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Quantum Mechanics|Views: 287|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

PDF generated using the open source mwlib toolkit. See http://code.pediapress.com/ for more information. PDF generated at: Fri, 07 Dec 2012 21:34:09 UTC

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.

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. 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.History of Quantum Mechanics 2 Overview Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann suggested in 1877 that the energy levels of a physical system. c is the speed of light in a vacuum. In 1900. that included a Boltzmann distribution (applicable in the classical limit). called Planck's Law. and subsequently Niels Bohr in 1913. could be discrete. to calculate the magnetic moment of the electron. and T is the temperature of the body in degrees Kelvin.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. β) of overlap. He was a founder of the Austrian Mathematical Society. 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. ν is the frequency of the electromagnetic radiation. 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. which was later called the "magneton". Moreover. I(ν. as it will also be the case twenty years later with the first quantum theory put forward by Max Planck. such as a molecule. 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. h is the Planck constant. together with the mathematicians Gustav von Escherich and Emil Müller. . but with numerically quite different values. The earlier Wien approximation may be derived from Planck's law by assuming . similar quantum computations. k is the Boltzmann constant. the application of Planck's quantum theory to the electron allowed Ștefan Procopiu in 1911—1913.

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

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

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

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

Paul Dirac. such as photons (discrete units of light).[1] Coming to terms with these limitations led to the development of quantum mechanics."[3] Many types of energy. where classical physics is an excellent approximation. for a more complete history of the subject." As is described in more detail in the article on Quantum entanglement. because they describe behavior quite different than that seen at larger length scales.[2] These concepts are described in roughly the order they were first discovered.[4] . Albert Einstein.Niels Bohr. 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). measuring position first and then measuring momentum does not have the same outcome as measuring momentum first and then measuring position. 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.Erwin Schrödinger. Louis de Broglie. behave in some respects like particles and in other respects like waves. including the behavior of astronomical bodies. entangled particles seem to exhibit what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance.Werner Heisenberg. Even more disconcerting. pairs of particles can be created as "entangled twins. in that only certain frequencies of light are present. see History of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics predicts the energies. Wolfgang Pauli. a major revolution in physics. the act of measuring the first property necessarily introduces additional energy into the micro-system being studied.Max Born. the less precise another measurement pertaining to the same particle (such as its momentum) must become. From above and from left to right:Max Planck. quantum mechanics deals with "nature as She is — absurd. 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. In the words of Richard Feynman. Quantum mechanics ordains that the more closely one pins down one measure (such as the position of a particle). Richard Feynman. Some aspects of quantum mechanics can seem counter-intuitive or even paradoxical. Classical physics explains matter and energy at the macroscopic level of the scale familiar to human experience. the colours. and the spectral intensities of all forms of electromagnetic radiation. Radiators of photons (such as neon lights) have emission spectra that are discontinuous. It remains the key to measurement for much of modern science and technology. Put another way.

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

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

A photon of ultraviolet light will deliver a high amount of energy—enough to contribute to cellular damage such as occurs in a sunburn. So an infrared lamp can warm a large surface. 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. All photons of the same frequency have identical energy. Although the energy imparted by photons is invariant at any given frequency. In nature. 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. 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. although the photon is a particle it was still being described as having the wave-like property of frequency. If it were true that all photons carry the same energy. violet light. However. the particle account of light was being "compromised". and that weak beams of light toward the violet end of the spectrum would produce higher and higher voltages. The emission sources available to Hertz and Lennard in the 19th century shared that characteristic. or a piece of iron in a forge that glows red. it would not be correct to talk of a "high energy" photon. Once again. It might be surmised that adding continuously to the total energy of some radiating body would make it radiate red light. the characteristic frequency of a radiating body is dependent on its temperature. 10 . but visible or infrared light cannot. 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.[14][15] The relationship between the frequency of electromagnetic radiation and the energy of each individual photon is why ultraviolet light can cause sunburn. orange light. but only depending on their frequencies. 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. not as discrete units. 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. Therefore anomalous results may occur in the case of individual electrons. A sun that radiates red light. and so on in that order. perhaps large enough to keep people comfortable in a cold room. but it cannot give anyone a sunburn. which will be at their equilibrium level. the effect that makes the light meters of modern cameras work. the characteristic behavior of a photoelectric device will reflect the behavior of the vast majority of its electrons. single photons are rarely encountered.e. Light of low frequency could carry more energy only for the same reason. yellow light. They discovered that strong beams of light toward the red end of the spectrum might produce no electrical potential at all. In other words.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. To change the color of such a radiating body it is necessary to change its temperature. so they appear to propagate as a continuous wave. the initial energy-state of the electrons in a photoelectric device prior to absorption of light is not necessarily uniform. is quantised). Light of high frequency could carry more energy only because of flooding a surface with more photons arriving per second. you would double the number of energy units arriving each second. and all photons of different frequencies have proportionally different energies. 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. individual photons can deliver more or less energy. Statistically. So when physicists first discovered devices exhibiting the photoelectric effect. then if you doubled the rate of photon delivery. however. A photon of infrared light will deliver a lower amount of energy—only enough to warm one's skin. If each individual photon had identical energy. blue light. green light. An electron that was already excited above the equilibrium level of the photoelectric device might be ejected when it absorbed uncharacteristically low frequency illumination. they initially expected that a higher intensity of light would produce a higher voltage from the photoelectric device. In other words.

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

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

either photons or matter. producing an interference pattern of light and dark bands on a screen. Thus all matter exhibits properties of both particles and waves. De Broglie was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1929 for his hypothesis. Three years later. is discussed in the section below. astrophysicist A.[23] The wavelength. Wave-particle duality In 1924. matter also has wave-like properties. Indeed. it was not able to make accurate predictions for multi-electron atoms.)[27]:172 Wave-particle duality is an example of the principle of complementarity in quantum physics. a much simpler pattern is seen. Thomson and Davisson shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1937 for their experimental work. At Bell Labs.[22] However. producing an interference pattern (the 3 fringes shown at the right). 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. 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. associated with a particle is related to its momentum. p through the Planck constant h :[24][25] The relationship. Davisson and Germer guided their beam through a crystalline grid. or to explain why some spectral lines are brighter than others. Louis de Broglie proposed the idea that just as light has both wave-like and particle-like properties. λ . Eddington proposed in 1927 that "We can scarcely describe such an entity as a wave or as a particle. Similar wave-like phenomena were later shown for atoms and even small molecules. Light from one slit interferes with light from the other. and so the double-slit experiment was seen as a demonstration of the wave nature of light. called the de Broglie hypothesis.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. a beam of light is directed through two narrow. just like a beam of light. In fact. perhaps as a compromise we had better call it a 'wavicle' ".[26] (This term was later popularised by mathematician Banesh Hoffmann. Exactly the same behaviour can be demonstrated in water waves. At the University of Aberdeen. The double-slit experiment In the double-slit experiment as originally performed by Thomas Young and Augustin Fresnel in 1827. An elegant example of wave-particle duality. If one of the slits is covered up. Closing one slit results in a much simpler pattern diametrically opposite the open slit. a simple diffraction pattern.S. closely spaced slits. the double slit experiment. George Thomson passed a beam of electrons through a thin metal film and observed the predicted diffraction patterns. the wave-like nature of electrons was demonstrated by showing that a beam of electrons could exhibit diffraction. holds for all types of matter. . one might naively expect that the intensity of the fringes due to interference would be halved everywhere.

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

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

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. the less precisely the other can be known. the measurement of the position and momentum of an electron using a photon of light.[33] Quantum mechanics shows that certain pairs of physical properties. we would assume that how precisely we measure the speed of the car does not affect the measurement of its position. rendering the measurement obtained of its momentum increasingly uncertain (momentum is velocity multiplied by mass). these uncertainties are too small to notice. On a scale of cars and people. Heisenberg gave.. like position and speed.in the momentum is less.[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. This statement is known as the uncertainty principle. With a photon of lower frequency the disturbance . In particular. but about the nature of the system itself — our naive assumption that the car had a definite position and speed was incorrect.[34] Werner Heisenberg at the age of 26. we assume that the car has a definite position and speed at a particular moment in time. the time and the space where it interacted with the device are known within very tight limits. which absorbs a random amount of energy. Explanations for the nature of the process of becoming certain are controversial. we will get a result that is closer to the true value. and vice versa. and that this value is related to Planck's constant. 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.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. However.hence uncertainty . e. In measuring the electron's position. 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. not its original momentum. for one is necessarily measuring its post-impact disturbed momentum. In its place some physical change in the detection screen has appeared. cannot both be known to arbitrary precision: the more precisely one property is known. Heisenberg proved that these assumptions are not correct. for instance in the CCD of an electronic camera. and the wave function has disappeared with it. Naively. When it does show up. an exposed spot in a sheet of photographic film. In 1927. The uncertainty principle isn't a statement about the accuracy of our measuring equipment. as an illustration.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. the photon has disappeared. but when dealing with atoms and electrons they become critical. 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 the modern theory the orbit has been replaced by an atomic orbital. represented by the "wave function" Ψ. The quantum state of the electron is described by its wavefunction. spherical or otherwise. and allow two electrons in the same orbital to occupy distinct quantum states if they "spun" in opposite directions.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 17 Eigenstates and eigenvalues For a more detailed introduction to this subject. The "inclination" of the orbital. these are known as the electron's quantum numbers. Wolfgang Pauli proposed a new quantum degree of freedom (or quantum number). the spectrum of atomic hydrogen had a doublet. was that electrons behave as if they rotate. with two possible values. the uncertainty principle states that an electron cannot be viewed as having an exact location at any given time. about an axis. statements about both the position and momentum of particles can only assign a probability that the position or momentum will have some numerical value. thus satisfying the exclusion principle. The collective name for these properties is the quantum state of the electron. Orbitals have a range of different shapes in three dimensions. Therefore it is necessary to formulate clearly the difference between the state of something that is indeterminate. and the state of something having a definite value. It is often depicted as a three-dimensional region within which there is a 95 percent probability of finding the electron. The quantum number represented the sense (positive or negative) of spin. originating with Ralph Kronig. where only one line was expected. to resolve inconsistencies between observed molecular spectra and the predictions of quantum mechanics. The idea. The Pauli exclusion principle demands that no two electrons within an atom may have the same values of all four numbers. 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. in a electric potential well. a "cloud" of possible locations. The "shape" of the orbital. Uhlenbeck and Goudsmit identified Pauli's new degree of freedom with a property called spin. or pair of lines differing by a small amount. stating that "There cannot exist an atom in such a quantum state that two electrons within [it] have the same set of quantum numbers. 3. The "spin" of the electron. 2. An "orbital" designation."[36] A year later. Within Schrödinger's picture. Spin would account for the missing magnetic moment. When an object can definitely be "pinned-down" in some respect. 4. see: Introduction to eigenstates Because of the uncertainty principle. Pauli formulated his exclusion principle. each electron has four properties: 1. . such as an electron in a probability cloud. V. created by the proton. The Pauli exclusion principle In 1924. The solutions to Schrödinger's equation are distributions of probabilities for electron positions and locations. it is said to possess an eigenstate. and they accurately reproduce the energy levels of the Bohr model. The quantum state can be described by giving a number to each of these properties.[37] Schrödinger was able to calculate the energy levels of hydrogen by treating a hydrogen atom's electron as a wave. 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. or "spin". The energies of the different orbitals can be calculated." However. determining the magnetic moment of the orbital around the z-axis. In particular.

