local causality. complementarity means that the composition of physical properties for S (such as position and momentum both having values within certain ranges). if we interpret the formal structure X of quantum mechanics by means of a structure Y (via a mathematical equivalence of the two structures). as illustrated in the EPR paradox. Calculations for measurements performed on a system S postulate a Hilbert space H over the complex numbers. As is now well-known (Omnès. the most common instrumentalist description is an assertion of statistical regularity between state preparation processes and measurement processes. which seems to violate basic principles of propositional logic. for example Asher Peres and Chris Fuchs. Some physicists. the outcome is a well-defined probability distribution agreeing with the real numbers. Measurable quantities are associated with Hermitian operators acting on H: these are referred to as observables. moreover. When the system S is prepared in a pure state. thereby implying that the whole exercise of interpretation is unnecessary.e. Because the complexity of a quantum system is exponential in its number of degrees of freedom. Examples of A and B are propositions using a wave description of S and a corpuscular description of S.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics In addition to the unpredictable and irreversible character of measurement processes. there are other elements of quantum physics that distinguish it sharply from classical physics and which are not present in any classical theory. One of these is the phenomenon of entanglement.. argue that an interpretation is nothing more than a formal equivalence between sets of rules for operating on experimental data. In other words. 74 Problematic status of interpretations As classical physics and non-mathematical language cannot match the precision of quantum mechanics mathematics. The expectation value of this distribution is given by the expression . using propositional connectives. the precise ontological status of each interpretation remains a matter of philosophical argument. if a measurement of a real-value quantity is performed many times. but not at the same time.[6] Another obstruction to interpretation is the phenomenon of complementarity. Complementarity says there is no logical picture (one obeying classical propositional logic) that can simultaneously describe and be used to reason about all properties of a quantum system S. In the case of quantum mechanics. Instrumentalist interpretation Any modern scientific theory requires at the very least an instrumentalist description that relates the mathematical formalism to experimental practice and prediction.

a specific Hermitian operator). that is. The transitions may be non-deterministic or probabilistic or there may be infinitely many states. and defined a complete physical theory as one in which every element of physical reality is accounted for by the theory. For example. transitions between states. a semantic explanation of the formal mathematics of quantum mechanics) can be characterized by its treatment of certain matters addressed by Einstein. The crucial aspect of an interpretation is whether the elements of I are regarded as physically real. They characterised element of reality as a quantity whose value can be predicted with certainty before measuring or otherwise disturbing it. it does not attempt to answer the question why. such as: • • • • Realism Completeness Local realism Determinism To explain these properties. A measurement operation refers to an operation which returns a value and might result in a system state change. In this context a measurement operation is a transformation which turns a ket-vector into a probability distribution (for a formalization of this concept see quantum operations). self-adjoint operators acting on the space of ket-vectors.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics This mathematical machinery gives a simple. a bare instrumentalist description could be referred to as an interpretation. an interpretation is complete if every element of the interpreting structure is present in the mathematics. measurement operations. and the measured quantity with an observable (that is. an element is real if it corresponds to something in the interpreting structure. we need to be more explicit about the kind of picture an interpretation provides. The current usage of realism and completeness originated in the 1935 paper in which Einstein and others proposed the EPR paradox. Realism is also a property of each of the elements of the maths. Hence the bare instrumentalist view of quantum mechanics outlined in the previous section is not an interpretation at all. where: • The mathematical formalism M consists of the Hilbert space machinery of ket-vectors. Summary of common interpretations of quantum mechanics Classification adopted by Einstein An interpretation (i. . while in other interpretations it is not. although this usage is somewhat misleading since instrumentalism explicitly avoids any explanatory role.e. Spatial information would be exhibited by states represented as functions on configuration space. In a semantic view of interpretation. the probability of finding the system in a given state computing the expectation value of a (rank-1) projection operator The probability is then the non-negative real number given by is given by 75 By abuse of language. unitary time dependence of the ket-vectors. for it makes no claims about elements of physical reality. in some interpretations of quantum mechanics (such as the many-worlds interpretation) the ket vector associated to the system state is said to correspond to an element of physical reality. To that end we will regard an interpretation as a correspondence between the elements of the mathematical formalism M and the elements of an interpreting structure I. As an example of such a computation. and possibly information about spatial extension of these elements. • The interpreting structure I includes states. and measurement operations. once it is understood how to associate the initial state with a Hilbert space vector. direct way to compute a statistical property of the outcome of an experiment.[7] In that paper the authors proposed the concepts element of reality and the completeness of a physical theory.

measurement operations in the interpreting structure must be localized. which occurs when states interact with the environment producing entanglement.[8] Many worlds The many-worlds interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which a universal wavefunction obeys the same deterministic. a given theory may have two interpretations. not in the electron". namely that the state at a future instant is a function of the state in the present (see time evolution). It may not always be clear whether a particular interpretation is deterministic or not. Local realism has two aspects: • The value returned by a measurement corresponds to the value of some function in the state space. The phenomena associated with measurement are claimed to be explained by decoherence. 76 The Copenhagen interpretation The Copenhagen interpretation is the "standard" interpretation of quantum mechanics formulated by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg while collaborating in Copenhagen around 1927. The Copenhagen interpretation rejects questions like "where was the particle before I measured its position?" as meaningless. Bohr and Heisenberg extended the probabilistic interpretation of the wavefunction proposed originally by Max Born. • The effects of measurement have a propagation speed not exceeding some universal limit (e.g. Moreover. According to this interpretation. in particular there is no (indeterministic and irreversible) wavefunction collapse associated with measurement. the speed of light). as there may not be a clear choice of a time parameter. In order for this to make sense. Consistent histories The consistent histories interpretation generalizes the conventional Copenhagen interpretation and attempts to provide a natural interpretation of quantum cosmology. repeatedly splitting the universe into mutually unobservable alternate histories—distinct universes within a greater multiverse. The measurement process randomly picks out exactly one of the many possibilities allowed for by the state's wave function in a manner consistent with the well-defined probabilities that are assigned to each possible state. . thus according to Heisenberg "reality is in the observations. one of which is deterministic and the other not.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics Determinism is a property characterizing state changes due to the passage of time. that value is an element of reality. combined with experimental testing. The theory is based on a consistency criterion that allows the history of a system to be described so that the probabilities for each history obey the additive rules of classical probability. of a particle). According to the interpretation. Bell's theorem. Bell's theorem implies that quantum mechanics cannot satisfy both local realism and counterfactual definiteness. A precise formulation of local realism in terms of a local hidden variable theory was proposed by John Bell. It is claimed to be consistent with the Schrödinger equation. In other words. the interaction of an observer or apparatus that is external to the quantum system is the cause of wave function collapse. the purpose of a quantum-mechanical theory is to predict the relative probabilities of various alternative histories (for example. reversible laws at all times. For instance. restricts the kinds of properties a quantum theory can have.

The theory is considered to be a hidden variable theory. An experiment illustrating the ensemble interpretation is provided in Akira Tonomura's Video clip 1 . it claims to make the fewest assumptions associated with the standard mathematics.[9] It is evident from this double-slit experiment with an ensemble of individual electrons that. The simultaneous determination of a particle's position and velocity is subject to the usual uncertainty principle constraint. it must describe an ensemble.[14] in which a detection event is regarded as establishing a relationship between the quantized field and the detector. The state vector of conventional quantum mechanics becomes a description of the correlation of some degrees of freedom in the observer.[11] Relational quantum mechanics The essential idea behind relational quantum mechanics. It takes the statistical interpretation of Born to the fullest extent. but the relations between them. and by embracing non-locality it satisfies Bell's inequality. a single particle – but is an abstract statistical quantity that only applies to an ensemble (a vast multitude) of similarly prepared systems or particles. following the precedent of special relativity. since the quantum mechanical wave function (absolutely squared) describes the completed interference pattern. but the relationship. it is held by relational quantum mechanics that this applies to all physical objects. New York) The most prominent current advocate of the ensemble interpretation is Leslie E. which always have positions. with respect to the observed system. Thus the physical content of the theory has to do not with objects themselves. The wavefunction evolves according to the Schrödinger wave equation. which become immediately unnecessary if one accepts the interpretation that the description refers to ensembles of systems and not to individual systems. However. ed. —Einstein in Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist. The measurement problem is resolved.A. and is deterministic. The interpretation states that the wave function does not apply to an individual system – for example. is non-local. "collapsed" eigenstate. or statistical interpretation The ensemble interpretation. whether or not they are conscious or macroscopic. also called the statistical interpretation. or correlation.[15] . are guided by the wavefunction. professor at Simon Fraser University. The inherent ambiguity associated with applying Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is subsequently avoided. an establishment of the sort of correlation discussed above. A Modern Development. Schilpp (Harper & Row. Any "measurement event" is seen simply as an ordinary physical interaction. between the system and its observer(s). it may be in a superposition of two or more states. Consequently.[12][13] An independent relational approach to quantum mechanics was developed in analogy with David Bohm's elucidation of special relativity. a system may be in a single. is that different observers may give different accounts of the same series of events: for example. That is.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics 77 Ensemble interpretation. Ballentine. to one observer at a given point in time. since the particles have definite positions at all times. if quantum mechanics is to be a complete theory.[10] Collapse is explained as phenomenological. and the wavefunction never collapses. relational quantum mechanics argues that the notion of "state" describes not the observed system itself. can be viewed as a minimalist interpretation. de Broglie–Bohm theory The de Broglie–Bohm theory of quantum mechanics is a theory by Louis de Broglie and extended later by David Bohm to include measurements. Particles. Probably the most notable supporter of such an interpretation was Einstein: The attempt to conceive the quantum-theoretical description as the complete description of the individual systems leads to unnatural theoretical interpretations. The theory takes place in a single space-time. P. while to another observer at the same time. author of the graduate level text book Quantum Mechanics.

no-hidden-variables theories. for example by R. which needs to be extended if this approach is correct. John von Neumann deeply analyzed the so-called measurement problem. Thus. and Walter Weizel (1953).[27] Other physicists have elaborated their own variations of the von Neumann interpretation. He concluded that the entire physical universe could be made subject to the Schrödinger equation (the universal wave function).[18] An alternative stochastic interpretation was developed by Roumen Tsekov. according to quantum theory. they are realistic. The mechanism of collapse is not specified by standard quantum mechanics. or when some physical threshold is reached. thus far.[21] von Neumann/Wigner interpretation: consciousness causes the collapse In his treatise The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics 78 Transactional interpretation The transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics (TIQM) by John G. The author argues that it avoids the philosophical problems with the Copenhagen interpretation and the role of the observer.[23][24] Variations of the von Neumann interpretation include: Subjective reduction research This principle. and are referenced in Nelson's paper. including: • Henry P. is the point of intersection between quantum mechanics and the mind/body problem. indeterministic. results are inconclusive.[17] Similar considerations had previously been published. Pavon. Stapp (Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer) • Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner (Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness) . Stochastic mechanics An entirely classical derivation and interpretation of Schrödinger's wave equation by analogy with Brownian motion was suggested by Princeton University professor Edward Nelson in 1966. In objective theories. Examples include the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber theory[20] and the Penrose interpretation. meaning that Objective Collapse is more of a theory than an interpretation.[22] This point of view was prominently expanded on by Eugene Wigner. I. Fürth (1933). von Neumann concluded that the collapse was caused by the consciousness of the experimenter. and researchers are working to detect conscious events correlated with physical events that.[16] It describes a quantum interaction in terms of a standing wave formed by the sum of a retarded (forward-in-time) and an advanced (backward-in-time) wave. More recent work on the stochastic interpretation has been done by M. Cramer is an interpretation of quantum mechanics inspired by the Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory. but.[25][26] Participatory anthropic principle (PAP) John Archibald Wheeler's participatory anthropic principle says that consciousness plays some role in bringing the universe into existence. Fényes (1952). Since something "outside the calculation" was needed to collapse the wave function. but he later abandoned this interpretation.[19] Objective collapse theories Objective collapse theories differ from the Copenhagen interpretation in regarding both the wavefunction and the process of collapse as ontologically objective. and resolves various quantum paradoxes. with observers having no special role. should involve a wave function collapse. collapse occurs randomly ("spontaneous localization"). that consciousness causes the collapse.

obtained from a knowledge of how a system was prepared. in his paper “A formal approach to the philosophy of science. The state is not an objective property of an individual system but is that information. Bub.becomes problematical only if it is believed that the state vector is an objective property of the system.The “reduction of the wavepacket” does take place in the consciousness of the observer. just a change in our knowledge of it . rather than as an objective event. Quantum logic Quantum logic can be regarded as a kind of propositional logic suitable for understanding the apparent anomalies regarding quantum measurement.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics 79 Many minds The many-minds interpretation of quantum mechanics extends the many-worlds interpretation by proposing that the distinction between worlds should be made at the level of the mind of an individual observer. this term now is used to describe a larger set of models that grew out of this approach. but given two measurements performed at different times. not because of any unique physical process which takes place there. such as J. The existence of two laws for the evolution of the state vector.[30] Collapse (also known as reduction) is often interpreted as an observer acquiring information from a measurement. A. Clifton..A quantum mechanical state being a summary of the observer’s information about an individual physical system changes both by dynamical laws..” However. . who attempted to reconcile some of the apparent inconsistencies of classical boolean logic with the facts related to measurement and observation in quantum mechanics. a single measurement cannot fully determine the state of a system (making them a type of hidden variables theory). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes several versions:[32] • The Copenhagen variant • Kochen-Dieks-Healey Interpretations • Motivating Early Modal Interpretations.. Time-symmetric theories Several theories have been proposed which modify the equations of quantum mechanics to be symmetric with respect to time reversal. Dickson and J. M. The collapse of the wavefunction is therefore not a physical change to the system.. This approach has some similarity with Bohr's thinking. exactly as events in the past can affect ones in the future. and whenever the observer acquires new information about the system through the process of measurement. based on the work of R. it is possible to calculate the exact state of the system at all intermediate times. but only because the state is a construct of the observer and not an objective property of the physical system[31] Modal interpretations of quantum theory Modal interpretations of quantum mechanics were first conceived of in 1972 by B.. This research area and its name originated in the 1936 paper by Garrett Birkhoff and John von Neumann.[33][34][35][36] This creates retrocausality: events in the future can affect ones in the past. Quantum information theories Informational approaches subdivide into two kinds[28] • Information ontologies. These approaches have been appraised as similar to instrumentalism. van Fraassen.. In these theories. rather than the world itself. which can be used for making predictions about future measurements. These approaches have been described as a revival of immaterialism[29] • Interpretations where quantum mechanics is said to describe an observer's knowledge of the world. most notably those concerning composition of measurement operations of complementary variables. Wheeler's "it from bit".

Comparison of interpretations The most common interpretations are summarized in the table below. Most of these interpretations have variants. are themselves at the center of the controversy surrounding the given interpretation. 1936 Hugh Everett. designing experiments which would test the various interpretations is the subject of active research. 1927. These range from proposals by mainstream physicists to the more occult ideas of quantum mysticism. For example. the physical theory stands.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics due to the second measurement. Werner Heisenberg. a number of other interpretations have been proposed which have not made a significant scientific impact. To that extent. 80 Branching space-time theories BST theories resemble the many worlds interpretation. It also has some resemblance to hidden variable theories and the ensemble interpretation. Wigner Garrett Birkhoff. in fact."[37] In MWI.[37] Other interpretations As well as the mainstream interpretations discussed above. difficulties arise only when one attempts to "interpret" the theory. 1927 Louis de Broglie. Wheeler. whereas in BST. it is difficult to get a precise definition of the Copenhagen interpretation as it was developed and argued about by many people. they explain entanglement as not being a true physical state but just an illusion created by ignoring retrocausality. quantum computation and quantum gravity. for the precise meanings of some of the concepts involved are unclear and. 1926 No Niels Bohr. 1957 No Yes Yes No Yes Causal No No Agnostic Yes Agnostic Yes Yes5 No No No No No Interpretational6 Agnostic None Yes No No Karl Popper. Nevertheless. however. No experimental evidence exists that distinguishes among these interpretations. the space-time topology itself branches. Similarly. Interpretation Author(s) Deterministic? Wavefunction real? Agnostic No Unique history? Yes Hidden Collapsing variables? wavefunctions? Agnostic No Observer role? None Local? Counterfactual definiteness? No Ensemble interpretation Copenhagen interpretation de Broglie–Bohm theory von Neumann interpretation Quantum logic Many-worlds interpretation Popper's [38] interpretation Max Born. David Bohm. in line with the ensemble interpretation. The values shown in the cells of the table are not without controversy. 1957 [39] No Yes Yes Yes No None Yes Yes13 . rather than a consequence of the separate evolution of different components of a state vector.: particles in BST have multiple well defined trajectories at the microscopic level. 1952 No No1 Yes3 Yes No Yes2 No Causal No No Yes Yes4 Yes None No Yes von Neumann. These can only be treated stochastically at a coarse grained level. "the main difference is that the BST interpretation takes the branching of history to be feature of the topology of the set of events with their causal relationships. it is the wave functions that branches.. and is consistent with itself and with reality.. 1932. The point where two particles appear to "become entangled" is simply a point where each particle is being influenced by events that occur to the other particle in the future. BST has applications to Bells theorem.

14 The transactional interpretation is explicitly non-local. i. 11 Any physical interaction is treated as a collapse event relative to the systems involved. the concept of a physical state independent of the conditions of its experimental observation does not have a well-defined meaning. but more than just information. .e. 9 In the TI the collapse of the state vector is interpreted as the completion of the transaction between emitter and absorber. Dieter Zeh. 3 Both particle AND guiding wavefunction are real. 1976 Edward Nelson. it is under dispute whether Popper's interpretation can really be considered an interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (which is what Popper claimed) or whether it must be considered a modification of Quantum Mechanics (which is what many Physicists claim). 2 According to the Copenhagen interpretation. not just macroscopic or conscious observers. Cramer. Bell etc. 13 Caused by the fact that Popper holds both CFD and locality to be true. 4 Unique particle history. 7 Observers separate the universal wavefunction into orthogonal sets of experiences. the state is specific to the reference frame of the observer. in case of the latter. Popper exchanged many long letters with Einstein. Penrose interpretation. 6 Quantum mechanics is regarded as a way of predicting observations. According to Heisenberg the wavefunction represents a probability. if this modification has been empirically refuted or not. or a theory of measurement. and. Davidon. 1966 Yes No No Yes No No None No No H. but not an objective reality itself in space and time. 1970 Yes Yes No No No Interpretational7 Interpretational6 None Yes No Robert B. 1984 Agnostic8 No Agnostic8 Yes No No No Yes No Objective Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber.. then Zurek calls this the "existential interpretation". 5 But quantum logic is more limited in applicability than Coherent Histories. collapse theories 1986. but multiple wave histories. 8 If wavefunction is real then this becomes the many-worlds interpretation. Griffiths. 12 The state of the system is observer-dependent. about the issue. 1994 No No Agnostic10 No Intrinsic12 Yes • 1 • • • • • • • • • • • • • According to Bohr. 1989 Transactional interpretation Relational interpretation John G. 10 Comparing histories between systems in this interpretation has no well-defined meaning. 1986 Yes No Yes No No No Yes Yes No Yes9 Yes11 None No Yes14 No Carlo Rovelli. the wavefunction collapses when a measurement is performed.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics 81 Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Time-symmetric theories Stochastic interpretation Many-minds interpretation Consistent histories William C. If wavefunction less than real.

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Quantum Mechanics and Experience. html). Kobayashi. pdf). K.) [31] Hartle. Press. 1980. Retrieved 2011-01-24. [37] Sharlow." Foundations of Physics.uva. 1303-1323 [39] Karl Popper: The Propensity Interpretation of the Calculus of Probability and of the Quantum Theory. (1966) Derivation of the Schrödinger Equation from Newtonian Mechanics. 145–154. [17] Nelson.] [24] Zvi Schreiber (1995).The anthropic universe" (http:/ / www. ISBN 90-277-0105-9. University of Tokyo (1992) 240. Thymos. arXiv:0904. see Q. (2006).nl. 1996. [36] Wharton. . Retrieved 2011-01-24. Willem M (2002). arXiv:quant-ph/9501014 [quant-ph]. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The Special Theory of Relativity. 1079-1085 [18] M." Foundations of Physics. B. pp. Quantum mechanics of individual systems. 41. stanford. Mark. see Carlo Rovelli (1996). School of Science.0723 [quant-ph].washington. Klower Academic Publishers. Phys. Bell. [14] David Bohm. 1968. 313-332 (2010). 159-168 (2007). D. . 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ISBN 0-7100-0971-2. Observation and Interpretation.35. Retrieved 2011-01-24. [13] For more information. npl. Harvard Univ. 6060-6078 (2000) [19] Roumen Tsekov (2009). The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics. (1968). thymos. google. 150. Abc.edu. W. Plato. For a full account (http:/ / www. org/ Quantum-Relativity. 30B. in Jack A. Bierman and Stephen Whitmarsh. "A Novel Interpretation of the Klein-Gordon Equation. Retrieved 2011-01-24. (Niels Bohr. • David Z Albert. quantum-relativity. 37(1). 2006-02-18. . J.Op. Journal of Consciousness Studies.Cramer" (http:/ / www. pdf) [29] Timpson. 85-92 (1998). ISBN 0-674-74112-9. ISBN 0-521-36869-3. Department of Physics. J. nl/ ~seop/ entries/ qm-modal/ ). Instrumentalism: Old and New in Quantum Information. [21] "Review of Penrose's Shadows of the Mind" (http:/ / www. "Bohmian Mechanics versus Madelung Quantum Hydrodynamics".. Korner & Price (eds. and Vaidman. . L. • Dmitrii Ivanovich Blokhintsev. Phys. Cit. . [34] Aharonov. (1994). (1999). The Emerging Physics of Consciousness. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ qm_nl. doi:10. . Timpson (http:/ / users. A. "Relational Quantum Mechanics". Foundations of Physics 22:10. B. org/ writings/ GRW Theory. pdf). 1965 [15] (http:/ / www. Elsevier Science Ltd. [25] Dick J. Essay Review: Wigner’s View of Physical Reality.net. Translated by Robert T. [33] Davidon. Reidel Publishing Company. Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. 34-40 (1976). 27-48. edu/ 3781/ 1/ what_branching_spacetime_might_do. 1987. al. pp.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics [12] "Relational Quantum Mechanics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)" (http:/ / plato. 1(1):127-139. Bibcode 1996IJTP. Collapse of a Quantum Field may Affect Brain Function. "Quantum Optics as a Relativistic Theory of Light. "What Branching Spacetime might do for Phyiscs" (http:/ / philsci-archive. htm). [27] ". science. ISBN 1-4020-0932-1. Am. Phys. "On the Two-State Vector Reformulation of Quantum Mechanics. au/ rn/ scienceshow/ stories/ 2006/ 1572643. H. Beyer. . Benjamin. [35] Wharton.) 1957. Nunn et. quoted in Petersen. pp. Foundations of quantum mechanics: an empiricist approach (http:/ / books.1007/BF02302261. [26] C. • John S. John. Tuszynski (Ed). ac. . Retrieved 2011-01-24.: "Let us call the thought that information might be the basic category from which all else flows informational immaterialism. pitt. Rev." [30] "Physics concerns what we can say about nature".2 [38] Marie-Christine Combourieu: Karl R. Volume 36B. The philosophy of Niels Bohr. Buttersworth Scientific Publications.au. [32] "Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)" (http:/ / www.. Immaterialism. 83 Further reading Almost all authors below are professional physicists. org/ Quantum_Optics_as_a_Relativistic_Theory_of_Light. Press. [23] [ Michael Esfeld. Volume T76. published in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics." Physica Scripta. edu/ entries/ qm-relational/ ). pdf) p. “Stochastic mechanics and the Feynman integral”. London: Routledge." Il Nuovo Cimento.E. "The Nine Lives of Schroedinger's Cat". pp. Cambridge Univ. Pavon. (1932/1955). washington.C. M. pdf) (PDF).. J. B. Zheng and T. Retrieved 2011-01-24. arXiv:quant-ph/9609002.

Westview Press. 1976. Understanding Quantum Mechanics. ISBN 0-521-38880-5. Press.stanford.edu/entries/qm-collapse/)" by Giancarlo Ghirardi. Giancarlo. ISBN 0-19-851973-7. ISBN 0-14-027541-X. 6. Science and its Conceptual Foundations. Princeton Univ.edu/entries/qm/)" by Jenann Ismael. arXiv:quant-ph/0012089 [quant-ph]. American Journal of Physics 70 (3): 288–297. Press. Veiled Reality: An Analysis of Quantum Mechanical Concepts. • --------. Oxford Univ.tue. The Emperor's New Mind. 1994. Press.stanford. ISBN 0-8133-4087-X. • --------.stanford. Princeton Univ. Especially chpt. Argues forcefully against instrumentalism. David Mermin (1990) Boojums all the way through. Press. Princeton Univ. Quantum Philosophy: Understanding and Interpreting Contemporary Science.edu/entries/qm-bohm/)" by Sheldon Goldstein. Princeton Univ. • " Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http://plato.stanford. Broad overview (http://www. • Arthur Fine. • " Quantum Entanglement and Information (http://plato. 1994. 2003. • Bernard d'Espagnat. 1997. of Chicago Press. Argues that quantum theory is incomplete. 1999. The Fabric of Reality. • Styer. • " Quantum mechanics (http://plato. For general readers. • N. empiricist interpretations.cambridge. 2006. The Road to Reality.phys.nl/ktn/Wim/muynck. springer. In Search of Reality. • " Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http://plato. (http://www. asp?isbn=0521388805) Cambridge Univ. ISBN 0-691-03669-1. Oxford Univ. (March 2002). 1983.1119/1.edu/entries/qm-modal/)" by Michael Dickson and Dennis Dieks. Univ. Knopf.org/catalogue/catalogue. The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. • " Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http://plato. • Ghirardi.edu/entries/qm-relational/)" by Federico Laudisa and Carlo Rovelli. Daniel F. Springer. • Willem M. • Gregg Jaeger (2009) Entanglement. • --------.edu/entries/qm-decoherence/)" by Guido Bacciagaluppi. London: Allen Lane. Press. (http://plato. Press. 1986. ISBN 0-226-24948-4. • " Collapse Theories. "Nine formulations of quantum mechanics".edu/entries/qm-manyworlds/)" by Lev Vaidman. doi:10.stanford. • " Everett's Relative State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics (http://plato. ISBN 978-3-540-92127-1. (http://www. • --------. Princeton Univ. against oversimplified view of the measurement process. Conceptual Foundation of Quantum Mechanics. • Roger Penrose. 2004. 2004. On Physics and Philosophy.htm#quantum) of the realist vs. . ISBN 0-387-11399-1. ISBN 0-7139-9061-9. • --------.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/)" by Jeffrey Bub. • David Deutsch. • " The Role of Decoherence in Quantum Mechanics (http://plato.1445404. • --------. 1999.com/physics/quantum+physics/book/978-3-540-92127-1) Springer. and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Press. 1989. Information. ISBN 0-19-853978-9.stanford. 2nd ed. Addison Wesley. Press.stanford.stanford.edu/entries/qm-everett/ )" by Jeffrey Barrett. • " Relational Quantum Mechanics (http://plato. Shadows of the Mind. The Shaky Game: Einstein Realism and the Quantum Theory. Sneaking a Look at God’s Cards. de Muynck.edu/entries/qm-copenhagen/)" by Jan Faye.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics • Adan Cabello (15 November 2004). "Bibliographic guide to the foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum information". 84 External links • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: • " Bohmian mechanics (http://plato.stanford. • Roland Omnes. New York: Alfred A. • --------.

ac.ru/x-bin/subthemes3. entities which fit neither the classical idea of particles nor the classical idea of waves.html) 85 The Copenhagen Interpretation The Copenhagen interpretation is one of the earliest and most commonly taught interpretations of quantum mechanics. that had eluded explanation by.mtnmath. in order to explain phenomena.com/Hidden_cultural_variables. • Alfred Neumaier's FAQ. The predictions they offered often appeared counter-intuitive and caused much consternation . py?level=2&index1=362483&skip=0) • The many worlds of quantum mechanics. According to the interpretation. (http://www. or measuring. • Hidden Variables in Quantum Theory: The Hidden Cultural Variables of their Rejection.ac. and to the development of new models (theories) that described and predicted very accurately these micro-scale phenomena.fr/tim.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics • Schreiber.at/~neum/physics-faq.johnsankey. for example. Werner Heisenberg and others in the years 1924–27. the act of measurement causes the set of probabilities to immediately and randomly assume only one of the possible values. These models could not easily be reconciled with the way objects are observed to behave on the macro scale of everyday life. holding that only the latter exhibit waveform characteristics. such as the spectrum of black-body radiation.html) • Erich Joos' Decoherence Website. (http://www. This feature of the mathematics is known as wavefunction collapse.decoherence. miguel-montenegro. they became highly unpredictable in certain contexts.org. if measured.inr.com/faq/meas-qm.[1] It holds that quantum mechanics does not yield a description of an objective reality but deals only with probabilities of observing. In the early work of Max Planck. (http://xstructure. the photoelectric effect. (http://home.ca/qm. whereas quantum mechanics is based on the observation that matter has both wave and particle aspects and postulates that the state of every subatomic particle can be described by a wavefunction—a mathematical expression used to calculate the probability that the particle. Z. " The Nine Lives of Schrodinger's Cat. and even appeared to be in contradiction with. Early twentieth-century experiments on the physics of very small-scale phenomena led to the discovery of phenomena which could not be predicted on the basis of classical physics. (http://cc3d. The Copenhagen interpretation is an attempt to explain the mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics and the corresponding experimental results. various aspects of energy quanta.station1.sprynet.free.univie. Background Classical physics draws a distinction between particles and energy.pdf) Deriving quantum mechanics axioms from properties of acceptable measurements. the existence of energy in discrete quantities had been postulated. will be in a given location or state of motion. (http://www.com/~owl1/qm.txt) • Measurement in Quantum Mechanics FAQ.. (http://www. while elementary particles showed predictable properties in many experiments.htm) Argues for the superiority of the Bohm interpretation. (http://arxiv.net/DouglasJones/many.htm) • Numerous Many Worlds-related Topics and Articles. The essential concepts of the interpretation were devised by Niels Bohr. (http://www. Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr.htm) • Relational Approach to Quantum Physics.quantum-relativity. • Interpretations of quantum mechanics on arxiv. and the stability and spectrum of atoms such as hydrogen. Also. (http://www. if one attempted to measure their individual trajectories through a simple physical apparatus.de/) • Quantum Mechanics for Philosophers.org/abs/quant-ph/9501014)" Overview of competing interpretations.org/) • Theory of incomplete measurements. classical physics.mat. (http://www.

which evolves 2. representing the state of the system.. The lectures then served as the basis for his textbook. An experiment can show the particle-like properties of matter.[2] In the book's preface. The purpose of the book seems to me to be fulfilled if it contributes somewhat to the diffusion of that 'Kopenhagener Geist der Quantentheorie' [i. 3. except when a measurement is made. In 1929. there are several basic principles that are generally accepted as being part of the interpretation: 1. apart from some informal popular lectures by Bohr and Heisenberg. The quantum mechanical description of large systems will closely approximate the classical description.[3] while criticizing alternate "interpretations" (e.[8] Nonetheless. (Heisenberg's uncertainty principle) Matter exhibits a wave–particle duality. David Bohm's[4]) that had been developed.g. The term 'Copenhagen interpretation' suggests something more than just a spirit. Heisenberg wrote: On the whole the book contains nothing that is not to be found in previous publications. Copenhagen spirit of quantum theory] if I may so express myself. that Heisenberg delivered in 1955. which has directed the entire development of modern atomic physics. smoothly in time.e. However.[5] Lectures with the titles 'The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory' and 'Criticisms and Counterproposals to the Copenhagen Interpretation'. Asher Peres remarked that very different. with the probability of a given outcome of a measurement given by the square of the amplitude of the wave function. (This is the correspondence principle of Bohr and Heisenberg. or the wave-like properties. in some experiments both of these complementary viewpoints must be invoked to explain the results..[7] Thus. which contradict each other on several important issues. It appears that the particular term. sometimes opposite. and measure only classical properties such as position and momentum. The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory. The description of nature is essentially probabilistic. was coined by Heisenberg in the 1950s. 4. (The Born rule. Heisenberg gave a series of invited lectures at the University of Chicago explaining the new field of quantum mechanics. when they helped originate quantum mechanical theory. published in 1930. A system is completely described by a wave function . Measuring devices are essentially classical devices. those properties that are not known exactly must be described by probabilities. no such text exists. are reprinted in the collection Physics and Philosophy. 6. with its more definite sense. 5. particularly in the investigations of Bohr. presumably dating back to the 1920s.) . at which point it instantaneously collapses to an eigenstate of the observable measured. various ideas have been associated with it. there is no definitive statement of the Copenhagen interpretation. such as some definite set of rules for interpreting the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. 86 Origin of the term Werner Heisenberg had been an assistant to Niels Bohr at his institute in Copenhagen during part of the 1920s.[6] Principles Because it consists of the views developed by a number of scientists and philosophers during the second quarter of the 20th Century. views are presented as "the Copenhagen interpretation" by different authors. according to the complementarity principle of Niels Bohr. after Max Born) It is not possible to know the value of all the properties of the system at the same time.The Copenhagen Interpretation among the physicists—often including their discoverers.

The Copenhagen Interpretation 87 Meaning of the wave function The Copenhagen Interpretation denies that the wave function is anything more than a theoretical concept. and they held different views at different times. there is still a divide between those who treat it as definitely and entirely subjective. that the wave function is merely a mathematical tool for calculating the probabilities in a specific experiment. There are some who say that there are objective variants of the Copenhagen Interpretation that allow for a "real" wave function. those who hold to the Copenhagen understanding are willing to say that a wave function involves the various probabilities that a given event will proceed to certain different outcomes. Bohr and Heisenberg were not in complete agreement. An example of the agnostic view is given by Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. but unlike the ensemble interpretation.[12] Heisenberg never used the term collapse. as it interprets them in terms of subjective probability. and collapse as the "jumping" of the wavefunction to a new state. about what is not observed we are still free to make suitable assumptions.or less-likely outcomes becomes manifest the other probabilities cease to have any function in the real world. and that each of these hits occurs in a separate universe. and those who are non-committal or agnostic about the subject. But once it has hit.[9] Even if the wave function is not regarded as real. . The subjective view. So if an electron passes through a double slit apparatus there are various probabilities for where on the detection screen that individual electron will hit. when an observation takes place). An adherent of the subjective view. Bohr was heavily influenced by positivism. even in the early days of quantum physics. But when one or another of those more." He suggested instead that the Copenhagen interpretation follows the principle: "What is observed certainly exists. but it is questionable whether that view is really consistent with some of Bohr's statements. who. Bohr emphasized that science is concerned with predictions of the outcomes of experiments. that the wave function represents nothing but knowledge. while participating in a colloquium at Cambridge. (In other words. has some similarities to the Ensemble interpretation in that it takes probabilities to be the essence of the quantum state. Some argue that the concept of the collapse of a "real" wave function was introduced by Heisenberg and later developed by John Von Neumann in 1932. and that any additional propositions offered are not scientific but meta-physical. Many-worlds interpretations say that an electron hits wherever there is a possibility that it might hit. Heisenberg in particular was prompted to move towards realism. On the other hand. it takes these probabilities to be perfectly applicable to single experimental outcomes. there is no longer any probability whatsoever that it will hit somewhere else.) In more prosaic terms.[11] in which unobserved eigenvalues are removed from further consideration.e."[10] Nature of collapse All versions of the Copenhagen interpretation include at least a formal or methodological version of wave function collapse. would take an equally subjective view of "collapse". representing a "jump" in our knowledge which occurs once a particular phenomenon is registered by the experimenter (i. denied that the Copenhagen interpretation asserted: "What cannot be observed does not exist. or is at least non-committal about its being a discrete entity or a discernible component of some discrete entity. in the way that adherents of the Many-worlds interpretation have not. preferring to speak of the wavefunction representing our knowledge of a system. Copenhagenists have always made the assumption of collapse. We use that freedom to avoid paradoxes.

2. quantum mechanics considers all matter as possessing both particle and wave behaviors. not exact. Due to the smallness of Planck's constant it is practically impossible to realize experiments that directly reveal the wave nature of any system bigger than a few atoms but. Double-Slit Diffraction Light passes through double slits and onto a screen resulting in a diffraction pattern. atoms. The external observer believes the system is in the state . A cat is put in a sealed box. Bayesian versus Frequentist interpretations of probability. His friend however is convinced that cat is alive. with its life or death made dependent on the state of a subatomic particle. 3. 4.The Copenhagen Interpretation 88 Acceptance among physicists According to a poll at a Quantum Mechanics workshop in 1997. so that if the spin of one particle is measured. humans. and 50% chance it will be alive. viruses. How can Wigner and his friend see different wave functions? The Copenhagen Interpretation: Wigner's friend highlights the subjective nature of probability. Thus a description of the cat during the course of the experiment—having been entangled with the state of a subatomic particle—becomes a "blur" of "living and dead cat.[14] Although current trends show substantial competition from alternative interpretations. 1. Is light a particle or a wave? The Copenhagen Interpretation: Light is neither. The wave function means that. will only remember being alive. elephants. throughout much of the twentieth century the Copenhagen interpretation had strong acceptance among physicists. for him. the spin of the other particle is now instantaneously known." But this can't be accurate because it implies the cat is actually both dead and alive until the box is opened to check on it. there is a 50% chance it will be dead. i.[17][18] and some atoms. Each observer (Wigner and his friend) has different information and therefore different wave functions. The same experiment can in theory be performed with any physical system: electrons. etc. the cat is in the state . A particular experiment can demonstrate particle (photon) or wave properties. Schrödinger's Cat This thought experiment highlights the implications that accepting uncertainty at the microscopic level has on macroscopic objects. Schrödinger resists "so naively accepting as valid a 'blurred model' for representing reality. Wigner's Friend Wigner puts his friend in with the cat. buckminsterfullerene. EPR (Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen) paradox Entangled "particles" are emitted in a single event. Cf. if he survives.e. etc.[13] the Copenhagen interpretation is the most widely-accepted specific interpretation of quantum mechanics. molecules.) are considered as "classical" ones but only as an approximation. followed by the many-worlds interpretation. Astrophysicist and science writer John Gribbin describes it as having fallen from primacy after the 1980s."[16] How can the cat be both alive and dead? The Copenhagen Interpretation: The wave function reflects our knowledge of the system. once the cat is observed. protons. but not both at the same time (Bohr's Complementarity Principle).[15] Consequences The nature of the Copenhagen Interpretation is exposed by considering a number of experiments and paradoxes. bacteria. planets. The greater systems (like viruses. The most discomforting aspect of this paradox is . in general. The distinction between the "objective" nature of reality and the subjective nature of probability has led to a great deal of controversy. But the cat. cats. electrons. cats. bacteria. Conservation laws ensure that the measured spin of one particle must be the opposite of the measured spin of the other. In practice it has been performed for light.