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

Dirac was able to predict the value of the magnetic moment associated with the electron's spin. So whenever it might be investigated after its twin had been measured. . 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. photons in which two contrary states are superimposed on each of them in the same event. of course) as a purple state. which was too large to be that of a spinning charged sphere governed by classical physics. 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. Paul Dirac (1902 . So the two photons come out "purple. Nature leaves open the possibility. He was able to solve for the spectral lines of the hydrogen atom. it would necessarily show up in the opposite state to whatever its twin had revealed. This led to the many-particle quantum field theory. and found the experimentally observed value. to account for special relativity." If the experimenter now performs some experiment that will determine whether one of the photons is either blue or red. that meant that the distant photon now had to lose its "purple" status too. 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. Nothing is certain until the superimposed waveforms "collapse. A concrete way of thinking about entangled photons. and two resolution possibilities. Recall that the wave functions that Superposition of two quantum characteristics. Paul Dirac extended the Pauli equation. which described spinning electrons. By using the simplest electromagnetic interaction. for which he proposed a novel solution: he posited the existence of an antielectron and of a dynamical vacuum." 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. 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 situation there is already very abstract. occurring at a substantial fraction of the speed of light. such as the speed at which an electron orbits the nucleus.1984) Quantum entanglement The Pauli exclusion principle says that two electrons in one system cannot be in the same state. and the other one had traveled halfway to the nearest star.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics 19 Dirac wave equation In 1928. The result was a theory that dealt properly with events. emerge simultaneously from the double slits arrive at the detection screen in a state of superposition. that two electrons can have both states "superimposed" over each of them. however. Two photons are produced as the result of the same atomic event. 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. when its twin was made to reveal itself as either blue or red.

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

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

p. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 614029/ uncertainty-principle) [36] Linus Pauling. Schrödinger: Life and Thought. Dubson.. Dubson. zbp. 2003) ISBN 0-452-28457 [25] J. The Strange Story of the Quantum. Bibcode 1927ZPhy. P. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1932/ press. 1932 (http:/ / nobelprize. britannica. W.. britannica...S. [17] Taylor. and potential energy because of its electromagnetic interaction with the nucleus. etc) both for the rate of electron emission as well as their angular distribution. Schrödinger. ntrs. 2007. 114. p.. 70–89. The term "photon" was introduced in 1926. J. p. nasa. p. M. [And then appeared as Section I. P. The Universe in a Nutshell. as long as the electrons in the material are treated by the laws of quantum mechanics. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 528298/ Schrodinger-equation) [29] Erwin Schrödinger. based on the Geiger-Marsden gold foil experiment which first demonstrated the existence of the nucleus. [9] Kragh. Entanglrment.19053220607. enter into a temporary physical interaction due to known forces between them and when after a time 22 . McEvoy and Oscar Zarate (2004).. pdf). "The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics. P.+ Wave+ Motion. com/ cws/ article/ print/ 373). Bibcode 1905AnP. 537. 147–8. [20] Dicke and Wittke. D. page 6. Helge (1 December 2000)." Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. the electromagnetic radiation can be treated as a classical electromagnetic wave. Prentice Hall. Wave Motion. C. That is.322. see NTRS. [18] McEvoy. J. Z. O." Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. ISBN 1-84046-577-8. incandescent lamps. 43 (3–4): 172–198. M. gov/ archive/ nasa/ casi.. [10] Einstein. 2005. (Penguin. eds. This paper can be downloaded from http:/ / www. Amir D. D. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1918/ ). Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. 9. Zarate. " [30] For a somewhat more sophisticated look at how Heisenberg transitioned from the old quantum theory and classical physics to the new quantum mechanics. Cambridge University Press (1989). at/ dokumente/ einstein1. p. pdf). (2004). [31] W. of which we know the states by their respective representation. Zurek. "Max Planck: the reluctant revolutionary" (http:/ / physicsworld. [24] Aezel. Zafiratos. Wheeler and W. com/ books?id=PGOTKcxSqMUC& pg=PA201& lpg=PA201& dq=We+ can+ scarcely+ describe+ such+ an+ entity+ as+ a+ wave+ or+ as+ a+ particle. ions such as He+ or O7+ which contain only one electron). pp. . McEvoy and Oscar Zarate (2004). Annalen der Physik 17 (6): 132–148. Kessinger Publishing. [34] Nobel Prize in Physics presentation speech.172H. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. Totem Books. doi:10. Retrieved 2009-08-01. Albert (1905).gov (http:/ / ntrs. univie. Totem Books. (http:/ / books.11 of Part I of Quantum Theory and Measurement (J. (2004). 201. Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers.. html. 2001.. (1927). 555says: "When two systems. ISBN 1-84046-577-8. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 431159/ orbital) [38] E. [8] "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1918" (http:/ / nobelprize. [32] Heisenberg's Nobel Prize citation (http:/ / nobelprize. For more on this point. com/ books?hl=en& q="Mechanics. Bantam. ." Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. . translated into English as On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light (http:/ / lorentz.. google. The Nature of the Chemical Bond. see Heisenberg's entryway to matrix mechanics. 31 (1935). pp. p." p. ISBN 1-84046-577-8.NASA.com. A. jhu. 127–9.. doi:10. Dover. Totem Books. edu/ AnnusMirabilis/ AeReserveArticles/ eins_lq. 124. 51f. ISBN 0-13-589789-0.132E. 89. 47 [37] "Orbital (chemistry and physics).. Introducing Quantum Theory. britannica. pdf) [16] The classical model of the atom is called the planetary model. R.+ 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. [23] J. [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. gov/ 19680009569_1968009569. The results are quantitatively correct for thermal light sources (the sun. Introducing Quantum Theory.43."& btnG=Search+ Books).. [13] Actually there can be intensity-dependent effects. Addison-Wesley. p. New Jersey 1983). ISBN 0-13-589789-0. Mechanics.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics [7] Francis Weston Sears (1958). html) [35] "Uncertainty principle. J. (2004). [12] Stephen Hawking. ac. and Heat (http:/ / books. [11] Taylor. p. 10f. the energy of the electron is the sum of its kinetic and potential energies. 110f.A. the course of Gifford Lectures that Eddington delivered in the University of Edinburgh in January to March 1927. [21] In this case. p. R. [26] A. phl. p. The electron has kinetic energy by virtue of its actual motion around the nucleus. nasa. The Nature of the Physical World. Moore. 222. pp. Introducing Quantum Theory. "Über den anschaulichen Inhalt der quantentheoretischen Kinematik und Mechanik".H. [19] World Book Encyclopedia. 1959 [28] "Schrodinger Equation (Physics). Eddington. google. de/ rzt/ rzt/ it/ QM/ cat. "This translation was originally published in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. but at intensities achievable with non-laser sources these effects are unobservable. 12 [15] Einstein's photoelectric effect equation can be derived and explained without requiring the concept of "photons". Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers. The Nobel Foundation. [14] Dicke and Wittke. especially p. tu-harburg.. Prentice Hall. "Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt" (http:/ / www. Phys. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. 323-38. PhysicsWorld. Zafiratos. 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. Princeton university Press.+ and+ Heat"+ "where+ n+ =+ 1.1002/andp. or sometimes the Rutherford model after Ernest Rutherford who proposed it in 1911. A. C.1007/BF01397280.

). eds. ISBN 1-874166-37-4. (2012). Ahmed.. I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics. Noonday Press. "Space-Time Approach to Quantum Electrodynamics" (http://www. Tudor Publishing Company. Addison-Wesley.. Zarate. "(title not given in citation)". 225. Bibcode 1949PhRv. • Sears.. viz. Vijay Kumar. britannica. Jeremy (2005). Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. • Schlipp. Readings in the Philosophy of Science. Quantum Dialogue: The Making of a Revolution. Henry (1957).washington. LCCN 99010404. Daniel Rohrlich (1996). Tokyo: Japan Physical Society. ISBN 0-390-30488-3. by endowing each of them with a representative of its own. [45] Durrani. Sandu. "Action and Passion at a Distance: An Essay in Honor of Professor Abner Shimony". New Page Books. F.pdf). Kamefuchi et al. p. cited in: Popescu. The Nobel Foundation. ISBN 0-06-130549-9. Journal of Science Education 9 (8).phy-astr. Optics (3rd ed. org/ nobel_prizes/ physics/ laureates/ 1933/ ). • Fowler. OCLC 530611." [39] "Quantum Nonlocality and the Possibility of Superluminal Effects". University of Virginia." Encyclopædia Britannica (http:/ / www. • Lakshmibala. html) [44] "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1933" (http:/ / nobelprize. From Certainty to Uncertainty: The Story of Science and Ideas in the Twenty-First Century. LCCN 57014416. Philosophical Library. merriam-webster. Appleton-Century-Crofts. princeton. H. • Nave.. American Journal of Physics 73 (11). 2008. John G. Louis (1953). Introducing Quantum Theory. May (1953). Nanosilicon. Albert (1934). Oscar. Physics and Philosophy. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: Schrödinger Equation and Path Integral (2nd ed.76. 23 References • Bernstein.. Foundations of Physics. • Feynman. • Müller-Kirsten. Margenau. Richard L. Foundations of Quantum Mechanics in the Light of New Technology (S. doi:10. HyperPhysics. LCCN 51001018. University of Chicago Press. Paul Arthur (1949). W. Harper and Brothers. npl. Michael (1999). • Bohr. Dover. Brodbeck. ISBN 978-981-4397-74-2. The Revolution in Physics. World Scientific. Elsevier. • McEvoy.769. 345. . • Peat. Z. ISBN 978-0-08-044528-1. ISBN 0-486-47928-5. com/ dictionary/ field) [41] "Field. (1949). "Heisenberg. LCCN 50005340. html#quacon). physicalworld. arXiv:quant-ph/9605004 [quant-ph]. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 206162/ field) [42] Richard Hammond. A. • Einstein.). ISBN 0-19-504601-3. • Shimony. LCCN 53006438. Francis Weston (1949). ISBN 0-486-47011-3. npl. John Wiley & Sons. Mara (2001). ISBN 0-486-40459-5. • Feigl.1103/PhysRev. ISBN 0-918024-18-8. (1992). P. ISBN 978-1-60163-003-2 [43] The Physical World website (http:/ / www. Joseph Henry Press. Philosophic Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. • Beller. Introductory Quantum Mechanics (2nd ed. • Lindsay. Cramer.. LCCN 53010401.76.gsu. Physical Review 76 (6): 769–789.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics of mutual influence the systems separate again. • Heisenberg... • de Broglie. . ASIN B00005VGVF.physics. org/ restless_universe/ html/ ru_dira. David (2002).). Carl Rod (2005).). (2008). ed. LCCN a44004471. University of California Press. Resonance. J. The Bohr Atom. Herbert. The Unknown Universe. washington. LCCN 55003947. (2004). A. K. H. • Liboff. Retrieved 2007-11-24.edu/hbase/quacon." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (http:/ / www. Essays in Science. Hans (1944). "Max Born and the quantum theory". then they can no longer be described as before. Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist. html) [40] "Mechanics. Matrix Mechanics and the Uncertainty Principle". 1953.edu/~mcdonald/examples/QED/feynman_pr_76_769_49. pp. Georgia State University. Werner (1958). J. (1983). Niels (1958).769F. • Scientific American Reader. "Quantum Physics" (http://hyperphysics. Richard P. Robert Bruce. • Reichenbach.edu (http:/ / www. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ qm_nl. S.

and bra-ket notation can be passed over on a first reading. to human body and mind. Press. doi:10. • Roland Omnes (1999) Understanding Quantum Mechanics. Patrick. Silberhorn. • Wheeler.21. Shimon (2012). Strunz. Physics Today.. • Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (2011) The Quantum Universe. Andreas. and Multiple Universes. (1949). • Ghirardi. 24 Further reading The following titles. H. 14: 179. Allen Lane. Harvard Univ. "The Correspondence Principle in the Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Princeton Univ. Patrick (2003) The New Quantum Universe. Press: 110–176. J. • Richard Feynman (1985) QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. Kenneth (2005) The Quantum World. "Transforming Physics Education". all by working physicists. Tijana T. Princeton Univ. Nat. Bibcode 2009EJPh.google..1088/0143-0807/30/5/026.21. • Bronner. Meyn.30. Contemporary physics and the limits of knowledge (http:// books. Ivancevic. European Journal of Physics 30 (5): 1189–1200. Includes elementary particle physics. using a minimum of technical apparatus. Princeton University Press. Benjamin Schumacher (1998). Buffalo NY: Prometheus Books.. ISBN 978-981-4324-57-1. Sci. Carl. • Van Vleck. arXiv:quant-ph/9801014 [quant-ph]. Reviews of Modern Physics 21 (3): 425–433. John Archibald. across the universe.. attempt to communicate quantum theory to lay people. Rutgers University Press. David Mermin (1990) “Spooky actions at a distance: mysteries of the QT” in his Boojums all the way through.1103/RevModPhys. Gerald Malsbary. Acad. Cambridge Univ. Ivancevic (2008) Quantum leap: from Dirac and Feynman. Passages using algebra. trans. • Westmoreland.Basic Concepts of Quantum Mechanics • Tavel. (http://www. Chpts. ISBN 978-0-8135-3077-2. • Vladimir G. The most technical of the works cited here. • Martinus Veltman (2003) Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics. Press. Judith (illustrations) (2002). World Scientific Publishing Company. 5–8. Feynman. GianCarlo (2004) Sneaking a Look at God's Cards.. Tavel. Weidenfield & Nicholson. Press.1928.com/?id=SELS0HbIhjYC&pg=PA200&dq=Wave+function+collapse)." Proc. • Wieman. Jan-Peter (2009). "Quantum Entanglement and the Nonexistence of Superluminal Signals". doi:10.1189B. trigonometry. "Demonstrating quantum random with single photons". Includes much about the technologies quantum theory has made possible. Nature Loves to Hide: Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality..html) .chem1. • A website with good introduction to Quantum mechanics can be found here. Morton.425W. • Jim Al-Khalili (2003) Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed. • Malin. • Victor Stenger (2000) Timeless Reality: Symmetry. • Tony Hey and Walters. World Scientific. Provides an intuitive introduction in non-mathematical terms and an introduction in comparatively basic mathematical terms. "Classical Electrodynamics in Terms of Direct Interparticle Action". Cambridge Univ. World Scientific Publishing Company. Katherine (2005).com/acad/ webtext/atoms/atpt-4. Bibcode 1949RvMP. • N. Christine. a Western Perspective (Revised ed. Richard P. Perkins. ISBN 0-691-08388-6 • Ford. The author is a rare physicist who tries to communicate to philosophers and humanists.). Simplicity.425. Press.

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

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 less precise another measurement pertaining to the same particle (such as its momentum) must become. pairs of particles can be created as "entangled twins. 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. such as photons (discrete units of light).[4] . Put another way. the act of measuring the first property necessarily introduces additional energy into the micro-system being studied.[2] These concepts are described in roughly the order they were first discovered. Louis de Broglie. Paul Dirac. for a more complete history of the subject."[3] Many types of energy. Even more disconcerting. see History of quantum mechanics.Erwin Schrödinger. including the behavior of astronomical bodies. entangled particles seem to exhibit what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance. quantum mechanics deals with "nature as She is — absurd. Radiators of photons (such as neon lights) have emission spectra that are discontinuous. Albert Einstein. It remains the key to measurement for much of modern science and technology. Some aspects of quantum mechanics can seem counter-intuitive or even paradoxical. Quantum mechanics predicts the energies.Niels Bohr. in that only certain frequencies of light are present.Werner Heisenberg. measuring position first and then measuring momentum does not have the same outcome as measuring momentum first and then measuring position. Classical physics explains matter and energy at the macroscopic level of the scale familiar to human experience. behave in some respects like particles and in other respects like waves. Richard Feynman. and the spectral intensities of all forms of electromagnetic radiation. From above and from left to right:Max Planck. where classical physics is an excellent approximation. thereby perturbing that system. the colours." 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. 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. Quantum mechanics ordains that the more closely one pins down one measure (such as the position of a particle). because they describe behavior quite different than that seen at larger length scales.Max Born. a major revolution in physics." As is described in more detail in the article on Quantum entanglement. In the words of Richard Feynman.[1] Coming to terms with these limitations led to the development of quantum mechanics. Wolfgang Pauli.

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

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

29 . 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. A photon of infrared light will deliver a lower amount of energy—only enough to warm one's skin. the characteristic frequency of a radiating body is dependent on its temperature. violet light. but it cannot give anyone a sunburn. or a piece of iron in a forge that glows red. they initially expected that a higher intensity of light would produce a higher voltage from the photoelectric device. Light of low frequency could carry more energy only for the same reason. An electron that was already excited above the equilibrium level of the photoelectric device might be ejected when it absorbed uncharacteristically low frequency illumination. but only depending on their frequencies. yellow light.[14][15] The relationship between the frequency of electromagnetic radiation and the energy of each individual photon is why ultraviolet light can cause sunburn. green light. The emission sources available to Hertz and Lennard in the 19th century shared that characteristic. however. So when physicists first discovered devices exhibiting the photoelectric effect. you would double the number of energy units arriving each second. Therefore anomalous results may occur in the case of individual electrons. single photons are rarely encountered. 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. All photons of the same frequency have identical energy. perhaps large enough to keep people comfortable in a cold room. not as discrete units. and all photons of different frequencies have proportionally different energies. 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. A photon of ultraviolet light will deliver a high amount of energy—enough to contribute to cellular damage such as occurs in a sunburn. blue light. but visible or infrared light cannot. although the photon is a particle it was still being described as having the wave-like property of frequency. which will be at their equilibrium level. To change the color of such a radiating body it is necessary to change its temperature. may both be said to contain a great deal of energy. the particle account of light was being "compromised". It might be surmised that adding continuously to the total energy of some radiating body would make it radiate red light. 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. individual photons can deliver more or less 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. it would not be correct to talk of a "high energy" photon. In other words. If it were true that all photons carry the same energy. So an infrared lamp can warm a large surface.e. They discovered that strong beams of light toward the red end of the spectrum might produce no electrical potential at all. 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. In other words. Statistically. Although the energy imparted by photons is invariant at any given frequency. 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. the characteristic behavior of a photoelectric device will reflect the behavior of the vast majority of its electrons. then if you doubled the rate of photon delivery. orange light. 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. However. the effect that makes the light meters of modern cameras work. In nature. If each individual photon had identical energy. Once again.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. 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. A sun that radiates red light. The sun emits photons continuously at all electromagnetic frequencies. so they appear to propagate as a continuous wave. is quantised).