[22] Many physicists and philosophers have objected to the Copenhagen interpretation.. i. said: . in response.. Bohr. since no matter who measured first the other will measure the opposite spin despite the fact that (in theory) the other has a 50% 'probability' (50:50 chance) of measuring the same spin. he knows the spin of the other. at any rate. according to Einstein's theory of special relativity. am convinced that He (God) does not throw dice. Thus." countering the view of Alexandrov that (in Heisenberg's paraphrase) "the wave function in configuration space characterizes the objective state of the electron. unless data about the first spin measurement has somehow passed faster than light (of course TI gets around the light speed limit by having information travel backwards in time instead). Copenhagenists claim that interpretations of quantum mechanics where the wave function is regarded as real have problems with EPR-type effects. page 31. no information-bearing signal or entity can travel at or faster than the speed of light. In his article entitled "Criticism and Counterproposals to the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory. The Copenhagen Interpretation: Assuming wave functions are not real. Of course the introduction of the observer must not be misunderstood to imply that some kind of subjective features are to be brought into the description of nature. However. Experimental tests of Bell's inequality using particles have supported the quantum mechanical prediction of entanglement. This is totally spurious. it seems as if the Copenhagen interpretation is inconsistent with special relativity. and therefore cannot manipulate what the other observer measures. processes in space and time. But. i. rather." is absolutely necessary here and cannot be omitted from the interpretation of quantum theory. November 2005. However."[23] and "Do you really think the moon isn't there if you aren't looking at it?"[24] exemplify this. and it does not matter whether the observer is an apparatus or a human being. which is finite. or predetermine. but the registration. what he observes. at less than or equal to the speed of light. since they imply that the laws of physics allow for influences to propagate at speeds greater than the speed of light. However. wave-function collapse is interpreted subjectively." Heisenberg says.e. Einstein's comments "I. 89 Criticism The completeness of quantum mechanics (thesis 1) was attacked by the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen thought experiment which was intended to show that quantum physics could not be a complete theory. proponents of Many worlds[19] and the Transactional interpretation[20][21] (TI) maintain that Copenhagen interpretation is fatally non-local. The moment one observer measures the spin of one particle. it should be noted that is a somewhat spurious argument. both on the grounds that it is non-deterministic and that it includes an undefined measurement process that converts probability functions into non-probabilistic measurements. the transition from the "possible" to the "actual.e. Steven Weinberg in "Einstein's Mistakes". only the function of registering decisions. A further argument is that relativistic difficulties about establishing which measurement occurred first also undermine the idea that one observer is causing what the other is measuring. another observer cannot benefit until the results of that measurement have been relayed to him. said "Einstein. The claim that EPR effects violate the principle that information cannot travel faster than the speed of light have been countered by noting that they cannot be used for signaling because neither observer can control. The Copenhagen Interpretation gives special status to measurement processes without clearly defining them or explaining their peculiar effects. Physics Today. The observer has. in that speed of light limitations applies to all information. not to what can or can not be subsequently done with the information. don't tell God what to do".The Copenhagen Interpretation that the effect is instantaneous so that something that happens in one galaxy could cause an instantaneous change in another galaxy.

This is surely wrong: Physicists and their apparatus must be governed by the same quantum mechanical rules that govern everything else in the universe.166. But these rules are expressed in terms of a wave function (or. [5] H. which is what Jaynes called a Mind Projection Fallacy. p. [3] Howard. an objective collapse theory is obtained. com/ books?id=-4sJ_fgyZJEC& pg=PA2). p.[25] E.") [6] Werner Heisenberg. 1958 . but not for single particles. While this slogan is sometimes attributed to Paul Dirac[29] or Richard Feynman. It is summarized by the sentence "Shut up and calculate!".[27] Dropping the principle that the wave function is a complete description results in a hidden variable theory. .. 271. The Copenhagen interpretation describes what happens when an observer makes a measurement. but the observer and the act of measurement are themselves treated classically. For an atemporal interpretation that “makes no attempt to give a ‘local’ account on the level of determinate particles”. World Scientific. It is enough to say that neither Bohr nor Einstein had focused on the real problem with quantum mechanics.[26] from a Bayesian point of view.[22] If the wave function is regarded as ontologically real. [4] Bohm. "Who invented the Copenhagen Interpretation? A study in mythology". Rechenberg. which I cannot go into here. Many physicists have subscribed to the instrumentalist interpretation of quantum mechanics. Harper. 90 Alternatives The Ensemble interpretation is similar. Physical Review 85 (2): 166–193. A similar view is adopted in Quantum Information Theories.85. to observers and their apparatus.1086/425941. 210. but not for the reason Einstein thought. Philosophy of Science: 669–682.[27] the conjugate wavefunction. ISBN 978-981-02-1010-6. a state vector) that evolves in a perfectly deterministic way. Quantum generations: A History of Physics in the Twentieth Century. 2001.The Copenhagen Interpretation All this familiar story is true.. The problem of thinking in terms of classical measurements of a quantum system becomes particularly acute in the field of quantum cosmology. pointed out probability is a measure of a human's information about the physical world. Don (2004). The consistent histories interpretation advertises itself as "Copenhagen done right".[30] Notes and references [1] Hermann Wimmel (1992). 2. a many worlds theory results. p.166B. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 1999. The Copenhagen rules clearly work.. and collapse is entirely rejected. The historical development of quantum theory.85. ("advanced" or time-reversed) of the relativistic version of the wavefunction. "A Suggested Interpretation of the Quantum Theory in Terms of "Hidden" Variables. Physics and Philosophy. ("the term 'Copenhagen interpretation' was not used in the 1930s but first entered the physicist’s vocabulary in 1955 when Heisenberg used it in criticizing certain unorthodox interpretations of quantum mechanics. JSTOR 10. But this leaves the task of explaining them by applying the deterministic equation for the evolution of the wave function.1103/PhysRev. doi:10. more precisely. Kragh. google. the Schrödinger equation. If wave function collapse is regarded as ontologically real as well. Jaynes. Bohr's version of quantum mechanics was deeply flawed. David (1952). I & II". T. where the quantum system is the universe. it offers an interpretation of the wave function. [2] J. so they have to be accepted. Princeton University Press. it defines an "observer" merely as that which collapses the wave function. a position often equated with eschewing all interpretation. So where do the probabilistic rules of the Copenhagen interpretation come from? Considerable progress has been made in recent years toward the resolution of the problem. it is in fact due to David Mermin. and the so-called "retarded" or time-forward version[28] are both regarded as real and the transactional interpretation results. Mehra and H. Quantum mechanics under the Copenhagen Interpretation interpreted probability as a physical phenomenon. Although the Copenhagen interpretation is often confused with the idea that consciousness causes collapse. but it leaves out an irony. Bibcode 1952PhRv. Springer-Verlag. Quantum physics & observed reality: a critical interpretation of quantum mechanics (http:/ / books.

. Asher Peres (2002). one can identify the following ingredients as being characteristic for the Copenhagen interpretation(s)[. Stud. doi:10. "Clearing up Mysteries--The Original Goal" (http:/ / bayes. E. [14] The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http:/ / www. the problem arises to come up with an interpretation of quantum theory that contains no classical realms on the fundamental level.". Ballentine (1970) and Stapp(1972) give diametrically opposite definitions of 'Copenhagen. "Matter-Wave Interferometer for Large Molecules". pdf). getting rid of all intuitive (anschauliche) concepts such as particle trajectories in space-time. Anton (2001). 863-914 (1979).from Copenhagen to the present day". Maximum Entropy and Bayesian Methods: 7. In fact. For example. Bibcode 2002PhRvL. [9] "Historically. J.2-Q. washington. upenn. arXiv:quant-ph/0202158. gov/ ~skands/ slides/ A-Quantum-Journey. arXiv:quant-ph/9910078. in two classic articles on the foundations of quantum mechanics. stanford. Zeilinger. Claus Kiefer (2002). Brezger. Olaf. html#3. Claus Kiefer (2002).87p0401N. shtml).46..May2010 [28] The non-relativistic Schrödinger equation does not admit advanced solutions. "Popper's experiment and the Copenhagen interpretation".88. Markus. .855T.160401. Stefan. "The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: Many Worlds or Many Words?". 137.from Copenhagen to the present day". Arndt. probably there are more.Phys..100404..from Copenhagen to the present day". arXiv:quant-ph/0110012. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. arXiv:quant-ph/0210152 [quant-ph]. [27] The Quantum Liar Experiment. Björn. Claus Kiefer (2002). [29] http:/ / home. 0) [11] "To summarize. washington.CO. (1989). This attitude changed drastically with his paper in which he introduced the uncertainty relations – there he put forward the point of view that it is the theory which decides what can be observed. htm#local) [20] Relativity and Causality in the Transactional Interpretation (http:/ / www. 91 .88j0404B. Lucia. Markus.87. Physical Review Letters 87 (16). [13] Max Tegmark (1998). Bibcode 1998ForPh. "On the interpretation of quantum theory .'". com/ manworld. [23] "God does not throw dice" quote [24] A. 907. [12] "the “collapse” or “reduction” of the wave function.. "On the interpretation of quantum theory . ppt [30] N. David Mermin. "Could Feynman Have Said This?" (http:/ / scitation. became soon very popular among physicists. 1958. 323-38. Bibcode 2001PhRvL. Vol41. 7) [22] Werner Heisenberg. [18] Brezger. Einstein and the quantum theory. Iss. npl. doi:10. His move from positivism to operationalism can be clearly understood as a reaction on the advent of Schrödinger’s wave mechanics which. RE Kastner. p. arXiv:quant-ph/0210152 [quant-ph].from Copenhagen to the present day".'. Bibcode 1999quant. [10] John Cramer on the Copenhagen Interpretation (http:/ / www. Q for Quantum [16] Erwin Schrödinger. washington. Pais.0. T.]Reduction of the wave packet as a formal rule without dynamical significance". p. History Philos. "On the interpretation of quantum theory . html#3. fnal. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ tiqm/ TI_20. [25] 'Since the Universe naturally contains all of its observers. ps) [15] Gribbin. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ tiqm/ TI_33. in an article in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society.10078P. [17] Nairz. Julia. "Diffraction of Complex Molecules by Structures Made of Light".. Reviews of Modern Physics 51. arXiv:quant-ph/9709032. the word anschaulich (intuitive) is contained in the title of Heisenberg’s paper.1103/PhysRevLett. html#2. 46 (6–8): 855–862. Bohr once distanced himself from what he considered to be Heisenberg's more subjective interpretation Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http:/ / plato.1103/PhysRevLett. wustl. edu/ etj/ articles/ cmystery. Zeilinger. "On the interpretation of quantum theory . Physics Today 57 (5). hep. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ tiqm/ TI_38. arXiv:quant-ph/0210152 [quant-ph]. npl. Petschinka. Hackermüller. [19] Michael price on nonlocality in Many Worlds (http:/ / www. arXiv:quant-ph/0210152 [quant-ph]. Heisenberg wanted to base quantum theory solely on observable quantities such as the intensity of spectral lines. [26] Jaynes.1002/(SICI)1521-3978(199811)46:6/8<855::AID-PROP855>3. 124. Uttenthaler. edu/ ~max/ everett. doi:10. Fortsch. in particular due to its intuitiveness. Arndt. Anton (2002). Physics and Philosophy.2.ph. Physical Review Letters 88 (10): 100404. .The Copenhagen Interpretation [7] In fact Bohr and Heisenberg never totally agreed on how to understand the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. Harper. PMID 11909334. 9) [21] Collapse and Nonlocality in the Transactional Interpretation (http:/ / www. npl. This was introduced by Heisenberg in his uncertainty paper [3] and later postulated by von Neumann as a dynamical process independent of the Schrodinger equation". edu/ entries/ qm-copenhagen/ ) [8] "There seems to be at least as many different Copenhagen interpretations as people who use that term. Modern Physics 33 (23): 10078. from Claus Kiefer (2002). hedweb. aip. org/ journals/ doc/ PHTOAD-ft/ vol_57/ iss_5/ 10_1. Björn.

Acta Physica Polonica B39 (2008) 587.google. J.com/science/quantum. Lett. 2595 (2007) 37. Petersen.html) • The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http://www. Phys. if. (http://th-www.. Quantum Theory and Measurement.edu/entries/ qm-copenhagen) • Physics FAQ section about Bell's inequality (http://math. Zurek (eds). MIT Press 1968 H.uj. Nature 409 (2001) 791. The Nature of Physical Reality.H. Quantum Physics and the Philosophical Tradition. A Single Particle Uncertainty Relation. Rowe et al. New Scientist No. Weihs et al.com/k/andy-biddulph/the-quantum-illusion/2na7zaaxgtohe/2/) .A.ucr. 81 (1998) 5039 M.irims.edu.stanford. Wheeler & W.html) • Preprint of Afshar Experiment (http://www.edu/home/baez/physics/Quantum/ bells_inequality.pl/acta/vol39/pdf/v39p0587.benbest.. Rev. Schürmann. Forever Quantum. Chown. McGraw-Hill 1950 M. T. Princeton University Press 1983 A.org/quant-ph/030503/) • The Quantum Illusion (http://knol.pdf) External links • Copenhagen Interpretation (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) (http://plato. Margeneau.The Copenhagen Interpretation 92 Further reading • • • • • • • G.

which obeys the principle of locality. 1692/3 Coulomb's law of electric forces was initially also formulated as instantaneous action at a distance. Einstein's Objections Principle of Locality In physics. the principle of locality states that an object is influenced directly only by its immediate surroundings. without the Mediation of any thing else. which Einstein himself had helped to create. It is inconceivable that inanimate Matter should. Thirty years later John Stewart Bell responded with a paper that posited (paraphrased) that no physical theory of local hidden variables. He later succeeded in producing an alternative theory of gravitation. which is not material. inherent and essential to Matter. Using the principle of locality. and Einstein thereby sought to reformulate physical laws in a way which obeyed the principle of locality. Gravity must be caused by an Agent acting constantly according to certain laws. but whether this Agent be material or immaterial. can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics (known as Bell's theorem). so that one body may act upon another at a distance thro' a Vacuum. thereby violating the principle of locality. However.[2] —Isaac Newton. . a different challenge to the principle of locality subsequently emerged from the theory of Quantum Mechanics. Quantum mechanics Einstein's view EPR Paradox Albert Einstein argued that quantum mechanics was an incomplete physical theory. and affect other matter without mutual Contact…That Gravity should be innate. quantum mechanics has nothing to say about these "elements of reality". by and through which their Action and Force may be conveyed from one to another. Experiments have shown that quantum mechanically entangled particles must either violate the principle of locality or allow superluminal communication.[1] Pre-quantum mechanics In the 17th Century Newton's law of universal gravitation was formulated in terms of "action at a distance". but was later superseded by Maxwell's Equations of electromagnetism which obey locality. In 1905 Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity postulated that no material or energy can travel faster than the speed of light. However. without the Mediation of something else. Letters to Bentley.93 4. I have left to the Consideration of my readers. no local realism. operate upon. in a famous paper he and his co-authors articulated the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox which showed that position and momentum were simultaneous "real" physical properties of a subatomic particle. General Relativity. is to me so great an Absurdity that I believe no Man who has in philosophical Matters a competent Faculty of thinking can ever fall into it.

a mind-independent property does not have to be the value of some physical variable such as position or momentum. the ability to assume the existence of objects. and the wavefunction has a restricted interpretation.. of general relativity. such as quantum mechanics. Local realism is a significant feature of classical mechanics. Furthermore. as nothing more than a mathematical tool used to calculate the probabilities of experimental outcomes.[4] The latter is the claim that the world is in some sense mind-independent: that even if the results of a possible measurement do not pre-exist the act of measurement. the principle of locality is violated during the measurement process via wavefunction collapse. even when they have not been measured). If this axiom were to be completely abolished. that does not require that they are the creation of the observer (contrary to the "consciousness causes collapse" interpretation of quantum mechanics). (. on the grounds that the sub-class of inhomogeneous Bell inequalities has not been tested or due to experimental limitations in the tests. when applied to .. would become impossible. If the wavefunction is assumed to physically exist in real space-time.e.. Likewise. and properties of objects. These interpretations propose that actual definite properties of a physical system "do not exist" prior to the measurement. or are disposed to break.e. without being realistic in the physicist's sense of "local realism" (which would require that a single value be produced with certainty). And so be time independent: “I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it” ~Albert Einstein Realism Realism in the sense used by physicists does not equate to realism in metaphysics. where the wavefunction is not assumed to physically exist in real space-time.Principle of Locality Philosophical view Einstein assumed that the principle of locality was necessary.[5] Such an ontology would be metaphysically realistic. used to refer to the claim that one can meaningfully speak of the definiteness of results of measurements that have not been performed (i. it is local realism that is rejected. such as the Copenhagen interpretation and the interpretation based on Consistent Histories.)""Quantum Mechanics and Reality" ("Quanten-Mechanik und Wirklichkeit". that violates Bell's inequalities must abandon either local realism or counterfactual definiteness. Copenhagen interpretation In most of the conventional interpretations. A property can be dispositional (or potential). the mind-independent properties of quantum systems could consist of a tendency to respond to particular measurements with particular values with ascertainable probability. A and B: external influence on A has no direct influence on B.[6] Any theory. which is used consistently only in field theory. He said: "(. This is a non-local process because Born's Rule. but some physicists dispute that experiments have demonstrated Bell's violations. this is known as the Principle of Local Action. and that there could be no violations of it. but quantum mechanics largely rejects this principle due to the theory of distant quantum entanglements.. i. the idea of the existence of quasienclosed systems. an interpretation rejected by Einstein in the EPR paradox but subsequently apparently quantified by Bell's inequalities. Dialectica 2:320-324. even if they do not actually break. A closely related term is counterfactual definiteness (CFD). Different interpretations of quantum mechanics violate different parts of local realism and/or counterfactual definiteness. and thereby the postulation of laws which can be checked empirically in the accepted sense. 1948) 94 Local realism Local realism is the combination of the principle of locality with the "realistic" assumption that all objects must objectively have a pre-existing value for any possible measurement before the measurement is made. hence in agreement with positivism in philosophy as the only topic that science should discuss.) The following idea characterises the relative independence of objects far apart in space. it can be a tendency: in the way that glass objects tend to break. and of electrodynamics.

uni-heidelberg. Dialectica 2:320-324. Relativity Locality is one of the axioms of relativistic quantum field theory.would usually be considered in violation of the principle of locality by physicists. Such phenomena have never been seen. T. generativescience. a solution to the field equations is local if the underlying equations are either Lorentz invariant or. org/ ) [6] Ben Dov. html) [2] Berkovitz.Against "Realism" (http:/ / arxiv. 95 Bohm interpretation The Bohm interpretation preserves realism. [3] "Quantum Mechanics and Reality" ("Quanten-Mechanik und Wirklichkeit".Principle of Locality the system's wavefunction.de/~as3/nonlocality.e. and they are not predicted by the current theories. V. Bancal. the probability density vanishes everywhere instantaneously. 2012). Zalta. stanford. nature. The formalization of locality in this case is as follows: if we have two observables.rzuser. htm) External links • Quantum nonlocality vs. physical information . physicists usually employ language in which the important statements are neutral with regard to all of the interpretations. but counterfactual definiteness is rejected by the extension of the notion of reality to allow the existence of parallel universes. A. Scarani & N. . In Edward N. Because the differences between the different interpretations are mostly philosophical ones (except for the Bohm and many-worlds interpretations). com/ nphys/ journal/ vaop/ ncurrent/ full/ nphys2460. Y. generally covariant or locally Lorentz invariant. more generally. Gisin (Nature Physics. 1948) [4] Norsen. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2008 ed. Zeh . Joseph (2008). Many-worlds interpretation In the many-worlds interpretation both realism and locality are retained. the observables must commute. Liang. each localized within two distinct space-time regions which happen to be at a spacelike separation from each other. Local Realism and the Crucial experiment. org/ abs/ quant-ph/ 0607057v2) [5] Ian Thomson's dispositional quantum mechanics (http:/ / www. Pironio. hence it needs to violate the principle of locality in order to achieve the required correlations. and clearly non-local (i. S. yields a probability density for all regions of space and time.). info/ eng/ crucial.a superluminal propagation of real. Alternatively. "Action at a Distance in Quantum Mechanics" (http:/ / plato. except where (and when) the measured entity is found to exist. . Einstein locality (http://www. In this framework. edu/ archives/ win2008/ entries/ qm-action-distance/ #ActDisCoExiNonSepHol). Y-C. D. Acín. as required for causality. Upon actual measurement of the physical system. This "vanishing" is postulated to be a real physical process. Quantum non-locality based on finite-speed causal influences leads to superluminal signalling (http:/ / www. only the measurable action at a distance . faster than light) if the wavefunction is considered physically real and the probability density has converged to zero at arbitrarily far distances during the finite time required for the measurement process. (http:/ / bendov.html) by H. References [1] J-D.

at that time. However. These experiments appear to show that the local realism idea is false. experiments analogous to the one described in the EPR paper have been carried out. One half of the beam will reflect. referred to as A and B. in its formalism. Example of such a conjugate pair are position and momentum of a particle. Most physicists who have examined the matter concur that experiments. To that end they pointed to a consequence of quantum mechanics that its supporters had not noticed. whether jointly or individually. do show the phenomena of Bell-inequality violations that are considered to invalidate EPR's preferred "local hidden-variables" type of explanation for the correlations that EPR first drew attention to. According to EPR there were two possible explanations. that an effect propagated instantly. the other will pass. [3] . as predicted by quantum theory. under some conditions a pair of quantum systems may be described by a single wave function. have confirmed that physical probabilities. there was no space for such hidden parameters. written in 1935. Either there was some interaction between the particles. The EPR authors preferred the second explanation according to which that information was encoded in some 'hidden parameters'.EPR Paradox 96 EPR Paradox The EPR paradox is an early and influential critique leveled against quantum mechanics.[1] Einstein struggled to the end of his life for a theory that could better comply with his idea of causality. According to quantum mechanics. no classical disturbance. When one quantity was measured. even if there was no contact. is in conflict with the theory of relativity. Albert Einstein and his colleagues Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen (known collectively as EPR) designed a thought experiment intended to reveal what they believed to be inadequacies of quantum mechanics. provided by Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. At the time the EPR article was written. But what happens when we keep decreasing the intensity of the beam. History of EPR developments The article that first brought forth these matters. the conjugated quantity became indeterminate. Heisenberg explained this as a disturbance caused by measurement. The EPR paper. The routine explanation of this effect was. has shown that this explanation is inadequate. starting in 1976 by French scientists Lamehi-Rachti and Mittig[2] at the Saclay Nuclear Research Centre. even though they were separated. or the information about the outcome of all possible measurements was already present in both particles. It considered two entangled particles. and became determined. An example of such indeterminacy can be seen when a beam of light is incident on a half-silvered mirror. or components of spin measured around different axes. Heisenberg's principle was an attempt to provide a classical explanation of a quantum effect sometimes called non-locality. since Einstein's death. Bell's theorem is generally understood to have demonstrated that their preferred explanation was not viable. Physical quantities come in pairs which are called conjugate quantities. it was known from experiments that the outcome of an experiment sometimes cannot be uniquely predicted. "Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?" was published in 1935. and pointed out that measuring a quantity of a particle A will cause the conjugated quantity of particle B to become undetermined. which encodes the probabilities of the outcomes of experiments that may be performed on the two systems. such as those of Alain Aspect and his group. They then concluded that quantum mechanics was incomplete since. protesting against the view that there exists no objective physical reality other than that which is revealed through measurement interpreted in terms of quantum mechanical formalism. across a distance. The first explanation. so that only one photon is in transit at any time? Half of the photons will pass and another half will be reflected.

The authors claim that given a specific experiment. an "element of reality". measurement causes an instantaneous collapse of the wave function describing the quantum system into an eigenstate of the observable state that was measured. in which the outcome of a measurement is known before the measurement takes place. Although disputed. in other words. or. In his view. Quantum mechanics was developed with the aim of describing atoms and explaining the observed spectral lines in a measurement apparatus. something which was not expressly claimed in the original paper. The electrons will contact the spherical detection screen in a widely dispersed manner. Einstein later expressed to Erwin Schrödinger that. Philosophical interpretations of quantum phenomena. would have preferentially selected a single point to the exclusion of all others. Each element may only be influenced by events which are located in the backward light cone of its point in spacetime (i. Though the EPR paper has often been taken as an exact expression of Einstein's views. quantum mechanics is incomplete. "it did not come out as well as I had originally wanted. Why do the electrons appear as single bright scintillations rather than as dim washes of energy across the surface? Why does any single electron appear at one point rather than some alternative point? The behavior of the electrons gives the impression of some signal having been sent to all possible points of contact that would have nullified all but one of them. it was primarily authored by Podolsky. other writers (such as John von Neumann[5] and David Bohm[6]) have suggested that consequently there would have to be 'hidden' variables responsible for random measurement results. A wave as it is understood in everyday life would paint a large area of the detection screen. rather. Those electrons. based on discussions at the Institute for Advanced Study with Einstein and Rosen. Einstein characterized this imagined collapse in the 1927 Solvay Conference. the past). Quantum theory and quantum mechanics do not provide single measurement outcomes in a deterministic way. in multiple reproducible physics experiments. Commenting on this. smothered by the formalism. Einstein asks what makes each electron's wave front "collapse" at its respective location. The 1935 EPR paper [7] condensed the philosophical discussion into a physical argument."[8] In 1936 Einstein presented an individual account of his local realist ideas. the essential thing was. are another matter: the question of how to interpret the mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics has given rise to a variety of different answers from people of different philosophical persuasions (see Interpretations of quantum mechanics).EPR Paradox 97 Quantum mechanics and its interpretation Since the early twentieth century. quantum theory has proved to be successful in describing accurately the physical reality of the mesoscopic and microscopic world.e. They postulate that these elements of reality are local. He presented a thought experiment in which electrons are introduced through a small hole in a sphere whose inner surface serves as a detection screen. it has yet to be seriously challenged. These claims are founded on assumptions about nature that constitute what is now known as local realism. there must exist something in the real world. According to the understanding of quantum mechanics known as the Copenhagen interpretation. however.[4] Einstein's opposition Einstein was the most prominent opponent of the Copenhagen interpretation. are all individually described by wave fronts that expand in all directions from the point of entry.[9] . but the electrons would be found to impact the screen at single points and would eventually form a pattern in keeping with the probabilities described by their identical wave functions. however. in the sense that each belongs to a certain point in spacetime. so to speak. that determines the measurement outcome.

[particle] B can have simultaneously exact values of position and momentum. Kumar writes: "EPR argued that they had proved that .EPR Paradox 98 Description of the paradox The original EPR paradox challenges the prediction of quantum mechanics that it is impossible to know both the position and the momentum of a quantum particle. without the slightest possibility of particle B being physically disturbed.. it is possible to measure the exact position of particle A.. A and B. "we suppose that there is no longer any interaction between the two parts. the electron has spin pointing upward along the z-axis (+z) and the positron has spin pointing downward along the z-axis (−z). where there is an observer named Bob. EPR paper The original paper purports to describe what must happen to "two systems I and II."[12] The EPR paper ends by saying: While we have thus shown that the wave function does not provide a complete description of the physical reality. the exact position of particle B can be known.".. . This can be viewed as a quantum superposition of two states.. the exact momentum of particle B can be measured. The EPR paper says: "We are thus forced to conclude that the quantum-mechanical description of physical reality given by wave functions is not complete. it is impossible to measure both the momentum and the position of particle B exactly. after some time. we left open the question of whether or not such a description exists. However. the EPR description involves "two particles. the electron has spin −z and the positron has spin +z. with the electron sent to destination A. that such a theory is possible. we can arrange our source so that each emitted pair occupies a quantum state called a spin singlet. We believe. Therefore." EPR appeared to have contrived a means to establish the exact values of either the momentum or the position of B due to measurements made on particle A. where there is an observer named Alice. . so the exact momentum of particle A can be worked out. This challenge can be extended to other pairs of physical properties.. According to quantum mechanics. with the exact position of particle A known.. therefore."[10] According to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. and yet the EPR thought experiment purports to show that they must all have determinate values. Also. according to Kumar.[11] EPR tried to set up a paradox to question the range of true application of Quantum Mechanics: Quantum theory predicts that both values cannot be known for a particle. The particles are thus said to be entangled. which we permit to interact . and the positron sent to destination B. which we call state I and state II. [which] interact briefly and then move off in opposite directions." In the words of Kumar (2009). In state I. Particle B has a position that is real and a momentum that is real. it is impossible (without measuring) to know the definite state of spin of either particle in the spin singlet. and. By calculation. however. In state II. Measurements on an entangled state We have a source that emits electron–positron pairs.

and Bob will get +x. According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Alice's electron has spin −x and Bob's positron has spin +x. if Bob subsequently measures spin along the z-axis. if Alice measures +x. We'll call these states Ia and IIa.[13] In quantum mechanics. which have been confirmed by experiment. A source (center) sends particles toward two observers. Suppose Alice measures the z-spin and obtains +z. Here is the crux of the matter. and becomes its opposite about that one axis—an "entanglement" argument. There is. . the x-spin and z-spin are "incompatible observables". when the system is in state I. once the electron's spin has been measured about the x-axis (and the positron's spin about the x-axis deduced). Either they were created with a definite (opposite) spin about every axis—a "hidden variable" argument—or they are linked so that one electron "feels" which axis the other is having its spin measured along. who can perform spin measurements. or (b) it has a definite spin already. But Bob's positron has a 50% probability of producing +x and a 50% probability of −x—so the outcome is not certain. This is demonstrated in Bell's theorem. Alice's electron has spin +x and Bob's positron has spin −x. if the two particles have their spins measured about different axes. In state Ia. when Bob measures the x-spin of his positron. it turns out that the predictions of Quantum Mechanics. This can only be explained if the particles are linked in some way. instead of measuring the z-spin as well. the quantum state of the system collapses into state I. Bob's x-spin measurement will have a 50% probability of producing +x and a 50% probability of -x.EPR Paradox 99 The EPR thought experiment. the positron's spin about the y-axis will no longer be certain. Similarly. Bob's positron "knows" that Alice's electron has been measured. Whatever axis their spins are measured along. the system collapses into state IIa. since prior to this he hasn't disturbed his particle at all. cannot be explained by any hidden variable theory. they are always found to be opposite. In state IIa. According to quantum mechanics. Suppose that Alice and Bob had decided to measure spin along the x-axis. he would get an answer with absolute certainty. However. electrons to Alice (left) and positrons to Bob (right). If Alice measures −x. and hence B's z-spin calculated. the system 'collapses' into state Ia. You might imagine that. nothing special about choosing the z-axis: according to quantum mechanics the spin singlet state may equally well be expressed as a superposition of spin states pointing in the x direction. performed with electron–positron pairs. about a second axis—a hidden variable. and its z-spin detected. Bob will get +z. It is impossible to predict which outcome will appear until Bob actually performs the measurement. there is 100% probability that he will obtain −z. Therefore. meaning there is a Heisenberg uncertainty principle operating between them: a quantum state cannot possess a definite value for both of these variables. so that the quantum state collapses into state I. The quantum state determines the probable outcomes of any measurement performed on the system. Alice now measures the spin along the z-axis. Bob measures the x-spin. so its x-spin is uncertain. In this case. of course. Moreover. Now. if Alice gets −z. as if (a) it knows that the measurement has taken place. and Bob will get −x. Suppose she gets +z. She can obtain one of two possible outcomes: +z or −z.

completely at random. which makes it impossible for him to make a million copies of the electron he receives. but many types of physical quantities—referred to as "observables" in quantum mechanics—can be used. Furthermore. doubt has been cast on EPR's conclusion due to developments in understanding locality and especially quantum decoherence. but to say that measuring the first particle's momentum affects the uncertainty in the position of the other is another thing altogether. Here is the paradox summed up: It is one thing to say that physical measurement of the first particle's momentum affects uncertainty in its own position. there is a 50% probability of getting "+" and 50% of getting "−". and look at the statistical distribution of the results. Since the underlying behaviour doesn't violate local causality. she has a 50% probability of obtaining "+" and 50% probability of obtaining "−".e. known as the "no cloning theorem". because polarized photons are easy to prepare and measure. Podolsky and Rosen were unwilling to abandon it. it is fundamentally impossible for her to influence what result she gets. Causality is preserved because there is no way for Alice to transmit messages (i. Wavefunction collapse can be viewed as an epiphenomenon of quantum decoherence. this is the "paradox". as it seems to be a consequence of special relativity. Bell used spin as his example. but they nevertheless do not violate locality in a more general sense. however. and Einstein. according to quantum mechanics. Podolsky and Rosen asked how can the second particle "know" to have precisely defined momentum but uncertain position? Since this implies that one particle is communicating with the other instantaneously across space. The word locality has several different meanings in physics. since it is only supposed to know one thing at a time? The Copenhagen interpretation rules that say the wave function "collapses" at the time of measurement. Therefore. At first sight. The conclusion they drew was that quantum mechanics is not a complete theory. In recent years.e. i. It is generally believed that any theory which violates causality would also be internally inconsistent. Einstein derided the quantum mechanical predictions as "spooky action at a distance". whether real or apparent. regardless of whether or not his axis is aligned with Alice's. 100 Locality in the EPR experiment The principle of locality states that physical processes occurring at one place should have no immediate effect on the elements of reality at another location. For example. Experimental realisations of the EPR scenario often use photon polarization. Therefore. Whichever axis she uses. quantum field theories that are "local" in this sense appear to violate the principle of locality as defined by EPR. in the one measurement he is allowed to make. it follows that neither does the additional effect of wavefunction collapse. perform a spin measurement on each. The EPR paper used momentum for the observable. Einstein. which states that information can never be transmitted faster than the speed of light without violating causality. how does Bob's positron know which way to point if Alice decides (based on information unavailable to Bob) to measure x (i. information) to Bob by manipulating her measurement axis. so there must be action at a distance (entanglement) or the positron must know more than it's supposed to (hidden variables). . in quantum field theory "locality" means that quantum fields at different points of space do not interact with one another. and thus useless. this appears to be a reasonable assumption to make. which in turn is nothing more than an effect of the underlying local time evolution of the wavefunction of a system and all of its environment.EPR Paradox Put another way.e. faster than light. as outlined in the example above. Incidentally. the principle of locality appeals powerfully to physical intuition. Bob is only able to perform his measurement once: there is a fundamental property of quantum mechanics. to be the opposite of Alice's electron's spin about the x-axis) and also how to point if Alice measures z. It turns out that the usual rules for combining quantum mechanical and classical descriptions violate the principle of locality without violating causality. neither the EPR experiment nor any quantum experiment demonstrates that faster-than-light signaling is possible. However. However.

Unlike quantum mechanics. In other words. the first pair emitted by the source might be "(+z. In reality. while striving also to maintain a notion of realism that nevertheless rejects counter-factual definiteness. despite the inconsistency with counter-factual definiteness seeming 'counter-intuitive'. Bell's inequality In 1964. −x) to Alice and (+z. are in principle experimentally detectable. despite its success in a wide variety of experimental scenarios. the next pair "(−z. It turns out that there is a much more serious challenge to the idea of hidden variables. expressed using inequality relations known as "Bell's inequalities". Roughly speaking.and x-axes. Examples of such mainstream realist interpretations are the consistent histories interpretation and the transactional interpretation. a variety of experiments were devised to test Bell's inequalities (experiments which generally rely on photon polarization measurement). In these "true" states. These differences. However. All the experiments conducted to date have found behavior in line with the predictions of standard quantum mechanics theory. he will get "+" and "−" with equal probability. but the values are otherwise completely random. we have formulated a very simplistic hidden variable theory. there may be an infinite number of axes along which Alice and Bob can perform their measurements. Bell's theorem does not apply to all possible philosophically realist theories. but realist interpretations of quantum mechanics are possible. There must be some unknown mechanism acting on these variables to give rise to the observed effects of "non-commuting quantum observables". i. the more complete theory contains variables corresponding to all the "elements of reality". −x) to Alice and (−z. Assuming we restrict our measurements to the z. Therefore. although. Any theory in which these principles apply produces the inequalities. For example. otherwise. there exist scenarios in which two statistical variables are correlated in a manner inconsistent with counter-factual definiteness. To illustrate this idea. as discussed above. quantum mechanics has a much stronger statistical correlation with measurement results performed on different axes than do these hidden variable theories. he will necessarily get the opposite of whatever Alice gets. and that such scenarios are no more mysterious than any other. +x) to Bob". Arthur Fine subsequently showed that any theory satisfying the inequalities can be modeled by a local hidden variable theory. . so there would have to be an infinite number of independent hidden variables. such interpretations must reject either locality or counter-factual definiteness. and so forth. this is not a serious problem. It is a common misconception that quantum mechanics is inconsistent with all notions of philosophical realism. The one suggested by EPR is that quantum mechanics. we can formulate a very simple hidden variable theory for the above thought experiment. if Bob's measurement axis is aligned with Alice's. Fine's work showed that. Mainstream physics prefers to keep locality. the electron going to Bob always has spin values opposite to the electron going to Alice. and a more sophisticated theory might be able to patch it up. taking locality as a given. +x) to Bob". there is some yet undiscovered theory of nature to which quantum mechanics acts as a kind of statistical approximation (albeit an exceedingly successful one). such a hidden variable theory is experimentally indistinguishable from quantum mechanics. John Bell showed that the predictions of quantum mechanics in the EPR thought experiment are significantly different from the predictions of a particular class of hidden variable theories (the local hidden variable theories). Such a theory is called a hidden variable theory.EPR Paradox 101 Resolving the paradox Hidden variables There are several ways to resolve the EPR paradox. After the publication of Bell's paper. Later work by Eberhard showed that the key properties of local hidden variable theories which lead to Bell's inequalities are locality and counter-factual definiteness. However. One supposes that the quantum spin-singlet states emitted by the source are actually approximate descriptions for "true" physical states possessing definite values for the z-spin and x-spin. the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. is actually an incomplete theory.e.

measurement affects our ability to define (and measure) quantities in the physical system.EPR Paradox Violation of locality is difficult to reconcile with special relativity. Examples have been suggested by David Bohm and by Lucien Hardy. Edward Fredkin in the Fredkin Finite Nature Hypothesis has suggested an informational basis for Einstein's hypothetical algebraic system. They support the predictions of quantum mechanics rather than the class of hidden variable theories supported by Einstein. the view that there is no causal instantaneous effect has also been proposed within the Copenhagen interpretation: in this alternate view. up to that time mainly concerning theory." Einstein wrote.e. defined as one of the terms of the Schrödinger equation. in his 1964 paper. e. There are many Bell test experiments. then the Copenhagen interpretation might be an approximation to an information processing system below the Planck scale. In the many-worlds interpretation locality is strictly preserved.[15] According to Karl Popper these experiments showed that the class of "hidden variables" Einstein believed in is erroneous. 102 Einstein's hope for a purely algebraic theory The Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics hypothesizes that the state of the universe evolves smoothly through time with no collapsing of quantum wavefunctions. However. This does not seem to be in accordance with a continuum theory and must lead to an attempt to find a purely algebraic theory for the representation of reality. In contrast. and is thought to be incompatible with the principle of causality. it is usually understood that instantaneous wave function collapse does occur. If physical reality is totally finite. in 1955. finally became experimentally decidable.g. since the effects of operations such as measurement affect only the state of the particle . still obscure to him). Implications for quantum mechanics Most physicists today believe that quantum mechanics is correct. In the Copenhagen interpretation. "Acceptable theories" and the experiment According to the present view of the situation. In the EPR paper (1935) the authors realised that quantum mechanics was inconsistent with their assumptions. quantum mechanics flatly contradicts Einstein's philosophical postulate that any acceptable physical theory must fulfill "local realism". How EPR is interpreted regarding locality depends on the interpretation of quantum mechanics one uses. although no theory has been proposed that can reproduce all the results of quantum mechanics. space. So the issue of "acceptability". John Bell. and energy are secondary features derived from a substrate below the Planck scale. He pursued these ideas for over twenty years until the end of his life. then Einstein's hypothetical algebraic system might resolve the EPR paradox (although Bell's theorem would still be valid). and that the EPR paradox is a "paradox" only because classical intuitions do not correspond to physical reality. Some workers in the field have also attempted to formulate hidden variable theories that exploit loopholes in actual experiments. those of Alain Aspect and others. to achieve an acceptable theory. variables which were. One problem for the Copenhagen interpretation is to precisely define wavefunction collapse." If time. Einstein maintained that quantum mechanics is physically incomplete and logically unsatisfactory. In "The Meaning of Relativity. showed that quantum mechanics and the class of hidden variable theories Einstein favored[14] would lead to different experimental results: different by a factor of 3⁄2 for certain correlations. such as the assumptions made in interpreting experimental data. but Einstein nevertheless thought that quantum mechanics might simply be augmented by hidden variables (i. not the system itself. without any other change. From the quantum phenomena it appears to follow with certainty that a finite system of finite energy can be completely described by a finite set of numbers (quantum numbers). But nobody knows how to find the basis for such a theory. On the other hand the Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics keeps counter-factual definiteness while introducing a conjectured non-local mechanism in form of the 'quantum potential'. There are also individual EPR-like experiments that have no local hidden variables explanation. "One can give good reasons why reality cannot at all be represented by a continuous field. at that point.

the tensor product of the two electrons' Hilbert spaces. one imagines shining a light on it. In fact. However. denoted Sx. Yakir Aharonov and his collaborators have developed a whole theory of so-called Weak measurement. When Sz is measured. it can be shown that the spin singlet can also be written as where the terms on the right hand side are what we have referred to as state Ia and state IIa. which shows that a "measurement" can be performed on a particle without disturbing it directly. Such explanations. If the measurement result is +z. To illustrate how this leads to the violation of local realism. The spin degree of freedom for an electron is associated with a two-dimensional complex Hilbert space H. and z direction.EPR Paradox that is measured. Sy. The EPR paradox has deepened our understanding of quantum mechanics by exposing the fundamentally non-classical characteristics of the measurement process. the system state ψ collapses into an eigenvector of Sz. entangled quantum states are used to perform computations in parallel. The eigenstates of Sz are represented as and the eigenstates of Sx are represented as The Hilbert space of the electron pair is singlet state is . Technologies relying on quantum entanglement are now being developed. this means that immediately after measurement the system state undergoes an orthogonal projection of ψ onto the space of states of the form . and Sz respectively. y. thus disturbing the electron and producing the quantum mechanical uncertainties in its position. when measuring the position of an electron. This follows from the principles of measurement in quantum mechanics. by performing a measurement on a distant entangled particle. From the above equations. are debunked by the EPR paradox. In quantum computation. entangled particles are used to transmit signals that cannot be eavesdropped upon without leaving a trace. Prior to the publication of the EPR paper. which are still encountered in popular expositions of quantum mechanics. The spin where the two terms on the right hand side are what we have referred to as state I and state II above. we need to show that after Alice's measurement of Sz (or Sx). The operators corresponding to the spin along the x. For instance. and therefore corresponds to an "element of physical reality". 103 Mathematical formulation The above discussion can be expressed mathematically using the quantum mechanical formulation of spin. Bob's value of Sz (or Sx) is uniquely determined. a measurement was often visualized as a physical disturbance inflicted directly upon the measured system. In quantum cryptography. can be represented using the Pauli matrices: where stands for Planck's constant divided by 2π. the results of the measurement are not unique—every possible result is obtained. which may allow certain calculations to be performed much more quickly than they ever could be with classical computers. with each quantum state corresponding to a vector in that space.