it was also known that the atom in this model would be unstable: according to classical theory orbiting electrons are undergoing centripetal acceleration. the loss of energy also causing them to spiral toward the nucleus. and n must be greater than m. It also predicts additional wavelengths in the emission spectrum: for m = 1 and for n > 1. as well as a number of lines in the infra-red and ultra-violet. 6. related. it was known that atoms comprise a diffuse cloud of negatively-charged electrons surrounding a small. the visible light given off by hydrogen consists of four different colours.0110 nm−1.56 nm. 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.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 30 The quantisation of matter: the Bohr model of the atom By the dawn of the 20th century. i. and for m = 3 and n > 3. and should therefore give off electromagnetic radiation. positively-charged nucleus. When excited. A second. This understanding suggested a model in which the electrons circle around the nucleus like planets orbiting a sun. white light consists of a continuous emission across the whole range of visible frequencies. dense. equal to 0. 4. When a gas is heated. 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. the emission spectrum should contain certain ultraviolet wavelengths. Rydberg's formula accounts for the four visible wavelengths of hydrogen by setting m = 2 and n = 3. Experimental observation of these wavelengths came two decades later: in 1908 Louis Paschen found some of the predicted infrared wavelengths. as shown in the picture below. it gives off light only at discrete frequencies. quantised.e. hydrogen gas gives off light in four distinct colours (spectral lines) in the visible spectrum. puzzle was the emission spectrum of atoms. and in 1914 Theodore Lyman found some of the predicted ultraviolet wavelengths. integers.[17] . colliding with it in a fraction of a second. In 1888 Johannes Rydberg generalized and greatly increased the explanatory utility of Balmer's formula. it should also contain certain infrared wavelengths. By contrast. Emission spectrum of hydrogen.[16] However. Thus Balmer's constant was the basis of a system of discrete. For example.

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

Thus all matter exhibits properties of both particles and waves. is discussed in the section below. producing an interference pattern (the 3 fringes shown at the right). one might naively expect that the intensity of the fringes due to interference would be halved everywhere. it was not able to make accurate predictions for multi-electron atoms. closely spaced slits. producing an interference pattern of light and dark bands on a screen. perhaps as a compromise we had better call it a 'wavicle' ". matter also has wave-like properties. The double-slit experiment In the double-slit experiment as originally performed by Thomas Young and Augustin Fresnel in 1827.[23] The wavelength. associated with a particle is related to its momentum. Similar wave-like phenomena were later shown for atoms and even small molecules.[22] However. p through the Planck constant h :[24][25] The relationship. In fact. 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. and so the double-slit experiment was seen as a demonstration of the wave nature of light. Wave-particle duality In 1924. An elegant example of wave-particle duality. De Broglie was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1929 for his hypothesis. Louis de Broglie proposed the idea that just as light has both wave-like and particle-like properties. . At Bell Labs. either photons or matter. Light from one slit interferes with light from the other. Eddington proposed in 1927 that "We can scarcely describe such an entity as a wave or as a particle. At the University of Aberdeen. Thomson and Davisson shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1937 for their experimental work.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 32 Therefore the Bohr model of the atom can predict the emission spectrum of hydrogen in terms of fundamental constants. the double slit experiment. Exactly the same behaviour can be demonstrated in water waves. a much simpler pattern is seen. Davisson and Germer guided their beam through a crystalline grid. called the de Broglie hypothesis.[26] (This term was later popularised by mathematician Banesh Hoffmann. If one of the slits is covered up. Indeed. the wave-like nature of electrons was demonstrated by showing that a beam of electrons could exhibit diffraction. Closing one slit results in a much simpler pattern diametrically opposite the open slit. George Thomson passed a beam of electrons through a thin metal film and observed the predicted diffraction patterns. a beam of light is directed through two narrow. astrophysicist A. holds for all types of matter. a simple diffraction pattern. Three years later. or to explain why some spectral lines are brighter than others. just like a beam of light. λ . 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.S.)[27]:172 Wave-particle duality is an example of the principle of complementarity in quantum physics.

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

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

from the collision products. In particular. e. rendering the measurement obtained of its momentum increasingly uncertain (momentum is velocity multiplied by mass). Naively. 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.[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. When it does show up. we would assume that how precisely we measure the speed of the car does not affect the measurement of its position. Heisenberg gave. not its original momentum.in the momentum is less. but the greater is the disturbance of the electron.. as an illustration. In its place some physical change in the detection screen has appeared. Explanations for the nature of the process of becoming certain are controversial. 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. we will get a result that is closer to the true value. the higher the frequency of the photon the more accurate is the measurement of the position of the impact. the less precisely the other can be known. but about the nature of the system itself — our naive assumption that the car had a definite position and speed was incorrect. but when dealing with atoms and electrons they become critical. for one is necessarily measuring its post-impact disturbed momentum. With a photon of lower frequency the disturbance . This statement is known as the uncertainty principle. or a change in electric potential in some cell of a CCD. like position and speed.[34] Werner Heisenberg at the age of 26. the time and the space where it interacted with the device are known within very tight limits.[33] Quantum mechanics shows that certain pairs of physical properties. However. these uncertainties are too small to notice. the photon has disappeared. Heisenberg proved that these assumptions are not correct. On a scale of cars and people.g. The uncertainty principle isn't a statement about the accuracy of our measuring equipment.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. an exposed spot in a sheet of photographic film. Heisenberg won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the work that he [32] did at around this time. and vice versa. and the wave function has disappeared with it. and that this value is related to Planck's constant. 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. but so is the accuracy of the measurement of the position of the impact. In measuring the electron's position. In 1927. which absorbs a random amount of energy. the measurement of the position and momentum of an electron using a photon of light. we assume that the car has a definite position and speed at a particular moment in time. cannot both be known to arbitrary precision: the more precisely one property is known. for instance in the CCD of an electronic camera.hence uncertainty . .

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

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

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

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

Bibcode 2009EJPh. Nature Loves to Hide: Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality. Simplicity.html) . Jan-Peter (2009). Gerald Malsbary.google. to human body and mind. across the universe.30. Benjamin Schumacher (1998). J. 5–8. "Demonstrating quantum random with single photons". • Roland Omnes (1999) Understanding Quantum Mechanics. Patrick.chem1. Andreas.21. Ivancevic (2008) Quantum leap: from Dirac and Feynman. (http://www. • Wieman. Carl. Bibcode 1949RvMP. • Vladimir G. trigonometry. Includes much about the technologies quantum theory has made possible.Introduction to Quantum Mechanics • Tavel.. Press. • Malin. and bra-ket notation can be passed over on a first reading. Katherine (2005). Includes elementary particle physics. Meyn. ISBN 978-0-8135-3077-2. Morton. • Van Vleck. doi:10. Ivancevic. • A website with good introduction to Quantum mechanics can be found here. Christine. Press. GianCarlo (2004) Sneaking a Look at God's Cards. Nat. Strunz. • Richard Feynman (1985) QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter. "Transforming Physics Education". Reviews of Modern Physics 21 (3): 425–433. Cambridge Univ. and Multiple Universes.). attempt to communicate quantum theory to lay people.. • Victor Stenger (2000) Timeless Reality: Symmetry.com/acad/ webtext/atoms/atpt-4. Passages using algebra. European Journal of Physics 30 (5): 1189–1200. World Scientific Publishing Company.425W. • Martinus Veltman (2003) Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics. Sci. • N.21. • Jim Al-Khalili (2003) Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed.. Silberhorn.1189B.. Harvard Univ. John Archibald. Rutgers University Press." Proc. arXiv:quant-ph/9801014 [quant-ph]. • Tony Hey and Walters. Contemporary physics and the limits of knowledge (http:// books. 14: 179.1103/RevModPhys. a Western Perspective (Revised ed. Princeton University Press. The author is a rare physicist who tries to communicate to philosophers and humanists. Chpts. Princeton Univ. • Westmoreland. Press. • Ghirardi. doi:10. Princeton Univ. Press: 110–176. Cambridge Univ. Weidenfield & Nicholson. Feynman.1928. Press. all by working physicists. Kenneth (2005) The Quantum World. Provides an intuitive introduction in non-mathematical terms and an introduction in comparatively basic mathematical terms.com/?id=SELS0HbIhjYC&pg=PA200&dq=Wave+function+collapse). Tavel. The most technical of the works cited here. Buffalo NY: Prometheus Books. Shimon (2012). • Wheeler. Allen Lane. David Mermin (1990) “Spooky actions at a distance: mysteries of the QT” in his Boojums all the way through. H. • Bronner. "Classical Electrodynamics in Terms of Direct Interparticle Action". • Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (2011) The Quantum Universe. (1949). World Scientific Publishing Company. using a minimum of technical apparatus. Patrick (2003) The New Quantum Universe.425..1088/0143-0807/30/5/026. ISBN 0-691-08388-6 • Ford. Judith (illustrations) (2002). Tijana T. World Scientific. trans. "Quantum Entanglement and the Nonexistence of Superluminal Signals".. Perkins. Richard P. ISBN 978-981-4324-57-1. "The Correspondence Principle in the Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Physics Today. 43 Further reading The following titles. Acad.