C. Rev. Einstein. PhD Thesis University of Klagenfurt (2006) • M. Pluch. [16] J. P. edited by Cushing & McMullin (University of Notre Dame Press. A. 1986). Hidden Variables. Experimental violation of a Bell's inequality with efficient detection. Meyer. and N. Joint Probability. Lett. the system undergoes an orthogonal projection onto which means that the new state is This implies that the measurement for Sz for Bob's electron is now determined. [21] • M. Can quantum-mechanical description of physical reality be considered complete? [18] Phys. Sackett. Bell's inequality test: more ideal than ever. Rev. 71 1665 (1993). One may show in a straightforward manner that no possible vector can be an eigenvector of both matrices. and the Bell Inequalities. Rowe. Rev. Kielpinski.H.[19] • A. • P. 48. Eberhard. Itano.S. • L. Fine. Bell.H. Smerlak. Nuovo Cimento 46B 392 (1978). C. Bell's theorem without hidden variables. Podolsky. D. 791–794 (15 February 2001). P. Physics 1 195-200 (1964). along with the Heisenberg uncertainty relation References Selected papers • • • • • A. A. M.[20] • M. "Theory for Quantum Probability". On the Einstein–Poldolsky–Rosen paradox [17]. Nuovo Cimento 38B1 75 (1977). B. Nature 398 189 (1999). Eberhard. J. Wineland.EPR Paradox For the spin singlet. More generally. in Philosophical Consequences of Quantum Theory: Reflections on Bell's Theorem. Nonlocality for two particles without inequalities for almost all entangled states. Hardy. Annales de la Fondation Louis de Broglie 26 683 (2001). Phys. Do Correlations need to be explained?. A classical interpretation of Bell's inequality. the new state is 104 Similarly. It remains only to show that Sx and Sz cannot simultaneously possess definite values in quantum mechanics. one may use the fact that the operators do not commute. Bell's theorem and the different concepts of locality. Nature 409. A. It will be −z in the first case or +z in the second case. Mizuki. W. 47 777 (1935). Relational EPR [22] . Fine. Lett. 291 (1982). Rosen. Monroe and D. Aspect. [7] • A. Rovelli. C. Phys. V. if Alice's measurement result is −z.

on page 147. pdf [18] http:/ / www. pdf). "Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality be Considered Complete?". ISBN 0-19-852927-9. Quantum. Quantum.47. [10] Kumar. edu/ entries/ qt-epr/ [5] von Neumann. with different pagination. Retrieved 2010-09-08. of Chicago Press.. nature. Teresi. 371–379.. com.J. A." British Journal for the History of Science 27 (1994): 129–152. . 2009. [2] Advances in atomic and molecular physics.pdf. Englewood Cliffs. [9] See "Physics and Reality. 187 to 189. M. [4] http:/ / plato. Realism and the Quantum Theory. M." originally published in vol. N Rosen (1935-05-15). The Quantum Challenge. What is the Question? Houghton Mifflin Company. B Podolsky. html [22] http:/ / arxiv.. [13] George Greenstein and Arthur G. Quantum Theory (http:/ / books. wustl. The relevant section appears on pp. 305. Black Swan. Bibcode 1935PhRv. J (1984). Volume 14 By David Robert Bates (http:/ / books. edu/ ~kono/ ELEC565/ Aspect_Nature. Addison-Wesley: 174–187. philosophy. com/ nature/ journal/ v409/ n6822/ full/ 409791a0. aps. [16] http:/ / www-ece. "[Experiments in the early 1980s] have conclusively shown that quantum mechanics is indeed orrect. J. R. Icon Books. pages 144–145. [12] Kumar. Cambridge University Press. New York: Plenum Press.1038/18296. [11] Kumar.. Icon Books. Oxford. p.. No. ISBN 978-0-552-12555-0 . drchinese. 2009. J. ISBN 0-521-36869-3. google. doi:10. D. 313–347. (1951). 306. and Chapter 5 section 3. page 29. [7] http:/ / prola. 1323—27 of Journal of the Franklin Institute." [14] Clearing up mysteries: the original goal (http:/ / bayes.EPR Paradox Notes [1] Einstein.. org/ abstract/ PRL/ v48/ i5/ p291_1 [20] http:/ / prola.777E. pdf [17] http:/ / www. David.1103/PhysRev. com/ David/ EPR.kostic. .777. Physical Review 47 (10): 777–780... ISBN 0-7045-3071-6. J. pp.47. "Bell’s inequality test: more ideal than ever" (http:/ / www-ece. au/ books?id=9DWim3RhymsC& printsec=frontcover& dq=david+ bohm+ quantum+ theory& source=bl& ots=6G-2u1wtav& sig=Q1GcoVDLFRmKOmDYFAJte6LzrZU& hl=en& ei=Pv45TNSnLYffcfnS6foO& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=7& ved=0CEEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage& q& f=false). • John Gribbin (1984) In Search of Schrödinger's Cat. (1993). Univ. from: www. In Search of Schrödinger's cat. The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer. J. with the Jean Piccard translation starting p. [15] Aspect A (1999-03-18). and Chapter 22 Section 19. M. google.189A. com/ David/ Bell_Compact. org/ abs/ quant-ph/ 0604064 105 Books • John S. • Selleri. ISBN 0-201-53929-2. Prentice-Hall. Princeton University Press. 221. (1994) Modern Quantum Mechanics. and that the EPR argument had relied upon incorrect assumptions. In Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik. Princeton. (1988) Quantum Mechanics Versus Local Realism: The Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen Paradox. aps. p. Oxford University Press. 2nd ed. pdf). rice. translated into English by Beyer. org/ abstract/ PR/ v47/ i10/ p777_1 [8] Quoted in Kaiser. Quantum.niu. p.. pages 21. Nature 398 (6724): 189–90. Berlin.. aps. Black Swan. Sakurai. The English translation can be downloaded. L. Icon Books. Bell (1987) Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. [6] Bohm.edu/Physics and Reality-Albert Einstein. (2004) Beyond Measure: Modern physics. p. 2009. • Arthur Fine (1996) The Shaky Game: Einstein. rice. cited by Baggott. edu/ etj/ articles/ cmystery. ISBN 0-306-42739-7 • Leon Lederman. 223–232. edu/ ~kono/ ELEC565/ Aspect_Nature. 305–6. stanford.398. com.380. Springer. F. Zajonc. Bibcode 1999Natur. org/ abstract/ PRL/ v71/ i11/ p1665_1 [21] http:/ / www. doi:10. D. au/ books?id=dkaCKHKLo3gC& pg=PA330& lpg=PA330& dq="Saclay"+ "Bell's+ inequality"& source=bl& ots=u-b4s3klA0& sig=1P7sX78b-I9TKtT15KvRSADgLlo& hl=en& ei=VJ7aTpn-FMW8iAeJs-jsDQ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=2& ved=0CCEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage& q="Saclay" "Bell's inequality"& f=false) [3] Gribbin. pdf [19] http:/ / prola. • J. "Bringing the human actors back on stage: the personal context of the Einstein–Bohr debate. and the meaning of quantum theory.T. drchinese. (1932/1955).

While this does not demonstrate QM is complete. After providing a mathematical formulation of locality and realism based on this.edu/entries/qt-epr/#1. often interchangeably). notably with Nobel laureates Einstein on one side and Niels Bohr on the other. When introduced in 1927.org/abstract/PR/v47/i10/p777_1) • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: " The Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen Argument in Quantum Theory (http:// plato. Mermin. he said.aps.ucr.stanford. "On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox". 1. (http://prola. But that conclusion rested on the seemingly reasonable assumptions of locality and realism (together called "local realism" or "local hidden variables". a choice of measurement setting here should not affect the outcome of a measurement there (and vice versa).html) • Effective use of EPR in cryptography. http://plato. Bell's theorem states:[1] No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics. he and co-authors Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen (collectively EPR) demonstrated by a paradox that QM was incomplete.2 • The original EPR paper.stanford.de) • Spooky Actions At A Distance?: Oppenheimer Lecture by Prof.html) From the Usenet Physics FAQ. Bell & Aspect: The Original References. (http://www. now using quantum entanglement of photons instead of electrons. the philosophical implications of the new quantum theory were troubling to many prominent physicists of the day.htm) • Does Bell's Inequality Principle rule out local theories of quantum mechanics? (http://math.EPR Paradox 106 External links • The Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen Argument in Quantum Theory. (1981) convincingly demonstrated that the predictions of QM are correct in this regard. (http://www. In his groundbreaking 1964 paper. • Theoretical use of EPR in teleportation. (http://www.edu/entries/bell-theorem/)" • EPR. This provided hope that a more complete (and less troubling) theory might one day be discovered. Using their reasoning.ibm. . In the vernacular of Einstein: locality meant no instantaneous ("spooky") action at a distance.com/book/quantcos/aq/qcrypt.com/David/EPR_Bell_Aspect.youtube. (http://plato.dhushara. one is forced to reject either locality or realism (or both). (http://www. Alain Aspect et al. (http://www.edu/entries/qt-epr/)" by Arthur Fine. In a well known 1935 paper.edu/home/ baez/physics/Quantum/bells_inequality.QuantumLab. he showed specific cases where this would be inconsistent with the predictions of QM.com/journal/rd/481/brassard. In its simplest form.com/ watch?v=ta09WXiUqcQ) Bell's Theorem Bell's theorem is a no-go theorem famous for drawing an important line in the sand between quantum mechanics (QM) and the world as we know it classically.research. realism meant the moon is there even when not being observed.htm) • EPR experiment with single photons interactive.stanford. These assumptions were hotly debated within the physics community.2 The argument in the text. In experimental tests following Bell's example. including Albert Einstein. • Abner Shimony (2004) " Bell’s Theorem.drchinese. physicist John Stewart Bell presented an analogy (based on spin measurements on pairs of entangled electrons) to EPR's hypothetical paradox. That a relatively simple and elegant theorem could lead to this result has led Henry Stapp to call this theorem "the most profound in science".

perfectly anticorrelated) results. Following the argument in the Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen (EPR) paradox paper (but using the example of spin. Bell considered an pair. 0° Bob.e. and the other is sent to another location. While measuring the spin of these entangled particles along parallel axes will always result in opposite (i. at which measurements of spin are performed. measurement at perpendicular directions will have a 50% chance of matching (i. Each measurement yields a result of either spin-up (+) or spin-down (−). if Bell's conditions are correct."[3] The two particles travel away from each other to two distant locations. Symbolically.e. yields predictions that disagree with those of quantum mechanical theory. and show correlations that are. one-half particles formed somehow in the singlet spin state and moving freely in opposite directions. 0° Correlation: ( Pair 1 Pair 2 Pair 3 Pair 4 … Pair n + +1 − + +1 − + +1 + +1 … + … … +1 ) / n = +1 (100% identical) Orthogonal axes Pair 1 Pair 2 Pair 3 Pair 4 … Pair n Alice.. 0° Bob. or "−1" for a non-match. Same axis Alice. 90° Correlation ( + − +1 − − -1 + + -1 − + +1 … − … − … −1 )/n=0 (50% identical) . favoured by Einstein[2]. according to Bell. Because numerous experiments agree with the predictions of quantum mechanical theory. then the results which are in agreement with quantum mechanical theory appear to evidence superluminal effects. The probability of the same result being obtained at the two locations varies. one particle is sent to one location. These basic cases are illustrated in the table below. greater than could be explained by local hidden variables. as in David Bohm's version of the EPR Illustration of Bell test for particles such as photons. depending on the relative angles at which the two spin measurements are made. will have a 50% probability of an uncorrelated result). Bell's theorem thus applies only to the statistical results from many trials of the experiment. A source produces a singlet argument[3][4]). the correlation between results for a single pair can be represented as either "+1" for a match (opposite spins). in contradiction to the principle of locality. and is subject to some uncertainty for all relative angles other than perfectly parallel alignments (0° or 180°). along axes that are independently chosen.Bell's Theorem 107 Overview Bell’s theorem states that the concept of local realism. The most common examples concern systems of particles that are entangled in spin or polarization. For a hidden variable theory. A experiment in which there are "a pair of spin measurement of the entangled property is performed at various angles at each location. The theorem applies to any quantum system of two entangled qubits. the experimental results have been taken by many as refuting the concept of local realism as an explanation of the physical phenomena under test..

[8][9] Importance of the theorem Bell's theorem.[6] However. but no experiment to date has simultaneously fully addressed all of them. Podolsky and Rosen[13] that challenged the completeness of quantum mechanics. there must be a mechanism whereby the setting of one measuring device can influence the reading of another instrument. without making any 100% detector efficiency). later. the mathematical inequality he discovered was clearly at odds with the results (described above) predicted by quantum mechanics and. without changing the statistical predictions. "the most profound in science". including the detection loophole[6] and the communication loophole. the signal involved must propagate instantaneously. it is generally considered unreasonable that such an experiment. theory beyond requirements of basic consistency. which had fallen into disrepute. If correct. For example. so that a theory could not be Lorentz invariant. However. Bell started from the same two assumptions as did EPR."[12] The title of Bell's seminal article refers to the famous paper by Einstein. namely . Bell The local realist prediction (solid lines) for quantum correlation for spin (assuming claimed that. the correlation varies as the cosine of the angle. Moreover. Anthony Leggett has commented: [While] no single existing experiment has simultaneously blocked all of the so-called ‘‘loopholes’’. each one of those loopholes has been blocked in at least one experiment. In his paper. various common deficiencies in the testing of the theorem have been identified. Bell expressed his hope that such work would "continue to inspire those who suspect that what is proved by the impossibility proofs is lack of imagination. would give results that are inconsistent with the prior experiments. Bell's theorem appears to rule out local hidden variables as a viable explanation of quantum mechanics (though it still leaves the door open for non-local hidden variables).[5] Bell achieved his breakthrough by first deriving the results that he posits local realism would necessarily yield. derived in his seminal 1964 paper titled On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox. Bell's theorem is generally regarded as supported by a substantial body of evidence and is treated as a fundamental principle of physics in mainstream quantum mechanics textbooks. Experimental results match the curve predicted by quantum mechanics.[6] Over the years experiments have been gradually improved to better address these loopholes. The quantum mechanical prediction is the dotted assumptions about the specific form of the (cosine) curve.[7] To date. Bell concluded: In a theory in which parameters are added to quantum mechanics to determine the results of individual measurements.[3] has been called. to maintain a local hidden variable theory in the face of the existing experiments would appear to require belief in a very peculiar conspiracy of nature. if conducted. Bell's theorem has undergone a wide variety of experimental tests. Thus. observed experimentally.[11] Later in his life.[10] Perhaps of equal importance is Bell's deliberate effort to encourage and bring legitimacy to work on the completeness issues.Bell's Theorem 108 With the measurements oriented at intermediate angles between these basic cases. However. the existence of local hidden variables would imply a linear variation in the correlation. however remote. according to quantum mechanical theory. —[3] Over the years. on the assumption that the theory is correct.

The possibility existed that some unknown theory. then because the hidden variables are not described by QM the latter would be an incomplete theory. After the EPR paper. on the x axis). liable to be experimentally tested. predictions are formulated in terms of probabilities — for example. Limitations on such tests to date are noted below. then either quantum mechanics or local realism is wrong. Existence of these variables is called the assumption of realism. Whereas Bell's paper deals only with deterministic hidden variable theories. In the form of local realism used by Bell. The paper noted that "it requires little imagination to envisage the experiments involved actually being made". either the spin in each direction is an element of physical reality. Bob's measurement in that direction is determined with certainty. In QM. thus raising the possibility of testing the local realism hypothesis. that the electron in fact has a definite position and spin.g. implying that at least one of the assumptions must be false. In a modified version of the EPR thought experiment.e. and Bell's inequality was. if the theorem is correct. might be able to predict those quantities exactly. quantum mechanics was in an unsatisfactory position: either it was incomplete.Bell's Theorem (i) reality (that microscopic objects have real properties determining the outcomes of quantum mechanical measurements).. It took many years and many improvements in technology to perform tests along the lines Bell envisaged. while at the same time also being in complete agreement with the probabilities predicted by QM. in part. however. Objects have a definite state that determines the values of all other measurable properties. The Bell test experiments have been interpreted as showing that the Bell inequalities are violated in favour of QM. or the probability that its spin is up or down. the predictions of the theory result from the application of classical probability theory to an underlying parameter space. Bell was able to derive from those two assumptions an important result. cannot travel faster than the speed of light (in consequence of special relativity). the probability that an electron will be detected in a particular place. The tests are. capable of showing whether local hidden variable theories as envisaged by Bell accurately predict experimental results. such as position and momentum. or the assumption of counterfactual definiteness. a measurement made by one can have no effect on a measurement made by the other. it considered more hidden variables than merely the element of physical reality in the EPR paper. namely Bell's inequality. Thus if observers are sufficiently far apart. and it was also realised[15] that the theorem is not so much about hidden variables as about the outcomes of measurements which could have been done instead of the one actually performed. such as measurements. and (ii) locality (that reality in one location is not influenced by measurements performed simultaneously at a distant location). not a certainty). thus. and that QM's weakness is its inability to predict those values precisely. By a simple argument based on classical probability. In two respects Bell's 1964 paper was a step forward compared to the EPR paper: firstly. in theory. This is because. was only a probability. The idea persisted. It is the conclusion of EPR that once Alice measures spin in one direction (e. Bell's theorem was later generalized to stochastic theories[14] as well. or the effects travel from Alice to Bob instantly. Two assumptions drove the desire to find a local realist theory: 1. If such a hidden variables theory exists. two hypothetical observers. The no-communication theorem shows that the observers cannot use the effect to communicate (classical) 109 . whereas immediately before Alice's measurement Bob's outcome was only statistically determined (i.[3] to determine which of them is correct. as they are mutually exclusive. perform independent measurements of spin on a pair of electrons. The tests are not capable of determining whether Bell has accurately described all local hidden variable theories. in the sense that it failed to account for some elements of physical reality. as being the opposite outcome to that of Alice. he showed that correlations between measurements are bounded in a way that is violated by QM. or it violated the principle of a finite propagation speed of physical effects. Bell's theorem seemed to put an end to local realism. now commonly referred to as Alice and Bob. such as a hidden variables theory. Effects of local actions. 2. prepared at a source in a special state called a spin singlet state.

Measurements of Alice and Bob may be somehow correlated with each other. All Bell inequalities describe experiments in which the predicted result from quantum entanglement differs from that flowing from local realism. in fact. 110 Bell inequalities Bell inequalities concern measurements made by observers on pairs of particles that have interacted and then separated. It is this possibility. These well-defined states are typically called hidden variables. looking out into a quantum-mechanical world. but the ‘fair sampling’ and ‘no enhancement’ assumptions require more careful consideration (below). while local realism would limit the correlation of subsequent measurements of the particles. then the "tests" of Bell's theory to date do not show anything either way about the local or non-local nature of the phenomena. (…) A second motivation is connected with the statistical character of quantum-mechanical predictions. Once the incompleteness of the wave function description is suspected. This opens the possibility of bringing the question into the experimental domain. the properties that Einstein posited when he stated his famous objection to quantum mechanics: "God does not play dice. Podolsky and Rosen. in terms of procedures and results in our classical domain.Bell's Theorem information to each other faster than the speed of light. and these are here collectively termed Bell inequalities. (…) Now nobody knows just where the boundary between the classical and the quantum domain is situated. (…) More plausible to me is that we will find that there is no boundary.[16] In probability theory. In Bell's experiment. . the mathematics of which contains no local hidden variables. it can be conjectured that random statistical fluctuations are determined by the extra "hidden" variables — "hidden" because at this stage we can only conjecture their existence and certainly cannot control them. but may be correlated with those of another particle due to quantum entanglement. That restriction agrees with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. by trying to approximate as well as possible the idealized situations in which local hidden variables and quantum mechanics cannot agree. there is a limit to the amount of correlation one might expect to see. The wave functions would prove to be a provisional or incomplete description of the quantum-mechanical part. The inequalities assume that each quantum-level object has a well-defined state that accounts for all its measurable properties and that distant objects do not exchange information faster than the speed of light. That interpretation follows not from any clear demonstration of super-luminal communication in the tests themselves. (…) We will find. but solely from Bell's theory that the correctness of the quantum predictions necessarily precludes any local hidden-variable theory. but the Bell inequalities say that if the correlation stems from local random variables. which is for me the chief motivation of the study of the so-called "hidden variable" possibility. If that theoretical contention is not correct. Different authors subsequently derived inequalities similar to Bell´s original inequality. The latter we describe only subjectively. (…) A third motivation is in the peculiar character of some quantum-mechanical predictions." Bell showed that under quantum mechanics. Alice can choose a detector setting to measure either or and Bob can choose a detector setting to measure either or . According to quantum mechanics they are entangled. repeated measurements of system properties can be regarded as repeated sampling of random variables. This is the famous argument of Einstein. the Bell inequalities can nevertheless be violated: the properties of a particle are not clear. In Bell's words: Theoretical physicists live in a classical world. that no local deterministic hidden-variable theory can reproduce all the experimental predictions of quantum mechanics. of a homogeneous account of the world. which seem almost to cry out for a hidden variable interpretation. allowing their state to be well defined only after a measurement is made on either particle. a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics.

the overlap of the wavefunction between the different angles is proportional to . and C measurements in the two particles are 100% correlated and can be used interchangeably. θ degrees. where is proportional to θ. The number of mismatches between A and B (1/100) plus the number of mismatches between B and C (1/100) are together the maximum possible number of mismatches between A and C (a simple Boole–Fréchet inequality). A simple limit of Bell's inequality has the virtue of being completely intuitive. by letting A. Imagine that two entangled particles in a spin singlet are shot out to two distant locations. and 2θ degrees respectively. in agreement with the quantum mechanical prediction. and the spins of both are measured in the direction A.[17] (the CHSH form) is especially important. it applies only to a very restricted set of hidden variable theories. it is true only for genuinely "two-outcome" systems. The same is true if both spins are measured in directions B or C. and C have the property that: 1. A and B are 99% correlated. But if A is measured in one particle and C in the other.[3] the form given by John Clauser. This allows us to conclude that the hidden variables determining A and B are 99% correlated and B and C are 99% correlated. which is a contradiction. A and B are the same (both heads or both tails) 99% of the time 2.[17] as it gives classical limits to the expected correlation for the above experiment conducted by Alice and Bob: where C denotes correlation. Holt. Abner Shimony and R. Y is defined as Where represents the expected or average value of This is a non-normalized form of the correlation coefficient considered in statistics (see Quantum correlation). namely those for which the outcomes on both sides of the experiment are always exactly anticorrelated when the analysers are parallel. not for the "three-outcome" ones (with possible outcomes of zero as well as +1 and −1) encountered in real experiments. This is also the probability that B and C give the same answer. B and C are the same 99% of the time then A and C are the same at least 98% of the time. B. the correlation is 99%.B. Michael Horne. while the small-angle limit is emphasized in Bell's original article. For another. CHSH inequality In addition to Bell's original inequality. For one thing. B and C are 99% correlated and A and C are only 96% correlated. b and c settings of the apparatus.Bell's Theorem 111 Original Bell's inequality The original inequality that Bell derived was:[3] where C is the "correlation" of the particle pairs and a. It is safe to conclude that any hidden variables that determine the A. A. the correlation between them is 99%. Correlation of observables X. and C be the values of the spin of two entangled particles measured relative to some axis at 0 degrees. we formalize local realism as follows: . But A and C are the same 1 − (2ε)2 of the time. If the result of three different statistical coin-flips A. anti-correlated but for this argument that is equivalent). Choosing the angle so that . To formulate Bell's theorem. If A is measured on one particle and B on the other. the results are only 96% correlated. The probability that A and B give the same answer is . The intuitive formulation is due to David Mermin. B. If B is measured on one and C on the other. In quantum mechanics. This inequality is not used in practice. The spins are 100% correlated (actually.

2. There is a probability space and the observed outcomes by both Alice and Bob result by random sampling of 112 the parameter . Bell's inequality. the relevant idea is that each summand in the above average is bounded above by 2. Indeed. For simplicity. Thus and therefore Remark 1 The correlation inequality (1) still holds if the variables . Let . we can assume that In that case . are allowed to take on any real values between −1 and +1. we remove this assumption in Remark 1 below. the hidden parameter space random variable X on with respect to is written has a probability measure and the expectation of a where for accessibility of notation we assume that the probability measure has a density. Then at least one of is 0. without loss of generality. The values observed by Alice or Bob are functions of the local detector settings and the hidden parameter only. Thus • Value observed by Alice with detector setting is • Value observed by Bob with detector setting is Implicit in assumption 1) above.Bell's Theorem 1. This is easily seen as true in the more general case: To justify the upper bound 2 asserted in the last inequality. let us first assume the observed values are +1 or −1. The CHSH inequality (1) holds under the hidden variables assumptions above.

Bell's Theorem Remark 2 Though the important component of the hidden parameter in Bell's original proof is associated with the source and is shared by Alice and Bob. It was henceforth restricted (in most theoretical work) to mean only those components that were associated with the source.[14] to justify a generalisation of the theorem forced on them by the real experiments. The measurements performed by Alice and Bob are spin measurements on electrons. these correspond to measurement of spin along the z′ or x′ axis. The formalisation of local realism was thus effectively changed. Alice can choose between two detector settings labelled a and a′. replacing A and B by averages and retaining the symbol but with a slightly different meaning. we can show that the correlation of commuting observables X and Y in a pure state is We apply this fact in the context of the EPR paradox. assume that X and Y are represented by matrices in a finite dimensional space and that X and Y commute. and with conditional probability distributions only depending on the corresponding local setting (if dependent on the settings at all). these settings correspond to measurement of spin along the z or the x axis. The von Neumann measurement postulate states: a series of measurements of an observable X on a series of identical systems in state produces a distribution of real values. CHSH inequality still holds even if the instruments themselves contain hidden variables. Bell inequalities are violated by quantum mechanical predictions In the usual quantum mechanical formalism. in which detectors were never 100% efficient. we denote the eigenvectors of Sx by Let be the spin singlet state for a pair of electrons discussed in the EPR paradox. This argument was used by Bell in 1971. these others being conditionally independent given the first. with the extension proved in Remark 1. where the x′ – z′ coordinate system is rotated 135° relative to the x – z coordinate system. this distribution is discrete. The spin observables are represented by the 2 × 2 self-adjoint matrices: These are the Pauli spin matrices normalized so that the corresponding eigenvalues are +1. the observables X and Y are represented as self-adjoint operators on a Hilbert space. In that case. +1] to which we can apply the previous result. As is customary. Bob can choose between two detector settings labelled b and b′. averaging over the instrument hidden variables gives new variables: 113 on . and again by Clauser and Horne in 1974. By the assumption that observables are finite matrices. However. . To compute the correlation. The probability of observing λ is non-zero if and only if λ is an eigenvalue of the matrix X and moreover the probability is where EX (λ) is the projector corresponding to the eigenvalue λ. This is a specially constructed state described by the following vector in the tensor product Now let us apply the CHSH formalism to the measurements that can be performed by Alice and Bob. which still have values in the range [−1. −1. The derivations were given in terms of the averages of the outcomes over the local detector variables. this special case suffices for our purposes below. there may be others that are associated with the separate detectors. The system state immediately after the measurement is From this.

The operators giving this maximal value are always isomorphic to the Pauli matrices. Note that the A operators commute with the B operators. In this case. The operators . correspond to Bob's spin measurements along x′ and z′. one particle of each pair is sent to Alice and the other to Bob. Note that is indeed the upper bound for quantum mechanics called Tsirelson's bound. Source produces spin singlet pairs. a straightforward calculation shows that and so that Bell's Theorem: If the quantum mechanical formalism is correct. . then the system consisting of a pair of entangled electrons cannot satisfy the principle of local realism. In fact. Each performs one of the two spin measurements.Bell's Theorem 114 Illustration of Bell test for spin 1/2 particles. so we can apply our calculation for the correlation. we can show that the CHSH inequality fails.

but he is mistaken". However. a table of Bell test experiments performed prior to 1986 is given in 4. moreover. sent in opposite directions. shortly afterwards Clauser and Horne[14] made the important distinction between inhomogeneous (IBI) and homogeneous (HBI) Bell inequalities. furthermore. In early designs of their 1973 experiment. because singles rates with all detectors in the 1970s were at least ten times all the coincidence rates.' The latter has been nearly decisively blocked by a recent experiment and there is a good prospect for blocking the former. according to the same source. Nobody needed to perform the experiment. Indeed. when the experiments were repeated. Bell test experiments to date overwhelmingly violate Bell's inequality. recognize the possibility or actuality that the emitted atomic light signals have a range of amplitudes and.[20] Two classes of Bell inequalities The fair sampling problem was faced openly in the 1970s. in particular. Freedman and Clauser[21] used fair sampling in the form of the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt (CHSH[17]) hypothesis. To explore the 'detection loophole'. +− and −+) counted by the coincidence monitor. then detected. one must distinguish the classes of homogeneous and inhomogeneous Bell inequality. Such a fair sampling assumption generally goes unacknowledged. Nevertheless. analysed with respect to some key property such as polarisation direction. yet it effectively limits the range of local theories to those that conceive of the light field as corpuscular. that the amplitudes are modified when the signal passes through analyzing devices such as polarizers and beam splitters. Testing an IBI requires that we compare certain coincidence rates in two separated detectors with the singles rates of the two detectors. Emerging signals from each channel are detected and coincidences of four types (++.5 of Redhead. experimenter. Each photon encounters a two-channel polariser whose orientation (a or b) can be set by the experimenter. "the discrepancies with QM could not be reproduced". only two reached results contradictory to quantum mechanics. The assumption excludes a large family of local realist theories. We must remember the cautionary words of Albert Einstein[19] shortly before he died: "Nowadays every Tom.[18] Of the thirteen experiments listed.Bell's Theorem 115 Practical experiments testing Bell's theorem Experimental tests can determine whether the Bell inequalities required by local realism hold up to the empirical evidence. but not decisively because of the 'detection loopholes' or the 'communication loophole. Those who maintain the concept of duality. Dick and Harry ('jeder Kerl' in German original) thinks he knows what a photon is. The standard assumption in Quantum Optics is that "all photons of given frequency. Bell's inequalities are tested by "coincidence counts" from a Bell test experiment such as the optical one shown in the diagram. 1987. direction and polarization are identical" so that photodetectors treat all incident photons on an equal basis. It follows that not all signals have the same detection probability. According to Shimony's 2004 Stanford Encyclopedia overview article:[6] Most of the dozens of experiments performed so far have favored Quantum Mechanics. or simply of light being a wave. Pairs of particles are emitted as a result of a quantum process. taking into account . the issue is not conclusively settled. The setting (orientations) of the analysers are selected by the Scheme of a "two-channel" Bell test The source S produces pairs of "photons". Max Planck's description. So. −−.

quoted in the preceding section. the QM prediction actually satisfied the IBI. if the wavefunction values are interpreted as the fundamental quantities that describe reality. rather than showing a breakdown of realism or locality. So the no-enhancement hypothesis cannot be true in a local hidden variables model. in which the particles exchange information about their states. . has a certain probability of activating a detector. To arrive at an experimental design in which the QM prediction violates IBI we require detectors whose efficiency exceeds 82% for singlet states. are capable of revealing important new phenomena. Clauser and Horne[14] recognized that testing Bell's inequality requires some extra assumptions. 116 Practical challenges Because detectors don't detect a large fraction of all photons. The Freedman-Clauser experiment reveals that local hidden variables imply the new phenomenon of signal enhancement: In the total set of signals from an atomic cascade there is a subset whose detection probability increases as a result of passing through a linear polarizer.[24] If the hidden variables can communicate with each other faster than light.[21] who found that the Bell's inequality was violated. in the presence of a threshold. This is well above the 30% achievable[22] so Shimony’s optimism in the Stanford Encyclopedia. appears over-stated. explaining the violation of Bell's inequality by means of a non-local hidden variable theory. This is the basis of the Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics.[26][27] The quantum mechanical wavefunction can also provide a local realistic description. A 2007 experiment ruled out a large class of non-Bohmian non-local hidden variable theories. Gerard 't Hooft has argued that the superdeterminism loophole cannot be dismissed. as it is known that adding noise to data can. If reality includes all the different outcomes. Moreover. which interprets the statistical emergence of a quantum history as a gradual coming to agreement between histories that go both forward and backward in time. there is a Bell inequality between the coincidence rates with polarizers and coincidence rates without polarizers.Bell's Theorem this low detector efficiency. which requires that all particles in the universe be able to instantaneously exchange information with all others. the analysis leads us to recognize that the Bell-inequality experiments. originating in an atomic cascade for example. Bell's inequality can easily be violated. The experiment was performed by Freedman and Clauser. For example. Then. because it is not clear which copy of the observer B observer A will see when going to compare notes. it can communicate the necessary correlations to the other particle. Such an approach is called a many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. two distant observers both split into superpositions when measuring a spin. This is the idea behind a transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics. if a polarizer is interposed between the cascade and the detector. In this view. This is perhaps not surprising. Given this assumption. They are ready to give up locality. Theoretical challenges Most advocates of the hidden variables idea believe that experiments have ruled out local hidden variables.[25] A few advocates of deterministic models have not given up on local hidden variables. this is unattractive. They introduced the No Enhancement Hypothesis (NEH): A light signal. The Bell inequality violations are no longer counterintuitive. Since in relativity the notion of simultaneity is not absolute. locality in physical space (not outcome space) places no restrictions on how the split observers can meet up. but have very low dark rate and short dead and resolving times. but it does show that the word loophole is biased. Once one particle is measured. the detection probability cannot increase. One idea is to replace instantaneous communication with a process that travels backwards in time along the past Light cone. help reveal hidden signals (this property is known[23] as stochastic resonance). One cannot conclude that this is the only local-realist alternative to Quantum Optics.

e. No combination of local deterministic and local random variables can reproduce the phenomena predicted by quantum mechanics and repeatedly observed in experiments. E. though some believe that detectors give a biased sample of photons. The Bell violations show that no resolution of such issues can avoid the ultimate strangeness of quantum behavior. and the experimental results support quantum mechanics. Complementarity is now seen not as an independent ingredient of the quantum picture but rather as a direct consequence of the Quantum decoherence expected from the quantum formalism itself. The results of all experiments. they are factually indefinite. i. According to him: 1.[29] Some earlier elements that had seemed incompatible with classical pictures included apparent complementarity and (hypothesized) wavefunction collapse. Bell interpreted conditional probability P(X|Y) as a causal inference. because the standard interpretation could easily do away with action-at-a-distance by simply assigning to each particle definite spin-states. just provide the definite demonstration of something that was already strongly suspected. due to quantum entanglement. However Jaynes later admitted that he had misunderstood Bell's argument. [31] . What makes Bell's theorem unique and powerful is that it shows that nature violates the most general assumptions behind classical pictures. it might have just missed the kind of hidden variable theories that Einstein is most interested in. are not uniquely determined. Jaynes[28] pointed out two hidden assumptions in Bell Inequality that could limit its generality. e. that quantum physics cannot be represented by any version of the classical picture of physics. so that until nearly every photon pair generated is observed there will be loopholes. In fact. such as quantum cryptography. However.[30] The EPR paper "pinpointed" the unusual properties of the entangled states. 117 Final remarks The violations of Bell's inequalities. is called counterfactual definiteness. Bell's theorem showed that the "entangledness" prediction of quantum mechanics has a degree of non-locality that cannot be explained away by any local theory. but deduction can. In well-defined Bell experiments (see the paragraph on "test experiments") one can now falsify either quantum mechanics or Einstein's quasi-classical assumptions: currently many experiments of this kind have been performed.Bell's Theorem This implies that there is a subtle assumption in the argument that realism is incompatible with quantum mechanics and locality. the above-mentioned singlet state. one application involves the measurement of quantum entanglement as a physical source of bits for Rabin's oblivious transfer protocol. P(X|Y) actually only means logical inference (deduction). This states that if the results of an experiment are always observed to be definite. 2. This strange non-locality was originally supposed to be a Reductio ad absurdum. even ones that have been performed. in its weakest form. It only applies to a certain class of local hidden variable theories. The assumption. Y exerted a causal inference on X in reality. rather than as an essential part of quantum mechanics.g. T. What is powerful about Bell's theorem is that it doesn't refer to any particular physical theory. The possibility of wavefunction collapse is now seen as one possible problematic ingredient of some interpretations. there is a quantity that determines what the outcome would have been even if you don't do the experiment. not just details of some particular models. Causes cannot travel faster than light or backward in time. Many worlds interpretations are not only counterfactually indefinite. which is the foundation for present-day applications of quantum physics. Bell's inequality does not apply to some possible hidden variable theories.

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and D. 91 (1982).Bell's Theorem 119 References • A. C. N. and C. Pluch. Proposal for a loophole-free test of the Bell inequalities. 446. Wineland. 526–535 (1974) • E. • A. D'Espagnat. Olmschenk. Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics (Cambridge University Press 1987) [A collection of Bell's papers. Griffiths. Mod. Monroe.] • J. S. S. Experimental Tests of Realistic Local Theories via Bell's Theorem. Bell. Lett. • S. Aspect et al.. On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen Paradox. Rev. 871–875. suppl. Fry. Experimental violation of Bell's inequalities with efficient detection. Matsukevich.sciam. • B. Quantum Computation and Quantum Information. S. 1881 (1978) • J. pp 103–117 of Quantum [Un]speakables. 195-200 (1964) • J.A. Nielsen and I. .(Nature. • M. S. Dordrecht. Walther. 1993. Journal de Physique. F. Phys. Kluwer. • D. Rev. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York. W. au numero 3. Bell. Moehring. Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods. 1804 (1982). 49. Tome 42 (1981) pp C2 41–61 • J. On the problem of hidden variables in quantum mechanics. Proceedings of the International School of Physics 'Enrico Fermi'. A. Reports on Progress in Physics 41. Nonlocality for 2 particles without inequalities for almost all entangled states. Course IL. V. Itano.pdf). The Nature of Light and Twentieth Century Experimental Physics. Bell. 1418–25 (1970) • A. S. • P. Clarendon Press. Bell Inequality Violation with Two Remote Atomic Qubits. Phys. Bell.dilbert. Rev. Clauser and M.A. Rev. 100. S. Sackett. F. refers to Bell's Theorem in the 1992-09-21 (http://www. Phys. by Scott Adams. 150404 (2008). • A. Grangier. Quantum Mechanics. Phys. 447 (1966) • J. T.(Nature. Atom based tests of the Bell Inequalities — the legacy of John Bell continues. Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (1971) 171–81 • J. Physical Review Letters 71 (11) 1665–1668 (1993) • M. 409. including all of the above. Colloque C2. A 52. 158 (1979) • J. 2002) • R. Maunz. C. Rev. Fry.. Bertlmann and A. 38.M. Hidden-Variable Example Based upon Data Rejection. D.. 460 (1981) • A. 2006. C. Chuang. 3. Rev.J. Gröblacher et al. • L. Physical Review D 2. 47. D. Peres.com/strips/ comic/1992-09-21/) and 1992-09-22 (http://www. 791–794. Aspect and P. • The comic Dilbert. Cambridge University Press (2002). Shimony. Bertlmann’s socks and the nature of reality. 2001). Theory of Quantum Probability.com/strips/comic/1992-09-22/) strips. R. 241. Horne. P. A. 345 (1985) • B. Phys.) (Springer.. Lett. Bell. Zeilinger (eds. Monroe. Introduction to the hidden variable question. S. Experimental Realization of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Bohm Gedankenexperiment: A New Violation of Bell's Inequalities. 1991. S. Lett. Cambridge University Press (2000) • P. Aspect et al. Hardy. An experimental test of non-local realism. Foundations of Science 8. L.dilbert. Walther and S. L. The Quantum Theory and Reality (http://www. B. Lettere al Nuovo Cimento 43. Sulcs. Phys. 49. and T. About resonant scattering and other hypothetical effects in the Orsay atomic-cascade experiment tests of Bell inequalities: a discussion and some new experimental data. 2007). 365–391 (2003) • S.A. Phys. Consistent Quantum Theory'. Clauser and A. Bell's theorem: experimental tests and implications. Pearle. 4381 (1995) • E. Physics 1. Kielpinski. Rowe. Scientific American. Rev D 10. Meyer. Lett. Experimental Test of Bell's Inequalities Using Time-Varying Analyzers. van Frassen.com/media/pdf/197911_0158. University of Klagenfurt. Aspect et al. Li. PhD Thesis.

N. 1999) J. 2001). Mermin. Bibcode 1981AmJPh. 1987.uk/reality/reality_entangled. April 1985. ISBN 0-06-095968-1) External links • An explanation of Bell's Theorem (http://www.940M.physik. "Bringing home the atomic world: Quantum mysteries for anybody". 38–47. The Meaning of Quantum Theory (Oxford University Press. Prometheus Rising (New Falcon Publications. Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics (Anchor. based on N. ISBN 0-385-23569-0) D. Knopf. D. The Einstein.org (http://xstructure. ISBN 0-375-72720-5) Nick Herbert. Wick. Anton Wilson. 2008) Brian Greene. American Journal of Physics 49 (10): 940. 2001.html) • Bell's Inequalities: Obscurantist Obfuscation or Condign Confabulation? (http://groups. 1997.com/ watch?v=ta09WXiUqcQ) • Quantum Entanglement (http://www. "Is the moon there when nobody looks? Reality and the quantum theory".1119/1. 1992) N. Louisa Gilder..py?level=2&index1=369244) • Interactive experiments with single photons: entanglement and Bell´s theorem (http://www.de/quantumlab/english/index. • Mermin: Spooky Actions At A Distance? Oppenheimer Lecture (http://www.12594.Bell's Theorem 120 Further reading The following are intended for general audiences. D. • Bell's theorem on arXiv. New York. Mermin's article. Podolsky and Rosen Paradox (Plenum Press. Selleri.com/groups/ profile?hl=en&show=more&enc_user=8YcXCQ4AAABUc-oUoA1Uy7yFEaUY6YXQ&group=sci. • • • • • • • • • • Amir D.ncsu.ru/x-bin/theme3. Boston 1995) R. Aczel. Entanglement: The greatest mystery in physics (Four Walls Eight Windows.html).49. 2004.edu/felder-public/kenny/papers/bell. The Fabric of the Cosmos (Vintage. ISBN 1-56184-056-4) Gary Zukav "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" (Perennial Classics. New York and London.org. (1981).asp) Includes a simple explanation of Bell's Inequality. A.ipod. The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn (New York: Alfred A. pp.ac.didaktik. Afriat and F.google..youtube. doi:10. Baggott. David Mermin. in Physics Today.inr. The infamous boundary: seven decades of controversy in quantum physics (Birkhauser. uni-erlangen.physics) .

Physicists often use the way each interpretation deals with Schrödinger's cat as a way of illustrating and comparing . similar principles have been shattered. discussions of the interpretations of quantum mechanics. the flask is imaginary. the paradox is a classic reductio ad absurdum. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while. a flask of poison and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed Although the original "experiment" was box. Schrödinger's Cat: A cat. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i. in principle. two subatomic particles). There is a supposed fifty-percent chance researched and used in practical of this happening.e. when we look in the box. wherein the cat's life or death depended on the state of a subatomic particle. This poses the question of when also often featured in theoretical exactly superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other. Origin and motivation Schrödinger intended his thought experiment as a discussion of the EPR article—named after its authors Einstein. The scenario presents a cat that might be alive or dead. and Rosen—in 1935. Schrödinger describes how one could. Podolsky. transpose the superposition of an atom to large-scale systems. the Copenhagen interpretation implies that the cat remains both alive and dead (to the universe outside the box) until the box is opened. Schrödinger and Einstein exchanged letters about Einstein's EPR article. in the course of which Einstein pointed out that the state of an unstable keg of gunpowder will. Schrödinger did not wish to promote the idea of dead-and-alive cats as a serious possibility. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. which is a characteristic of a quantum state that is a combination of the states of two systems (for example. According to Schrödinger. that once interacted but were then separated and are not each in a definite state. contain a superposition of both exploded and unexploded states. devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. In the course of developing this experiment. Schrödinger coined the term Verschränkung (entanglement). releasing the poison that kills the cat. we applications. Yet. The Copenhagen interpretation implies that the state of the two systems undergoes collapse into a definite state when one of the systems is measured. quite the reverse. He proposed a scenario with a cat in a sealed box. Intended as a critique of just the Copenhagen interpretation (the prevailing orthodoxy in 1935). The thought experiment is see the cat either alive or dead. sometimes described as a paradox. the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. depending on an earlier random event. Schrödinger's Objections Schrödinger's Cat Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment. not both alive and dead. To further illustrate.[1] The EPR article highlighted the strange nature of quantum entanglement. resulting in a contradiction with common sense.[2] The thought experiment illustrates quantum mechanics and the mathematics necessary to describe quantum states. the Schrödinger cat thought experiment remains a typical touchstone for limited interpretations of quantum mechanics.121 5. after a while. a single atom decaying).

with equal probability. Our intuition says that no observer can be in a mixture of states—yet the cat. the counter tube discharges. and weaknesses of each interpretation. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.[4] Note that the charge of gunpowder is not mentioned in Schrödinger's setup. Naturwissenschaften (translated by John D. The gunpowder had been mentioned in Einstein's original suggestion to Schrödinger 15 years before. Most of them simply do not see what sort of risky game they are playing with reality—reality as something independent of what is experimentally established. 122 The thought experiment Schrödinger wrote:[3][2] One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. Is the cat required to be an observer. and apparently Einstein had carried it forward to the present discussion. so small that perhaps in the course of the hour. it seems from the thought experiment.Schrödinger's Cat the particular features. if only one is honest. Trimmer in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society) Schrödinger's famous thought experiment poses the question. and through a relay releases a hammer that shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. Nobody really doubts that the presence or absence of the cat is something independent of the act of observation. such as cats and notebooks. can be such a mixture. it would not embody anything unclear or contradictory. do not always have unique classical descriptions. one of the atoms decays. besides Laue. or does its existence in a single well-defined classical state require another external observer? Each alternative seemed absurd to Albert Einstein. In itself. and instead begins to have a unique classical description?) If the cat survives. along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter. there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance. . Their interpretation is. but also. perhaps none. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a "blurred model" for representing reality. But explanations of the EPR experiments that are consistent with standard microscopic quantum mechanics require that macroscopic objects. Die gegenwärtige Situation in der Quantenmechanik (The present situation in quantum mechanics). who sees that one cannot get around the assumption of reality. —Erwin Schrödinger. when does a quantum system stop existing as a superposition of states and become one or the other? (More technically. he wrote: You are the only contemporary physicist. strengths. in which the psi-function of the system contains both the cat alive and blown to bits. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber. which can then be resolved by direct observation. when does the actual quantum state stop being a linear combination of states. The thought experiment illustrates this apparent paradox. each of which resembles different classical states. it remembers only being alive. It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy. one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. In a letter to Schrödinger dated 1950. however. if it happens. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour. who was impressed by the ability of the thought experiment to highlight these issues. refuted most elegantly by your system of radioactive atom + amplifier + charge of gunpowder + cat in a box. There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks. which uses a Geiger counter as an amplifier and hydrocyanic poison instead of gunpowder.

Quantum decoherence ensures that the different outcomes have no interaction with each other. or observation. a system stops being a superposition of states and becomes either one or the other when an observation takes place. Many-worlds interpretation and consistent histories In 1957. which does not single out observation as a special process. The quantum-mechanical "Schrödinger's cat" paradox according to the many-worlds interpretation. and an observer looking at a box with a live cat. one of the main scientists associated with the Copenhagen interpretation. so "observer states" corresponding to the cat's being alive and dead are formed. This experiment makes apparent the fact that the nature of measurement.[6] Analysis of an actual experiment found that measurement alone (for example by a Geiger counter) is sufficient to collapse a quantum wave function before there is any conscious observation of the measurement. Copenhagen interpretation The most commonly held interpretation of quantum mechanics is the Copenhagen interpretation. never had in mind the observer-induced collapse of the wave function. both alive and dead states of the cat persist after the box is opened. Only the "dead cat" or "alive cat" can be a part of a consistent history in this interpretation. The thought experiment requires an "unconscious observation" by the detector in order for magnification to occur. but are decoherent from each other. However. there is no effective communication or interaction between them. In other words. In the many-worlds interpretation. each observer state is entangled or linked with the cat so that the "observation of the cat's state" and the "cat's state" correspond with each other. Hugh Everett formulated the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. the observer becomes entangled with the cat." and that only when the box is opened and an observation performed does the wave function collapse into one of the two states. when the box is opened. is not well-defined in this interpretation.[5] In the Copenhagen interpretation. But since the dead and alive states are decoherent. the system simultaneously exists in a superposition of the states "decayed nucleus/dead cat" and "undecayed nucleus/living cat.Schrödinger's Cat 123 Interpretations of the experiment Since Schrödinger's time.[7] The view that the "observation" is taken when a particle from the nucleus hits the detector can be developed into objective collapse theories. When opening the box. so that Schrödinger's Cat did not pose any riddle to him. the observer and the already-dead cat split into an observer looking at a box with a dead cat. Niels Bohr. In contrast. other interpretations of quantum mechanics have been proposed that give different answers to the questions posed by Schrödinger's cat of how long superpositions last and when (or whether) they collapse. The cat is both alive and dead—regardless of whether the box is opened—but the "alive" and "dead" cats are in different branches of the universe that are equally real but cannot interact with each other. . The same mechanism of quantum decoherence is also important for the interpretation in terms of consistent histories. In this interpretation. The cat would be either dead or alive long before the box is opened by a conscious observer. the many worlds approach denies that collapse ever occurs. The experiment can be interpreted to mean that while the box is closed. every event is a branch point.

" or "the environment observes the cat.Schrödinger's Cat Roger Penrose criticises this: "I wish to make it clear that. the cat would be expected to have settled into a definite state long before the box is opened. depending on the information they have about the system. Not until the box is opened. the experimenter can be considered another observer of the system in the box (the cat plus the apparatus). this is far from a resolution of the cat paradox. known as the quantum suicide machine. ." Objective collapse theories require a modification of standard quantum mechanics to allow superpositions to be destroyed by the process of time evolution. Objective collapse theories According to objective collapse theories. the mainstream view (without necessarily endorsing many-worlds) is that decoherence is the mechanism that forbids such simultaneous perception. has information about the state of the apparatus (the atom has either decayed or not decayed). the two observers simultaneously have different accounts of the situation: To the cat. 124 Ensemble interpretation The ensemble interpretation states that superpositions are nothing but subensembles of a larger statistical ensemble.[11] The cat can be considered an observer of the apparatus." But the relational interpretation allows that different observers can give different accounts of the same series of events. but the experimenter does not have information about the state of the box contents. the wavefunction of the apparatus has appeared to "collapse". and all may be considered "observers. the contents of the box appear to be in superposition. irreversibility. This could loosely be phrased as "the cat observes itself. the cat. do both system states appear to "collapse" into the same definite result. to the experimenter. and argues that by using this approach. but only to the statistics of many similarly prepared cat experiments. has been proposed by cosmologist Max Tegmark.) is reached. mass. Thus. For there is nothing in the formalism of quantum mechanics that demands that a state of consciousness cannot involve the simultaneous perception of a live and a dead cat". In this way. The state vector would not apply to individual cat experiments. and both observers have the same information about what happened.[8] However. temperature. superpositions are destroyed spontaneously (irrespective of external observation) when some objective physical threshold (of time. all are quantum systems governed by the same rules of wavefunction evolution. by nature of it being alive or dead. etc.[9][10] A variant of the Schrödinger's Cat experiment. This interpretation serves to discard the idea that a single physical system in quantum mechanics has a mathematical description that corresponds to it in any way. meanwhile. Relational interpretation The relational interpretation makes no fundamental distinction between the human experimenter. a cat that is either alive or dead. the cat. one may be able to distinguish between the Copenhagen interpretation and many-worlds. It examines the Schrödinger's Cat experiment from the point of view of the cat. or between animate and inanimate systems. as it stands. Proponents of this interpretation state that this makes the Schrödinger's Cat paradox a trivial non-issue. Before the box is opened. or the apparatus.

Bibcode 1996IJTP. 44. aps. The issue here is. which can be placed into a superposition of vibrating and non vibrating states. and the machine proposed is not known to have been constructed. doi:10. tu-harburg. pdf) on 2006-11-30.1637R. fr/ aflb/ AFLB-311/ aflb311m387. Zurek. ensmp. fr/ aflb/ AFLB-Web/ en-annales-index. com/ books?id=-4sJ_fgyZJEC& pg=PA2).[12] These experiments do not show that a cat-sized object can be superposed.. ensmp. In many cases the state is short-lived. pdf).g. [8] Penrose. "The death of Schroedinger's Cat and of consciousness-based wave-function collapse" (http:/ / web. R. [3] Schroedinger: "The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics" (http:/ / www. successful experiments involving similar principles. 715 or (http:/ / arxiv. Anderson AJ (2006). even when cooled to near absolute zero. . Carlo (1996). jstor.[18][19] References [1] EPR article: Can Quantum-Mechanical Description Reality Be Considered Complete? (http:/ / prola. All the superconducting electrons in the SQUID flow both ways around the loop at once when they are in the Schrödinger’s cat state. org/ web/ 20080618174026/ http:/ / www. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. prominent physicists have gone so far as to suggest that astronomers observing dark energy in the universe in 1998 may have "reduced its life expectancy" through a pseudo-Schrödinger's Cat scenario. ISBN 978-981-02-1010-6. [7] Carpenter RHS.[14] • An experiment involving a superconducting quantum interference device ("SQUID") has been linked to theme of the thought experiment: " The superposition state does not correspond to a billion electrons flowing one way and a billion others flowing the other way. although this is a controversial viewpoint.. The resonator comprises about 10 trillion atoms. .[15] • A piezoelectric "tuning fork" has been constructed. einselection. Physics Today..[16] • An experiment involving a flu virus has been proposed. org/ abs/ quant-ph/ 0105127) [10] Wojciech H. google. de/ rzt/ rzt/ it/ QM/ cat. and the quantum origins of the classical. e. Reviews of Modern Physics 2003. Retrieved 2010-09-10. Erwin (November 1935). Quantum physics & observed reality: a critical interpretation of quantum mechanics (http:/ / books. Retrieved 9 May 2011.[17] In quantum computing the phrase "cat state" often refers to the special entanglement of qubits wherein the qubits are in an equal superposition of all being 0 and all being 1. International Journal of Theoretical Physics 35: 1637–1678. "Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" (http:/ / plato. archive. or only when the second observer is informed of the first observer's observations? In another extension. Extensions Wigner's friend is a variant on the experiment with two external observers: the first opens and inspects the box and then communicates his observations to a second observer. 2. p 807. "Die gegenwärtige Situation in der Quantenmechanik (The present situation in quantum mechanics)". [6] Faye. htm) 31 (1): 45–52. org/ pss/ 687649) [5] Hermann Wimmel (1992). "Relational Quantum Mechanics". J (2008-01-24). html#sect5) [4] Pay link to Einstein letter (http:/ / www. Naturwissenschaften. e. pp 36–44 (1991) [11] Rovelli.35. does the wave function "collapse" when the first observer opens the box. p. ensmp. edu/ entries/ qm-copenhagen/ ). arXiv:quant-ph/9609002. • A "cat state" has been achieved with photons. but the known upper limit on "cat states" has been pushed upwards by them. Archived from the original (http:/ / www.". Stanford University.g. Decoherence. Annales de la Fondation Louis de Broglie (http:/ / web. . stanford. org/ abstract/ PR/ v47/ i10/ p777_1) [2] Schrödinger.[13] • A beryllium ion has been trapped in a superposed state. However. Retrieved 2010-09-19. "Decoherence and the transition from quantum to classical". The Road to Reality. .Schrödinger's Cat 125 Applications and tests The experiment as described is a purely theoretical one. The Metaphysics Research Lab Center for the Study of Language and Information. [9] Wojciech H.1007/BF02302261. Zurek. archive. fr/ aflb/ AFLB-311/ aflb311m387. Superconducting electrons move en masse. superpositions of relatively large (by the standards of quantum physics) objects have been performed. 75. org/ web/ 20061130173850/ http:/ / www. World Scientific.

(US: APS) 100 (17).com/solutions/ experiments/schrodingerscat/) More diagrams and an information creation explanation. Phys. com/ blog/ arxiv/ 24101/ )> [18] Chown..100. Rev.com/siftpodcast/schr-dingers-cat) produced by Sift (http:// siftpodcast. doi:10. . com/ questions/ 3309/ what-is-the-worlds-biggest-schrodinger-cat) [13] Schr%C%B6dingers Cat Now Made of Light (http:/ / www. • A YouTube video explaining Schrödingers cat (http://www.html) • The EPR paper (http://prola.com/classics/a1_122.straightdope. Physics World. html). 2000) New life for Schrödinger's cat.com/cws/ article/print/525) Experiments at two universities claim to observe superposition in large scale systems • Information Philosopher on Schrödinger's cat (http://www. al. "Has observing the universe hastened its end?" (http:/ / www. New Scientist. "Late Time Behavior of False Vacuum Decay: Possible Implications for Cosmology and Metastable Inflating States".com/) • Erwin Schrödinger.com/watch?v=CrxqTtiWxs4) . 2008). 800-has-observing-the-universe-hastened-its-end. [19] Krauss. The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics (Translation) (http://www.171301.de/rzt/ rzt/it/QM/cat.org/abstract/PR/v47/i10/p777_1) • Viennese Meow (the cat's perspective . com/ cws/ article/ news/ 2815) [16] Scientific American : Macro-Weirdness: "Quantum Microphone" Puts Naked-Eye Object in 2 Places at Once: A new device tests the limits of Schrödinger's cat (http:/ / www. pdf) [15] Physics World: Schrodinger's cat comes into view (http:/ / physicsworld. Retrieved 2007-11-25. Lawrence M. Bibcode 2008PhRvL. stackexchange. scientificamerican. science20.short story) (http://primastoria.aps.youtube. et.Schrödinger's Cat [12] What is the World's Biggest Schrodinger Cat? (http:/ / physics. 1. James Dent (April 30.html). newscientist. arXiv:0711. Marcus (2007-11-22). 126 External links • Schrödinger's cat in audio (http://soundcloud.100q1301K.1103/PhysRevLett. quantumsciencephilippines. com/ channel/ fundamentals/ mg19626313. The Straight Dope • Tom Leggett (Aug. technologyreview. Monroe.com/story/viennese-meow/) • The story of Schroedinger's cat (an epic poem) (http://www.tu-harburg. UK (http://physicsworld. A “Schrodinger Cat” Superposition State of an Atom (http:/ / www.informationphilosopher. Lett. com/ article. com/ seminar/ seminar-topics/ SchrodingerCatAtom. cfm?id=quantum-microphone) [17] How to Create Quantum Superpositions of Living Things (http:/ / www. com/ news_articles/ schrÃ¶dingers_cat_now_made_light) [14] C.1821.

The role of the wavefunction is to generate the velocity field for the particles. for instance living cat/happy scientist. but actual measurements always find the physical system in a definite state. and poses a key set of questions that each interpretation must answer. particular observation of the cat does not measure the probabilities: it always finds either a living cat. The question is: How are the probabilities converted into an actual. and it never collapses—so there is no measurement problem. or a dead cat. These velocities are such that the probability distribution for the particle remains consistent with the predictions of the orthodox quantum mechanics. measuring instrument. The wavefunction in quantum mechanics evolves deterministically according to the Schrödinger equation as a linear superposition of different states. which entangle to form a single larger entity. Measurement Problems The Measurement Problem The measurement problem in quantum mechanics is the unresolved problem of how (or if) wavefunction collapse occurs. meaning that the measurement "did something" to the process under examination. observer.g. e. work later extended by Bryce DeWitt. the superposition of the entire universe. the cat seems to be in some kind of "combination" state (specifically. but only probabilities? As a general question: How can one establish a correspondence between quantum and classical reality?[3] Example The best known is the "paradox" of the Schrödinger's cat: a cat is apparently evolving into a linear superposition of basis vectors that can be characterized as an "alive cat" and states that can be described as a "dead cat". the Schrödinger wave equation determines the wavefunction at any later time. the act of measurement is simply an interaction between quantum entities. Everett also attempted to demonstrate the way that in measurements the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics would appear. After the measurement the cat is definitively alive or dead. electron/positron etc. why can we not predict precise results for measurements. Instead. According to de Broglie–Bohm theory. Erich Joos and Heinz-Dieter Zeh claim that the latter approach was put on firm ground in the 1980s by the phenomenon of quantum decoherence. interaction with the environment during a measurement procedure separates the wave packets in configuration space which is where apparent wavefunction collapse comes from even though there is no actual collapse. However. The inability to observe this process directly has given rise to different interpretations of quantum mechanics.[4] Zeh further claims that decoherence makes it possible to identify the fuzzy . a "superposition"). Whatever that "something" may be does not appear to be explained by the basic theory. a single. De Broglie–Bohm theory tries to solve the measurement problem very differently: this interpretation contains not only the wavefunction. Each of these possibilities is associated with a specific nonzero probability amplitude. If observers and their measuring apparatus are themselves described by a deterministic wave function. To express matters differently (to paraphrase Steven Weinberg [1][2]). Any future evolution is based on the state the system was discovered to be in when the measurement was made.127 6. sharply well-defined outcome? Interpretations Hugh Everett's many-worlds interpretation attempts to solve the problem by suggesting there is only one wavefunction. but also the information about the position of the particle(s).

Phys. Z. 76 (4): 1267–1305. edu/~hsu/talks/probability_qm.1267S. 223. . "Quantum noise. Vol. but it has also become an important part of some modern updates of the Copenhagen interpretation based on consistent histories. and the quantum origins of the classical Reviews of Modern Physics.[6] [7] . editors ed. Kiefer. [9] M Schlosshauer: Experimental motivation and empirical consistency in minimal no-collapse quantum mechanics. pdf) [4] Joos.). aip. P. doi:10. measurements and filtering". Only the physical interactions between systems then determine a particular decomposition into classical states from the view of each particular system. doi:10. D. Volume 321. "Nondemolition principle of quantum measurement theory". as described in a recent paper by Schlosshauer as follows:[9] Several decoherence-unrelated proposals have been put forward in the past to elucidate the meaning of probabilities and arrive at the Born rule … It is fair to say that no decisive conclusion appears to have been reached as to the success of these derivations. the measurement problem. [6] V. S. Chapter 2. clemson. E.pdf) External links • The Quantum Measurement Problem (http://www.1103/RevModPhys.M1) (2nd Edition. org/ abs/ quant-ph/ 9506020v3) in E.1016/S0079-6727(00)00011-2. decoherence. org/ fulltext?format=application/ pdf& identifier=oai:arXiv.. [2] Steven Weinberg: Einstein's Mistakes (http:/ / scitation. Domenico Giulini. Rev. Buniy. Decoherence and the Appearance of a Classical World in Quantum Theory (http:/ / books.The Measurement Problem boundary between the quantum microworld and the world where the classical intuition is applicable. Quantum decoherence does not describe the actual process of the wavefunction collapse. Joos . citebase. but it explains the conversion of the quantum probabilities (that exhibit interference effects) to the ordinary classical probabilities.1007/BF02054669. July 2003 (http:/ / hubcap. 75. Bibcode 2004RvMP.. arXiv:quant-ph/0512208. ISBN 3-540-00390-8. [8] Maximilian Schlosshauer (2005). doi:10. . Zeh. See. Springer-Verlag.[5] Quantum decoherence was proposed in the context of the many-worlds interpretation. "The emergence of classical properties through interaction with the environment" (1985). Thus classical concepts are to be understood as locally emergent in a relative-state sense and should no longer claim a fundamental role in the physical theory. Zeh. [7] V. einselection. 128 References and notes [1] Steven Weinberg (1998). arXiv:quant-ph/0512188. Belavkin (2001).1267.76. and H. Oxford University Press. The experimental evidence for superpositions of macroscopically distinct states on increasingly large length scales counters such a dictum. Hsu and A. ISBN 0-19-820428-0. B 59. arXiv:quant-ph/0312059. January 2006. org:quant-ph/ 0506199) Further reading • R. com/ ?id=uYTW5ZWrwWAC& pg=PA22& dq=observer+ measurement+ "S+ Weinberg") (Michael Howard & William Roger Louis.shantena. Erich Joos. P. C.com/en/physicslectures/quantummeasurement) Two presentations: a non-technical and a more technical presentation. Progress in Quantum Electronics 25 (1): 1–53. 26.[8] The present situation is slowly clarifying. Belavkin (1994). Zee On the origin of probability in quantum mechanics (2006) (http://duende. bits and jumps: uncertainties. Kupsch.76. Phys.. Mod. see subsection "Contra quantum mechanics" [3] Wojciech Hubert Zurek Decoherence. Zurek. ... Stamatescu (editors) ed. Issue 1. for example. and interpretations of quantum mechanics".). google. (2003). Pages 112-149 (http:/ / www. [5] H D Zeh (http:/ / arxiv. O. Foundations of Physics 24 (5): 685–714. D.[3] Zeh[5] and Schlosshauer. p. shtml) in Physics Today (2005). Annals of Physics. v75p715y03. [many papers by Bohr insist upon] the fundamental role of classical concepts. org/ journals/ doc/ PHTOAD-ft/ vol_58/ iss_11/ 31_1. com/ ?id=6eTHcxeNxdUC& printsec=frontcover& dq=isbn=3540613943#PPT21. H. "Decoherence. The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century (http:/ / books. edu/ ~daw/ D_PHYS455/ RevModPhys. … As it is well known. google. I.. J.uoregon.

Measurable quantities ("observables") as operators It is a postulate of quantum mechanics that all measurements have an associated operator (called an observable operator.[2] As a result.[1] (This distribution can be either discrete or continuous. The updating of the quantum state model is called wavefunction collapse. so as to measure the same aspect of the same quantum state prepared in the same way. the utility of this approach has been verified countless times. one finds the same result as the first measurement. it is this updating that ensures that if an immediate re-measurement is repeated without re-preparing the state. the nature of which varies according to the interpretation adopted. Qualitative overview The quantum state of a system is a mathematical object that fully describes the quantum system.) This is because an important aspect of measurement is wavefunction collapse. The observable's eigenvalues are real. the result merely appears random and indeterministic. The issue of measurement lies at the heart of the problem of the interpretation of quantum mechanics. This section summarizes this relationship. and has been experimentally confirmed countless times. for which there is currently no consensus. . one finds the same result as the first measurement. The expected result of the measurement is in general described by a probability distribution that specifies the likelihoods that the various possible results will be obtained. some aspect of it is measured (for example. which consists of all possible quantum states) into itself. again. and all other interpretations are necessarily constructed so as to give the same quantitative predictions as this in almost every case. is that if the measurement is repeated. there is considerable dispute over this issue. the result of the measurement will often be different. The possible outcomes of the measurement are precisely the eigenvalues of the given observable. Once the quantum state has been prepared.Measurement in Quantum Mechanics 129 Measurement in Quantum Mechanics The framework of quantum mechanics requires a careful definition of measurement. after measuring some aspect of the quantum state. The observable is a Hermitian (self-adjoint) operator mapping a Hilbert space (namely. we normally update the quantum state to reflect the result of the measurement. in some interpretations of quantum mechanics.) The measurement process is often said to be random and indeterministic. If the experiment is repeated. with the following properties: 1. 2. however. One typically imagines some experimental apparatus and procedure which "prepares" this quantum state. (However. To describe this. Measurement from a practical point of view Measurement is viewed in different ways in the many interpretations of quantum mechanics. in other interpretations the indeterminism is core and irreducible. Quantitative details The mathematical relationship between the quantum state and the probability distribution is. they almost universally agree on the practical question of what results from a routine quantum-physics laboratory measurement. widely accepted among physicists. or just an observable). which is stated in terms of the mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics. the state space. and it will be implicitly used in this section. depending on what is being measured. without re-preparing the state. What is universally agreed. however. its position or energy). the mathematical object then reflects the setup of the apparatus. despite the considerable philosophical differences. a simple framework to use is the Copenhagen interpretation.

e. as a consequence of the Robertson–Schrödinger relation. Important examples of observables are: • The Hamiltonian operator. where . with the special case of the nonrelativistic Hamiltonian operator: • The momentum operator: • The position operator: . set of eigenvalues) of the observable. in which case this expression reduces to . (in the position basis). . Two Hermitian operators commute if (and only if) there is at least one basis of vectors. with corresponding probabilities given by Usually is assumed to be normalized.) will yield the same result . The most convenient description depends on the spectrum (i. and suppose that it has discrete eigenstates (in bra-ket notation) for and corresponding eigenvalues Assume the system is prepared in state follows that (where .Measurement in Quantum Mechanics 3. The observable has a set of eigenvectors which span the state space. 130 Operators can be noncommuting. then the system's quantum state after the measurement is If the result of the measurement is so any repeated measurement of collapse. Discrete.. no two of which are equal. they are related by an uncertainty principle. 4. In fact. representing the total energy of the system. Noncommuting observables are said to be incompatible and cannot in general be measured simultaneously. each of which is an eigenvector of both operators (this is sometimes called a simultaneous eigenbasis). (in the momentum basis). It follows that each observable generates an orthonormal basis of eigenvectors (called an eigenbasis). Physically. Then measuring can yield any of the results . (This phenomenon is called wavefunction . which will make up the state of the system after the measurement. nondegenerate spectrum Let be an observable. this is the statement that any quantum state can always be represented as a superposition of the eigenstates of an observable. For each eigenvalue there are one or more corresponding eigenvectors (which in this context are called eigenstates). Measurement probabilities and wavefunction collapse There are a few possible ways to mathematically describe the measurement process (both the probability distribution and the collapsed wavefunction). Since the eigenstates of an observable form a basis (the eigenbasis). it can be written in terms of the eigenstates as are complex numbers).

and indeed this case can be derived from the wavefunction formulation above. which can be written in terms of the eigenbasis as 131 Assume further that each eigenvalue x in this range is associated with a unique eigenstate Assume the system is prepared in state (where is a complex-valued function). nondegenerate spectrum Let be an observable. If the result of the measurement is n. the analysis is a bit less simple to state. with corresponding probabilities given by denotes trace. for example. it is sometimes necessary to describe a quantum-mechanical system in terms of a density matrix.e.b). degenerate case. Then measuring can yield a result anywhere in the interval (a. one can say that the measurement process results in the new density matrix . By considering larger and larger boxes. Degenerate spectra If there are multiple eigenstates with the same eigenvalue (called degeneracies). but by adding a "box" potential (which bounds the volume in which the particle can be found). with probability density function . the spectrum becomes discrete.Measurement in Quantum Mechanics Continuous. and suppose that it has discrete eigenvalues respectively. and the new state after measurement is the projection of the original state vector into the appropriate eigenspace. for example. a result between y and z will occur with probability Again. .b). instead of finding a complete eigenbasis. Let be the projection operator into the space . is as follows: Let be an observable. but not essentially different. associated with eigenspaces the results where Assume the system is prepared in the state described by the density matrix ρ. i. but rather can be regarded as an equally valid formalism in which this problem can be analyzed. Then measuring . . is often assumed to be normalized. The analysis in this case is formally slightly different. then the new density matrix will be Alternatively. then the new wave function will be Alternatively. but the physical content is the same. The probability of measuring a particular eigenvalue is the squared component of the state vector in the corresponding eigenspace. it is a bit more convenient to write the Hilbert space as a direct sum of eigenspaces.. The result for the discrete. in which case this expression reduces to If the result of the measurement is x. an analysis of scattering involves a continuous spectrum of energies. Density matrix formulation Instead of performing quantum-mechanics computations in terms of wavefunctions (kets). For example. it is often possible and convenient to analyze a continuous-spectrum measurement by taking it to be the limit of a different measurement with a discrete spectrum. and suppose that it has a continuous spectrum of eigenvalues filling the interval (a. this approach need not involve any approximation. In the discrete case. can yield any of .

. the result will always certainly be . and the spatial wavefunction is . set up initially in the ground state computed from the time-independent Schrödinger equation. As can be (where m is the . In particular.Measurement in Quantum Mechanics where the difference is that is the density matrix describing the entire ensemble. the energy of this state is particle's mass and L is the box length). So in this example. If we now leave this state alone. Example Suppose that we have a particle in a 1-dimensional box. on a state whose quantum state is . like any wavefunction. be written as a superposition of eigenstates of any . • The variance of the measurement is • The standard deviation of the measurement is These are direct consequences of the above formulas for measurement probabilities. it will smoothly evolve in time according to the Schrödinger equation. Some properties of this distribution are as follows: Suppose we take a measurement corresponding to observable . the same position will be obtained. then the wavefunction after measurement will be the position eigenstate . • The mean (average) value of the measurement is (see Expectation value (quantum mechanics)) . Then the possible energy values will be measured with relative probabilities: and moreover if the measurement result is . using energy eigenstates. a particle initially in the ground state can end up in any energy level. If the energy is now measured. we have observable. after just two subsequent non-commuting measurements are made. If the particle's position is immediately measured again. due to the process of wavefunction collapse. is the density 132 matrix describing the sub-ensemble whose measurement result was Statistics of measurement As detailed above. The new wavefunction can. whereas . Next suppose that the particle's position is measured. the result of measuring a quantum-mechanical system is described by a probability distribution. The position x will be measured with probability density If the measurement result was x=S. But suppose instead that an energy measurement is immediately taken. then the new state will be the energy eigenstate . and this measurement will not affect the wavefunction.

For an arbitrary state described by a density operator Lüders projection is given by . In order to make the measurement. During the . describes measurements by taking into account the measuring apparatus which is also treated as a quantum object. von Neumann measurement scheme The von Neumann measurement scheme. Let the quantum state be in the superposition .[3] as well as questions of determinism and locality. supersedes previous notions of instantaneous collapse and provides an explanation for the absence of quantum coherence after measurement. it does not explain the randomness inherent in the choice of final state. or "wavefunction collapse". where are eigenstates of the operator that needs to be measured. weak von Neumann projection is generalized to Lüders projection in which the vectors for fixed n are the degenerate eigenvectors of the measured observable. most famously in the double-slit experiment. The final eigenstate appears randomly with a probability equal to the square of its overlap with the original state. major advances have been made toward a theoretical understanding of the collapse process. (See below. While this theory correctly predicts the form and probability distribution of the final eigenstates. called quantum decoherence. The wavefunction collapse raises serious questions regarding "the measurement problem". The unitary evolution above is referred to as premeasurement. the measured system described by described by the quantum state needs to interact with the measuring apparatus .[1] The process of collapse has been studied in many experiments. This density operator is interpreted by von Neumann as describing an ensemble of objects being after the measurement with probability The transition in the state is often referred to as weak von Neumann projection. the wave function collapse or strong von Neumann projection being thought to correspond to an additional selection of a subensemble by means of observation. In case the measured observable has a degenerate spectrum. so that the total wave function before the interaction is interaction of object and measuring instrument the unitary evolution is supposed to realize the following transition from the initial to the final total wave function: where are orthonormal states of the measuring apparatus. as demonstrated in the EPR paradox and later in GHZ entanglement.) In the last few decades. The relation with wave function collapse is established by calculating the final density operator of the object from the final total wave function. This new theoretical framework.Measurement in Quantum Mechanics 133 Wavefunction collapse The process in which a quantum state becomes one of the eigenstates of the operator corresponding to the measured observable is called "collapse". the ancestor of quantum decoherence theory.

also the Stern–Gerlach [4] experiment would not function at all if it really were a measurement of the first kind. such as an understanding of weak measurements. This is best illustrated by the Schrödinger's cat paradox. a major conceptual problem of quantum mechanics and especially the Copenhagen interpretation was the lack of a distinctive criterion for a given physical interaction to qualify as "a measurement" and cause a wavefunction to collapse. . and quantifying what measurements or interactions are sufficient to destroy quantum coherence. The Bohm interpretation is held to be correct only by a small minority of physicists. detecting a photon by absorbing and hence annihilating it. Philosophical problems of quantum measurements What physical interaction constitutes a measurement? Until the advent of quantum decoherence theory in the late 20th century. a photon counter. though it does not explain the presence of randomness in the choice of final eigenstate. there remains less than universal agreement among physicists on some aspects of the question of what constitutes a measurement. Nevertheless. or represents a set of states that do not overlap in space. the final state of the object now being with probability Note that many present-day measurement procedures are measurements of the second kind. the appearance of collapse can be generated by either the Bohm interpretation or the Everett interpretation which both deny the reality of wavefunction collapse. If the set of states . thus ideally leaving the electromagnetic field in the vacuum state rather than in the state corresponding to the number of detected photons. However. since there are difficulties with the generalization for use with relativistic quantum field theory. For instance. . Certain aspects of this question are now well understood in the framework of quantum decoherence theory. but can also be understood as a process or as a process on the level of the measuring apparatus. Now the problematic wavefunction collapse does not need to be understood as a process on the level of the measured system. Decoherence in quantum measurement One can also introduce the interaction with the environment interaction the total wave function takes a form . The Everett interpretation easily accommodates relativistic quantum field theory. Both of these are stated to predict the same probabilities for collapses to various states as the conventional interpretation by their supporters. in a measurement of the first kind. Studying these processes provides considerable insight into the measurement problem by avoiding the arbitrary boundary between the quantum and classical worlds. after the which is related to the phenomenon of decoherence. The above is completely described by the Schrödinger equation and there are not any interpretational problems with this. some even functioning correctly only as a consequence of being of the second kind. there is no proof that the Bohm interpretation is inconsistent with quantum field theory. so that.Measurement in Quantum Mechanics 134 Measurements of the second kind In a measurement of the second kind the unitary evolution during the interaction of object and measuring instrument is supposed to be given by in which the states of the object are determined by specific properties of the interaction between object and measuring instrument. They are normalized but not necessarily mutually orthogonal. The relation with wave function collapse is analogous to that obtained for measurements of the first kind. on the level of the environment. and work to reconcile the two is ongoing.