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

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

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

At any energy E. the polar angle.Old Quantum Theory 47 One-dimensional potential One-dimensional problems are easy to solve. 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. a rigid rotator can be described by two angles — and . the places where the momentum vanishes. 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. the semiclassical answer here is not exact but approximate. In the Bohr model. 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 . and unlike the other examples. The integral is easiest for a particle in a box of length L. This case is much more difficult in the full quantum mechanical treatment. . 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. where is the inclination relative to an arbitrarily chosen z-axis while is the rotator angle in the projection to the x–y plane. 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: . . Rotator Another simple system is the rotator. becoming more accurate at large quantum numbers. this restriction imposed on circular orbits In three dimensions. so that the quantum condition is: Which determines the energy levels. the constant confining force F binding a particle to an impenetrable wall.

the angular momentum is quantized the same way. but the discrete states of definite angular momentum in any one orientation are quantum superpositions of the states in other orientations. This condition is reproduced in modern quantum mechanics. Since the three-dimensional rotator is rotating about an axis. Hydrogen atom The angular part of the Hydrogen atom is just the rotator. which can be solved. The energies reproduce those in the Bohr model. the allowed values of l for any given n are no bigger than n. a result which seems to contradict rotational invariance but which was confirmed by the Stern–Gerlach experiment. 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. The semiclassical hydrogen atom is called the Sommerfeld model. 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. 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. For this reason. and the same phenomenon is now called the quantization of angular momentum.m. For a fixed value of the total angular momentum L. the quantization of angular momentum about an axis. 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.Old Quantum Theory which is the z-component of the angular momentum. 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. with some ambiguity at the extreme values. Since k is positive. The energy is: and it only depends on the sum of k and l. was given the name space quantization. the name "space quantization" fell out of favor. This phenomenon. and its orbits are ellipses of various sizes at discrete inclinations. and gives a new quantum number k which determines the energy in combination with l. which is the principal quantum number n. In modern quantum mechanics. the total angular momentum should be restricted in the same way as the two-dimensional rotator. . The two quantum conditions restrict the total angular momentum and the z-component of the angular momentum to be the integers l. the quantum condition integral is: which is elementary. because it seemed incompatible with rotational invariance. except with the correct quantum mechanical multiplicities. The only remaining variable is the radial coordinate. The Sommerfeld model predicted that the magnetic moment of an atom measured along an axis will only take on discrete values. so that the process of quantization does not pick out a preferred axis. and gives the quantum numbers l and m. which executes a periodic one-dimensional potential motion.

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

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

That is. Molecular rotation and vibration spectra were understood and the electron's spin was discovered. Louis de Broglie introduced the wave theory of matter. In 1913. Throughout the 1910s and well into the 1920s. ideas which were extended in collaboration with Werner Heisenberg to a semiclassical matrix-like description of atomic transition probabilities.Old Quantum Theory not have frequencies that exactly match the energy spacings between levels. In 1924. In 1926 Erwin Schrödinger found a completely quantum mechanical wave-equation. followed by Debye. Sommerfeld's model was much closer to the modern quantum mechanical picture than Bohr's. Paul Dirac later proved in 1926 that both methods can be obtained from a more general method called transformation theory. 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. . Matrix mechanics and wave mechanics put an end to the era of the old-quantum theory. Heisenberg went on to reformulate all of quantum theory in terms of a version of these transition matrices. This idea led to the development of matrix mechanics. 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. Hendrik Kramers explained the Stark effect. which was extended to a semiclassical equation for matter waves by Albert Einstein a short time later. which reproduced all the successes of the old quantum theory without ambiguities and inconsistencies. and began in earnest after the work of Albert Einstein on the specific heats of solids. Bose and Einstein gave the correct quantum statistics for photons. History The old quantum theory was sparked by the work of Max Planck on the emission and absorption of light. Niels Bohr identified the correspondence principle and used it to formulate a model of the hydrogen atom which explained the line spectrum. where the spin of the electron cannot be neglected). Einstein. applied quantum principles to the motion of atoms. Kramers gave a prescription for calculating transition probabilities between quantum states in terms of Fourier components of the motion. • It fails to explain the anomalous Zeeman effect (that is. it cannot be applied to many-body systems. Schrödinger's wave mechanics developed separately from matrix mechanics until Schrödinger and others proved that the two methods predicted the same experimental consequences. Max Planck introduced the zero point energy and Arnold Sommerfeld semiclassically quantized the relativistic hydrogen atom. creating matrix mechanics. leading to the confusion of half-integer quantum numbers. 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. • It fails when applied to atoms with more than one electron. explaining the specific heat anomaly. many problems were attacked using the old quantum theory with mixed results.

In advanced topics of quantum mechanics. The earliest versions of quantum mechanics were formulated in the first decade of the 20th century. com/ books?id=Bzj2JcPeAHAC). the angular momentum of an electron bound to an atom or molecule is quantized. Ya I Granovski (2004). pdf). The Old Quantum Theory.[1] In the context of quantum mechanics.. Quantum Mechanics: Non-Relativistic Theory. Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Physics. Physics ± Uspekhi 47 (5): 523–524. Many of the results of quantum mechanics are not easily visualized in terms of classical mechanics—for instance.M. unchanging zero state. .. the atomic theory and the corpuscular theory of light (as updated by Einstein) first came to be widely accepted as scientific fact.132E.19053220607. Atombau und Spektrallinien. Annalen der Physik 17 (6): 132–148. momentum. By 1930. uni-augsburg. respectively. quantum mechanics allows for far more dynamic. Braunschweig: Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn. G. ed. some of these behaviors are macroscopic and only emerge at extreme (i. For example. Vol. which requires an understanding of complex numbers and linear functionals. and other atomic-scale objects. [5] Einstein. with zero kinetic energy. Further reading • Thewlis.). who created matrix mechanics. . com/ books?id=Bzj2JcPeAHAC& pg=PA9)}} [7] L. google. iop. 206. quantum mechanics had been further . [6] Chaddha.Old Quantum Theory 52 References [1] [2] [3] [4] ter Haar. A mathematical function called the wavefunction provides information about the probability amplitude of position. Extract of page 9 (http:/ / books. Louis de Broglie and Erwin Schrodinger (Wave Mechanics). Arnold Sommerfeld (1924). Pergamon Press. Pergamon Press. "Sommerfeld formula and Dirac's theory" (http:/ / www. and Wolfgang Pauli and Satyendra Nath Bose (statistics of subatomic particles). Albert (1905). The mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics are abstract. and other physical properties of a particle. Retrieved 2008-02-18. E.322. or quantum theory) is a branch of physics dealing with physical phenomena at microscopic scales. pp. J. New Dehli: New Age international. . ISBN 978-0-08-020940-1. At around the same time. "Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt" (http:/ / www. ISBN 81-224-1465-6. pdf). very low or very high) energies or temperatures. analog) way. 8-9. 3 (3rd ed. Arnold (1919). and the mathematics is akin to that describing acoustic resonance. D.. these latter theories can be viewed as quantum theories of matter and electromagnetic radiation. ISBN 3-87144-484-7. the wave–particle duality of energy and matter and the uncertainty principle provide a unified view of the behavior of photons. ISBN 3-87144-484-7. Braunschweig. where the action is on the order of the Planck constant. Atombau und Spektrallinien'.e. chaotic possibilities. (1962). Early quantum theory was significantly reformulated in the mid-1920s by Werner Heisenberg. according to John Wheeler.S. electrons. de/ annalen/ history/ einstein-papers/ 1905_17_132-148. Instead of a traditional static. The name quantum mechanics derives from the observation that some physical quantities can change only in discrete amounts (Latin quanta). Mathematical manipulations of the wavefunction usually involve the bra-ket notation. The wavefunction treats the object as a quantum harmonic oscillator.. ISBN 0-08-012101-2.1002/andp. Max Born and Pascual Jordan. Quantum mechanics provides a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. Quantum Mechanics (http:/ / books.. (1967). Bibcode 1905AnP.D. Landau. (2006). doi:10. the ground state in a quantum mechanical model is a non-zero energy state that is the lowest permitted energy state of a system. Sommerfeld. And the Copenhagen interpretation of Niels Bohr became widely accepted. Lifshitz (1977). Quantum mechanics departs from classical mechanics primarily at the quantum realm of atomic and subatomic length scales. physik. p. as opposed to a more "traditional" system that is thought of as simply being at rest.. and not in a continuous (cf. Quantum Mechanics after 1925 Quantum mechanics (QM – also known as quantum physics. org/ EJ/ article/ 1063-7869/ 47/ 5/ L06/ PHU_47_5_L06. google.

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

Albert Einstein. It is the underlying mathematical framework of many fields of physics and chemistry. The word quantum derives from the Latin. Freeman Dyson. From Einstein's simple postulation was born a flurry of debating. The other exemplar that led to quantum mechanics was the study of electromagnetic waves. theorizing. but had certain properties of both.[7] This led to a theory of unity between subatomic particles and electromagnetic waves. Paul Dirac. called wave–particle duality. such as the energy of an atom at rest (see Figure 1). light quanta came to be called photons (1926). Arnold Sommerfeld and others. Enrico Fermi. 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.[8] In quantum mechanics. it refers to a discrete unit that quantum theory assigns to certain physical quantities. Werner Heisenberg. in 1905 Albert Einstein interpreted Planck's quantum hypothesis realistically and used it to explain the photoelectric effect. Erwin Schrödinger. Bohr and Heisenberg published results that The 1927 Solvay Conference in Brussels. 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. meaning "how great" or "how much". When it was found in 1900 by Max Planck that the energy of waves could be described as consisting of small packets or "quanta". While quantum mechanics traditionally described the world of the very small. Niels Bohr. such as visible light. and testing. David Hilbert. Louis de Broglie. developments in quantum mechanics led to its becoming the standard formulation for atomic physics. Max Born. Satyendra Nath Bose. In the summer of 1925. closed the "Old Quantum Theory". it is also needed to explain certain recently investigated macroscopic systems such as superconductors and superfluids. Arthur Compton. in which shining light on certain materials can eject electrons from the material. In the mid-1920s. Out of deference to their particle-like behavior in certain processes and measurements. 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.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 54 where h is Planck's constant. Wolfgang Pauli. Wilhelm Wien. John von Neumann. including condensed matter physics. Thus the entire field of quantum physics emerged. leading to its wider acceptance at the Fifth Solvay Conference in 1927. solid-state . Max Von Laue.[6] However. in which particles and waves were neither one nor the other. 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.