. . the Principle of locality is the concept that information cannot travel faster than the speed of light (also see special relativity). Princeton University Press. • George S. Modern Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed. they would have to be "nonlocal". com/ content/ t4266804k832p42p/ fulltext. fundamental randomness. doi. Is the measurement process random or deterministic? As described above. W. pdf). Does the measurement process violate locality? In physics. J. (1983). The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research On The Foundations Of Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed. Khalili (1992). org/ pdf/ quant-ph/ 0609163). Sakurai (1994). p. Scully.). (2007).[5] References [1] J. google. and the other possible states still exist. . It is known experimentally (see Bell's theorem. ISBN 0-521-41928-X. com/ books?id=5t0tm0FB1CsC& pg=PA215& lpg=PA215& dq=wave+ function+ collapse& source=bl& ots=a7iUGurRDC& sig=o1ddjY7lQrj4EQdvS49xcceWq2M& hl=en& ei=RfgtSsDNL4WgM8u-rf4J& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=7#PPA215. 25. there is universal agreement that quantum mechanics appears random. But according to the many-worlds interpretation. This continues to be an area of active research. Retrieved 9 November 2012. Foundation of Physics 37: 1563-1611. Cambridge University Press. or merely "emergent" randomness resulting from underlying hidden variables which deterministically cause measurement results to happen a certain way each time.). Retrieved 9 November 2012. springerlink. violates the principle of locality). J. Quantum Theory and Measurement. The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research On The Foundations Of Quantum Mechanics (http:/ / books.) For example. in most versions of the Copenhagen interpretation. [4] M. it is not settled[5] whether this is true.[6] If there are hidden variables. . nonlocal. and after measurement the state is definitely what was measured. 1038/ nature05677). ISBN 076372470X. [6] S. p. which is related to the EPR paradox) that if quantum mechanics is deterministic (due to hidden variables. ISBN 0201539292. in the sense that all experimental results yet uncovered can be predicted and understood in the framework of quantum mechanics measurements being fundamentally random. ISBN 076372470X. ISBN 0201539292. Further reading • John A. Wheeler and Wojciech Hubert Zurek.). as described above). there is not universal agreement among physicists on whether quantum mechanics is nondeterministic.e.O. Nevertheless. measurement determines the state in a more restricted sense: In other "worlds". [2] J.Measurement in Quantum Mechanics 135 Does measurement actually determine the state? The question of whether (and in what sense) a measurement actually determines the state is one which differs among the different interpretations of quantum mechanics. Nevertheless. • Vladimir B. [5] Hrvoje Nikolić (2007). then it is nonlocal (i. Greenstein and Arthur G. Braginsky and Farid Ya. Barut (1987). [3] George S.E. eds. Modern Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed.). Gröblacher et al. Nature 446 (871). org/ 10. "On the theory of the Stern–Gerlach apparatus" (http:/ / www. "Quantum mechanics: Myths and facts" (http:/ / arxiv. Lamb.M1) (2nd ed. Greenstein and Arthur G. 24. "An experimental test of non-local realism" (http:/ / dx. Sakurai (1994). or both. Retrieved 9 November 2012. Zajonc (2006). Quantum Measurement. (It is also closely related to the understanding of wavefunction collapse. ISBN 0-691-08316-9. Foundations of Physics 17: 575–583. other measurement results were obtained. the measurement determines the state. A. Zajonc (2006). .

org) • " Measurement in Quantum Mechanics (http://plato.org/abs/quant-ph/0505070) • The conditions for discrimination between quantum states with minimum error (http://arxiv. (physicsweb.edu/entries/qt-measurement/)" Henry Krips in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy • Decoherence.stanford.org/abs/1001.Measurement in Quantum Mechanics 136 External links • " The Double Slit Experiment (http://physicsweb. and interpretations of quantum mechanics (http://arxiv.org/pdf/0810.org/abs/ quant-ph/0312059) • Measurements and Decoherence (http://arxiv. the measurement problem.3032) . 1919) • Quantum behavior of measurement apparatus (http://arxiv.org/article/world/15/9/1)".

For example. because the Hamiltonian and its symmetries are quite different. Often. satisfies the relation HO = OH). in caesium (Cs). 1. and observations on electron spin based on spectroscopy and Hund's rules. the eigenvalue of the Hamiltonian. but other possibilities include angular momentum. 2. A quantized system requires at least one quantum number. Molecular orbitals require different quantum numbers. i. There is also one quantum number for each operator O that commutes with the Hamiltonian (i. it is thus difficult to list all possible quantum numbers.e. Advanced Concepts Quantum Number Quantum numbers describe values of conserved quantities in the dynamics of the quantum system. Traditional nomenclatures Many different models have been proposed throughout the history of quantum mechanics. i. H. ℓ. there is more than one way to choose a set of independent operators. . angular momentum.[1] How many quantum numbers? The question of how many quantum numbers are needed to describe any given system has no universal answer. of an atom. given below. For particles in a time-independent potential (see Schrödinger equation). It is also the common nomenclature in the classical description of nuclear particle states (e.[2] This model describes electrons using four quantum numbers. ms. E with the contribution due to angular . the energy.. in different situations different sets of quantum numbers may be used for the description of the same system. This is distinguished from classical mechanics where the values can range continuously. This system of nomenclature incorporated Bohr energy levels. Note that the operators O defining the quantum numbers should be independent of each other.e.e. etc. .137 7. protons and neutrons). The value of n ranges from 1 to the shell containing the outermost electron of that atom. but the most prominent system of nomenclature spawned from the Hund-Mulliken molecular orbital theory of Friedrich Hund. Any quantum system can have one or more quantum numbers. or energy level. one must find the answer for a full analysis of the system. i. Robert S. and contributions from Schrödinger.g. magnetic moment and spin. Spatial and angular momentum numbers To completely describe an electron in an atom. Mulliken. Quantum numbers often describe specifically the energies of electrons in atoms.e.[3] n = 1. Perhaps the most peculiar aspect of quantum mechanics is the quantization of observable quantities. so an electron in caesium can have an n value from 1 to 6. it also labels the nth eigenvalue of Hamiltonian (H). since quantum numbers are discrete sets of integers or half-integers. Hund-Mulliken orbital theory. There is one quantum number of the system corresponding to the energy. Consequently. four quantum numbers are needed: energy. the outermost valence electron is in the shell with energy level 6.. mℓ. Slater and John Lennard-Jones. The principal quantum number: n The first describes the electron shell. n. These are all the quantum numbers that the system can have. spin. hence for each system. The dynamics of any quantum system are described by a quantum Hamiltonian..

. s − 1. 4. because the first p orbital (ℓ = 1) appears in the second electron shell (n = 2). 1.s − 2." Each electron in any individual orbital must have different spins because of the Pauli exclusion principle. −s + 1. so the mℓ of an electron in a p subshell will be −1. or mℓ = 1. In chemistry. The d subshell (ℓ = 2) contains five orbitals. r).g. there is no universal fixed value for mℓ and ms values. corresponding with "spin" and "opposite spin. The average distance increases with n. and "ℓ = 3" an f orbital. and so on:[4] 138 ℓ = 0. 3. and gives the projection of the spin angular momentum S along the specified axis: Analogously... The azimuthal quantum number: ℓ The second (also known as the angular quantum number or orbital quantum number) describes the subshell. "ℓ = 1" a p orbital. ms = −s. "ℓ = 2" a d orbital. −s + 2. since it specifies the shape of an atomic orbital and strongly influences chemical bonds and bond angles. an intrinsic property of particles:[6] An electron has spin s = ½. The magnetic quantum number: mℓ The third describes the specific orbital (or "cloud") within that subshell. and gives the magnitude of the orbital angular momentum through the relation L2 = ħ2 ℓ (ℓ + 1). These rules are summarized as follows: Sz = ms ħ. . but the mℓ value of the other electron in that orbital must be the same. A quantum number beginning in 3. the radial coordinate.. the first d orbital (ℓ = 2) appears in the third shell (n = 3). 0. and therefore the mℓ of an electron in an s subshell will always be 0. 0. The spin projection quantum number: ms The fourth describes the spin (intrinsic angular momentum) of the electron within that orbital. The p subshell (ℓ = 1) contains three orbitals (in some systems. The values of mℓ range from −ℓ to ℓ. the orbital occupied by the first electron in a p subshell could be described as mℓ = −1 or mℓ = 0. depicted as three "dumbbell-shaped" clouds). −1. The only requirement is that the naming schematic used within a particular set of calculations or descriptions must be consistent (e.Quantum Number momentum (the term involving J2) left out. 2. and hence quantum states with different principal quantum numbers are said to belong to different shells. Therefore. This number therefore has a dependence only on the distance between the electron and the nucleus (i. this quantum number is very important... Note that. or 1. the mℓ and ms values are defined somewhat arbitrarily. s.. n − 1. In chemistry and spectroscopy. 1. therefore an orbital never contains more than two electrons. and 2. … describes an electron in the s orbital of the third electron shell of an atom. "ℓ = 0" is called an s orbital. and yields the projection of the orbital angular momentum along a specified axis: Lz = mℓ ħ. 2. with integer steps between them:[5] The s subshell (ℓ = 0) contains only one orbital.. since atoms and electrons are in a state of constant motion. 0. where s is the spin quantum number.. the values of ms range from −s to s. with mℓ values of −2. The value of ℓ ranges from 0 to n − 1. and the mℓ assigned to electrons in other orbitals must be different).e. consequently ms will be ±½.

However two electrons can never have the same exact quantum state nor the same set of quantum numbers according to Hund's Rules. 1. n = 2 (2nd electron shell). 3. A fourth quantum number with two possible values was added as an ad hoc assumption to resolve the conflict. … for n = 3: ℓ = 0.Quantum Number 139 Name Symbol Orbital meaning Range of values 1≤n 0≤ℓ≤n−1 Value examples principal quantum number azimuthal quantum number (angular momentum) n ℓ shell subshell (s orbital is listed as 0. 3. and satisfies mj = −j. j − 1. so ms = −½. ½ magnetic quantum number. Parity This is the eigenvalue under reflection. p. j mj = mℓ + ms and |mℓ + ms| ≤ j. which are located in the 2p atomic orbital. mℓ = 1. which addresses the Pauli exclusion principle.) energy shift (orientation of the subshell's shape) n = 1. p orbital as 1 etc. and is positive (+1) for states which came from even ℓ and negative (−1) for states which came from odd ℓ. 2. ms = ½ (parallel spins). 1. −j + 2. the L and S operators no longer commute with the Hamiltonian. ½ = "spin up") −s ≤ ms ≤ s Example: The quantum numbers used to refer to the outermost valence electrons of the Carbon (C) atom. 0 or −1. Thus another set of quantum numbers should be used. are. −j + 1.. (projection of angular momentum) mℓ −ℓ ≤ mℓ ≤ ℓ spin projection quantum number ms spin of the electron (−½ = "spin down". Results from spectroscopy indicated that up to two electrons can occupy a single orbital.. −1. 2 (s. consider the following eight states.. The total angular momentum quantum number: j = |ℓ ± s| which gives the total angular momentum through the relation J2 = ħ2 j (j + 1). and is given by P = (−1)ℓ. The former is also known as even parity and the latter as odd parity. this supposition could later be explained in detail by relativistic quantum mechanics and from the results of the renowned Stern-Gerlach experiment. and their eigenvalues therefore change over time. ℓ = 1 (p orbital subshell).j − 2. This set includes[7][8] 1. d) for ℓ = 2: mℓ = −2.. For example. defined by their quantum numbers: . The projection of the total angular momentum along a specified axis: analogous to the above. 2. Total angular momenta numbers Total momentum of a particle When one takes the spin-orbit interaction into consideration. 0. 2 for an electron s = ½.

odd parity (coming from state (1) above) odd parity (coming from states (2) and (3) above) odd parity (coming from states (4) and (5) above) odd parity (coming from state (6) above) odd parity (coming from states (2) and (3) above) odd parity (coming from states (4) and (5) above) j = 3/2. even parity (coming from state (7) above) j = 1/2. mj = -3/2. the entire assembly of protons and neutrons (nucleons) has a resultant angular momentum due to the angular momenta of each nucleon. |jn − jp| − 1.Quantum Number 140 n ℓ mℓ #1. 1/2. mj = 1/2. 2 1 #2. j = 1/2. mj = 3/2. j = 1/2. and Sodium (Na) are. If the total angular momentum of a neutron is jn = ℓ + s and for a proton is jp = ℓ + s (where s for protons and neutrons happens to be ½ again) then the nuclear angular momentum quantum numbers I are given by: I = |jn − jp|. even parity (coming from state (8) above) Nuclear angular momentum quantum numbers In nuclei. 2 1 #3. Carbon (C).[9] . |jn − jp| Parity with the number I is used to label nuclear angular momentum states. j = 1/2. 2 0 0 +1/2 0 -1/2 1/2 -1/2 1/2 -1/2 The quantum states in the system can be described as linear combination of these eight states. examples for some isotopes of Hydrogen (H).. 2 1 -1 +1/2 #6. 2 1 -1 -1/2 #7. each represents a state which does not mix with others over time). However. |jn − jp| + 2.e. we should consider the following eight states: j = 3/2. mj = -1/2. if one wants to describe the same system by eight states which are eigenvectors of the Hamiltonian (i. usually denoted I. 2 1 ms ℓ + s ℓ . in the presence of spin-orbit interaction. |jn − jp| − 2..s ml + ms 3/2 3/2 3/2 3/2 3/2 3/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 3/2 1/2 1/2 -1/2 -1/2 -3/2 1/2 -1/2 1 +1/2 1 -1/2 0 +1/2 0 -1/2 #5.. 2 0 #8. mj = -1/2. |jn − jp| + 1. mj = j = 3/2. j = 3/2. mj = 1/2. 2 1 #4.. mj = -1/2.

ISBN 978-0-471-80553-3 . (For a full list of quantum numbers of this kind see the article on flavour. 1988. E. P.A. The property of nuclear spin is an important factor for the operation of NMR spectroscopy in organic chemistry[10]. I. the parity.pairs of nucleons have a total angular momentum of zero (just like electrons in orbitals). However. i. Molecules. ISBN 0-19-855148-7 Concepts of Modern Physics (4th Edition). 1987. However. Dickerson. Schuam's Outlines. ISBN 0-07-100144-1 Molecular Quantum Mechanics Parts I and II: An Introduction to QUANTUM CHEMISRTY (Volume 1). These are all examples of an abstract group called Z2. R. R. and hence the quantum numbers of these particles bear the same relation to the Hamiltonian of this model as the quantum numbers of the Bohr atom does to its Hamiltonian. Elementary particles Elementary particles contain many quantum numbers which are usually said to be intrinsic to them. Typical internal symmetries are lepton number and baryon number or the electric charge.Quantum Number 141 H11 I = (1/2)+ C69 H12 I = 1+ I = (3/2)− Na1120 I = 2+ Na1121 I = (3/2)+ C610 I = 0+ H13 I = (1/2)+ C611 I = (3/2)− Na1122 I = 3+ C612 I = 0+ Na1123 I = (3/2)+ C613 I = (1/2)− Na1124 I = 4+ C614 I = 0+ Na1125 I = (5/2)+ C615 I = (1/2)+ Na1126 I = 3+ The reason for the unusual fluctuations in I. McGraw Hill (USA). are due to the odd/even numbers of protons and neutrons . All multiplicative quantum numbers belong to a symmetry (like parity) in which applying the symmetry transformation twice is equivalent to doing nothing. ISBN 0-19-855129-0 Quantum Physics of Atoms. 1977. ISBN 0-19-855129-0 Molecular Quantum Mechanics Part III: An Introduction to QUANTUM CHEMISTRY (Volume 2). Atkins. Zaarur. Oxford University Press. 1976. Y.W. A. and Particles (2nd Edition). and the Universe. leaving an odd/even numbers of unpaired nucleons. Eisberg. Krane. In other words. even by differences of just one nucleon. Atkins. References and external links [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] McGraw Hill Encyclopaedia of Physics (2nd Edition). Physics. Resnick.e.S. Hecht. P. E. Beiser. John Wiley & Sons. it should be understood that the elementary particles are quantum states of the standard model of particle physics. 1977. 2010. Parker. 1994.. Benjamin Inc. Atkins. It is more useful in quantum field theory to distinguish between spacetime and internal symmetries.W. 1977 Introductory Nuclear Physics. so in an elementary particle reaction. their product is conserved. John Wiley & Sons Inc. W. ISBN 978-0-07-162358-2 Molecular Quantum Mechanics Parts I and II: An Introduction to QUANTUM CHEMISTRY (Volume 1). Oxford University Press. Oxford University Press. R. Matter.E. usually called a parity.W. each quantum number denotes a symmetry of the problem. C. P. C-parity and T-parity (related to the Poincaré symmetry of spacetime).B. ISBN 978-0-471-87373-0 Quantum Mechanics (2nd edition). are multiplicative. Typical quantum numbers related to spacetime symmetries are spin (related to rotational symmetry).) A minor but often confusing point is as follows: most conserved quantum numbers are additive. some. Nuclei. and MRI in nuclear medicine[11]. the sum of the quantum numbers should be the same before and after the reaction. (USA). Solids. Geis. K. 1985. McGraw-Hill (International). Pnini. Peleg. R. ISBN 0-07-051400-3 Chemistry. due to the nuclear magnetic moment interacting with an external magnetic field.

html) Particle physics • Griffiths. 1988. John Wiley & Sons. such as Holevo entropy [1] and the conditional quantum entropy. ISBN 0-13-805326-X.Quantum Number [10] Molecular Quantum Mechanics Part III: An Introduction to QUANTUM CHEMISTRY (Volume 2). ISBN 0-471-88741-2.edu/faculty/durfee/courses/Summer2009/ physics222/AtomicQuantumNumbers. Francis and Martin. (1984). one well-known example of this is Shor's factoring algorithm. it is given by Many of the same entropy measures in classical information theory can also be generalized to the quantum case. Oxford University Press. among which we note the following: • It cannot be read without the state becoming the measured value. Grover's search algorithm which gives a quadratic speed-up over the best possible classical algorithm. despite this. the amount of information that can be retrieved in a single qubit is equal to one bit. The ability to manipulate quantum information enables us to perform tasks that would be unachievable in a classical context. Other algorithms can speed up a task less dramatically—for example. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed. a two-level quantum system.S. quantum information is physical information that is held in the "state" of a quantum system. 1977 [11] Introductory Nuclear Physics. such as unconditionally secure transmission of information. Prentice Hall. (2004). However. Atomic physics • Quantum numbers for the hydrogen atom (http://hyperphysics. Alan D.phy-astr. K. • Halzen.pdf) Quantum Information In quantum mechanics. There are certain tasks which classical computers cannot perform "efficiently" (that is. ISBN 978-0-471-80553-3 142 General principles • Dirac. P. QUARKS AND LEPTONS: An Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics. Oxford University Press.W.physics.byu. However. and changes in quantum information. Quantum information differs from classical information in several respects. unlike classical digital states (which are discrete). a two-state quantum system can actually be in a superposition of the two states at any given time. Quantum information processing is the most general field that is concerned with quantum information.gov/) • Lecture notes on quantum numbers (http://www.gsu. in polynomial time) according to any known algorithm. • An arbitrary state cannot be cloned. • The state may be in a superposition of basis values.M. Krane.lbl.edu/hbase/qunoh. Principles of quantum mechanics. Atkins. Quantum information. • The particle data group (http://pdg. a quantum computer can compute the answer to some of these problems in polynomial time.). called the von Neumann entropy. Given a statistical ensemble of quantum mechanical systems with the density matrix . (1982). can be quantitatively measured by using an analogue of Shannon entropy. John Wiley & Sons Inc. . ISBN 0-19-852011-5. However. Paul A. The most popular unit of quantum information is the qubit. David J. It is in the processing of information (quantum computation) that the differentiation occurs.

The information content of a message can. in the same sense a classical binary digit can carry at most one classical bit. It was a big breakthrough for the theory of quantum information. for example. This is because it is always possible to efficiently transform information from one representation to another. In general. Vol 44. Quantum Information Group [6] The quantum information research group at the University of Nottingham. Journals Among the journals in this field are • International Journal of Quantum Information • Journal of Quantum Chemistry • Applied Mathematics & Information Sciences External links and references • • • • • • • • Lectures at the Institut Henri Poincaré (slides and videos) [2] Quantum Information Theory at ETH Zurich [3] Quantum Information [4] Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Center for Quantum Computation [5] . pp 2724–2742." IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. Oct 1998 • Institute for Quantum Computing [9] . Quantiki [8] .The CQC.A quantum physics wiki devoted to providing technical resources for practicing quantum information scientists. Qwiki [7] . A two-level quantum system can carry at most one qubit. the term qubit is thus a measure for the amount of information. this is not the case for quantum information: it is not possible. • Quantum information can be negative [12] . "Quantum Information Theory. As a consequence of the noisy-channel coding theorem.The Institute for Quantum Computing. In its original theoretical sense. is a group of researchers studying quantum information.Quantum Information 143 Quantum information theory The theory of quantum information is a result of the effort to generalize classical information theory to the quantum world. for this reason. to write down on paper the previously unknown information contained in the polarisation of a photon. Bennett and Peter W. However. Charles H. otherwise there would not be a chance for them to be useful. It is only possible to transform quantum information between quantum systems of sufficient information capacity. Quantum information theory aims to investigate the following question: What happens if information is stored in a state of a quantum system? One of the strengths of classical information theory is that physical representation of information can be disregarded: There is no need for an 'ink-on-paper' information theory or a 'DVD information' theory. ON Canada. be measured in terms of the minimum number n of two-level systems which are needed to store the message: consists of n qubits.A wiki portal for quantum information with introductory tutorials. The example of classical analog information shows that quantum information processing schemes must necessarily be tolerant against noise. when quantum error correction codes and fault-tolerant quantum computation schemes were discovered. and is a useful portal for those interested in this field. quantum mechanics does not allow us to read out the state of a quantum system with arbitrary precision. based in Waterloo. Shor. It is very difficult to protect the remaining finite information content of analog information carriers against noise. noise limits the information content of an analog information carrier to be finite. part of Cambridge University. is a research institute working in conjunction with the University of Waterloo [10] and Perimeter Institute [11] on the subject of Quantum Information. The existence of Bell correlations between quantum systems cannot be converted into classical information.

maths. quantiki. ca/ [12] http:/ / www. edu/ [23] http:/ / www. ups-tlse. • Mark M. uk/ quantuminformation [18] http:/ / www. springer. org/ meetings/ topicalmeetings/ icqi/ default. caltech. 2010 [15] Institute of Quantum Information [16] Caltech Quantum Information Theory [17] Imperial College Quantum Information [18] University College London Quantum Information Technology [19] Toshiba Research International Journal of Quantum Information [20] World Scientific Quantum Information Processing [21] Springer USC Center for Quantum Information Science & Technology [22] Center for Quantum Information and Control [23] Theoretical and experimental groups from University of New Mexico and University of Arizona. ethz. iqc. mi. org/ [6] http:/ / www. ac. theory. "From Classical to Quantum Shannon Theory". phys. ras. html [20] http:/ / www. kyungnam. New York. uk/ user/ jono/ negative-information. ca/ [10] http:/ / www. ch/ [4] http:/ / www. physics. html [13] http:/ / www. ac. com/ ijqi/ ijqi. kr/ . perimeterinstitute. html [16] http:/ / www. aspx [15] http:/ / insti. • Group of Quantum Information Theory [25] Kyungnam University in Korea • • • • • • • • • • • 144 References [1] http:/ / www. ca [11] http:/ / www. uwaterloo. usc. damtp. sunysb. ISBN 0-387-35725-4) The International Conference on Quantum Information (ICQI) [14] New Trends in Quantum Computation. iqi. toshiba-europe. caltech. edu/ [8] http:/ / www. 2007. perimeterinstitute. org/ abs/ 1106. ac. qit. com/ east/ home?SGWID=5-102-22-173664707-0& changeHeader=true [14] http:/ / osa. org [9] http:/ / www. com/ new+ %26+ forthcoming+ titles+ %28default%29/ journal/ 11128 [22] http:/ / cqist. uk/ quinfo [19] http:/ / www.Quantum Information Gregg Jaeger's book on Quantum Information [13](published by Springer. worldscinet. shtml [21] http:/ / www. html [2] http:/ / www. Stony Brook. nottingham.1445 [24]. springer. edu/ itp/ conf/ simons-qcomputation2/ program. ac. 1445 [25] http:/ / qubit. ca/ research/ research-areas/ quantum-information/ more-quantum-information [5] http:/ / cam. ac. arXiv:1106. fr/ IHP2006/ [3] http:/ / www. cquic. Wilde. edu/ [17] http:/ / www3. com/ research/ crl/ qig/ index. cam. ru/ ~holevo/ eindex. qubit. ucl. org/ [24] http:/ / arxiv. imperial. uk/ research/ appliedmathematics/ quantuminformation/ [7] http:/ / qwiki. quantware.

A is given by a densely defined self-adjoint operator on H. Also note that any density operator S can be diagonalized. self-adjoint. Actually. the operator S log2 S is not necessarily trace-class. of course. one needs to consider separately the positive and negative parts of A defined by the Borel functional calculus for unbounded operators. which is a non-negative. is uniquely determined by A. let A be an observable of a quantum mechanical system. One such formalism is provided by quantum logic. This can be shown under various mathematical formalisms for quantum mechanics. the expected value of A is defined in terms of the probability distribution DA by Note that this expectation is relative to the mixed state S which is used in the definition of DA. we know that the expectation of a random variable X is completely determined by its distribution DX by assuming. that it can be represented in some orthonormal basis by a (possibly infinite) matrix of the form . For technical reasons. Von Neumann entropy Of particular significance for describing randomness of a state is the von Neumann entropy of S formally defined by . The spectral measure of A defined by uniquely determines A and conversely. One can easily show: Note that if S is a pure state corresponding to the vector ψ. trace-class operator of trace 1 on the Hilbert space H describing the quantum system. EA is a boolean homomorphism from the Borel subsets of R into the lattice Q of self-adjoint projections of H. Similarly. A statistical ensemble is described by a density operator S. In analogy with probability theory. However. we introduce the distribution of A under S which is the probability measure defined on the Borel subsets of R by Similarly. Expectation From classical probability theory. Remark. given a state S. that the random variable is integrable or that the random variable is non-negative. if S is a non-negative self-adjoint operator not of trace class we define Tr(S) = +∞.Quantum Statistical Mechanics 145 Quantum Statistical Mechanics Quantum statistical mechanics is the study of statistical ensembles of quantum mechanical systems.

The Gibbs canonical ensemble is described by the state Where β is such that the ensemble average of energy satisfies and This is called the partition function. H(S) = log2 n. In fact T be the diagonal matrix T is non-negative trace class and one can show T log2 T is not trace-class. The probability that a system chosen at random from the ensemble will be in a state . For a system in which the space H is finite-dimensional. since an event with probability zero should not contribute to the entropy.Quantum Statistical Mechanics and we define 146 The convention is that . The more dispersed the eigenvalues are. e-r H will be a non-negative trace-class operator for every positive r. H(S) measures the amount of randomness in the state S. Theorem. Remark. the larger the system entropy. Recall that a pure state is one of the form for ψ a vector of norm 1. Gibbs canonical ensemble Consider an ensemble of systems described by a Hamiltonian H with average energy E. ∞]) and this is clearly a unitary invariant of S. Entropy can be used as a measure of quantum entanglement. H(S) = 0 if and only if S is a pure state. It is indeed possible that H(S) = +∞ for some density operator S. it is the quantum mechanical version of the canonical partition function of classical statistical mechanics. Theorem. In analogy with classical entropy (notice the similarity in the definitions). For S is a pure state if and only if its diagonal form has exactly one non-zero entry which is a 1. entropy is maximized for the states S which in diagonal form have the representation For such an S. If H has pure-point spectrum and the eigenvalues of H go to + ∞ sufficiently fast. This value is an extended real number (that is in [0. Entropy is a unitary invariant. The state S is called the maximally mixed state.

Statistical and Thermal Physics. McGraw-Hill. Reif.Quantum Statistical Mechanics corresponding to energy eigenvalue is 147 Under certain conditions. 1965. • F. Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. 1955. . Princeton University Press. the Gibbs canonical ensemble maximizes the von Neumann entropy of the state subject to the energy conservation requirement. References • J. von Neumann.

are formulated as relativistic quantum field theories. or "excitations". and proper proof of the quantum nature of radiation is now taken up into modern quantum optics as in the antibunching effect. to the electromagnetic field. in quantum field theory. In perturbative quantum field theory. the quantum field-theoretic description of the electromagnetic field. and are especially vital in elementary particle physics. that is. cannot be detected while carrying the force. gravity. QFT fields generally exist in superpositions of states. and thus does not make sense in a context of bound states. being interactions between fields. the notion of "force mediating particle" comes from perturbation theory. this is now understood to be untrue. although the "classical limit" of quantum electrodynamics has not been as widely explored as that of quantum mechanics. QED has one electron field and one photon field. . Intermediate vector bosons mediate the weak force and gluons mediate the strong force. fields and (in a condensed matter context) many-body systems. and interaction terms between the fields. such as quantum electrodynamics and quantum chromodynamics. where each kind of fermion has its own field. In summary. can also be described as ripples/excitations in a field. They are also used in the description of critical phenomena and quantum phase transitions. There are several theories using the QFT framework. Quantum field theories are used in many contexts. Although it is often claimed that the photoelectric and Compton effects require a quantum description of the EM field. does not exactly reduce to James Clerk Maxwell's 1864 theory of classical electrodynamics.148 8. These force-carrying particles are virtual particles and. However unlike Maxwell's theory. characteristic of "field quanta". etc. The interaction terms are similar in spirit to those in Maxwell's equations. in 1905. the forces between particles are mediated by other particles. In the "low-energy limit". such as in the BCS theory of superconductivity. Fermions. Most theories in modern particle physics. There is currently no complete quantum theory of the remaining fundamental force. It is the natural and quantitative language of particle physics and condensed matter physics. In QFT. photons are not thought of as "little billiard balls" but are rather viewed as field quanta – necessarily chunked ripples in a field. particles are regarded as excited states of a field (field quanta). Albert Einstein. QCD has one field for each type of quark. because such detection will imply that the force is not being carried. The gravitational field and the electromagnetic field are the only two fundamental fields in Nature that have infinite range and a corresponding classical low-energy limit. In addition. Advanced Topics Quantum Field Theory Quantum field theory (QFT) provides a theoretical framework for constructing quantum mechanical models of systems classically represented by an infinite number of degrees of freedom. resolves into "everything is particles". by definition. attributed "particle-like" and discrete exchanges of momenta and energy. that "look like" particles.[1] The word "photon" was coined in 1926 by physical chemist Gilbert Newton Lewis (see also the articles photon antibunching and laser). but many of the proposed theories postulate the existence of a graviton particle that mediates it. In the end. Within a theory. For example. Originally. which greatly diminishes and hides their "particle-like" excitations. Small quantum corrections due to virtual electron-positron pairs give rise to small non-linear corrections to the Maxwell equations. which then resolves into "everything is fields". The electromagnetic force between two electrons is caused by an exchange of photons. where the particle count/number may change over the course of a reaction. like the electron. his principal motivation was to explain the thermodynamics of radiation. there is one field for each type of particle in that theory. quantum electrodynamics. including the Standard Model of elementary particles and their interactions. the classical visualisation of "everything is particles and fields".

however. a function defined over space and time. treats x as a way to index the field rather than as an operator. and classical electromagnetism. Field theory. For instance.[2] Classical field theory does not. The business of quantum field theory is to write down a field that is. Heisenberg. Because such fields can in principle take on distinct values at each point in space. Grand synthesis Parallel developments in the understanding of phase transitions in condensed matter physics led to the study of the renormalization group.[5] The latter of these is pursued in this article. leading to the unification of forces embodied in the standard model of particle physics. This is a quantum field. quantum field theory itself is possibly the low-energy-effective-field-theory limit of a more fundamental theory such as the highly speculative superstring theory. described by the electric and magnetic fields E(x. but which also accommodates the observations of quantum mechanics. quantum mechanics is a theory of abstract operators (observables) acting on an abstract state space (Hilbert space). like the Einstein-Yang-Mills-Dirac System. It is not immediately clear how to write down such a quantum field. the fundamental observables associated with the motion of a single quantum mechanical particle are the position and momentum operators and . t). This effort started in the 1950s with the work of Yang and Mills.Quantum Field Theory Presumably.[3] For instance. David Gross and David Politzer. Fock.[4] There are two common ways of developing a quantum field: the path integral formalism and canonical quantization. Principles Classical and quantum fields A classical field is a function defined over some region of space and time. Gauge theory Gauge theory was formulated and quantized. Bogolyubov.[2] Two physical phenomena which are described by classical fields are Newtonian gravitation. In its most general formulation. where the observables represent physically observable quantities and the state space represents the possible states of the system under study. Indeed. Frank Wilczek. 149 History Foundations The early development of the field involved Dirac. the as yet unknown correct quantum field-theoretic treatment of the gravitational field will become and "look exactly like" Einstein's general theory of relativity in the "low-energy limit". . Pauli. account for the quantum-mechanical aspects of such physical phenomena. t). Wilson. Compare in this context the article effective field theory. This phase of development culminated with the construction of the theory of quantum electrodynamics in the 1950s. they are said to have infinite degrees of freedom. or. t) and B(x. since quantum mechanics has a structure very unlike a field theory. described by Newtonian gravitational field g(x. This involved the work of Michael Fisher and Leo Kadanoff in the 1970s which led to the seminal reformulation of quantum field theory by Kenneth G. was carried on by Martinus Veltman and a host of others during the 1960s and completed by the 1970s through the work of Gerard 't Hooft. more generally. like a classical field. This in turn led to the grand synthesis of theoretical physics which unified theories of particle and condensed matter physics through quantum field theory. in contrast. it is known from quantum mechanics that certain aspects of electromagnetism involve discrete particles—photons—rather than continuous fields.

Quantum Field Theory Lagrangian formalism Quantum field theory frequently makes use of the Lagrangian formalism from classical field theory. This formalism is analogous to the Lagrangian formalism used in classical mechanics to solve for the motion of a particle under the influence of a field. In classical field theory, one writes down a Lagrangian density, , involving a field, φ(x,t), and possibly its first derivatives (∂φ/∂t and ∇φ), and then applies a field-theoretic form of the Euler–Lagrange equation. Writing coordinates (t, x) = (x0, x1, x2, x3) = xμ, this form of the Euler–Lagrange equation is[2]

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where a sum over μ is performed according to the rules of Einstein notation. By solving this equation, one arrives at the "equations of motion" of the field.[2] For example, if one begins with the Lagrangian density

and then applies the Euler–Lagrange equation, one obtains the equation of motion

This equation is Newton's law of universal gravitation, expressed in differential form in terms of the gravitational potential φ(t, x) and the mass density ρ(t, x). Despite the nomenclature, the "field" under study is the gravitational potential, φ, rather than the gravitational field, g. Similarly, when classical field theory is used to study electromagnetism, the "field" of interest is the electromagnetic four-potential (V/c, A), rather than the electric and magnetic fields E and B. Quantum field theory uses this same Lagrangian procedure to determine the equations of motion for quantum fields. These equations of motion are then supplemented by commutation relations derived from the canonical quantization procedure described below, thereby incorporating quantum mechanical effects into the behavior of the field.

**Single- and many-particle quantum mechanics
**

In quantum mechanics, a particle (such as an electron or proton) is described by a complex wavefunction, ψ(x, t), whose time-evolution is governed by the Schrödinger equation:

Here m is the particle's mass and V(x) is the applied potential. Physical information about the behavior of the particle is extracted from the wavefunction by constructing probability density functions for various quantities; for example, the p.d.f. for the particle's position is ψ*(x)ψ(x), and the p.d.f. for the particle's momentum is −iħψ*(x)∂ψ/∂t. This treatment of quantum mechanics, where a particle's wavefunction evolves against a classical background potential V(x), is sometimes called first quantization. This description of quantum mechanics can be extended to describe the behavior of multiple particles, so long as the number and the type of particles remain fixed. The particles are described by a wavefunction ψ(x1, x2, ..., xN, t) which is governed by an extended version of the Schrödinger equation. Often one is interested in the case where then N particles are all of the same type (for example, the 18 electrons orbiting a neutral argon nucleus). As described in the article on identical particles, this implies that the state of the entire system must be either symmetric (bosons) or antisymmetric (fermions) when the coordinates of its constituent particles are exchanged. These multi-particle states are rather complicated to write. For example, the general quantum state of a system of N bosons is written as

Quantum Field Theory where are the single-particle states, Nj is the number of particles occupying state j, and the sum is taken over

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all possible permutations p acting on N elements. In general, this is a sum of N! (N factorial) distinct terms. There are several shortcomings to the above description of quantum mechanics which are addressed by quantum field theory. First, it is unclear how to extend quantum mechanics to include the effects of special relativity.[6] Attempted replacements for the Schrödinger equation, such as the Klein-Gordon equation or the Dirac equation, have many unsatisfactory qualities; for instance, they possess energy eigenvalues that extend to –∞, so that there seems to be no easy definition of a ground state. It turns out that such inconsistencies arise from relativistic wavefunctions having a probabilistic interpretation in position space, as probability conservation is not a relativistically covariant concept. The second shortcoming, related to the first, is that in quantum mechanics there is no mechanism to describe particle creation and annihilation;[7] this is crucial for describing phenomena such as pair production which result from the conversion between mass and energy according to the relativistic relation E = mc2.

Second quantization

In this section, we will describe a method for constructing a quantum field theory called second quantization. This basically involves choosing a way to index the quantum mechanical degrees of freedom in the space of multiple identical-particle states. It is based on the Hamiltonian formulation of quantum mechanics; several other approaches exist, such as the Feynman path integral,[8] which uses a Lagrangian formulation. For an overview, see the article on quantization. Bosons For simplicity, we will first discuss second quantization for bosons, which form perfectly symmetric quantum states. Let us denote the mutually orthogonal single-particle states by and so on. For example, the 3-particle state with one particle in state and two in state is

The first step in second quantization is to express such quantum states in terms of occupation numbers, by listing the number of particles occupying each of the single-particle states etc. This is simply another way of labelling the states. For instance, the above 3-particle state is denoted as The next step is to expand the N-particle state space to include the state spaces for all possible values of N. This extended state space, known as a Fock space, is composed of the state space of a system with no particles (the so-called vacuum state), plus the state space of a 1-particle system, plus the state space of a 2-particle system, and so forth. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the occupation number representation and valid boson states in the Fock space. At this point, the quantum mechanical system has become a quantum field in the sense we described above. The field's elementary degrees of freedom are the occupation numbers, and each occupation number is indexed by a number indicating which of the single-particle states it refers to:

The properties of this quantum field can be explored by defining creation and annihilation operators, which add and subtract particles. They are analogous to ladder operators in the quantum harmonic oscillator problem, which added and subtracted energy quanta. However, these operators literally create and annihilate particles of a given quantum state. The bosonic annihilation operator and creation operator have the following effects:

Quantum Field Theory It can be shown that these are operators in the usual quantum mechanical sense, i.e. linear operators acting on the Fock space. Furthermore, they are indeed Hermitian conjugates, which justifies the way we have written them. They can be shown to obey the commutation relation

152

where

stands for the Kronecker delta. These are precisely the relations obeyed by the ladder operators for an

infinite set of independent quantum harmonic oscillators, one for each single-particle state. Adding or removing bosons from each state is therefore analogous to exciting or de-exciting a quantum of energy in a harmonic oscillator. Applying an annihilation operator followed by its corresponding creation operator returns the number of particles in the kth single-particle eigenstate: The combination of operators is known as the number operator for the kth eigenstate.