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

[20] In the everyday world. it is impossible to predict with certainty the result. If one knows the corresponding wave function at the instant before the measurement. or quantum state nuclear attraction. When one measures the position of the particle. a definite momentum.e. In the decades after the formulation of quantum mechanics. a definite energy. having obtained some result x. however. the wavefunction will instantaneously be an eigenstate (or "generalized" eigenstate) of that observable. if one measures the observable. that is. applied to the aforementioned example of the free particle. playing a role similar to Newton's second law in classical mechanics.[22] The time evolution of a quantum state is described by the Schrödinger equation. it only provides a range of probabilities of where that particle might be given its momentum and momentum probability. Usually. these probabilities will depend on the quantum state at the "instant" of the measurement. Probability clouds are approximate. Often these results are skewed by many causes. random). For details. Hence. uncertainty is involved in the value. the relative state interpretation). 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). It was the central topic in the famous Bohr-Einstein debates. it is unpredictable (i. Therefore. predicts that the center of a wave packet will move through space at a 56 . on the other hand. The probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics thus stems from the act of measurement. whereby electron location is given by a probability function. However. certain states that are associated with a definite value of a particular observable. their respective wavefunctions become entangled. rather. later wavefunction is not deterministic. This is one of the most difficult aspects of quantum systems to understand. and a definite time of occurrence. The time evolution of wave functions is deterministic in the sense that . it is natural and intuitive to think of everything (every observable) as being in an eigenstate. The basic idea is that when a quantum system interacts with a measuring apparatus. but better than the Bohr model. where the amplitude of the wave function is large. such that the probability is the squared modulus of the complex amplitude. in which the two scientists attempted to clarify these fundamental principles by way of thought experiments.it makes a definite prediction of what the wavefunction will be at any later time. so that the original quantum system ceases to exist as an independent entity. After the measurement is performed. For example. such as dense probability clouds. it is helpful to use different words to describe states having uncertain values and states having definite values (eigenstates). it makes a prediction using a probability distribution.[17] It is probable. The Schrödinger equation describes how wavefunctions change in time.[24][25] Wave functions change as time progresses. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is represented by the statement that the operators corresponding to certain observables do not commute. the change of the initial wavefunction into another. A time-evolution simulation can be seen here.[23] During a measurement. the wave function eigenvalue. that it will be near x0. but not certain.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 state can be found by computing the spectral decomposition of the corresponding operator. one will be able to compute the probability of the wavefunction collapsing into each of the possible eigenstates. in which the Hamiltonian (the operator corresponding to the total energy of the system) generates the time evolution. 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). These are known as eigenstates of the observable ("eigen" can be translated from German as meaning "inherent" or "characteristic"). a system will not be in an eigenstate of the observable (particle) we are interested in.[18][19] Naturally.[17] Generally. quantum mechanics does not assign definite values. the question of what constitutes a "measurement" has been extensively studied. However. the wave function collapses into a position eigenstate centered at x. This process is known as wavefunction collapse. a controversial and much-debated process[21] that involves expanding the system under study to include the measurement device. There are. Instead. it describes the probability of obtaining the possible outcomes from measuring an observable. see the article on measurement in quantum mechanics. for example.given a wavefunction at an initial time . Everything appears to have a definite position. Newer interpretations of quantum mechanics have been formulated that do away with the concept of "wavefunction collapse" (see. The Schrödinger equation.

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

it was applied to models whose correspondence limit was non-relativistic classical mechanics. one that has been employed since the inception of quantum mechanics.[31] An alternative formulation of quantum mechanics is Feynman's path integral formulation. the elementary quantum model of the hydrogen atom describes the electric field of the hydrogen atom using a classical Coulomb potential. i. This "high energy" limit is known as the classical or correspondence limit. An important guide for making these choices is the correspondence principle. These can be chosen appropriately in order to obtain a quantitative description of a quantum system.. they had certain unsatisfactory qualities stemming from their neglect of the relativistic creation and annihilation of particles. The full apparatus of quantum field theory is often unnecessary for describing electrodynamic systems. position.g. A fully relativistic quantum theory required the development of quantum field theory. A 2005 biography of Born details his role as the creator of the matrix formulation of quantum mechanics. then attempt to guess the underlying quantum model that would give rise to the classical model in the correspondence limit. One of the oldest and most commonly used formulations is the "transformation theory" proposed by the late Cambridge theoretical physicist Paul Dirac.e. This fact was recognized in a paper that Heisenberg himself published in 1940 honoring Max Planck.[30] and In the matrix formulation.. which unifies and generalizes the two earliest formulations of quantum mechanics . Interactions with other scientific theories The rules of quantum mechanics are fundamental. One can even start from an established classical model of a particular system. provides a fully quantum description of the electromagnetic interaction. quantum electrodynamics. For instance. This is the quantum-mechanical counterpart of the action principle in classical 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. which applies quantization to a field (rather than a fixed set of particles). A simpler approach. .Quantum Mechanics after 1925 58 Mathematically equivalent formulations of quantum mechanics There are numerous mathematically equivalent formulations of quantum mechanics. the instantaneous state of a quantum system encodes the probabilities of its measurable properties. the energy of an electron bound to a hydrogen atom). momentum. 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. and is thus a quantum version of the classical harmonic oscillator. the position of a particle) or discrete (e. They assert that the state space of a system is a Hilbert space. at the high energy limit. or "observables". and angular momentum. in which a quantum-mechanical amplitude is considered as a sum over all possible histories between the initial and final states. is to treat charged particles as quantum mechanical objects being acted on by a classical electromagnetic field. This "semi-classical" approach fails if quantum fluctuations in the electromagnetic field play an important role. classical mechanics is simply a quantum mechanics of large systems. the well-known model of the quantum harmonic oscillator uses an explicitly non-relativistic expression for the kinetic energy of the oscillator. 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. Observables can be either continuous (e. When quantum mechanics was originally formulated. The first complete quantum field theory. Examples of observables include energy. For example.[29] Especially since Werner Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the creation of quantum mechanics. While these theories were successful in explaining many experimental results. in systems incorporating millions of particles averaging takes over and. In other words.matrix mechanics (invented by Werner Heisenberg)[28] and wave mechanics (invented by Erwin Schrödinger). such as in the emission of photons by charged particles.g. whereas a single particle exhibits a degree of randomness. the role of Max Born in the development of QM has become somewhat confused and overlooked. the statistical probability of random behaviour approaches zero.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

132E. dict. pdf) (PDF). . Retrieved 2012-08-18. . T. . Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 64: Part2:95–99. com/ dictionary/ quantum). ISBN 0-7637-2470-X. reddit. Piravonu Mathews. Reprinted in The collected papers of Albert Einstein. Werner Heisenberg Biography" (http:/ / www. pl/ acta/ vol19/ pdf/ v19p0683. S. za/ ~petruccione/ Phys120/ Wave Functions and the Schrödinger Equation. Walter. [20] Dict. H. von Neumann.com. [31] http:/ / ocw. Campbridge University Press. org/ 20091026095410/ http:/ / geocities. pdf [6] Kuhn. [15] Greiner. Phy. ISBN 0195023838. A.com. . [13] D. . org/ history/ heisenberg/ p08a. html) at the Wayback Machine (archived October 26. Second edition (http:/ / books. [26] Mathews. p. editor. Daniel W. 1976-02-01. google. New York: Springer-Verlag. Reddit. Principles of Optics. Karta Kooner (2009-12-31). J.. htm [10] Compare the list of conferences presented here (http:/ / ysfine. . . Princeton University Press. 265. Rechenberg. html). Bender. 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Retrieved 2012-08-18. google. pdf [30] Nancy Thorndike Greenspan. org/ ~ethall/ quantum/ quant. com/ books?id=gCfvWx6vuzUC& pg=PA52). . ac. is not quantized. 52. [28] "Quantum Physics: Werner Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Mechanics. . google. see also Einstein's early work on the quantum hypothesis. olemiss.1002/andp. p. html). [17] Greenstein. com/ books?id=_qzs1DD3TcsC& pg=PA36). "Complex Elliptic Pendulum". pdf) (PDF). utexas. cc/ german-english/ eigen.Quantum Mechanics after 1925 67 Notes [1] The angular momentum of an unbound electron. . Venkatesan. 2005). aip. ibid. 1930. The Dark Side of the Force: Economic Foundations of Conflict Theory (http:/ / books. Retrieved 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2012-08-18. google.wolfram.com. Retrieved 2012-08-18. George.pons. Vol. htm). [33] Carl M. html). 1999.edu. 124-8 and 285-6.edu. A Textbook of Quantum Mechanics (http:/ / books. com/ mik_malm/ quantmech. .wolfram. Berlin.ph. Retrieved 2012-08-18. p. 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**Quantum Mechanics after 1925
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[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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Schrödinger originally viewed the wavefunction associated with the electron as corresponding to the charge density of an object smeared out over an extended. and more informal subjective ones (that humans invariably observe an unequivocal world is important in the interpretation of quantum mechanics). if anything. Although quantum mechanics has held up to rigorous and thorough experimental testing. the many-worlds interpretation has been gaining acceptance.[1]) However. in the other it corresponds to a probability distribution — specifically. volume of space. 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".72 3. For instance. including both those obtained by empirical research. They usually consider an interpretation of quantum mechanics as an interpretation of the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. . specifying the physical meaning of the mathematical entities of the theory. as physicists continue to show a strong interest in the subject. the interpreted theory is "really about" and 2. the epistemology which is concerned in what is knowledge. and other matters. which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered "real". including Stephen Hawking and Nobel laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman. There are two different interpretations of the wavefunction: 1. a set of observations. possibly infinite. they are interpretations of a phenomenology. In one it corresponds to a material field. 2. of 72 "leading cosmologists and other quantum field theorists" found that 58% supported the many-worlds interpretation. e. There exist a number of contending schools of thought. Historical background The definition of terms used by researchers in quantum theory (such as wavefunctions and matrix mechanics) progressed through many stages. often misattributed to Richard Feynman. Max Born interpreted it as simply corresponding to a probability distribution. by measuring an AI consciousness[4] or via quantum computing. the ontology which is concerned with what. This question is of special interest to philosophers of physics.[3] Moreover.[2] a controversial poll mentioned in "The Physics of Immortality" (published in 1994). The qualities that vary between interpretations are: 1. the probability that the quantum of charge is located at any particular point within spatial dimensions. They are interpretations of a formalism — a set of equations and formulae for generating results and predictions — and 2.[5] The nature of interpretation More or less all interpretations of quantum mechanics share two qualities: 1. 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.g. differing over whether quantum mechanics can be understood to be deterministic. the instrumentalist position has been challenged by proposals for falsifiable experiments that might one day distinguish interpretations. many of these experiments are open to different interpretations. how are we acquiring it and to what extent is it possible for a given subject or entity to be known. The Copenhagen interpretation was traditionally the most popular among physicists.

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

Measurable quantities are associated with Hermitian operators acting on H: these are referred to as observables. Also. 1999) the "origin of complementarity lies in the non-commutativity of [the] operators" that describe observables (i. In other words. using propositional connectives. thereby implying that the whole exercise of interpretation is unnecessary. if a measurement of a real-value quantity is performed many times. argue that an interpretation is nothing more than a formal equivalence between sets of rules for operating on experimental data. As is now well-known (Omnès. Instrumentalist interpretation Any modern scientific theory requires at the very least an instrumentalist description that relates the mathematical formalism to experimental practice and prediction. 74 Problematic status of interpretations As classical physics and non-mathematical language cannot match the precision of quantum mechanics mathematics. 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?"). each time starting with the same initial conditions. Calculations for measurements performed on a system S postulate a Hilbert space H over the complex numbers. but not at the same time. This is often phrased by saying that there are "complementary" propositions A and B that can each describe S. Some physicists. if we interpret the formal structure X of quantum mechanics by means of a structure Y (via a mathematical equivalence of the two structures).. Rather. there are other elements of quantum physics that distinguish it sharply from classical physics and which are not present in any classical theory. Because the complexity of a quantum system is exponential in its number of degrees of freedom. That is. One of these is the phenomenon of entanglement. In the case of quantum mechanics.e. it is associated with a vector in H. which seems to violate basic principles of propositional logic. as illustrated in the EPR paradox. the precise ontological status of each interpretation remains a matter of philosophical argument. which seemingly violates principles of local causality. anything said outside the mathematical formulation is necessarily limited in accuracy. quantum mechanics provides a computational instrument to determine statistical properties of this distribution. The expectation value of this distribution is given by the expression .[6] Another obstruction to interpretation is the phenomenon of complementarity. for example Asher Peres and Chris Fuchs. moreover. Repeated measurement of an observable A where S is prepared in state ψ yields a distribution of values. 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. complementarity means that the composition of physical properties for S (such as position and momentum both having values within certain ranges). the outcome is a well-defined probability distribution agreeing with the real numbers. which is often equated to the principle of complementarity itself. the most common instrumentalist description is an assertion of statistical regularity between state preparation processes and measurement processes. The latter statement is one part of Niels Bohr's original formulation. in a new guise. it is difficult to overlap the quantum and classical descriptions to see how the classical approximations are being made. Examples of A and B are propositions using a wave description of S and a corpuscular description of S. such as its expectation value.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics In addition to the unpredictable and irreversible character of measurement processes. does not obey the rules of classical propositional logic (see also Quantum logic). what is the status of Y? This is the old question of saving the phenomena. particles) in quantum mechanics. When the system S is prepared in a pure state.

As an example of such a computation. while in other interpretations it is not.[7] In that paper the authors proposed the concepts element of reality and the completeness of a physical theory. . transitions between states. we need to be more explicit about the kind of picture an interpretation provides. The transitions may be non-deterministic or probabilistic or there may be infinitely many states. a specific Hermitian operator). For example. 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. 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). where: • The mathematical formalism M consists of the Hilbert space machinery of ket-vectors. and measurement operations. Realism is also a property of each of the elements of the maths. 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. and defined a complete physical theory as one in which every element of physical reality is accounted for by the theory. A measurement operation refers to an operation which returns a value and might result in a system state change. Spatial information would be exhibited by states represented as functions on configuration space. Summary of common interpretations of quantum mechanics Classification adopted by Einstein An interpretation (i. an interpretation is complete if every element of the interpreting structure is present in the mathematics. although this usage is somewhat misleading since instrumentalism explicitly avoids any explanatory role. an element is real if it corresponds to something in the interpreting structure. The current usage of realism and completeness originated in the 1935 paper in which Einstein and others proposed the EPR paradox. 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.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics This mathematical machinery gives a simple. In a semantic view of interpretation. it does not attempt to answer the question why. a bare instrumentalist description could be referred to as an interpretation. They characterised element of reality as a quantity whose value can be predicted with certainty before measuring or otherwise disturbing it. • The interpreting structure I includes states.e. that is. such as: • • • • Realism Completeness Local realism Determinism To explain these properties. 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. and the measured quantity with an observable (that is. measurement operations. 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. and possibly information about spatial extension of these elements. for it makes no claims about elements of physical reality. Hence the bare instrumentalist view of quantum mechanics outlined in the previous section is not an interpretation at all. self-adjoint operators acting on the space of ket-vectors.

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

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

collapse occurs randomly ("spontaneous localization"). which needs to be extended if this approach is correct. Examples include the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber theory[20] and the Penrose interpretation. but he later abandoned this interpretation. according to quantum theory.[22] This point of view was prominently expanded on by Eugene Wigner. thus far.[23][24] Variations of the von Neumann interpretation include: Subjective reduction research This principle. I. von Neumann concluded that the collapse was caused by the consciousness of the experimenter. or when some physical threshold is reached. The author argues that it avoids the philosophical problems with the Copenhagen interpretation and the role of the observer. 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. is the point of intersection between quantum mechanics and the mind/body problem.[17] Similar considerations had previously been published. should involve a wave function collapse. meaning that Objective Collapse is more of a theory than an interpretation. but. that consciousness causes the collapse. they are realistic.[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. More recent work on the stochastic interpretation has been done by M.[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). In objective theories.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics 78 Transactional interpretation The transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics (TIQM) by John G. no-hidden-variables theories. for example by R. Pavon. with observers having no special role. indeterministic. Since something "outside the calculation" was needed to collapse the wave function. Thus. and resolves various quantum paradoxes.[21] von Neumann/Wigner interpretation: consciousness causes the collapse In his treatise The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.[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. Fürth (1933). Stapp (Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer) • Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner (Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness) .[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. The mechanism of collapse is not specified by standard quantum mechanics. results are inconclusive. and are referenced in Nelson's paper. John von Neumann deeply analyzed the so-called measurement problem. Cramer is an interpretation of quantum mechanics inspired by the Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory. Fényes (1952). and Walter Weizel (1953). and researchers are working to detect conscious events correlated with physical events that.[18] An alternative stochastic interpretation was developed by Roumen Tsekov. including: • Henry P.

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

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

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

Univ. 1999. Cushing. • --------.. "Quantum theory needs no ‘interpretation’.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics 82 Sources • Bub. Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. "A formal approach to the philosophy of science. 47: 777. 2nd ed. • de Muynck.. aip. Rev. 2003. Anthony. Conjectures and Refutations. 1972. The Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. B. eds. M. 1939. • Al-Khalili. A. and Clifton. W. M. com/ everett/ everett. McGraw-Hill. hitachi.. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers: 9–48.. 1985. • Max Jammer. (2002. Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed. 2003." Scientific American 284: 68. • Herbert. • Roman Jackiw and D. Cambridge Univ. pp.. Wheeler. 21-44 (Kluwer. Press. • Karl Popper. and Vermaas. P. com/ rd/ research/ em/ doubleslit. University of Chicago Press. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson. Vol 24 #1 (1985) [5] Three connections between Everett's interpretation and experiment Quantum Concepts of Space and Time." Science 289(5481): 893. .Werner/ Heisenberg. by John S.. [10] Why Bohm's Theory Solves the Measurement Problem by T. and Walters. N. "One Hundred Years of Quantum Physics. 1995). [8] http:/ / www. Quantum Theory and Measurement. J. The Conceptual Development of Quantum Mechanics.. second edition. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. last article of Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. New York: Doubleday. • --------. 1996. Retrieved 2011-01-24.. . and S. 2002. and S. N. • Hans Reichenbach. 2001. Retrieved 2011-01-24. ISBN 0-385-23569-0. 2000. • Bas van Fraassen. "Wavefunction tails in the modal interpretation" in Hull. Princeton Univ. Oxford University Press (1986) [6] La nouvelle cuisine. • Dickson. Univ. stanford. [4] Quantum theory as a universal physical theory. R. Zanghi. Goldstein in Bohmian Mechanics and Quantum Theory: An Appraisal. shtml) [2] Vaidman. Understanding Quantum Mechanics. Christopher. org/ journals/ doc/ PHTOAD-ft/ vol_57/ iss_5/ 10_1. pdf [9] "An experiment illustrating the ensemble interpretation" (http:/ / www. ISBN 0-521-56457-3. 1963.%20Werner%20-%20Physics%20and%20philosophy. • Hey. 2002. hedweb. [11] Bohmian Mechanics as the Foundation of Quantum Mechanics by D.." arXiv:quant-ph/0205039 • -------. Proceedings of the PSA 1" 366–76. "Lorentz-invariance in modal interpretations" in Dieks. Maudlin. and Clifton. 2010. by David Deutsch. Wheeler and Wojciech Hubert Zurek (eds). Kleppner. 1996) 1997 arXiv:quant-ph/9511016 ." in Foundations of Logic and Mathematics of the International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. among other things. Bell. ISBN 1-4020-0932-1. [7] A. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Philosophic Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.. R. 1966. M. D.125. Paradigms and Paradoxes: The Philosophical Challenge of the Quantum Domain. html). R. net/ trl/ texts/ Heisenberg.com. and Burian. of Pittsburgh Press: 303-66." in R. instrumentalism in the physical sciences. ISBN 0-691-08316-9.T. • Max Tegmark and J. ed. East Lansing. see (http:/ / scitation. of California Press. by David Deutsch. Peres. A. Hedweb. edited by J. edu/ entries/ qm-manyworlds/ #Teg98 [3] "Who believes in many-worlds?" (http:/ / www. • Fuchs. Goldstein. "The interpretation of physics. D. • John A. Michigan: Philosophy of Science Association.com. 1944. LoC QC174. Forbes. htm#believes). “A uniqueness theorem for interpretations of quantum mechanics. Philosophy of Science 62. March 24). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Rosen. Hitachi. from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http:/ / plato. The New Quantum Universe. The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics. Einstein. eds. Foundations of quantum mechanics. 1994. Fine. Press." Physics Today. L. 1974. "Quantum Mechanics as Quantum Information (and only a little more).and A.[40] • Roland Omnès. Podolsky and N. naturalthinker. References [1] For a discussion of the provenance of the phrase "shut up and calculate".Q38 1983. Colodny. Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 27B: 181-219 • Rudolf Carnap. "Can quantum-mechanical description of physical reality be considered complete?" Phys. Retrieved March 19. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 184. an empiricist approach. "100 Years of Quantum Mysteries. The chapter "Three views Concerning Human Knowledge" addresses. 1935. 2000. International Journal of Theoretical Physics. Durr.. 479-483 (September. P.. Wiley & Sons. 1998.