The Hamiltonian operator of the quantum field (which, through the Schrödinger equation, determines its dynamics) can be written in terms of creation and annihilation operators. For instance, for a field of free (non-interacting) bosons, the total energy of the field is found by summing the energies of the bosons in each energy eigenstate. If the kth single-particle energy eigenstate has energy and there are bosons in this state, then the total energy of these bosons is . The energy in the entire field is then a sum over :

This can be turned into the Hamiltonian operator of the field by replacing operator, . This yields

with the corresponding number

Fermions It turns out that a different definition of creation and annihilation must be used for describing fermions. According to the Pauli exclusion principle, fermions cannot share quantum states, so their occupation numbers Ni can only take on the value 0 or 1. The fermionic annihilation operators c and creation operators are defined by their actions on a Fock state thus

These obey an anticommutation relation:

One may notice from this that applying a fermionic creation operator twice gives zero, so it is impossible for the particles to share single-particle states, in accordance with the exclusion principle.

Quantum Field Theory Field operators We have previously mentioned that there can be more than one way of indexing the degrees of freedom in a quantum field. Second quantization indexes the field by enumerating the single-particle quantum states. However, as we have discussed, it is more natural to think about a "field", such as the electromagnetic field, as a set of degrees of freedom indexed by position. To this end, we can define field operators that create or destroy a particle at a particular point in space. In particle physics, these operators turn out to be more convenient to work with, because they make it easier to formulate theories that satisfy the demands of relativity. Single-particle states are usually enumerated in terms of their momenta (as in the particle in a box problem.) We can construct field operators by applying the Fourier transform to the creation and annihilation operators for these states. For example, the bosonic field annihilation operator is

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The bosonic field operators obey the commutation relation

where

stands for the Dirac delta function. As before, the fermionic relations are the same, with the

commutators replaced by anticommutators. The field operator is not the same thing as a single-particle wavefunction. The former is an operator acting on the Fock space, and the latter is a quantum-mechanical amplitude for finding a particle in some position. However, they are closely related, and are indeed commonly denoted with the same symbol. If we have a Hamiltonian with a space representation, say

where the indices i and j run over all particles, then the field theory Hamiltonian (in the non-relativistic limit and for negligible self-interactions) is

This looks remarkably like an expression for the expectation value of the energy, with

playing the role of the

wavefunction. This relationship between the field operators and wavefunctions makes it very easy to formulate field theories starting from space-projected Hamiltonians.

Implications

Unification of fields and particles The "second quantization" procedure that we have outlined in the previous section takes a set of single-particle quantum states as a starting point. Sometimes, it is impossible to define such single-particle states, and one must proceed directly to quantum field theory. For example, a quantum theory of the electromagnetic field must be a quantum field theory, because it is impossible (for various reasons) to define a wavefunction for a single photon.[9] In such situations, the quantum field theory can be constructed by examining the mechanical properties of the classical field and guessing the corresponding quantum theory. For free (non-interacting) quantum fields, the quantum field theories obtained in this way have the same properties as those obtained using second quantization, such as well-defined creation and annihilation operators obeying commutation or anticommutation relations. Quantum field theory thus provides a unified framework for describing "field-like" objects (such as the electromagnetic field, whose excitations are photons) and "particle-like" objects (such as electrons, which are treated

Whenever the Hamiltonian operates on a state. For example. to encounter quantum states that are not eigenstates of . this type of Hamiltonian is used to describe interaction between conduction electrons and phonons in metals. (In fact. the quantum state is trapped in the N-particle subspace of the total Fock space. Thus.) One thing to notice here is that even if we start out with a fixed number of bosons. and the need for such states is simply regarded as an empirical fact. we will typically end up with a superposition of states with different numbers of bosons at later times. we can see that the free-boson Hamiltonian described above conserves particle number. there is not much theoretical motivation for using symmetric (bosonic) or antisymmetric (fermionic) states. and ck denotes the fermionic creation and annihilation operators. From the point of view of quantum field theory. Physical meaning of particle indistinguishability The second quantization procedure relies crucially on the particles being identical. e. The number of fermions. (Strictly speaking. Many physicists prefer to take the converse interpretation. From the point of view of quantum field theory. this is only true in the noninteracting case or in the low energy density limit of renormalized quantum field theories) For example. states with ill-defined particle numbers are particularly important for describing the various superfluids. and the situation could equally well be described by ordinary N-particle quantum mechanics. 154 which do not have well-defined particle numbers. see Haag's theorem. In ordinary quantum mechanics. if we are describing a gas of atoms sealed in a box. but is a little more complicated because the role of spin must be taken into account. Of course. so long as one can treat interactions as "perturbations" of free fields. and Vq is a parameter that describes the strength of the interaction. the question "why are all electrons identical?" arises from mistakenly regarding individual electrons as fundamental objects. such situations are described by quantum states that are eigenstates of the number operator . Particle conservation and non-conservation During second quantization. because there would have been no way of separating and indexing the degrees of freedom. The interaction between electrons and photons is treated in a similar way. In that case. In condensed matter physics. For more on this topic. The Hamiltonian of the combined system would be given by the Hamiltonians of the free boson and free fermion fields. This "interaction term" describes processes in which a fermion in state k either absorbs or emits a boson. is conserved in this case. but they can be easily described in quantum field theory as quantum superpositions of states having different values of N. We would not have been able to construct a quantum field theory from a distinguishable many-particle system. suppose we have a bosonic field whose particles can be created or destroyed by interactions with a fermionic field. plus a "potential energy" term such as where and ak denotes the bosonic creation and annihilation operators. Such states are difficult or impossible to handle using ordinary quantum mechanics. in many common situations N is an important and perfectly well-defined quantity. There are still unsolved problems relating to the more general case of interacting fields that may or may not be adequately described by perturbation theory. and ended with a Hamiltonian and state space for an arbitrary number of particles. thereby being kicked into a different eigenstate k+q. which is that quantum field theory explains what identical particles are. Many of the defining characteristics of a superfluid arise from the notion that its quantum state is . particles are identical if and only if they are excitations of the same underlying quantum field.Quantum Field Theory as excitations of an underlying electron field). is conserved if it commutes with the Hamiltonian. which measures the total number of particles present. each particle destroyed by an annihilation operator ak is immediately put back by the creation operator . however. On the other hand. when in fact it is only the electron field that is fundamental. and indeed common. it is possible. we started with a Hamiltonian and state space describing a fixed number of particles (N).g. As with any quantum mechanical observable.

Quantum Field Theory a superposition of states with different particle numbers. which restricts its attention to a particular class of quantum field theories known as topological quantum field theories. but as discovered by Weisskopf with help from Furry. in quantum mechanics the divergence is much milder. satisfied these axioms. It was possible to prove that any quantum field theory satisfying these axioms satisfied certain general theorems. Osterwalder-Schrader. give infinite results. such as the perturbative shift in the energy of an electron due to the presence of the electromagnetic field. This line of investigation. and Maxim Kontsevich. . Finding the proper axioms for quantum field theory is still an open and difficult problem in mathematics. is associated most closely with Michael Atiyah and Graeme Segal. Some of the quantum field theories studied in various fields of theoretical physics possess additional special properties. but also includes the energy contained in its electromagnetic field. and supersymmetry. there have been many attempts to put quantum field theory on a firm mathematical footing by formulating a set of axioms for it. and differential geometry. a second set of axioms based on geometric ideas was proposed. Unfortunately. Renormalization Early in the history of quantum field theory. These attempts fall into two broad classes. such as the spin-statistics theorem and the CPT theorem. The first class of axioms. such as renormalizability. Important work was done in this area in the 1970s by Segal. The reason is that the perturbation theory for the shift in an energy involves a sum over all other energy levels. They attempted to formalize the physicists' notion of an "operator-valued field" within the context of functional analysis. the quantum field theory of the fractional quantum Hall effect is a notable exception. Over the past several decades. Richard Borcherds. it is not mathematically rigorous. it proved extraordinarily difficult to show that any realistic field theory. include the Wightman. being restricted to low-dimensions and lacking interesting dynamics. most of the physically relevant quantum field theories. its attendant cloud of photons. algebraic topology. The construction of theories satisfying one of these sets of axioms falls in the field of constructive quantum field theory. During the 1980s. and they basically stem from the fact that many of the supposedly "intrinsic" properties of an electron are tied to the electromagnetic field that it carries around with it. the concept of a coherent state (used to model the laser and the BCS ground state) refers to a state with an ill-defined particle number but a well-defined phase. Most of the theories that could be treated with these analytic axioms were physically trivial. such as the Standard Model. with important applications in representation theory. it was found that many seemingly innocuous calculations. Glimm. and was notably expanded upon by Edward Witten. are not topological quantum field theories. and there are infinitely many levels at short distances that each give a finite contribution. gauge symmetry. and Haag-Kastler systems. 155 Axiomatic approaches The preceding description of quantum field theory follows the spirit in which most physicists approach the subject. first proposed during the 1950s. The energy carried by a single electron—its self energy—is not simply the bare value. Many of these problems are related to failures in classical electrodynamics that were identified but unsolved in the 19th century. The energy in a field of a spherical source diverges in both classical and quantum mechanics. In addition. we described the most general properties of quantum field theories. The main impact of axiomatic topological quantum field theory has been on mathematics. Associated phenomena In the previous part of the article. However. However. These are described in the following sections. including the Standard Model. Jaffe and others. One of the Millennium Prize Problems—proving the existence of a mass gap in Yang-Mills theory—is linked to this issue. and enjoyed limited success. going only as the logarithm of the radius of the sphere.

and even if it is not fully well defined non-perturbatively. by postulating that quanta cannot have energies above some extremely high value. first place a cutoff on the fields. presciently suggested by Stueckelberg. defining a continuum limit. it gives very few clues to higher energy processes. that extremely short distances are at fault. the theory is invariant under a global change of phases (adding a constant to the phase of all wave functions. In quantum electrodynamics. Pauli and Villars. which is the photon in the case of quantum electrodynamics. we make sure that the physically observable quantities like the observed electron mass stay fixed. This is a local symmetry. all the results at long distances become insensitive to the lattice. The technique of renormalization recognizes that the problem is essentially purely mathematical. The renormalization group describes how renormalizable theories emerge as the long distance low-energy effective field theory for any given high-energy theory. On a lattice. Of the three components. and so are its component theories (quantum electrodynamics/electroweak theory and quantum chromodynamics). The Standard Model of particle physics is perturbatively renormalizable. with converging work by Tomonaga in isolated postwar Japan. The change of local gauge of variables is termed gauge transformation. A theory is perturbatively renormalizable when the constants in the Lagrangian only diverge at worst as logarithms of the lattice spacing for very short spacings. everywhere). as on a lattice. and systematically extended to all loops by Feynman and Dyson. Because of this. The continuum limit is then well defined in perturbation theory. or if they predict quantitative relations between the coupling constants. by allowing the constants to vary with the lattice spacing. However. Hopefully. in order for a well-defined derivative operator to exist. The renormalization procedure only works for a certain class of quantum field theories. the theory is also invariant under a local change of phase. called renormalizable quantum field theories. quantum electrodynamics is believed to not have a continuum limit. the problems only show up at distance scales that are exponentially small in the inverse coupling for weak couplings. When taking the limit of zero spacing. In quantum electrodynamics this gauge field is the electromagnetic field. so for rigorous or numerical work people often use an actual lattice. which also transforms in order for the local change of variables (the phase in our example) not to affect the derivative. because once a renormalizable theory like the standard model is found to work. renormalizable theories are insensitive to the precise nature of the underlying high-energy short-distance phenomena. this is a global symmetry. The only way high energy processes can be seen in the standard model is when they allow otherwise forbidden events. 156 Gauge freedom A gauge theory is a theory that admits a symmetry with a local parameter. Lattices break rotational symmetry. This is a blessing because it allows physicists to formulate low energy theories without knowing the details of high energy phenomenon. one must introduce a new field. In quantum field theory the excitations of fields represent particles. while the asymptotically free SU(2) and SU(3) weak hypercharge and strong color interactions are nonperturbatively well defined. There is no known symmetrical cutoff outside of perturbation theory.Quantum Field Theory The solution to the problem. The particle associated with excitations of the gauge field is the gauge boson. independently by Bethe after the crucial experiment by Lamb. the gauge field. every quantity is finite but depends on the spacing. is a symmetry-preserving cutoff for perturbation theory (this process is called regularization). In order to define a theory on a continuum. It is also a curse. For example. Consequently. which means that the constants in the Lagrangian defining the theory depend on the spacing. in every quantum theory the global phase of the wave function is arbitrary and does not represent something physical. implemented at one loop by Schwinger. and one of the crucial contributions made by Feynman. comes from recognizing that all the infinities in the interactions of photons and electrons can be isolated into redefining a finite number of quantities in the equations by replacing them with the observed values: specifically the electron 's mass and charge: this is called renormalization. . This has the effect of replacing continuous space by a structure where very short wavelengths do not exist. and modernized by 't Hooft and Veltman. that is – one may shift the phase of all wave functions so that the shift may be different at every point in space-time.

Kleinert cited below for the applications to phenomena in physics. this would require the appearance of photons with longitudinal polarization and polarization in the time direction. which is a form of gauge symmetry. making the theory non-unitary and again inconsistent (see optical theorem). the latter having a negative norm. in these cases.). in quantum electrodynamics. Such fluctuations are usually called "non-physical degrees of freedom" or gauge artifacts. • Gravity. All the fundamental interactions in nature are described by gauge theories. The gauge bosons are eight gluons. These are capable of changing the physical field strengths and are therefore no proper symmetry transformations. The way supersymmetry protects the hierarchies is the following: since for every particle there is a superpartner with the same mass. had there been a gauge anomaly. • The electroweak theory. Nevertheless. Since no superpartners have yet been observed. to explain why particles not protected by any symmetry (like the Higgs boson) do not receive radiative corrections to its mass driving it to the larger scales (GUT. . which may not be commutative. another possibility would be for these photons to appear only in intermediate processes but not in the final products of any interaction.Quantum Field Theory The degrees of freedom in quantum field theory are local fluctuations of the fields.e. simply because some fluctuations of the fields can be transformed to zero by gauge transformations. which breaks supersymmetry without ruining its helpful features). and they therefore have no physical meaning.. In other words. so they are equivalent to having no fluctuations at all. whose gauge group is SU(3). and it is a key ingredient for the consistency of string theory. Infinitesimal gauge transformations are the gauge group generators. However. It was soon realized that supersymmetry has other interesting properties: its gauged version is an extension of general relativity (Supergravity).e. The existence of a gauge symmetry reduces the number of degrees of freedom. Supersymmetry Supersymmetry assumes that every fundamental fermion has a superpartner that is a boson and vice versa. supersymmetry is expected to be observed by experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. In general. Therefore. then its quantized version (i. These are: • Quantum chromodynamics. any loop in a radiative correction is cancelled by the loop corresponding to its superpartner. (a direct product of U(1) and SU(2)). See the textbook by H. 157 Multivalued gauge transformations The gauge transformations which leave the theory invariant involve by definition only single-valued gauge functions which satisfy the Schwarz integrability criterion An interesting extension of gauge transformations arises if the gauge functions are allowed to be multivalued functions which violate the integrability criterion. making them inadequate for a consistent theory. the transformed field equations describe correctly the physical laws in the presence of the newly generated field strengths. not kept in the quantum theory) then the theory is non-consistent: for example. The simplest models of this breaking require that the energy of the superpartners not be too high. a gauge symmetry cannot have a quantum anomaly. rendering the theory UV finite..e. usually some of them have a negative norm. If a gauge symmetry is anomalous (i. Therefore the number of gauge bosons is the group dimension (i. if supersymmetry exists it must be broken (through a so-called soft term. that is. the corresponding quantum field theory) will have this symmetry as well. Planck. number of generators forming a basis). It was introduced in order to solve the so-called Hierarchy Problem. whose classical theory is general relativity. if a classical field theory has a gauge symmetry. These transformations are together described by a mathematical object known as a gauge group. whose gauge group is U(1) × SU(2). it is explicitly non-renormalizable. the gauge transformations of a theory consist of several different transformations. admits the equivalence principle. rendering the theory inconsistent.

. Peskin. Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell (2nd ed. Verena (2001).. ISBN 0-297-81752-3. and Gravitation (http://users. ISBN 978-3-540-60453-2. cam. Srednicki. References Further reading General readers: • Weinberg. Q is for Quantum: Particle Physics from A to Z. (2008). Lectures on Quantum Field Theory (http:/ / www. Quantum Field Theory. (1996). (http://www. p. Zee. Loudon. p. ISBN 978-981-279-170-2. (1995). Frampton. UK.). McGraw-Hill. cam.whitman. E. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. html).1103/RevModPhys.). Ryder. Vols. Press. ISBN 0-8053-0983-7.. uk/ user/ tong/ qft. Westview Press. Bibcode 1949RvMP. Perseus Books. D. ISBN 0-691-01019-6. ISBN 00471941867 . fu-berlin. A. Zuber. ac. ISBN 0-521-33859-X. Pais recounts how his astonishment at the rapidity with which Feynman could calculate using his method. (1987). Benjamin-Cummings. Shirkov. Mark. Modern Elementary Particle Physics. Greiner. Kleinert.org/us/catalogue/catalogue. Springer. (1949). P. damtp. Springer. Bruce A.html#B6). whitman. Introductory texts: • • • • • • • Bogoliubov. Müller. html). Srednicki. The Quantum Theory of Light.-B.. Zee. Shaw. (2000). ISBN 3-540-67672-4..Quantum Field Theory 158 Notes [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] People. (2003).P. Princeton University Press. S. ISBN 0-07-032071-3.P.). "Localized states for elementary particles". David Tong. Introduction. B. World Scientific. Quantum Field Theory (1st ed. Kleinert. G.H. Mandl. Multivalued Fields in Condensed Matter. (1985). Schulte-Frohlinde. Quantum Field Theory. Wiley.). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.P.). Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World ISBN 0-19-851997-4. Itzykson. p.J. J. Anthony. Reviews of Modern Physics 21 (3): 400–406. L. (2000). M. I to III.de/~kleinert/public_html/kleiner_reb11/psfiles/mvf. Gauge Theory of Weak Interactions. ISBN 0-262-56003-8. pdf) David Tong. F. Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell (2nd ed. Srednicki. (1998). ISBN 0-201-11749-5. Zee. Feynman's method is now part of the standard methods for physicists. ISBN 0-691-12575-9. H.physik. (1993). Anthony. Frontiers in Physics (2nd ed. damtp. Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell. Schroeder. MIT Press.. Mark (2007) Quantum Field Theory. chapter 1. • Feynman.400N. C. 4. asp?isbn=0521864496) Cambridge Univ. 19. 61.. Critical Properties of φ4-Theories (http://users. (2001) [1964]. Cambridge University Press. pp. Johns Hopkins Univ. D. John Wiley & Sons. J. T. • Schumm. Quantum Fields. An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory. edu/ ~beckmk/ QM/ grangier/ Thorn_ajp. 25–6.21.. Mark. (2004) Deep Down Things. G. (1980).pdf). ISBN 981-02-4658-7.fu-berlin. Chpt. R. 3. [9] Newton.). Gauge Field Theories. Press. Ynduráin. W. World Scientific. ac. Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Introduction to Field Theory (1st ed. Electrodynamics. Abraham Pais. ISBN 0-19-851155-8. 2000. N. Lectures on Quantum Field Theory (http:/ / www. (2006) [1985]. (1982). Quantum Field Theory.400. physik.L.de/~kleinert/re.H. Wigner.D. uk/ user/ tong/ qft..cambridge.edu (http:/ / people. Oxford University Press. Princeton University Press. H. R. R (1983). Quantum Field Theory. • • • • • • • Advanced texts: . Kane. ISBN 0-201-50397-2.21. doi:10. • Gribbin. Quantum Field Theory (1st ed. • Feynman. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. F. The Character of Physical Law.

. This is because string theory allows for the consistent combination of quantum field theory and general relativity. Kluwer Academic Publishers.nl/~mulders/QFT-0. "M-theory is the only candidate for a complete theory of the universe.pdf) by P. Elsevier: 661-730. Philosophy of Physics. N.org/abs/hep-th/9803075)". A. Todorov. php?title=p/q076300).stanford. • Weinberg. (2001).I. Edward Witten. Mod. • Siegel. five superstring theories were developed that incorporated fermions and possessed other properties necessary for a theory of everything. Also doi=10.. also available from arXiv:hep-th/9912205. Logunov. The theory has its origins in an effort to understand the strong force.vu. 71.encyclopediaofmath. General Principles of Quantum Field Theory.. the dual resonance model (1969).org/index. Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind) believe that string theory is a step towards the correct fundamental description of nature.html) A free text. Since the mid-1990s. electrons and quarks) within an atom are not 0-dimensional objects. an eleven-dimensional theory called M-theory is believed to encompass all of the previously distinct superstring theories.pdf)" in Butterfield.nat. a self-contained mathematical model that describes all fundamental forces and forms of matter. such as Feynman and Glashow.uu. 159 External links • Hazewinkel. ISBN 978-1-55608-010-4 • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: " Quantum Field Theory (http://plato.nl/~thooft/ lectures/basisqft.1103/Rev.edu/~siegel/errata. • Quantum Field Theory (http://www.. by Meinard Kuhlmann. but rather 1-dimensional oscillating lines ("strings"). J. the bosonic string. other physicists. Fields.. (1995). ISBN 978-0-7923-0540-8. incorporated only bosons. in particular due to insights from dualities shown to relate the five theories. It is a contender for a theory of everything (TOE). A. Mulders String Theory String theory is an active research framework in particle physics that attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity. Part A. 1–3. which posits that a connection (a "supersymmetry") exists between bosons and fermions. Phys."[5] Nevertheless.T. Subsequent to this. Many theoretical physicists (among them Stephen Hawking.. agrees with general insights in quantum gravity (such as the holographic principle and black hole thermodynamics). Warren.e.phys. The earliest string model. Oksak.physics. and John Earman. Articles: • Gerard 't Hooft (2007) " The Conceptual Basis of Quantum Field Theory (http://www. in addition to the four known spacetime dimensions. (1990). and because it has passed many non-trivial checks of its internal consistency. although this view developed to the superstring theory. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. Cambridge University Press.Quantum Field Theory • Bogoliubov.edu/entries/ quantum-field-theory/)". ed.sunysb. String theories also require the existence of several extra dimensions to the universe that have been compactified into extremely small scales. Reviews of Modern Physics 71: S83-S95. 2005. • Frank Wilczek (1999) " Quantum field theory (http://arxiv. "Quantum field theory" (http://www. eds. S. have criticized string theory for not providing novel experimental predictions at accessible energy scales.A.[1][2][3][4] According to Hawking in particular. Springer. (http://insti. The Quantum Theory of Fields. Michiel.[6] . I. String theory posits that the elementary particles (i. J.

These objects are related to one another by a variety of dualities. It is not yet known whether string theory has such a solution. but they can slide around on it. and are metastable but long-lived. and this identification is called Gauge-gravity duality. such as D-branes. many hope that it fully describes our universe. where they can open up into 1-dimensional lines. Black hole-like black p-branes are identified with D-branes. with a small cosmological constant.[9][10][11][12] The strings make closed loops unless they encounter D-branes. derived from "membrane". which are endpoints for strings. charge. containing dark matter and a plausible mechanism for cosmic inflation.[8] Other configurations have different values of the cosmological constant. These are extended objects that are charged sources for differential form generalizations of the vector potential electromagnetic field. giving the observed particles their flavor. the fundamental theory of the strong nuclear force. This leads many to believe that there is at least one metastable solution that is quantitatively identical with the standard model. called branes. Since string theory is widely believed[7] to be mathematically consistent. but made up of 1-dimensional strings. String theories also include objects other than strings. The existence of this graviton state and the fact that the equations describing string theory include Einstein's equations for general relativity mean that string theory is a quantum theory of gravity. refers to a variety of interrelated objects. nor how much freedom the theory allows to choose the details. making it a theory of everything. Among the modes of oscillation of the string is a massless. Research on this equivalence has led to new insights on quantum chromodynamics. black p-branes and Neveu–Schwarz 5-branes. spin-two state—a graviton.String Theory 160 Overview String theory posits that the electrons and quarks within an atom are not 0-dimensional objects. These strings can oscillate. mass and spin. . The word brane. String theory is known to contain configurations that describe all the observed fundamental forces and matter but with a zero cosmological constant and some new fields. The endpoints of the string cannot break off the D-brane.

each oscillation mode behaves as a different species of particle. either the Nambu-Goto action or the Polyakov action. believed to result in the decay (at least partially) of spacetime itself. obey particular rules of behavior. the spectrum of particles contains only bosons. forming a closed string. the spacetime configuration that determines the properties of our universe (see string theory landscape). Investigating how a string theory may include fermions in its spectrum led to the invention of supersymmetry. The two types of string behave in slightly different ways. .String Theory 161 The full theory does not yet have a satisfactory definition in all circumstances. in most string theories one of the closed string modes is the graviton. Atomic level – Protons. which also includes (if open strings are incorporated as well) gauge fields such as the photon (or. Because the two ends of an open string can always meet and connect. different notes correspond to different particles. and one of the open string modes is the photon. the spectrum of the theory. as the name implies. this model has problems. String level String theory includes both open strings. spin and charge determined by the string's dynamics. the bosonic string. a mathematical relation between bosons and fermions. What is most significant is that the theory has a fundamental instability. string dynamics are governed by tension and kinetic energy. String theories that include fermionic vibrations are now known as superstring theories. in low enough energies. so that there are only two dimensions transverse to the string. However. which combine to produce oscillations. This model describes. particles which. In the absence of external interactions. and closed strings making a complete loop. It is also not clear as to whether there is any principle by which string theory selects its vacuum state. with its mass. meaning that the spectrum of vibrational modes is much richer. which is made of fermions. a quantum gravity theory. neutrons. yielding two different spectra. Splitting and recombination of strings correspond to particle emission and absorption. any gauge theory). which describe how strings propagate through space and time. which have two distinct endpoints. and electrons 4. In broad terms. but all are now thought to be different limits of M-theory. Levels of magnification: 1. in more general terms. One difference is the guitar string exists in 3 dimensions. Subatomic level – Quarks 6. but not of matter. incorporated only bosonic degrees of freedom. and the behavior of string theory in cosmological settings (time-dependent backgrounds) is not fully worked out. An analogy for strings' modes of vibration is a guitar string's production of multiple distinct musical notes. bosons are the constituents of radiation. several kinds have been described. The earliest string model. For example. Molecular level 3. In addition. there are no string theories without closed strings. Basic properties String theory can be formulated in terms of an action principle. Macroscopic level – Matter 2. giving rise to the interactions between particles. like the photon. since the scattering of strings is most straightforwardly defined by a perturbation theory. Fundamental strings exist in 9 dimensions and the strings can vibrate in any direction. The complete quantum mechanics of high dimensional branes is not easily defined. On distance scales larger than the string radius. In the analogy. Subatomic level – Electron 5. The quantum mechanics of strings implies these oscillations exist in discrete vibrational modes.

and are described by the same dynamics that controls the string modes. The different string modes (representing different particles. Its tension will tend to contract it into a smaller and smaller loop. The characteristic size of the string loop will be a balance between the tension force. known as the worldsheet. its worldsheet will look like a single pipe splitting to two and then reconnecting. Classical intuition suggests that it might shrink to a single point. not a local one: Locally. the worldsheet in these theories is a non-orientable surface. As a consequence. An open string looks like a short line. but this would violate Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. which also looks like a torus connected to two pipes (one Interaction in the subatomic world: world lines of point-like particles in the representing the ingoing string. An open string doing the same thing will have its worldsheet looking like a ring connected to two strips.String Theory Some qualitative properties of quantum strings can be understood in a fairly simple fashion. The resulting picture depicts the worldline of the particle (its 'history') in spacetime. and the uncertainty effect. its worldsheet will look like a single pipe splitting (or connected) to two pipes (often referred to as a pair of pants — see drawing at right). in more general terms. Strings can split and connect. By analogy. and the Standard Model or a world sheet swept up by closed strings in string theory other — the outgoing one). The tension of a quantum string is closely related to its size. the string (a one-dimensional object — a small line — by itself) will trace out a surface (a two-dimensional manifold). which keeps it "stretched". these processes are an integral part of the theory. left to move through space without external forces. such as photon or graviton) are surface waves on this manifold. closed strings in Type I and some versions of the bosonic string).e. in more general terms.. if a closed string splits. the worldsheet looks the same everywhere. Therefore. this tension is considered a fundamental parameter of the theory. Consider a closed loop of string. so its worldsheet will look like a strip or. Note that the process of a string splitting (or strings connecting) is a global process of the worldsheet. acting to make it small. In some string theories (namely. no edge). In formal terms. quantum strings have tension. strings can split and reconnect in an opposite orientation (as in a Möbius strip or a Klein bottle). and it is not possible to determine a single point on the worldsheet where the splitting occurs. a Riemann surface (a two-dimensional oriented manifold) with no boundaries (i. For example. For example. 162 Worldsheet A point-like particle's motion may be described by drawing a graph of its position (in one or two dimensions of space) against time. so its worldsheet will look like a pipe or. a similar graph depicting the progress of a string as time passes by can be obtained. by its topology). If a closed string splits and its two parts later reconnect. a Riemann surface with a boundary. . much like regular strings made of twine. These theories are called unoriented. This is reflected by the form of their worldsheet (in more accurate terms. the minimum size of a string is related to the string tension. A closed string looks like a small loop.

closed type I. representing an instability in the theory. group symmetry is SO(32) Supersymmetry between forces and matter. no fermions. with only closed strings bound to D-branes. T-duality relates the large and small distance scales between string theories.String Theory 163 Dualities Before the 1990s. The two theories are then said to be dual to one another under that kind of transformation. are quantities that have always marked very distinct limits of behavior of a physical system in both classical field theory and quantum particle physics. and the two flavors of heterotic string theory (SO(32) and E8×E8). But strings can obscure the difference between large and small. meaning right moving and left moving strings differ. 6 or 8 — in type IIB. which are membranes of lower dimensionality (their dimension is odd — 1. string theorists believed there were five distinct superstring theories: open type I. 2. only one was the actual correct theory of everything. Large and small distance scales. In classical string theory the number of dimensions is not fixed by any consistency criterion. no tachyon. strong and weak. no tachyon. with both open and closed strings. as well as strong and weak coupling strengths. while open strings have their ends attached to D-branes. U-duality links T-duality and S-duality. Modern understanding indicates that there exist less-trivial ways of satisfying this criterion. to make a consistent quantum theory. called the tachyon. These dualities link quantities that were also thought to be separate. It is now believed that this picture was incorrect and that the five superstring theories are connected to one another as if they are each a special case of some more fundamental theory (thought to be M-theory). If two theories are related by a duality transformation. including the time direction). massless fermions are non-chiral Supersymmetry between forces and matter. closed type IIB. it means that the first theory can be transformed in some way so that it ends up looking just like the second theory. with ten spacetime dimensions compactified down to four. massless fermions are chiral Supersymmetry between forces and matter. Put differently. 3. Cosmological solutions exist in a wider variety of dimensionalities. no tachyon. group symmetry is SO(32) Supersymmetry between forces and matter. the two theories are mathematically different descriptions of the same phenomena. This is necessary to ensure the vanishing of the conformal anomaly of the worldsheet conformal field theory. with only closed strings bound to D-branes. no matter. whereas S-duality relates strong and weak coupling strengths between string theories. with both open and closed strings. major flaw: a particle with imaginary mass. meaning only forces. matched the physics observed in our world today. Supersymmetry between forces and matter. no tachyon. and this is how these five very different theories end up being related. heterotic. String theories Type Spacetime dimensions 26 Details Bosonic Only bosons. Extra dimensions Number of dimensions An intriguing feature of string theory is that it predicts extra dimensions. no tachyon.[13] The thinking was that out of these five candidate theories. 5. group symmetry is E8×E8 I IIA 10 10 IIB 10 HO 10 HE 10 Note that in the type IIA and type IIB string theories closed strings are allowed to move everywhere throughout the ten-dimensional spacetime (called the bulk). meaning right moving and left moving strings differ. However. and that theory was the one whose low energy limit. These theories are related by transformations that are called dualities. with closed strings only. string theory is required to live in a spacetime of the so-called "critical dimension": we must have 26 spacetime dimensions for the bosonic string and 10 for the superstring. 4. with closed strings only. closed type IIA. and these different dimensions are . heterotic. 7 or 9 — in type IIA and even — 0.

[16] as opposed to the usual three spatial dimensions and the fourth dimension of time. the absence of potential energy in the "critical dimension" explains why flat spacetime solutions are possible. the 6 or 7 extra dimensions are so small as to be undetectable by present-day experiments. this happens because a gauge anomaly exists for every separate number of predicted dimensions. This can be better understood by noting that a photon included in a consistent theory (technically. the critical dimensionality is not four as one may expect (three axes of space and one of time). In technical terms. simple. Flat space string theories are 26-dimensional in the bosonic case. 164 .[19] Starting from any dimension greater than four. while superstring and M-theories turn out to involve 10 or 11 dimensions for flat solutions. and the gauge anomaly can be counteracted by including nontrivial potential energy into equations to solve motion. Such spaces have been studied in attempts to relate string theory to the 4-dimensional Standard Model. But the theory also describes universes like ours. with G2 holonomy again being a specific. but by a completely different type of mathematical quantity.e. This energy includes a contribution from the Casimir effect. with four observable spacetime dimensions. since for a larger number of dimensions there are more possible fluctuations in the string position. the photon in flat spacetime will be massless—and the theory consistent—only for a particular number of dimensions.[17] Nothing in Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism or Einstein's theory of relativity makes this kind of prediction. in part due to the computational simplicity afforded by the assumption of Calabi–Yau manifold (3D projection) supersymmetry. The first is to compactify the extra dimensions. and this number is fixed and independent of potential energy. these theories require physicists to insert the number of dimensions "by both hands". it is necessary to consider how these are reduced to four dimensional spacetime. The size of this contribution depends on the number of dimensions. as reflected in their holonomy. and a 7-dimensional manifold must have G2 structure. Therefore. In bosonic string theories.[14][15] One such theory is the 11-dimensional M-theory. as well as universes with up to 10 flat space dimensions. More recently. The mass of the photon that is predicted by string theory depends on the energy of the string mode that represents the photon. Compact dimensions Two ways have been proposed to resolve this apparent contradiction. and if these formulations are considered as fundamental. then string theory requires ten dimensions. case. namely from quantum fluctuations in the string. progress has been made constructing more realistic compactifications without the degree of symmetry of Calabi–Yau or G2 manifolds. A 6-dimensional manifold must have SU(3) structure. The subset of X is equal to the relation of photon fluctuations in a linear dimension. To retain a high degree of supersymmetry. Furthermore.String Theory related by dynamical transitions. and also cases where the position in some of the dimensions is not described by a real number.. a count of degrees of freedom that reduces to dimensionality in weakly curved regimes. making it a Calabi–Yau space. a particular case (torsionless) of this being SU(3) holonomy. String theory allows one to relate the number of dimensions to scalar potential energy. a particle carrying a force related to an unbroken gauge symmetry) must be massless. which requires spacetime to have eleven dimensions.[18] When the calculation is done. The original string theories from the 1980s describe special cases of M-theory where the eleventh dimension is a very small circle or a line. So the notion of spacetime dimension is not fixed in string theory: it is best thought of as different in different circumstances. these compactification spaces must be very special. i. The dimensions are more precisely different values of the "effective central charge". the 26 dimensions come from the Polyakov equation.

Similarly. Indeed. allowing us to inhabit the 3+1-dimensional stratum—such geometries occur naturally in Calabi–Yau compactifications. and — in superstring theories — charge as well. one discovers that it contains a second dimension. and so on). D-branes have mass. The open strings attached to a D-brane are said to "live" on it. It is also possible to extract information regarding the hidden dimensions by precision tests of gravity. If there are multiple parallel D-branes there will be multiple types of gauge bosons. hence such models are known as brane-world scenarios. its circumference. Throwing such a ball inside the hose. an ant crawling inside it would move in two dimensions (and a fly flying in it would move in three dimensions). gravity acting in the hidden dimensions affects other non-gravitational forces such as electromagnetism. the neighborhood of which is markedly different from the exceptional subspace itself. This "extra dimension" is only visible within a relatively close range to the hose. D-branes are defined by the fact that worldsheet boundaries are attached to them.String Theory A standard analogy for this is to consider multidimensional space as a garden hose. In the case of one D-brane there will be one type of a gauge boson and we will have an Abelian gauge theory (with the gauge boson being the photon).[21] it was not known that gravity can be properly localized to a sub-spacetime. In addition. Kaluza's early work demonstrated that general relativity in five dimensions actually predicts the existence of electromagnetism. Effect of the hidden dimensions In either case. However. but so far these have only put upper limitations on the size of such hidden dimensions. Properly localized matter and Yang-Mills gauge fields will typically exist if the sub-spacetime is an exceptional set of the larger universe. If the hose is viewed from a sufficient distance. These are membranes of different dimensionality (anywhere from a zero dimensional membrane—which is in fact a point—and up. the ball would move more or less in one dimension. However.[20] These "exceptional sets" are ubiquitous in Calabi–Yau n-folds and may be described as subspaces without local deformations. or by experimenting with particles with extremely small wavelengths (of the order of the compact dimension's radius). including 2-dimensional membranes. and they give rise to gauge theories "living" on it (since one of the open string modes is a gauge boson such as the photon). Thus. the only important movement will be one-dimensional. its length. This gauge theory is coupled to gravity (which is said to exist in the bulk). Brane-world scenario Another possibility is that we are "stuck" in a 3+1 dimensional (three spatial dimensions plus one time dimension) subspace of the full universe. D-branes are objects to which the ends of open strings are attached. it appears to have only one dimension. since they couple to open strings that describe gauge interactions. In fact. on which a gauge theory "lives". along the hose. as one approaches the hose. the extra compact dimensions are only "visible" at extremely small distances. giving rise to a non-Abelian gauge theory. think of a ball just small enough to enter the hose. which in quantum mechanics means very high energies (see wave-particle duality). However. no new forces appear from the small dimensions. D-branes are thus gravitational sources. or if one "throws in" small enough objects. but this is not yet a practical possibility. 165 D-branes Another key feature of string theory is the existence of D-branes. that is. but their shape has a profound effect on how the forces between the strings appear in our four-dimensional universe. therefore. since they emit and absorb closed strings that describe gravitons. until the work of Randall and Sundrum. so that normally each of these two viewpoints is incomplete. spacetime may be stratified. akin to a crease in a sheet of paper or a crack in a crystal. 3-dimensional volumes. it is possible to deduce the nature of those extra dimensions by requiring consistency with the standard model.[22] Such sub-spacetimes are D-branes. . in any experiment we make by throwing such balls in the hose. In principle. because of the nature of Calabi–Yau manifolds. From the point of view of open strings. containing strata of various dimensions.

which might be sufficiently diverse to accommodate almost any phenomena we might observe at lower energies. these expanding phases are not stable. the string-like nature of particles would become obvious. However. where strings become easily distinguishable from particles). a testable prediction. As such. making this prediction impossible to test with any particle accelerator in the foreseeable future. Predictions String harmonics One unique prediction of string theory is the existence of string harmonics: at sufficiently high energies. Since our local region of the universe is not very rapidly expanding. this could lead to phenomena such as the production of micro black holes at the LHC. Cosmic strings Under certain circumstances. the theory predicts that most of the universe is very rapidly expanding. There should be heavier copies of all particles. It is not clear how high these energies are. which is expected to be close to the string length (the characteristic size of a string. Depending on the size of the dimensions. it is possible that neither of these will be observed if the spatial curvature is too small and the collisions are too rare. These collisions lead to potentially observable imprints on cosmology. In most conventional string models they would be not far below the Planck energy. The spatial curvature of the "universe" inside the bubbles that form by this process is negative. for instance by their gravitational lensing effects. positive vacuum energy. . in models with large extra dimensions they could potentially be produced at the LHC or at energies not far above its reach. However. However.[27] Strength of gravity Theories with extra dimensions predict that the strength of gravity increases much more rapidly at small distances than is the case in 3 dimensions (where it increase as r−2). around 1014 times higher than the energies accessible in the newest particle accelerator.[23] Regions of the universe that are in such a phase will inflate exponentially rapidly in a process known as eternal inflation.[24] Moreover. string theory predicts we are inside such a bubble. These cosmic strings could be observed in various ways. corresponding to higher vibrational harmonics of the string. Another issue is the huge number of metastable vacua of string theory. the LHC. other bubbles will eventually form in the parent vacuum outside the bubble and collide with it.String Theory 166 Testability and experimental predictions Several major difficulties complicate efforts to test string theory. certain field theories also predict cosmic strings arising from topological defects in the field configuration. Many phases in string theory have very large. The most significant is the extremely small size of the Planck length. Cosmology String theory as currently understood makes a series of predictions for the structure of the universe at the largest scales.[25][26] However. fundamental strings produced at or near the end of inflation can be "stretched" to astronomical proportions. or be detected in microgravity experiments. and can decay via the nucleation of bubbles of lower vacuum energy.

[28] A mathematical technique from string theory (the AdS/CFT correspondence) has been used to describe qualitative features of quark–gluon plasma behavior in relativistic heavy-ion collisions. and allows contact with low energy experiments in quantum chromodynamics. the absence of supersymmetric particles at energies accessible to the LHC would not necessarily disprove string theory. This means that each predicted phenomenon and quantity in one theory has an analogue in the other theory. so there is also disagreement among string theorists regarding how strong the duality . In those cases. the most notable one being the KKLT model. AdS/CFT correspondence AdS/CFT relates string theory to gauge theory.[32] 167 Gauge/gravity duality Gauge/gravity duality is a conjectured duality between a quantum theory of gravity in certain cases and gauge theory in a lower number of dimensions. To this end. which is the fundamental theory of the strong nuclear force. supersymmetry could also be considered evidence. since the energy scale at which supersymmetry is broken could be well above the accelerator's range.String Theory Quantum chromodynamics String theory was originally proposed as a theory of hadrons. from the point of view of closed strings. which describes only the strong interactions. this duality has not been proven in any cases.[9][10][11][12] the physics. several models have been proposed to predict supersymmetry breaking.e. However. As discussed above. the physics of the D-branes is described by the appropriate gauge theory. and all consistent string theories are supersymmetric. and its study has led to new insights on quantum chromodynamics. and to check if the electroweakstrong unification does happen as predicted. cosmological backgrounds. physically equivalent) to the gauge theory on the boundary of this spacetime (since the subspace filled by the D-branes is the boundary of this spacetime).[29] Supersymmetry If confirmed experimentally. This is also a falsifiable statement. but it is not restricted to string theory. Such a situation is termed a decoupling limit. but is shared by grand unified theories. the D-branes are gravitational sources.[31] The LHC will be used both for testing AdS/CFT. From the point of view of open strings. thus open strings attached to the D-branes are not interacting with closed strings. it is hoped that a gravitational theory dual to quantum chromodynamics will be found. is much less controversial today than string theories of everything (although two decades ago. string theory cannot deal well with time-dependent.[30] Coupling constant unification Grand unification natural in string theories of everything requires that the coupling constants of the four forces meet at one point under renormalization group rescaling. is strictly that of standard quantum chromodynamics. because it was discovered in the context of string theory. Description of the duality In certain cases the gauge theory on the D-branes is decoupled from the gravity living in the bulk. a gauge theory. However. however. A central problem for applications is that the best-understood backgrounds of string theory preserve much of the supersymmetry of the underlying theory.[23] which incorporates branes and fluxes to make a metastable compactification. with a "dictionary" translating from one theory to the other. Therefore in such cases it is often conjectured that the gravitational theory on spacetime with the appropriate background fields is dual (i. So far. the D-branes have two independent alternative descriptions. which has been quantitatively modeled by lattice QCD methods with good results. it was the other way around). which results in time-invariant spacetimes: At present. and thus we have a gravitational theory on spacetime with some background fields. This type of string theory.

. i. for example an extremal black hole.String Theory applies to various models. so small radius in the gravitational theory translates to low energy scale in the gauge theory (i. or usually supergravity). The on-shell states in the near-horizon gravitational theory can be thought of as describing only particles arriving from the bulk to the near-horizon region and interacting there between themselves. also.[37] When particles are far away from this source.e.. On the other hand. The angle between arriving particles in the gravitational theory is related to the radial distance from the gravitational source at which the particles interact: The larger the angle the closer the particles have to get to the source to interact with each other. one of the directions in spacetime is the radial direction.[41] So if one is able (in a decoupling limit) to describe the gravitational system as two separate regions — one (the bulk) far away from the source. A simple example to this principle is that if in the gravitational theory there is a setup in which the dilaton field (which determines the strength of the coupling) is decreasing with the radius. This latter region (close to the source) is termed the near-horizon limit. while large radius in the gravitational theory translates to high energy scale in the gauge theory (i. while the field theory includes also off-shell correlation function. 168 Examples and intuition The best known example and the first one to be studied is the duality between Type IIB superstring on AdS5 × S5 (a product space of a five-dimensional Anti de Sitter space and a five-sphere) on one hand. In the gauge theory. a gravitational theory. it lives on a spacetime identical to the boundary of the near-horizon gravitational theory). Let us understand how the two theories are still equivalent: The physics of the near-horizon gravitational theory involves only on-shell states (as usual in string theory). Thus the angle between the arriving particles in the gravitational theory translates to the distance scale between quantum fluctuations in the gauge theory. This is known as the AdS/CFT correspondence. so that particles that arrive at the source from different directions will be seen in the gauge theory as (off-shell) quantum fluctuations far apart from each other. they can still be described by closed strings.e. they can be described by objects similar to QCD strings. In the gravitational theory.e. these are "projected" onto the boundary. and N = 4 supersymmetric Yang–Mills theory on the four-dimensional boundary of the Anti de Sitter space (either a flat four-dimensional spacetime R3. going from the gravitational source and away (toward the bulk).1 or a three-sphere with time S3 × R). The gauge theory lives only on the D-brane itself. they are described by closed strings (i. then its dual field theory will be asymptotically free. since usually there is an event horizon around (or at) the gravitational source. . the IR regime of the field theory)..[33][34][35][36] a name often used for Gauge / gravity duality in general. so it does not include the radial direction: it lives in a spacetime with one less dimension compared to the gravitational theory (in fact.[38][39][40] which are made of gauge bosons (gluons) and other gauge theory degrees of freedom.e. the UV regime of the field theory). while particles arriving at the source from almost the same direction in space will be seen in the gauge theory as (off-shell) quantum fluctuations close to each other. This duality can be thought of as follows: suppose there is a spacetime with a gravitational source. the scale of the distance between quantum fluctuations in a quantum field theory is related (inversely) to the energy scale in this theory. and the other close to the source — then the latter region can also be described by a gauge theory on D-branes. its coupling will grow weaker in high energies. As the particles approach the gravitational source.

In the s-channel.String Theory 169 History Some of the structures reintroduced by string theory arose for the first time much earlier as part of the program of classical unification started by Albert Einstein. The amplitude needed poles where the particles appear. the other giving peaks at certain energies. The amplitude could fit near-beam scattering data as well as other Regge type fits. meaning both described the whole amplitude and included the other. while much later Brans and Dicke added a scalar component to gravity. the subatomic particles like the proton and neutron that feel the strong interaction. Veneziano and Sergio Fubini introduced an operator formalism for computing the scattering amplitudes that was a forerunner of world-sheet conformal theory. and noted that there is an inconsistency unless the dimension of the theory is 26. Charles Thorn. the two contributions add together. These ideas would be revived within string theory. the particles exchange intermediate states by emission and absorption. where they are demanded by consistency conditions. but would construct their interactions from self-consistency conditions on the S-matrix. Chew advocated making a theory for the interactions of these trajectories that did not presume that they were composed of any fundamental particles. The scattering amplitudes were derived systematically from the . the two particles annihilate to make temporary intermediate states that fall apart into the final state particles. one giving a continuous background contribution. hundreds of physicists worked to complete the bootstrap program for this model. In 1969. the lightest particle must be a tachyon. leading Gabriele Veneziano to construct a scattering amplitude that had the property of Dolen-Horn-Schmid duality. When a particle and antiparticle scatter. with mostly positive residues. While the scale was off by many orders of magnitude. The first person to add a fifth dimension to general relativity was German mathematician Theodor Kaluza in 1919. Veneziano himself discovered that for the scattering amplitude to describe the scattering of a particle that appears in the theory. In the 1960s. Einstein introduced a non-symmetric metric tensor. Horn and C. Schmid[42] developed some sum rules for hadron exchange. which Heisenberg believed break down at the nuclear scale. Holger Bech Nielsen and Leonard Susskind to be the relationship expected from rotating strings. virtual particles can be exchanged in two qualitatively different ways. while Virasoro understood how to remove the poles with wrong-sign residues using a constraint on the states. later renamed world-sheet duality. The result was widely advertised by Murray Gell-Mann. and had a suggestive integral representation that could be used for generalization. an obvious self-consistency condition. In 1926. Holger Bech Nielsen. Yoichiro Nambu. Geoffrey Chew and Steven Frautschi discovered that the mesons make families called Regge trajectories with masses related to spins in a way that was later understood by Yoichiro Nambu. on straight line trajectories. Claud Lovelace calculated a loop amplitude. By manipulating combinations of Gamma functions. String theory was originally developed during the late 1960s and early 1970s as a never completely successful theory of hadrons. with many surprises. the approach he advocated was ideally suited for a theory of quantum gravity. D. it was clear that the peaks were stealing from the background — the authors interpreted this as saying that the t-channel contribution was dual to the s-channel one. while Ziro Koba and Holger Nielsen generalized Veneziano's integral representation to multiparticle scattering. Miguel Virasoro and Joel Shapiro found a different amplitude now understood to be that of closed strings. which obeyed duality and had the appropriate Regge scaling at high energy. Peter Goddard and Richard Brower went on to prove that there are no wrong-sign propagating states in dimensions less than or equal to 26. and there is a special mathematical function whose poles are evenly spaced on half the real line— the Gamma function— which was widely used in Regge theory. and Leonard Susskind recognized that the theory could be given a description in space and time in terms of strings. who noted that gravity in five dimensions describes both gravity and electromagnetism in four. Over the next years. Veneziano was able to find a consistent scattering amplitude with poles on straight lines. R. In the t-channel. In field theory. Dolen. the Swedish physicist Oskar Klein gave a physical interpretation of the unobservable extra dimension — it is wrapped into a small circle. In the data. The S-matrix approach was started by Werner Heisenberg in the 1940s as a way of constructing a theory that did not rely on the local notions of space and time. Working with experimental data.

John Schwarz and Joel Scherk came to the same conclusion and made the bold leap to suggest that string theory was a theory of gravity. which are generalizations of the Einstein equations of General Relativity. distinctive geometrical singularities allowed in string theory. David Gross. The resulting theory did not have a tachyon. the theory continued to develop at a steady pace thanks to the work of a handful of devotees. David Gross and Vipul Periwal discovered that string perturbation theory was divergent. and type I theories with open strings. concluding that type I string theories were inconsistent. the critical dimension was 10. This led him. and was proven to have space-time supersymmetry by John Schwarz and Michael Green in 1981. In the fermion theories. which led him to formulate a two-dimensional supersymmetry to cancel the wrong-sign states. In 1974. Still. At the same time. Following Witten's lead. and he became a high-profile advocate. These were understood to be the new objects suggested 170 . and constructed two superstring theories — IIA and IIB related by T-duality. with infinitely many particle types and with fields taking values not on points. Daniel Friedan showed that the equations of motions of string theory. John Schwarz and André Neveu added another sector to the fermi theory a short time later. In coming to understand this calculation. and Ryan Rohm discovered heterotic strings. creating the mathematical field of mirror symmetry. They reintroduced Kaluza–Klein theory as a way of making sense of the extra dimensions. In 1979. and Charles Thorn. in collaboration with Luis Alvarez-Gaumé to study violations of the conservation laws in gravity theories with anomalies. The gauge group of these closed strings was two copies of E8. Daniel Friedan. shifting the attention of physicists and apparently leaving the bootstrap program in the dustbin of history. Gary Horowitz. Claudio Rebbi. String theory eventually made it out of the dustbin. not a theory of hadrons. The consistency conditions had been so strong. Philip Candelas. but for the following decade all work on the theory was completely ignored. and either copy could easily and naturally include the standard model. In the early 1980s. Michio Kaku and Keiji Kikkawa gave a different formulation of the bosonic string. Green and Schwarz discovered a contribution to the anomaly that Witten and Alvarez-Gaumé had missed. hundreds of physicists started to work in this field. giving a two-dimensional field theoretic path-integral to generate the operator formalism. with only a few discrete choices. Joel Scherk. During this period. Alexander Polyakov gave the theory a modern path integral formulation. Ferdinando Gliozzi. Pierre Ramond added fermions to the model. called D-branes and identified these with the black-hole solutions of supergravity. as a string field theory. between 1984 and 1986. Emil Martinec. Edward Witten discovered that most theories of quantum gravity could not accommodate chiral fermions like the neutrino. while Lance Dixon and others worked out the physical properties of orbifolds. Emil Martinec and Stephen Shenker further developed the covariant quantization of the superstring using conformal field theory techniques. and David Olive realized in 1976 that the original Ramond and Neveu Schwarz-strings were separately inconsistent and needed to be combined.String Theory action principle by Peter Goddard. but on loops and curves. Schwarz and Green discovered T-duality. and went on to develop conformal field theory extensively. which restricted the gauge group of the type I string theory to be SO(32). that the entire theory was nearly uniquely determined. The same year. Jeffrey Goldstone. giving a space-time picture to the vertex operators introduced by Veneziano and Fubini and a geometrical interpretation to the Virasoro conditions. Cumrun Vafa generalized T-duality from circles to arbitrary manifolds. Stanley Mandelstam formulated a world sheet conformal theory for both the bose and fermi case. Joseph Polchinski discovered that the theory requires higher-dimensional objects. emerge from the Renormalization group equations for the two-dimensional field theory. Andrew Strominger and Edward Witten found that the Calabi-Yau manifolds are the compactifications that preserve a realistic amount of supersymmetry. Tamiaki Yoneya discovered that all the known string theories included a massless spin-two particle that obeyed the correct Ward identities to be a graviton. Edward Witten became convinced that string theory was truly a consistent theory of gravity. In the 1990s. Jeffrey Harvey. and this is sometimes called the first superstring revolution. In 1970. quantum chromodynamics was recognized as the correct theory of hadrons. Stephen Shenker showed it diverged much faster than in field theory suggesting that new non-perturbative objects were missing.

and they opened up a new field with rich mathematical structure. and it is now well-accepted. which is called the AdS/CFT correspondence. not just strings. was further developed by Steven Gubser. During this period. bringing string theory back to its roots. In 1997. which for extreme charged black holes looks like an anti de Sitter space. and by Edward Witten.[51] Lawrence Krauss. Philip Warren Anderson. Witten noted that the effective description of the physics of D-branes at low energies is by a supersymmetric gauge theory. He noted that in this limit the gauge theory describes the string excitations near the branes. describes not only the degrees of freedom of the black hole. Lack of uniqueness of predictions due to the large number of solutions. It quickly became clear that D-branes and other p-branes. Through this relationship. and giving birth to a new 11-dimensional theory called M-theory. Igor Klebanov and Alexander Polyakov.[53] Some common criticisms include: 1. an anti-deSitter space times a sphere with flux. This hypothesis. 2. Stephen Shenker and Leonard Susskind formulated matrix theory. but all nearby objects too. It is an example of a gauge-gravity duality and is now understood to be a special case of the AdS/CFT correspondence.[44][45][46][47][48][49] Notable critics include Peter Woit. Tom Banks. a full holographic description of M-theory using IIA D0 branes.[43] This was the first definition of string theory that was fully non-perturbative and a concrete mathematical realization of the holographic principle. is equally well described by the low-energy limiting gauge theory. locality and information in physics. string theory has been shown to be related to gauge theories like quantum chromodynamics and this has led to more quantitative understanding of the behavior of hadrons. 3.[50] Sheldon Glashow. M-theory was also foreshadowed in the work of Paul Townsend at approximately the same time. which has far-reaching implications for black holes. and the physical interpretation of the strings and branes was revealed — they are a type of black hole. Very high energies needed to test quantum gravity. formed the matter content of the string theories. as well as the nature of the gravitational interaction. Andrew Strominger and Cumrun Vafa calculated the entropy of certain configurations of D-branes and found agreement with the semi-classical answer for extreme charged black holes. the fluctuations of the black hole horizon. The flurry of activity that began at this time is sometimes called the second superstring revolution. identifying the long highly excited string states with ordinary thermal black hole states. . and found geometrical interpretations of mathematical structures in gauge theory that he and Nathan Seiberg had earlier discovered in terms of the location of the branes. Edward Witten gave a speech on string theory that in essence united the five string theories that existed at the time. Leonard Susskind had incorporated the holographic principle of Gerardus 't Hooft into string theory. It is a concrete realization of the holographic principle. the N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory.String Theory by the perturbative divergences. showing that orbifolds solve the chirality problem. So he hypothesized that string theory on a near-horizon extreme-charged black-hole geometry. Lee Smolin. As suggested by 't Hooft. Juan Maldacena noted that the low energy excitations of a theory near a black hole consist of objects close to the horizon. 171 Criticisms Some critics of string theory say that it is a failure as a theory of everything.[52] and Carlo Rovelli. Petr Hořava and Edward Witten found the eleven-dimensional formulation of the heterotic string theories. In 1995. the world-sheet or world-volume theory. at the annual conference of string theorists at the University of Southern California (USC). Willy Fischler. Lack of background independence.

is not well understood. and so we happen to live in the "friendliest" universe. As a result. with a different collection of particles and forces. Generally speaking.[55][56] The argument is that most universes contain values for physical constants that do not lead to habitable universes (at least for humans). and the exchange of gravitons is equivalent to a change in the background — mathematical calculations in the theory rely on preselecting a background as a starting point. like many quantum field theories. a non-perturbative definition of the theory in arbitrary spacetime backgrounds is still lacking. there is a very large set of possible universes. . or a non-perturbative treatment of string theory (such as "background independent open string field theory") will have a background-independent formulation. if any. called string vacua. Some physicists believe this is a good thing. gauge groups.String Theory 172 High energies It is widely believed that any theory of quantum gravity would require extremely high energies to probe directly. and high energies are required to probe small length scales. which may be radically different from each other. Each of these corresponds to a different possible universe. a very small quantity. which is believed to provide a full. which is twenty orders of magnitude smaller than the radius of a proton. in particular the small value of the cosmological constant. This is because strings themselves are expected to be only slightly larger than the Planck length. This principle is already employed to explain the existence of life on earth as the result of a life-friendly orbit around the medium-sized sun among an infinite number of possible orbits (as well as a relatively stable location in the galaxy). because it may allow a natural anthropic explanation of the observed values of physical constants. and because quantum effects are controlled by Planck's constant h. which are actually inconsistent. higher by orders of magnitude than those that current experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider[54] can attain. called the string theory landscape (or the anthropic portion of string theory vacua). It is also suggested that the landscape is surrounded by an even more vast swampland of consistent-looking semiclassical effective field theories. String theory contains an infinite number of distinct meta-stable vacua. While there are no continuous parameters in the theory. This criticism has been addressed to some extent by the AdS/CFT duality. Background independence A separate and older criticism of string theory is that it is background-dependent — string theory describes perturbative expansions about fixed spacetime backgrounds. non-perturbative definition of string theory in spacetimes with anti-de Sitter space asymptotics. and chiral fermions. Although the theory has some background-independence — topology change is an established process in string theory.[23] and these vacua might be sufficiently diverse to accommodate almost any phenomena we might observe at lower energies. Nevertheless. a high planck scale. and perhaps 10520 of these or more correspond to a universe roughly similar to ours — with four dimensions. Some hope that M-theory. quantum gravity is difficult to test because the gravity is much weaker than the other forces. This is because.[23] What principle. as a divergent series of approximations. Number of solutions String theory as it is currently understood has a huge number of solutions. the effects of quantum gravity are extremely weak. The vacuum structure of the theory. can be used to select among these vacua is an open issue. much of string theory is still only formulated perturbatively.

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R.February 2001. "QCD string as vortex string in Seiberg-dual theory". New Scientist.th. doi:10. • Green.uk/user/mbg15/superstrings/ superstrings. C. jp/ ~kiasyk2/ slides/ hashimoto. p.. `You guys are wrong. and the Texture of Reality. pdf) [41] Piljin Yi (2007) " Story of baryons in a gravity dual of QCD (http:/ / www2. Bibcode 2007JHEP. princeton. M. (1997). arXiv:hep-th/0310077. utexas... kyoto-u. Retrieved December 19. Gubser. Paul. [36] Aharony. edu/ category/ 2007/ 02/ this_weeks_finds_in_mathematic_7. 4 January 2005 [51] "there ain't no experiment that could be done nor is there any observation that could be made that would say. Gubser. Robbert. Physics Letters B428: 105–114.55. Ｑ Ｃ Ｄ Strings and D-branes (http:/ / www2. New York: Alfred A. Polyakov (1998).1509R. Brian (2004). W. "Finite-Energy Sum Rules and Their Application to πN Charge Exchange". permanently safe" NOVA interview (http:/ / pbs. "Superstrings" (http://www. • Greene. (1968).1103/PhysRevD.1016/j..edu (2007-02-25). Is String Theory Testable? (http:/ / www. Susskind. Horn. String theory: An Evaluation. 323 (3–4): 183–386.1768.) (1992). Klebanov and A. edu/ ~woit/ testable. Knopf.428. ac. columbia. Bibcode 1998PhLB..5112B.2005v1. yukawa. Amanda (December 2005).

p. ISBN 978-0-06-113032-8. 240. The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design. Two nontechnical books that are critical of string theory: • Smolin. • Paul H. p.sns. 512. 224. John H. Peter (2006). and John H.pdf) (PDF). Melanie. • Hooper. Maurizio (2007) Elements of String Cosmology.ias. ISBN 0-521-35752-7. • Witten. ISBN 0-316-32975-4. Retrieved December 19. Parallel Universes. Becker.. The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory. ISBN 0-521-86069-5 • Binétruy. p. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-8053-2581-6. Leonard (2006). p. Time Warps. Frontiers in Physics. Cambridge University Press. Princeton University Press.edu/~witten/papers/string. ISBN 0-521-63303-6. 2: Loop amplitudes. • Michael Green.org/journals/doc/PHTOAD-ft/vol_62/iss_1/28_1. Not Even Wrong – The Failure of String Theory And the Search for Unity in Physical Law. Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions. • Woit. and What Comes Next. Edward (June 2002). • Vol. • Vol.) • Vilenkin.shtml). • Dine. and the Theory of Everything. on the first superstring revolution. 384. 175 Textbooks • Becker. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes. Pierre (2007) Supersymmetry: Theory. London: Jonathan Cape &: New York: Basic Books. Lee (2006). ISBN 0-521-85841-0. Frampton (1974). p. #11. ISBN 978-1-59257-702-6. 1: Introduction. • Randall. New York: Hachette Book Group/Back Bay Books. Michael (2007) Supersymmetry and String Theory: Beyond the Standard Model. p. and Cosmology. ISBN 0-316-01333-1. The Great Beyond: Higher Dimensions. ISBN 978-0-521-86875-4. – An easy nontechnical article on the very basics of the theory. Schwarz and Edward Witten (1987) Superstring theory. p. ISBN 978-0-465-09275-8. p. Juan (January 2009). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 368. Physics Today. ISBN 0-521-35753-5. Indianapolis: Alpha. Cambridge University Press. The original textbook. (Popular article. • Vol. • Klebanov. "Everything's Now Tied to Strings" Discover Magazine vol 7. . Katrin. Paul (2004). Igor and Maldacena. and the Tenth Dimension. ISBN 978-0-19-850954-7. Experiment. Solving Quantum Field Theories via Curved Spacetimes (http://ptonline. • Johnson. 326. • Halpern. D-branes. • Susskind. • Musser. Schwarz (2007) String Theory and M-Theory: A Modern Introduction . Lisa (2005). ISBN 0-06-053108-8. • Taubes. • Gasperini. Astronomy Magazine. Dark Cosmos: In Search of Our Universe's Missing Mass and Energy. Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes. John (1998). 235. ISBN 0-19-508514-0. Elias (2007) String Theory in a Nutshell. p. London: Little Brown and Company. 403.aip. George (2008). Hoboken. 392. Clifford (2003).. anomalies and phenomenology. Gary (November 1986). Oxford University Press. Michio (1994). probably the first ever written. The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory. ISBN 978-0-691-12230-4. Alex (2006). 290. • Kaku. the Fall of a Science.String Theory • Gribbin. 1: An introduction to the bosonic string. New York: HarperCollins. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-521-80912-6. ISBN 0-8090-9523-8. Dan (2006). 2005. Inc. ISBN 0-618-55105-0. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. "The Universe on a String" (http://www. ISBN 0-471-46595-X. New York: Hill and Wang. p. • Kiritsis. Cambridge University Press. Dual Resonance Models. New York: Ecco Press. Symmetry. The Search for Superstrings. and the Extraordinary Search for a Theory of Everything. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

"Lectures on String Theory". Web link (http://tech.blorge. John H. Barton (2004) A First Course in String Theory. Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.com/cws/article/indepth/30940). 2007.blorge.com). – Four lectures. Don. • Marolf. Wieland et al. – A criticism of string theory. • Minkel.html). – Invited Lecture at COSLAB 2004. Gabriele (May 2004).org/scriblerus/) • An Italian Website with various papers in English language concerning the mathematical connections between String Theory and Number Theory. "Theory of Anything?" (http://www. "Resource Letter NSST-1: The Nature and Status of String Theory". Retrieved September 6. Contact author for errata. 2005. Croix.npr. • Kibble. Retrieved 2007-03-05. arXiv:hep-th/0311044. "The nth dimension" (http://thenthdimension. Cambridge University Press. cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=00042F0D-1A0E-1085-94F483414B7F0000).' String Theorists Accused of Nothing" (http://www. "Short of 'All. (http://nardelli. — An up-to-date and thorough review of string theory in a popular way. Lawrence (2005-11-23). "The Myth of the Beginning of Time" (http://www. "Stringscape" (http://physicsworld.com/articles/health_and_science/ science/2005/11/theory_of_anything. • Chalmers. " Theory of everything put to the test (news:ID109828243)". Physics World (http://physicsworld. Spacetime and Quantum Mechanics" (http://online. United Kingdom. "Cosmic strings reborn?". – A guide to the string theory literature. Peter (2002). American Scientist.edu/online/ plecture/witten/). [news:tech.com/ article. – Slides and audio from an Ed Witten lecture where he introduces string theory and discusses its challenges. • Schwarz.xoom. "Duality. St. 2: Superstring theory and beyond. 176 Online material • David Tong. Roger (2005).com).americanscientist. ISBN 0-679-45443-8. (Reprinted 2007) An Introduction to String Theory and D-brane Dynamics. Technical and critical: • Penrose. – This is a one semester course on bosonic string theory aimed at beginning graduate students. Richard J. "Is string theory even wrong?" (http://www. • Zwiebach. Scientific American. (2006-03-02). p. with Strings Attached" (http://www.slate. 2005. ISBN 0-521-83143-1.com]. J. in June 2000. 2005. National Public Radio. • A website dedicated to creative writing inspired by string theory.blorge. Retrieved December 16. – A comprehensive compilation of materials concerning string theory. The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe. • Woit. "A Prediction from String Theory. Slate (http://www. .0333. – A criticism of string theory. Shakeeb. (2004). • Veneziano.itp.String Theory • Vol. presented at the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Techniques and Concepts of High Energy Physics.slate. "Introduction to Superstring Theory". Edward (1998). Scientific American. • Harris. held at Ambleside. from 10 to 17 September 2004.it/virgiliowizard/) • George Gardner (2007-01-24).org/ templates/story/story.com/article. ISBN 978-1-86094-427-7. • Szabo. arXiv:0908.com/Structure: /2007/01/24/ theory-of-everything-put-to-the-test/). R.sciam. Richard (2006-11-07). Imperial College Press.cfm?chanId=sa003&articleId=1475A684-E7F2-99DF-355B95296BE6031C). (http://banyancollege.org/issues/pub/ is-string-theory-even-wrong). survey basic concepts in string theory. Knopf. and addressed to an audience of graduate students in experimental high energy physics. • Krauss. Created by an international team of students. ISBN 0-521-63304-4. arXiv:hep-ex/0008017.com/). 1136. • Ajay. Retrieved 2007-03-03. Virgin Islands.com tech..php?storyId=6377252). Retrieved December 16. arXiv:astro-ph/0410073. • Witten. The lectures assume a working knowledge of quantum field theory and general relativity. Retrieved December 16. Tom.ucsb.sciam. Matthew (2007-09-03). Cumbria.

harvard. ISBN 0-224-07605-1 (Jonathan Cape).spinningthesuperweb.com/) – an introduction to string theory • Dialogue on the Foundations of String Theory (http://www.physics.com/jpierre/strings/) – Online tutorial • CI.pbs. texts.com/) • The Elegant Universe (http://www. Retrieved July 17. Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory & the Continuing Challenge to Unify the Laws of Physics. . • Not Even Wrong (http://www. John (2001).itp.m. blogspot.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/) – A Three-Hour Miniseries with Brian Greene by NOVA (original PBS Broadcast Dates: October 28.com/2011/03/ a-laymans-explanation-for-string-theory/).com/home/kmath632/kmath632. 8–9 p.math. ISBN 0-465-09275-6 (Basic Books) • Schwarz.com) – A Science Studies' approach to the history of string theory (an elementary knowledge of string theory is required).ucsb. • Zidbits (2011-03-27). "Early History of String Theory: A Personal Perspective" (http://online. Various images.edu/~sps/) – A moderated newsgroup for discussion of string theory (a theory of quantum gravity and unification of forces) and related fields of high-energy physics. • Superstring Theory (http://www.perimeterinstitute. 2003). STRINGS newsgroup (http://schwinger. Peter. and November 4. 177 External links • Why String Theory (http://whystringtheory.m. 8–10 p.. 2006.edu/ online/colloq/schwarz1/). • Beyond String Theory (http://www.mathpages.sukidog.htm) at MathPages • Superstrings! String Theory Home Page (http://www.edu/~woit/blog/) – A blog critical of string theory. "A Layman's Explanation For String Theory?" (http://zidbits. 2009.ca/en/Outreach/What_We_Research/Superstring_Theory/ ) Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics • The Official String Theory Web Site (http://superstringtheory.columbia.phys. videos and animations explaining string theory.fr/~troost/beyondstringtheory/) – A project by a string physicist explaining aspects of string theory to a broad audience. • Spinning the Superweb: Essays on the History of Superstring Theory (http://www.String Theory • Woit.ens.

thus motivating the search for a quantum theory of gravity. This can be thought of as due to an extreme separation of mass scales at which they are important. Motivation for quantizing gravity comes from the remarkable success of the quantum theories of the other three fundamental interactions. such as singularities. There is a lack of experimental evidence relating to quantum gravity. If the theory of quantum gravity also achieves a grand unification of the other known interactions. that is. Quantum effects are usually important only for the "very small". for masses of objects from about 10−23 to 1030 kg. (Planets' gravitational fields. Such a theory of quantum gravity would yield the same experimental results as ordinary quantum mechanics in conditions of weak gravity (gravitational potentials much less than c2) and the same results as Einsteinian general relativity in phenomena at scales much larger than individual molecules (action much larger than reduced Planck's constant). so strong-field effects—any effects of gravity beyond lowest nonvanishing order in φ/c2—have not been observed even in the gravitational fields of planets and main sequence stars).[1][2][3] Although some quantum gravity theories such as string theory and other unified field theories (or 'theories of everything') attempt to unify gravity with the other fundamental forces. it is referred to as a theory of everything (TOE). for objects no larger than typical molecules. without needing both. unless large extra dimension conjectures are correct). such objects cannot be understood with current theories of quantum mechanics or general relativity. are well-described by linearized gravity except for Mercury's perihelion precession. they simply quantize the gravitational field while keeping it separate from the other forces. others such as loop quantum gravity make no such attempt. However. but moreover be able to predict the outcome of situations where both quantum effects and strong-field gravity are important (at the Planck scale. at both subatomic and cosmological scales. are "very small" spatially yet are "very large" from a mass or energy perspective. as of 2011. . i. certain physical phenomena.. show up mainly for the "very large" bodies such as collapsed stars. gravity). on the other hand. It is hoped that development of such a theory would unify all fundamental interactions into a single mathematical framework and describe all known observable interactions in the universe.e. and classical physics adequately describes the observed effects of gravity over a range of 50 orders of magnitude of mass. Most observed physical phenomena can be described well by quantum mechanics or general relativity. and from experimental evidence suggesting that gravity can be made to show quantum effects. General relativistic effects.Quantum Gravity 178 Quantum Gravity Quantum gravity (QG) is the field of theoretical physics which attempts to develop scientific models that unify quantum mechanics (describing three of the four known fundamental interactions) with general relativity (describing the fourth.

it is clear that near or above the fundamental cutoff of our effective quantum theory of gravity (the cutoff is generally assumed to be of the order of the Planck scale). and at energies well below the fundamental cutoff of the theory. to any desired precision. Quantum field theory depends on particle fields embedded in the flat space-time of special relativity. but those are few enough in number to be removable via renormalization. a new model of nature will be needed. (By comparison. This is in contrast with quantum electrodynamics where. while the series still do not converge. finite results. In fact. Effective field theories Quantum gravity can be treated as an effective field theory. the Standard Model is expected to start to break down above its cutoff at the much smaller scale of around 1000 GeV. and may well require a totally new kind of model. Specifically. only a finite number of these coupling constants need to be measured in order to make legitimate quantum-mechanical predictions. Effective quantum field theories come with some high-energy cutoff. the most obvious way of combining the two (such as treating gravity as simply another particle field) ran quickly into what is known as the Diagram showing where quantum gravity sits in the hierarchy of physics theories renormalization problem. The "infinities" then become large but finite quantities proportional to this finite cutoff scale. the first quantum-mechanical corrections to graviton-scattering and Newton's law of gravitation have been explicitly computed[4] (although they are so astronomically small that we may never be able to measure them). This same logic works just as well for the highly successful theory of low-energy pions as for quantum gravity. . and correspond to processes that involve very high energies near the fundamental cutoff. beyond which we do not expect that the theory provides a good description of nature. These quantities can then be absorbed into an infinite collection of coupling constants. gravity particles would attract each other and adding together all of the interactions results in many infinite values which cannot easily be cancelled out mathematically to yield sensible.) While confirming that quantum mechanics and gravity are indeed consistent at reasonable energies. the interactions sometimes evaluate to infinite results. Historically. since it appears to be valid all the way up to its cutoff at the Planck scale. Indeed. General relativity models gravity as a curvature within space-time that changes as a gravitational mass moves. the problem of combining quantum mechanics and gravity becomes an issue only at very high energies. gravity is in many ways a much better quantum field theory than the Standard Model.Quantum Gravity 179 Overview Much of the difficulty in meshing these theories at all energy scales comes from the different assumptions that these theories make on how the universe works. In the old-fashioned understanding of renormalization.

which describes gravitation. and general relativity with regard to spacetime curvature. with quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics and general relativity The graviton At present. Many researchers view the detection of the graviton as vital to validating their work.Quantum Gravity 180 Quantum gravity theory for the highest energy scales The general approach to deriving a quantum gravity theory that is valid at even the highest energy scales is to assume that such a theory will be simple and elegant and. it has appeared in the lower-dimensional many-bodied gravity problem[10] based on the field theoretic approach of Roman Jackiw. all assume. quantized theories of matter may necessitate their existence. and the origin of the universe. unified theory. one of the deepest problems in theoretical physics is harmonizing the theory of general relativity. accordingly. the existence of the graviton. one can demonstrate that the structure of general relativity essentially follows inevitably from the quantum mechanics of interacting theoretical spin-2 massless particles [5][6][7][8][9] (called gravitons). it appears in string theory. Such a theory is required in order to understand problems involving the combination of very high energy and very small dimensions of space. While there is no concrete proof of the existence of gravitons. Gravity Probe B (GP-B) has measured spacetime curvature near Earth to test related models in application of Einstein's general theory of relativity. planets. contrary to the popular claim that quantum mechanics and general relativity are fundamentally incompatible. they have dubbed these hypothetical particles gravitons. the number of dimensions was lowered to (1+1) namely one spatial dimension and one temporal dimension.[12] Thus. More recently. Many of the accepted notions of a unified theory of physics since the 1970s. which describes the other three fundamental forces acting on the atomic scale. one had a theory which combined gravity. The impetus arose from the fact that complete analytical solutions for the metric of a covariant N-body system have proven elusive in General Relativity. to study symmetries and other clues offered by current theories that might suggest ways to combine them into a comprehensive. Generally. and applies to large-scale structures (stars. including string theory. known as R=T theory[11] (as opposed to the general G=T theory) was amenable to exact solutions in terms of a generalization of the Lambert W function. It was also found that the field equation governing the dilaton (derived from differential geometry) was the Schrödinger equation and consequently amenable to quantization. leading researchers to believe that at least one most likely does exist. a five-dimensional theory that combined gravitation and electromagnetism. however. loop quantum gravity. quantization and even . In particular. superstring theory. as it should resolve the dual conundrums of special relativity with regard to the uniformity of acceleration and gravity. such as the behavior of black holes. Supporting this theory is the observation that all fundamental forces except gravity have one or more known messenger particles. This problem must be put in the proper context. One problem with this approach is that it is unknown whether quantum gravity will actually conform to a simple and elegant theory. M-theory. This model problem. and to some degree depend upon. To simplify the problem. The dilaton The dilaton made its first appearance in Kaluza–Klein theory. galaxies).

• One possibility is that normal perturbation theory is not a reliable guide to the renormalizability of the theory. which could. all but the first few of the infinite set of parameters in a non-renormalizable theory are suppressed by huge energy scales and hence can be neglected when computing low-energy effects. the model is indeed a predictive quantum field theory. the logic of the renormalization group tells us that. On the other hand. . However.Quantum Gravity the electromagnetic interaction. • Another possibility is that there are new symmetry principles that constrain the parameters and reduce them to a finite set. but since we can never do infinitely many experiments to fix the values of every parameter. detection of the dilaton is expected to be even more elusive than the graviton. quantum gravity will reduce to the usual Einstein theory of general relativity. However. then every one of the infinitely many unknown parameters would begin to matter. This is the route taken by string theory. For example. The theory must be characterized by a choice of finitely many parameters.[4] (A very similar situation occurs for the very similar effective field theory of low-energy pions. with "nonrenormalizable" interactions suppressed by large energy scales and whose effects have consequently not been observed experimentally. it is difficult to find a reliable answer. it must be asymptotically free or asymptotically safe. Thus. we do not have a meaningful physical theory: • At low energies. electromagnetic and quantum effects. However. This is further complicated by the fact that gravitons can propagate in (3+1) dimensions and consequently that would imply gravitons and dilatons exist in the real world. in quantum electrodynamics.) Furthermore. gravity is perturbatively nonrenormalizable. it is not yet clear what the full field equation will govern the dilaton in higher dimensions. many theorists agree that even the Standard Model should really be regarded as an effective field theory as well. is a classical field theory. there is a way around this problem by treating QG as an effective field theory. as with electromagnetism. One might expect that. Any meaningful theory of quantum gravity that makes sense and is predictive at all energy scales must have some deep principle that reduces the infinitely many unknown parameters to a finite number that can then be measured. 181 Nonrenormalizability of gravity General relativity. and we could make no predictions at all. these parameters are the charge and mass of the electron. QG as an effective field theory In an effective field theory. be set by experiment. promising ingredients of a fundamental physical theory. However. Moreover. Since this is a question of non-perturbative quantum field theory. It is worth noting that the outcome revealed a previously unknown and already existing natural link between general relativity and quantum mechanics.[14] For a quantum field theory to be well-defined according to this understanding of the subject. but some people still pursue this option. For a given choice of those parameters. in principle. As explained below. at least in the low-energy regime. this theory needs to be generalized in (2+1) or (3+1) dimensions although. there should be a corresponding quantum field theory. where all of the excitations of the string essentially manifest themselves as new symmetries. despite the unknown choices of these infinitely many parameters. there are infinitely many independent parameters (counterterm coefficients) needed to define the theory. if we could probe very high energies where quantum effects take over. • On the other hand. one could make sense of the theory. the field equations are amenable to such generalization as shown with the inclusion of a one-graviton process[13] and yielding the correct Newtonian limit in d dimensions if a dilaton is included. like electromagnetism. and that there really is a UV fixed point for gravity. in quantizing gravity. since this approach allows for the combination of gravitational. through cosmology and perhaps even experimentally. as measured at a particular energy scale. in principle. their coupling could potentially lead to a means of vindicating the theory.

Quantum Gravity Recent work[4] has shown that by treating general relativity as an effective field theory. To a certain extent. for example. string perturbation theory exhibits exactly the features one would expect of a perturbation theory that may exhibit a strong dependence on asymptotics (as seen. and that "condensation" of certain vibration modes of strings is equivalent to a modification of the original background. In the case of quantum mechanics. and only finitely many degrees of freedom globally. as found in Newtonian mechanics and special relativity. even at the classical level. This is inadequate to describe gravity in 3+1 dimensions which has local degrees of freedom according to general relativity. although the interactions among closed strings give rise to space-time in a dynamical way. Interaction in the subatomic world: world lines of point-like particles in the Standard Model or a world sheet swept up by closed strings in string theory . quantum mechanics has depended since its inception on a fixed background (non-dynamic) structure. and it has been successfully quantized in several different ways. just as in Newtonian classical mechanics. Background independent theories Loop quantum gravity is the fruit of an effort to formulate a background-independent quantum theory. at least for low-energy phenomena. An example is the well-known calculation of the tiny first-order quantum-mechanical correction to the classical Newtonian gravitational potential between two masses. the spacetime geometry is dynamic. 182 Spacetime background dependence A fundamental lesson of general relativity is that there is no fixed spacetime background. and its consequences are profound and not fully explored. Topological quantum field theory provided an example of background-independent quantum theory. In this sense. one can actually make legitimate predictions for quantum gravity. In relativistic quantum field theory. this is the hardest idea to understand about general relativity. Minkowski spacetime is the fixed background of the theory. While easy to grasp in principle. but with no local degrees of freedom. Although string theory had its origins in the study of quark confinement and not of quantum gravity. however.[15] in which the only physically relevant information is the relationship between different events in space-time. general relativity can be seen to be a relational theory. it was soon discovered that the string spectrum contains the graviton. In 2+1 dimensions. gravity is a topological field theory. in the AdS/CFT correspondence) which is a weak form of background dependence. string-like objects propagate in a fixed spacetime background. it is time that is given and not dynamic. String theory String theory can be seen as a generalization of quantum field theory where instead of point particles. On the other hand. including spin networks. just as in classical field theory.

applying the recipes of ordinary quantum field theory yields models that are devoid of all predictive power. since under the Heisenberg uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics its location and velocity cannot be known with certainty. although there is hope for this to change as future data from cosmological observations and particle physics experiments becomes available. as yet. classical general relativity breaks down at singularities. Time has a different meaning in quantum mechanics and general relativity and hence there are subtle issues to resolve when trying to formulate a theory which combines the two. In an analogous way to the development of quantum electrodynamics in the early part of the 20th century (when physicists considered quantum mechanics in classical electromagnetic fields). are successful in describing the other three basic fundamental forces in the context of the standard model of elementary particle physics. Phenomena such as the Unruh effect. the consideration of quantum field theory on a curved background has led to predictions such as black hole radiation.[21] gravity turns out to be much more problematic at higher energies.[18] Currently. it is not clear how to determine the gravitational field of a particle. However. See Quantum field theory in curved spacetime for a more complete discussion. has shown many promising early results. in which particles exist in certain accelerating frames but not in stationary ones. They also face the common problem that. no one is certain that classical general relativity applies near singularities in the first place).[16] • Third. after all. there is no way to put quantum gravity predictions to experimental tests.[17] Candidate theories There are a number of proposed quantum gravity theories. for ordinary field theories such as quantum electrodynamics. and the candidate models still need to overcome major formal and conceptual problems.Quantum Gravity 183 Semi-classical quantum gravity Quantum field theory on curved (non-Minkowskian) backgrounds.[19][20] String theory One suggested starting point is ordinary quantum field theories which. do not pose any difficulty when considered on a curved background (the Unruh effect occurs even in flat Minkowskian backgrounds). The vacuum state is the state with least energy (and may or may not contain particles). while not a full quantum theory of gravity. while this leads to an acceptable effective (quantum) field theory of gravity at low energies. • First. there is the Problem of Time in quantum gravity. a technique known as renormalization is an integral part of deriving predictions which take into account higher-energy contributions. Points of tension There are other points of tension between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Where. and quantum mechanics becomes inconsistent with general relativity in the neighborhood of singularities (however. one of the ways of compactifying the extra dimensions posited by string theory .[23] Projection of a Calabi-Yau manifold. The resolution of these points may come from a better understanding of general relativity.[22] gravity turns out to be nonrenormalizable: at high energies. there is still no complete and consistent quantum theory of gravity. • Second.

string theory admits a very large number (10500 by some estimates) of consistent vacua. however. however. • Path-integral based models of quantum cosmology[42] .[37][38] Examples include: • • • • • • • Acoustic metric and other analog models of gravity Algebraic Graviton Quantizing Asymptotic safety Causal Dynamical Triangulation[39] Causal sets[40] Group field theory[41] MacDowell–Mansouri action • Noncommutative geometry. but. which represent geometric gravity using mathematical analogues of electric and magnetic fields. the price to pay are unusual features such as six extra dimensions of space in addition to the usual three for space and one for time. the result is an analogue of the Schrödinger equation: the Wheeler–DeWitt equation. crucially. in which space is represented by a network structure called a spin network. evolving over time in discrete steps. string theory promises to be a unified description of all particles and interactions. Starting with the initial-value-formulation of general relativity (cf. it was conjectured that both string theory and a unification of general relativity and supersymmetry known as supergravity[27] form part of a hypothesized eleven-dimensional model known as M-theory. The approaches differ depending on which features of general relativity and quantum theory are accepted unchanged. above).[26] In what is called the second superstring revolution.[30] A major break-through came with the introduction of what are now known as Ashtekar variables. which is based on the classical concept of a point particle. In this way. these strings are indistinguishable from point-like particles.[24] At the energies reached in current experiments.Quantum Gravity One attempt to overcome these limitations is to replace ordinary quantum field theory.[25] The theory is successful in that one mode will always correspond to a graviton. which would constitute a uniquely defined and consistent theory of quantum gravity. different modes of oscillation of one and the same type of fundamental string appear as particles with different (electric and other) charges. Sorting through this large family of solutions remains one of the major challenges. and which features are modified. the section on evolution equations. the messenger particle of gravity. 184 Loop quantum gravity Another approach to quantum gravity starts with the canonical quantization procedures of quantum theory. with a quantum theory of one-dimensional extended objects: string theory.[31][32] The resulting candidate for a theory of quantum gravity is Loop quantum gravity. which some argue is ill-defined.[33][34][35][36] Simple spin network of the type used in loop quantum gravity Other approaches There are a number of other approaches to quantum gravity. comprising the so-called "string landscape".[28][29] As presently understood.

1007/BF00759198. "Gravitation and cosmology in (1+1) dimensions".. "N-body Gravity and the Schroedinger Equation".4647F. ISBN 0-201-62734-5.. doi:10.1103/PhysRev. S.96. doi:10..7.1683G. [5] Kraichnan. doi:10.Quantum Gravity • • • • • Regge calculus String-nets giving rise to gapless helicity ±2 excitations with no other gapless excitations[43] Superfluid vacuum theory a. arXiv:gr-qc/9611008. . the phenomenology of quantum gravity which studies the possibility of experimental tests. Classical and Quantum Gravity 24 (18): 4647–4659.55. co.334.219S. html).1088/0264-9381/8/1/022. . . physicists have realized that evidence for quantum gravitational effects can guide the development of the theory. [10] Ohta. S.. arXiv:gr-qc/0611144.1. Retrieved 2011-04-21.. [8] Gupta.. However. Geltenbort. W. BBC News. General Relativity and Gravitation 1: 9–18.k. (1957). R. theory of BEC vacuum Supergravity Twistor models[44] 185 Weinberg–Witten theorem In quantum field theory. "Special-Relativistic Derivation of Generally Covariant Gravitation Theory". Bibcode 1996CQGra. Physical Review 98 (4): 1118–1122. B. R B.. T (1997). Experimental Tests As was emphasized above... "Self-Interaction and Gauge Invariance".13. (1995). Retrieved 2011-04-21.297N. (1962).1103/RevModPhys.98.. [13] Mann.468J. However. "Introduction to the Effective Field Theory Description of Gravity". H. Ohta. Physical Review 96 (6): 1683–1685. D. (1970).1683. R B (1991). [9] Deser. Peter. B.. Nesvizhevsky et al.4723M..4723.. "Exact solution for the metric and the motion of two bodies in (1+1)-dimensional gravity". N. com/ nature/ journal/ v415/ n6869/ abs/ 415297a.[45][46] There is presently no confirmed experimental signature of quantum gravitational effects. Feynman lectures on gravitation. [7] Gupta.29. Bibcode 1997PhRvD. the Weinberg–Witten theorem would not be valid. pp. Jason (2011-04-18). (1954).1118K.. Lemmel. Abele. S.. doi:10. has obtained increased attention. arXiv:gr-qc/9605004. [14] Feynman. recent developments attempt to show that if locality is only approximate and the holographic principle is correct. Tadayuki.. in the past decade.2585O. Nature 7 (6): 468–472. Recent Developments in General Relativity. "Canonical reduction of two-dimensional gravity for particle dynamics".55. P. (2002-01-17). [11] Sikkema.1103/PhysRevD. uk/ news/ science-environment-13097370). nature. the possibility of experimentally testing quantum gravity had not received much attention prior to the late 1990s. Bibcode 2002Natur. (1955). Robert (1996).96..334G. "Gravitation and Electromagnetism".1038/415297a.29. [3] Palmer..9D. Mann. 55 (8): 4723–4747. Since the theoretical development has been slow. [2] Jenke. [4] Donoghue (1995). "Quantum Theory of Gravitation". For this reason..1088/0264-9381/24/18/006. doi:10. N. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/13/9/022. "Quantum states of neutrons in the Earth's gravitational field" (http:/ / www. Bibcode 1957RvMP. Bibcode 1954PhRv. Nature 415 (6869): 297–299. R.24. html). . imprints of quantum gravitational effects in the Cosmic Microwave Background (in particular its polarization). S. Bibcode 2007CQGra. Mann. nature. Bibcode 1970GReGr. Lemmel & Abele. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.8... Hartmut (2011-04-17). Bibcode 1991CQGra.a. [6] Gupta. Rev. Geltenbort. Morinigo. com/ nphys/ journal/ vaop/ ncurrent/ full/ nphys1970. bbc. Wagner. quantum gravitational effects are extremely weak and therefore difficult to test. arXiv:gr-qc/0411023. N. Retrieved 2011-04-21. Classical and Quantum Gravity 13 (9): 2585–2602. Pergamon Press.1118. & Hatfield. A E. doi:10. 251–258. "Neutrons could test Newton's gravity and string theory" (http:/ / www.1038/nphys1970.415.. G. References [1] Nesvizhevsky. "Einstein's and Other Theories of Gravitation". The most widely pursued possibilities for quantum gravity phenomenology include violations of Lorentz invariance. and decoherence induced by fluctuations in the space-time foam. Reviews of Modern Physics 29 (3): 334–336. "Realization of a gravity-resonance-spectroscopy technique" (http:/ / www. Mann. the Weinberg–Witten theorem places some constraints on theories of composite gravity/emergent gravity.98.. doi:10. Addison-Wesley. arXiv:gr-qc/9512024 [gr-qc]. Bibcode 1955PhRv. Hartmut. Phys. Classical and Quantum Gravity 8: 219–235.. Scott (2007). doi:10.. Bibcode 2011NatPh. [12] Farrugia. F.

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[15] Smolin, Lee (2001). Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. Basic Books. pp. 20–25. ISBN 0-465-07835-4. Pages 220–226 are annotated references and guide for further reading. [16] Hunter Monroe (2005). "Singularity-Free Collapse through Local Inflation". arXiv:astro-ph/0506506 [astro-ph]. [17] Edward Anderson (2010). "The Problem of Time in Quantum Gravity". arXiv:1009.2157 [gr-qc]. [18] A timeline and overview can be found in Rovelli, Carlo (2000). "Notes for a brief history of quantum gravity". arXiv:gr-qc/0006061 [gr-qc]. [19] Ashtekar, Abhay (2007). "Loop Quantum Gravity: Four Recent Advances and a Dozen Frequently Asked Questions". 11th Marcel Grossmann Meeting on Recent Developments in Theoretical and Experimental General Relativity. p. 126. arXiv:0705.2222. Bibcode 2008mgm..conf..126A. doi:10.1142/9789812834300_0008. [20] Schwarz, John H. (2007). "String Theory: Progress and Problems". Progress of Theoretical Physics Supplement 170: 214–226. arXiv:hep-th/0702219. Bibcode 2007PThPS.170..214S. doi:10.1143/PTPS.170.214. [21] Donoghue, John F.(editor), (1995). "Introduction to the Effective Field Theory Description of Gravity". In Cornet, Fernando. Effective Theories: Proceedings of the Advanced School, Almunecar, Spain, 26 June–1 July 1995. Singapore: World Scientific. arXiv:gr-qc/9512024. ISBN 981-02-2908-9. [22] Weinberg, Steven (1996). "17–18". The Quantum Theory of Fields II: Modern Applications. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55002-5. [23] Goroff, Marc H.; Sagnotti, Augusto (1985). "Quantum gravity at two loops". Physics Letters B 160: 81–86. Bibcode 1985PhLB..160...81G. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(85)91470-4. [24] An accessible introduction at the undergraduate level can be found in Zwiebach, Barton (2004). A First Course in String Theory. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-83143-1., and more complete overviews in Polchinski, Joseph (1998). String Theory Vol. I: An Introduction to the Bosonic String. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-63303-6. and Polchinski, Joseph (1998b). String Theory Vol. II: Superstring Theory and Beyond. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-63304-4. [25] Ibanez, L. E. (2000). "The second string (phenomenology) revolution". Classical & Quantum Gravity 17 (5): 1117–1128. arXiv:hep-ph/9911499. Bibcode 2000CQGra..17.1117I. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/17/5/321. [26] For the graviton as part of the string spectrum, e.g. Green, Schwarz & Witten 1987, sec. 2.3 and 5.3; for the extra dimensions, ibid sec. 4.2. [27] Weinberg, Steven (2000). "31" (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=aYDDRKqODpUC& printsec=frontcover). The Quantum Theory of Fields II: Modern Applications. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55002-5. . [28] Townsend, Paul K. (1996). Four Lectures on M-Theory. ICTP Series in Theoretical Physics. p. 385. arXiv:hep-th/9612121. Bibcode 1997hepcbconf..385T. [29] Duff, Michael (1996). "M-Theory (the Theory Formerly Known as Strings)". International Journal of Modern Physics A 11 (32): 5623–5642. arXiv:hep-th/9608117. Bibcode 1996IJMPA..11.5623D. doi:10.1142/S0217751X96002583. [30] Kuchař, Karel (1973). "Canonical Quantization of Gravity". In Israel, Werner. Relativity, Astrophysics and Cosmology. D. Reidel. pp. 237–288 (section 3). ISBN 90-277-0369-8. [31] Ashtekar, Abhay (1986). "New variables for classical and quantum gravity". Physical Review Letters 57 (18): 2244–2247. Bibcode 1986PhRvL..57.2244A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.57.2244. PMID 10033673. [32] Ashtekar, Abhay (1987). "New Hamiltonian formulation of general relativity". Physical Review D 36 (6): 1587–1602. Bibcode 1987PhRvD..36.1587A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.36.1587. [33] Thiemann, Thomas (2006). "Loop Quantum Gravity: An Inside View". Approaches to Fundamental Physics 721: 185. arXiv:hep-th/0608210. Bibcode 2007LNP...721..185T. [34] Rovelli, Carlo (1998). "Loop Quantum Gravity" (http:/ / www. livingreviews. org/ lrr-1998-1). Living Reviews in Relativity 1. . Retrieved 2008-03-13. [35] Ashtekar, Abhay; Lewandowski, Jerzy (2004). "Background Independent Quantum Gravity: A Status Report". Classical & Quantum Gravity 21 (15): R53–R152. arXiv:gr-qc/0404018. Bibcode 2004CQGra..21R..53A. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/21/15/R01. [36] Thiemann, Thomas (2003). "Lectures on Loop Quantum Gravity". Lecture Notes in Physics 631: 41–135. arXiv:gr-qc/0210094. Bibcode 2003LNP...631...41T. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-45230-0_3. [37] Isham, Christopher J. (1994). "Prima facie questions in quantum gravity". In Ehlers, Jürgen; Friedrich, Helmut. Canonical Gravity: From Classical to Quantum. Springer. arXiv:gr-qc/9310031. ISBN 3-540-58339-4. [38] Sorkin, Rafael D. (1997). "Forks in the Road, on the Way to Quantum Gravity". International Journal of Theoretical Physics 36 (12): 2759–2781. arXiv:gr-qc/9706002. Bibcode 1997IJTP...36.2759S. doi:10.1007/BF02435709. [39] Loll, Renate (1998). "Discrete Approaches to Quantum Gravity in Four Dimensions" (http:/ / www. livingreviews. org/ lrr-1998-13). Living Reviews in Relativity 1: 13. arXiv:gr-qc/9805049. Bibcode 1998LRR.....1...13L. . Retrieved 2008-03-09. [40] Sorkin, Rafael D. (2005). "Causal Sets: Discrete Gravity". In Gomberoff, Andres; Marolf, Donald. Lectures on Quantum Gravity. Springer. arXiv:gr-qc/0309009. ISBN 0-387-23995-2. [41] See Daniele Oriti and references therein. [42] Hawking, Stephen W. (1987). "Quantum cosmology". In Hawking, Stephen W.; Israel, Werner. 300 Years of Gravitation. Cambridge University Press. pp. 631–651. ISBN 0-521-37976-8. [43] Wen 2006 [44] See ch. 33 in Penrose 2004 and references therein. [45] Hossenfelder, Sabine (2011). "Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity" (https:/ / www. novapublishers. com/ catalog/ product_info. php?products_id=15903). In V. R. Frignanni. Classical and Quantum Gravity: Theory, Analysis and Applications. Chapter 5: Nova

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Publishers. ISBN 978-1-61122-957-8. . [46] "1010.3420] Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity" (http:/ / arxiv. org/ abs/ 1010. 3420). Arxiv.org. 2010-10-17. . Retrieved 2012-04-08.

187

Further reading

• Ahluwalia, D. V. (2002). "Interface of Gravitational and Quantum Realms". Modern Physics Letters A 17 (15–17): 1135. arXiv:gr-qc/0205121. Bibcode 2002MPLA...17.1135A. doi:10.1142/S021773230200765X. • Ashtekar, Abhay (2005). "The winding road to quantum gravity" (http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/dec252005/ 2064.pdf). Current Science 89: 2064–2074. • Carlip, Steven (2001). "Quantum Gravity: a Progress Report". Reports on Progress in Physics 64 (8): 885–942. arXiv:gr-qc/0108040. Bibcode 2001RPPh...64..885C. doi:10.1088/0034-4885/64/8/301. • Kiefer, Claus (2007). Quantum Gravity. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-921252-X. • Kiefer, Claus (2005). "Quantum Gravity: General Introduction and Recent Developments". Annalen der Physik 15: 129–148. arXiv:gr-qc/0508120. Bibcode 2006AnP...518..129K. doi:10.1002/andp.200510175. • Lämmerzahl, Claus, ed. (2003). Quantum Gravity: From Theory to Experimental Search. Lecture Notes in Physics. Springer. ISBN 3-540-40810-X. • Rovelli, Carlo (2004). Quantum Gravity. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-83733-2. • Trifonov, Vladimir (2008). "GR-friendly description of quantum systems". International Journal of Theoretical Physics 47 (2): 492–510. arXiv:math-ph/0702095. Bibcode 2008IJTP...47..492T. doi:10.1007/s10773-007-9474-3.

188

Appendix

Quantum

In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized," referred to as "the hypothesis of quantization".[1] This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete values. There is a related term of quantum number. An example of an entity that is quantized is the energy transfer of elementary particles of matter (called fermions) and of photons and other bosons. A photon is a single quantum of light, and is referred to as a "light quantum". The energy of an electron bound to an atom (at rest) is said to be quantized, which results in the stability of atoms, and of matter in general. As incorporated into the theory of quantum mechanics, this is regarded by physicists as part of the fundamental framework for understanding and describing nature at the infinitesimal level. Normally quanta are considered to be discrete packets with energy stored in them. Max Planck considered these quanta to be particles that can change their form (meaning that they can be absorbed and released). This phenomenon can be observed in the case of black body radiation, when it is being heated and cooled.

**Etymology and discovery
**

The word "quantum" comes from the Latin "quantus," for "how much." "Quanta" meaning short for "quanta of electricity" (or electron) was used in a 1902 article on the photoelectric effect by Philipp Lenard, who credited Hermann von Helmholtz for using the word in the area of electricity. However, the word quantum in general was well known before 1900.[2] It was often used by physicians, such as the term quantum satis. Both Helmholtz and Julius von Mayer were physicians as well as physicists. Helmholtz used quantum with reference to heat in his article [3] on Mayer's work, and indeed, the word quantum can be found in the formulation of the first law of thermodynamics by Mayer in his letter [4] dated July 24, 1841. Max Planck used "quanta" to mean "quanta of matter and electricity",[5] gas, and heat.[6] In 1905, in response to Planck's work and the experimental work of Lenard, who explained his results by using the term "quanta of electricity", Albert Einstein suggested that radiation existed in spatially localized packets which he called "quanta of light" ("Lightquanta").[7] The concept of quantization of radiation was discovered in 1900 by Max Planck, who had been trying to understand the emission of radiation from heated objects, known as black-body radiation. By assuming that energy can only be absorbed or released in tiny, differential, discrete packets he called "bundles" or "energy elements",[8] Planck accounted for the fact that certain objects change colour when heated.[9] On December 14, 1900, Planck reported his revolutionary findings to the German Physical Society and introduced the idea of quantization for the first time as a part of his research on black body radiation.[10] As a result of his experiments, Planck deduced the numerical value of h, known as the Planck constant, and could also report a more precise value for the Avogadro–Loschmidt number, the number of real molecules in a mole and the unit of electrical charge, to the German Physical Society. After his theory was validated, Planck was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918 for his discovery.

Quantum

189

**Beyond electromagnetic radiation
**

While quantization was first discovered in electromagnetic radiation, it describes a fundamental aspect of energy not just restricted to photons.[11] In the attempt to bring experiment into agreement with theory, Max Planck postulated that electromagnetic energy is absorbed or emitted in discrete packets, or quanta.[12]

References

[1] Wiener, N. (1966). Differential Space, Quantum Systems, and Prediction. Cambridge: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press [2] E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898. (http:/ / www. bartleby. com/ 81/ 13830. html) [3] E. Helmholtz, Robert Mayer's Priorität (http:/ / www. ub. uni-heidelberg. de/ helios/ fachinfo/ www/ math/ edd/ helmholtz/ R-Mayer. pdf)

(German)

[4] Herrmann,A. Weltreich der Physik, GNT-Verlag (1991) (http:/ / wayback. archive. org/ web/ */ http:/ / fs. math. uni-frankfurt. de/ fsmath/ misc/ RobertMayer. html) (German) [5] Planck, M. (1901). "Ueber die Elementarquanta der Materie und der Elektricität". Annalen der Physik 309 (3): 564–566. Bibcode 1901AnP...309..564P. doi:10.1002/andp.19013090311. (German) [6] Planck, Max (1883). "Ueber das thermodynamische Gleichgewicht von Gasgemengen". Annalen der Physik 255 (6): 358. Bibcode 1883AnP...255..358P. doi:10.1002/andp.18832550612. (German) [7] Einstein, A. (1905). "Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt" (http:/ / www. physik. uni-augsburg. de/ annalen/ history/ einstein-papers/ 1905_17_132-148. pdf). Annalen der Physik 17 (6): 132–148. Bibcode 1905AnP...322..132E. doi:10.1002/andp.19053220607. . (German). A partial English translation is available from Wikisource. [8] Max Planck (1901). "Ueber das Gesetz der Energieverteilung im Normalspectrum (On the Law of Distribution of Energy in the Normal Spectrum)" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20080418002757/ http:/ / dbhs. wvusd. k12. ca. us/ webdocs/ Chem-History/ Planck-1901/ Planck-1901. html). Annalen der Physik 309 (3): 553. Bibcode 1901AnP...309..553P. doi:10.1002/andp.19013090310. Archived from the original (http:/ / dbhs. wvusd. k12. ca. us/ webdocs/ Chem-History/ Planck-1901/ Planck-1901. html) on 2008-04-18. . [9] Brown, T., LeMay, H., Bursten, B. (2008). Chemistry: The Central Science Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education ISBN 0-13-600617-5 [10] Klein, Martin J. (1961). "Max Planck and the beginnings of the quantum theory". Archive for History of Exact Sciences 1 (5): 459. doi:10.1007/BF00327765. [11] Melville, K. (2005, February 11). Real-World Quantum Effects Demonstrated (http:/ / www. scienceagogo. com/ news/ 20050110221715data_trunc_sys. shtml) [12] Modern Applied Physics-Tippens third edition; McGraw-Hill.

Further reading

• B. Hoffmann, The Strange Story of the Quantum, Pelican 1963. • Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, transl. from the Latin by R.E. Latham, Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth 1951. There are, of course, many translations, and the translation's title varies. Some put emphasis on how things work, others on what things are found in nature. • J. Mehra and H. Rechenberg, The Historical Development of Quantum Theory, Vol.1, Part 1, Springer-Verlag New York Inc., New York 1982. • M. Planck, A Survey of Physical Theory, transl. by R. Jones and D.H. Williams, Methuen & Co., Ltd., London 1925 (Dover editions 1960 and 1993) including the Nobel lecture.

A quantum state is given as a vector in a vector space. a quantum state can be either "pure" or "mixed. called the state vector. For a more complicated case. when dealing with the energy spectrum of the electron in a hydrogen atom. with a length of one.[2] involves superposition of joint spin states . A mixed state is a matrix that is Hermitian. and the form that this distribution takes is completely determined by the quantum state and the observable describing the measurement. physically indistinguishable) mixed states. Quantum states. where the state vector for 2 different particles. the theory usually gives only a probability distribution for the outcome. there are two possible results.. The state vector theoretically contains statistical information about the quantum system. are described by so-called density matrices. Before a particular measurement is performed on a quantum system. A pure state is a two-dimensional complex vector ." The above example is pure..g.e. consider Bohm formulation of EPR experiment. For example. . with a Stern-Gerlach experiment. e. and reflects a core difference between classical and quantum physics. however. These probability distributions arise for both mixed states and pure states: it is impossible in quantum mechanics (unlike classical mechanics) to prepare a state in which all properties of the system are fixed and certain.Quantum state 190 Quantum state In quantum physics. positive-definite. which is a generalization of our more usual three dimensional space. up or down. Even in quantum theory. not densities. for every observable there are states that determine its value exactly. the relevant state vector is given by the principal quantum number . although these give probabilities. a pure quantum state is represented by a state vector in a vector space. if the spin of an electron is measured in any direction. Mathematically. and has trace 1. A mixed quantum state corresponds to a probabilistic mixture of pure states. quantum state refers to the state of a quantum system. however.[1]:47-48 In a more general usage. different distributions of pure states can generate equivalent (i. The vector space for the electron's spin is therefore two-dimensional. That is. This is exemplified by the uncertainty principle. mixed as well as pure. For example.

well-defined value of momentum of 1 kg·m/s. Statistical mixtures represent the degree of knowledge whilst the uncertainty within quantum mechanics is fundamental. A statistical mixture of states occurs with a statistical ensemble of independent systems. while each observable quantity (such as the energy or momentum of a particle) is associated with a mathematical operator. even pure states show statistical behaviour. a system in a linear combination of multiple different eigenstates does in general have quantum uncertainty. The corresponding eigenvector (which physicists call an "eigenstate") with eigenvalue 1 kg·m/s would be a quantum state with a Probability densities for the electron of a hydrogen atom in different quantum states. represents the probability of a randomly selected system being in the state eigenstate. [3][4] . the result is guaranteed to be 1 kg·m/s. If its momentum were measured. with no quantum uncertainty.[5] This is the content of the Heisenberg uncertainty relation. and we must understand the expectation value of an observable A as a statistical mean. For example. we cannot prepare a state such that both the position measurement Q(t) and the momentum measurement P(t) (at the same time t) are known exactly. We can represent this linear combination of eigenstates as: . The coefficients are time dependent. It is this mean and the distribution of probabilities that is predicted by physical theories. pure quantum states correspond to vectors in a vector space. at least one of them will have a range of possible values. The operator serves as a linear function which acts on the states of the system. The coefficient which corresponds to a particular state in the linear combination is complex thus allowing interference effects between states. measurement results are not repeatable in general. Unlike the linear combination case each system is in a definite In quantum theory. How a quantum system changes in time is governed by the time evolution operator. The eigenvalues of the operator correspond to the possible values of the observable: For example. Regardless of how carefully we prepare the state ρ of the system.Quantum state 191 Conceptual description Quantum states In the mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics. There is no state which is simultaneously an eigenstate for all observables. definite. it is possible to observe a particle with a momentum of 1 kg·m/s if and only if one of the eigenvalues of the momentum operator is 1 kg·m/s. Mathematically a statistical mixture is not a combination of complex coefficients but by a combination of probabilities of different states . . On the other hand. Statistical mixtures of states are separate from a linear combination.

the Heisenberg picture is often preferred in a relativistic context. distinct pure states can be put in correspondence with "rays" in the Hilbert space. known as bra-ket notation. then they will produce the same results. and to obviate the need (in some contexts) to fully understand the underlying linear algebra. while the state σ was fixed once at the beginning of the experiment. Quantum physics allows for certain states. letters. This has some strange consequences however: Consider two observables. unless the system was already in that eigenstate. Conceptually (and mathematically). Paul Dirac invented a notation to describe quantum states. we will not notice statistical behaviour. More precisely: After measuring an observable A. both approaches are equivalent. that is known as the Schrödinger picture.or infinite-dimensional Hilbert space. This expresses a kind of logical consistency: If we measure A twice in the same run of the experiment. an experiment with two particles rather than one. for quantum field theory. or even words). Thus the set of all pure states corresponds to the unit sphere in the Hilbert space. The pure states correspond to vectors of norm 1. If two unit vectors differ only by a scalar of magnitude 1. in contrast to classical mechanics. If we measure first A and then B in the same run of the experiment. inner products. Although the details of this are beyond the scope of this article (see the article Bra-ket notation).[6] Suppose that the system is in an eigenstate of B. while the state of the system depends on time. One can. see entanglement. 192 Schrödinger picture vs. for example. A and B. choosing one of them is a matter of convention. thus the state has changed. equivalently. These entangled states lead to experimentally testable properties (Bell's theorem) that allow us to distinguish between quantum theory and alternative classical (non-quantum) models. In order to make such calculations more straightforward. Bra-ket notation Calculations in quantum mechanics make frequent use of linear operators. dual spaces and Hermitian conjugation. we have taken the observables P(t)." then they are indistinguishable. where A corresponds to a measurement earlier in time than B. that show certain statistical correlations between measurements on the two particles which cannot be explained by classical theory. Formalism in quantum physics Pure states as rays in a Hilbert space Quantum physics is most commonly formulated in terms of linear algebra. the system will be in an eigenstate of A. This can be . called entangled states. Thus: Quantum mechanical measurements influence one another. it is unavoidable that performing a measurement on the system generally changes its state. and it is important in which order they are performed. Q(t) to be dependent on time. as follows. some consequences of this are: • The variable name used to denote a vector (which corresponds to a pure quantum state) is chosen to be of the form (where the " " can be replaced by any other symbols.Quantum state Moreover. Any given system is identified with some finite. and we will generally notice that the results of B are statistical. the measurements being directly consecutive in time. the system will transfer to an eigenstate of A after the first measurement. known as a "global phase factor. For details. numbers. that is. Another feature of quantum states becomes relevant if we consider a physical system that consists of multiple subsystems. While non-relativistic quantum mechanics is usually formulated in terms of the Schrödinger picture. If we measure only B. This approach is called the Heisenberg picture. Therefore. Compare with Dirac picture. Both viewpoints are used in quantum theory. treat the observables as fixed. or equivalently points in the projective Hilbert space. Heisenberg picture In the discussion above.

which is also said to correspond to the same physical quantum state. if the system is a . • Instead of vector. which is the basis consisting of eigenstates of the observable which corresponds to measuring position. e. corresponding to the value of the z-component of the spin vector. Basis states of one-particle systems As with any vector space. 1. the term ket is used synonymously. Here. denoted .. In particular. Apart from the symmetrization or anti-symmetrization. for bosons).Quantum state contrasted with the usual mathematical notation. 3/2. any ket can be written where ci are complex numbers. is either a non-negative integer (0. 5/2 . where vectors are usually bold. Symbolically. many-body states It is important to note that in quantum mechanics besides. then any ket can be expanded as a linear combination of those basis elements. However. the above N-particle function must either be symmetrized (in the bosonic case) or anti-symmetrized (in the fermionic case) with respect to the particle numbers. in the case of identical particles. writing as a column vector. or semi-integer (1/2. e. Technically. Electrons are fermions with S = 1/2. and that observable is measured on the normalized state 2 are . it does not appear at all in classical mechanics and arises from Dirac's relativistic generalization of the theory. • Each ket is uniquely associated with a so-called bra. then the probability that the result of the measurement is ki is |ci| ..) A particularly important example is the position basis. • Inner products (also called brackets) are written so as to look like a bra and ket next to each other: (The phrase "bra-ket" is supposed to resemble "bracket". is a row vector. In a finite-dimensional space with a chosen basis. In physical terms.. If the basis kets are chosen to be orthonormal (as is often the case). to which we return herewith. the variables mν assume values from the set where (in units of Planck's reduced constant ħ = 1). This can be thought of as a kind of intrinsic angular momentum. for fermions). given basis kets . or letters with arrows on top.) . photons (quanta of light) are bosons with S = 1. (The normalization condition above mandates that the total sum of probabilities is equal to one. As a consequence. N-particle states can thus simply be obtained by tensor products of one-particle states. a discrete variable m exists. 2 .. the bra is the adjoint of the ket. and related to the ket by the Riesz representation theorem. then are characterized by Expansions of this sort play an important role in measurement in quantum mechanics. lower-case letters. just take the transpose and entry-wise complex conjugate of .g.g.. One property worth noting is that the normalized states has been expressed as a . the usual position variable r. the quantum state of a system of N particles is described by a function with four variables per particle. Moreover. if the eigenstates (with eigenvalues ki) of an observable. If these eigenstates are nondegenerate (for example. this is described by saying that quantum superposition of the states . if a basis is chosen for the Hilbert space of a system. 193 Spin. It is an element of the dual space.

but "relative" phase factors are physical and important. as described above. It is important of the pure to note that two types of averaging are occurring. Another example of the importance of relative phase in quantum superposition is Rabi oscillations. one typically uses a one-particle formalism to describe the average behaviour of an N-particle system. creating the interference pattern. where the relative phase of two states varies in time due to the Schrödinger equation. and less than 1 if the state is mixed. since for example and do not (in general) correspond to the same physical state. If two kets corresponding to quantum states. However. and tr denotes trace. treating them on the same footing. one being a quantum average over the basis kets . Superposition of pure states One aspect of quantum states. criterion is that the von Neumann entropy is 0 for a pure state. the interference is constructive at some locations and destructive in others. mentioned above. In other words. the ket is a different quantum state (possibly not normalized). and and are do correspond to the same physical state. Depending on what that phase is. usually denoted ρ. and strictly positive for a mixed state. The relative phase of those two states has a value which depends on the distance from each of the two slits. they are not interchangeable. Equivalently. This is sometimes described by saying that "global" phase factors are unphysical. equivalent. for example. The rules for measurement in quantum mechanics are particularly simple to state in terms of density matrices. even though and (for real θ) correspond to the same physical quantum state. For example. it is described by its associated density matrix (or density operator). then any ket is associated with a complex-valued function of three-dimensional space: 194 This function is called the wavefunction corresponding to . One example of a quantum interference phenomenon that arises from superposition is the double-slit experiment. for the operator A. is that superpositions of them can be formed. A mixed state cannot be described as a ket vector. respectively. The density matrix is defined as where is the fraction of the ensemble in each pure state Here.Quantum state single. The photon state is a superposition of two different states. A simple criterion for checking whether a density matrix is describing a pure or mixed state is that the trace of ρ2 is equal to 1 if the state is pure.[7] Another. A mixed quantum state is a statistical ensemble of pure states (see quantum statistical mechanics). the other half of which is inaccessible to the observer. a mixed-quantum state on a given quantum system described by a Hilbert space naturally arises as a pure quantum state (called a purification) on a larger bipartite system . and the other corresponding to passage through the right slit. the ensemble average (expectation value) of a measurement corresponding to an observable A is given by where are eigenkets and eigenvalues. Mixed states A pure quantum state is a state which can be described by a single ket vector. Note that density matrices can describe both mixed and pure states. Note that which quantum state it is depends on both the amplitudes and phases (arguments) of and . Instead. The resulting superposition ends up oscillating back and forth between two different states. spinless particle). one of which corresponds to the photon having passed through the left slit.

2nd edition. With respect to these different types of averaging. org/ doi/ 10. For a mathematical discussion on states as positive normalized linear functionals on a C* algebra. 42. E.42. Reviews of Modern Physics 42: 358-381. in particular the content of the section Formalism in quantum physics above. 195 Notes [1] Ballentine. Chris J (1995). [2] Ballentine. edu/ ~batista/ vaa/ node4. Imperial College Press. htm [5] To avoid misunderstandings: Here we mean that Q(t) and P(t) are measured in the same state. see Chapter 2 of John Preskill's lecture notes for Physics 219 (http://www. in which case the criterion is References Further reading The concept of quantum states.1103/RevModPhys. [7] Blum. World Scientific. edu/ qm1/ modules/ m6/ statistical. utk. chem. Springer. com/ books?id=kl-pMd9Qx04C& pg=PA39). ISBN 9789810241056. html [4] http:/ / electron6. [6] For concreteness' sake. . as it is for the standard definition given in this section. is covered in most standard textbooks on quantum mechanics. 358). see Gelfand–Naimark–Segal construction. reprint ed. doi:10.caltech.edu/~preskill/ph229/) at Caltech. There. yale. (1970). For a discussion of purifications of mixed quantum states. and the other being a statistical average with the probabilities ps of those states.theory. "The Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" (http:/ / link. ISBN 978-1-86094-001-9. For a more detailed coverage of mathematical aspects.3. Leslie (1998). the same objects are described in a C*-algebraic context. Robinson. Derek W (1987). Occasionally a density matrix will be normalized differently. [3] http:/ / xbeams. 1103/ RevModPhys. i. see Sec. phys. see: • Isham. with t2 > t1 > 0. google. For a discussion of conceptual aspects and a comparison with classical states. aps. 2. but not in the same run of the experiment. ISBN 978-3-540-17093-8. Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development (2nd. Ola.e. L. Lectures on Quantum Theory: Mathematical and Structural Foundations. page 39 (http:/ / books. Operator Algebras and Quantum Statistical Mechanics 1. suppose that A = Q(t1) and B = P(t2) in the above example. Note that this criterion works when the density matrix is normalized so that the trace of ρ is 1. to distinguish pure and/or mixed states.358.Quantum state states. one often uses the expressions 'coherent' and/or 'incoherent superposition' of quantum states. see: • Bratteli.). Density matrix theory and applications. illustrated. In particular.

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