. pdf). ISBN 1-4020-0932-1.) [31] Hartle. University of Tokyo (1992) 240. see Q. ISBN 0-7100-0971-2.Op.. npl. 83 Further reading Almost all authors below are professional physicists. 85-92 (1998). com/ ?id=k3rUe8XVjJUC& printsec=frontcover& dq=an+ empiricist+ approach#v=onepage& q=& f=false). Retrieved 2011-01-24. Retrieved 2011-01-24. pp. Beyer. pdf) p. "Bohmian Mechanics versus Madelung Quantum Hydrodynamics". au/ rn/ scienceshow/ stories/ 2006/ 1572643. Quantum Mechanics and Experience.edu. D. Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. John. [36] Wharton. R.) 1957. . org/ Quantum-Relativity. [37] Sharlow. 1992. (1966) Derivation of the Schrödinger Equation from Newtonian Mechanics. 1079-1085 [18] M. Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. washington. Plato. Thymos. Immaterialism. stanford. org/ writings/ GRW Theory. M. pdf). [22] von Neumann. pdf) (PDF). pp 65–70. GRW theory" (http:/ / www.Cramer" (http:/ / www. doi:10. "Quantum Physics of Single Systems. A. ac. [26] C. B. see Carlo Rovelli (1996). 2006-02-18. J. romanfrigg. Retrieved 2011-01-24. science. The Special Theory of Relativity.The anthropic universe" (http:/ / www. 30B. Bibcode 1996IJTP. B. 34-40 (1976). Foundations of quantum mechanics: an empiricist approach (http:/ / books. [40] de Muynck. Press. 150. The philosophy of Niels Bohr. L. . (Niels Bohr. K. 1987. 145–154.35. Quantum mechanics of individual systems. published in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. Translated by Robert T. 1(1):127-139. Tuszynski (Ed). Foundations of Physics 22:10. .net. Cit. "A Novel Interpretation of the Klein-Gordon Equation. Rev. "What Branching Spacetime might do for Phyiscs" (http:/ / philsci-archive. arXiv:quant-ph/9501014 [quant-ph]. Bierman and Stephen Whitmarsh." Physics Essays 9: 447. B. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Popper. google. Wholeness and the Implicate Order." Physica Scripta. Bell. Phys.0723 [quant-ph].E. 1980. ISBN 0-674-74112-9. • John S. pp.] [24] Zvi Schreiber (1995). School of Science.1637R. Annual Report. Department of Physics. "Relational Quantum Mechanics".: "Let us call the thought that information might be the basic category from which all else flows informational immaterialism. .com. • David Z Albert. 1992: About the EPR controversy. International Journal of Theoretical Physics 35 (8): 1637. Volume T76. Collapse of a Quantum Field may Affect Brain Function. J. uk/ ~bras2317/ iii_2. Am. Phys.washington. (1932/1955). Timpson (http:/ / users. [27] ". Zheng and T. W. ISBN 90-277-0105-9. Retrieved 2011-01-24. Kobayashi. Math. arXiv:quant-ph/9609002.1007/BF02302261. . Klower Academic Publishers. (2006). Phys. 37(1). (1963)." Foundations of Physics.edu. quantum-relativity. The Emerging Physics of Consciousness. html). [21] "Review of Penrose's Shadows of the Mind" (http:/ / www. For a full account (http:/ / www. al. Reidel Publishing Company. quoted in Petersen. 159-168 (2007). 1996. Buttersworth Scientific Publications. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ qm_nl. org/ Quantum_Optics_as_a_Relativistic_Theory_of_Light. 1968. . Journal of Consciousness Studies. Willem M (2002). Consciousness and Quantum Physics: Empirical Research on the Subjective Reduction of the State Vector.stanford. 40(3).. [35] Wharton. com/ mind/ penrose. 1965 [15] (http:/ / www.au. Korner & Price (eds. uva. Cambridge Univ. 1303-1323 [39] Karl Popper: The Propensity Interpretation of the Calculus of Probability and of the Quantum Theory. pp. edu/ 3781/ 1/ what_branching_spacetime_might_do. “Stochastic mechanics and the Feynman integral”. [23] [ Michael Esfeld. K. 27-48." [30] "Physics concerns what we can say about nature". Abc. Christopher G. edu/ entries/ qm-relational/ ). ISBN 0-521-36869-3. Observation and Interpretation. in Jack A. Science. Retrieved 2011-01-24. New York. quantum-relativity. ox. • David Bohm. Instrumentalism: Old and New in Quantum Information. [25] Dick J. (1968). Press. Essay Review: Wigner’s View of Physical Reality.. "Time-Symmetric Quantum Mechanics. Benjamin.uva. (1999). [20] "Frigg. Pavon. Y. pp. Retrieved 2011-01-24. "On the Two-State Vector Reformulation of Quantum Mechanics. Mark. Retrieved 2011-01-24. • Dmitrii Ivanovich Blokhintsev. "The Nine Lives of Schroedinger's Cat". . The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics. [34] Aharonov. arXiv:0904. 6060-6078 (2000) [19] Roumen Tsekov (2009). 313-332 (2010). 19(7):8–14. nl/ ~seop/ entries/ qm-modal/ ). thymos. J." Foundations of Physics. [16] "Quantum Nocality . 36(8):704– 712. Harvard Univ. London: Routledge. Nunn et. 41. Npl. (1994).Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics [12] "Relational Quantum Mechanics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)" (http:/ / plato. [13] For more information. The 2004 edition (ISBN 0-521-52338-9) includes two additional papers and an introduction by Alain Aspect. abc. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists." Il Nuovo Cimento. pitt. [32] "Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)" (http:/ / www. Elsevier Science Ltd. [17] Nelson.2 [38] Marie-Christine Combourieu: Karl R. htm). pp. [33] Davidon. Volume 36B. [14] David Bohm.C. html). [28] Information. H. net. "Quantum Optics as a Relativistic Theory of Light. p. pdf) [29] Timpson.nl. and Vaidman.

Press. ISBN 0-7139-9061-9. • " Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http://plato. Princeton Univ. • --------. Univ. Press.org/catalogue/catalogue. London: Allen Lane.edu/entries/qt-entangle/)" by Jeffrey Bub. • N.edu/entries/qm-manyworlds/)" by Lev Vaidman. The Road to Reality. 1999. (http://plato. Press. Sneaking a Look at God’s Cards. ISBN 0-19-851973-7. ISBN 0-14-027541-X. Springer. • --------.edu/entries/qm-modal/)" by Michael Dickson and Dennis Dieks. 2004. Argues forcefully against instrumentalism. In Search of Reality.edu/entries/qm-collapse/)" by Giancarlo Ghirardi.1119/1. • " Relational Quantum Mechanics (http://plato.tue. Press. Princeton Univ. (March 2002). 2004. 1994. • " Quantum Entanglement and Information (http://plato. 2003. • Gregg Jaeger (2009) Entanglement. 1994. 2006. Giancarlo.1445404. Princeton Univ. Quantum Philosophy: Understanding and Interpreting Contemporary Science. On Physics and Philosophy.edu/entries/qm-bohm/)" by Sheldon Goldstein. doi:10. springer. 1997.edu/entries/qm/)" by Jenann Ismael. (http://www. Argues that quantum theory is incomplete. ISBN 0-387-11399-1.stanford. Broad overview (http://www.edu/entries/qm-decoherence/)" by Guido Bacciagaluppi. asp?isbn=0521388805) Cambridge Univ. Veiled Reality: An Analysis of Quantum Mechanical Concepts. • Arthur Fine.nl/ktn/Wim/muynck. • " The Role of Decoherence in Quantum Mechanics (http://plato. Knopf. • Roger Penrose. • Ghirardi. • --------. • --------. The Emperor's New Mind. • --------.stanford.cambridge. ISBN 0-19-853978-9. • Bernard d'Espagnat. Especially chpt. 84 External links • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: • " Bohmian mechanics (http://plato. For general readers.edu/entries/qm-relational/)" by Federico Laudisa and Carlo Rovelli. "Nine formulations of quantum mechanics". Oxford Univ. Information. ISBN 0-8133-4087-X. Oxford Univ. The Fabric of Reality. empiricist interpretations. ISBN 978-3-540-92127-1.edu/entries/qm-everett/ )" by Jeffrey Barrett.stanford. (http://www. • " Everett's Relative State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics (http://plato.com/physics/quantum+physics/book/978-3-540-92127-1) Springer. ISBN 0-226-24948-4. arXiv:quant-ph/0012089 [quant-ph]. 1976. • " Collapse Theories. "Bibliographic guide to the foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum information". 6. ISBN 0-521-38880-5. Princeton Univ. • Roland Omnes. • --------. de Muynck. • Styer. Daniel F. of Chicago Press. • " Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http://plato. The Shaky Game: Einstein Realism and the Quantum Theory.stanford.stanford.stanford.stanford. Press. American Journal of Physics 70 (3): 288–297.stanford. • David Deutsch. Shadows of the Mind. Addison Wesley. 1983.stanford. Westview Press.htm#quantum) of the realist vs. 1986. and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. ISBN 0-691-03669-1. New York: Alfred A. Understanding Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed. Press. Press. 1989. 1999.Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics • Adan Cabello (15 November 2004). David Mermin (1990) Boojums all the way through. • --------. Press.stanford. against oversimplified view of the measurement process. The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.phys. Conceptual Foundation of Quantum Mechanics. • " Quantum mechanics (http://plato. • " Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http://plato. Science and its Conceptual Foundations. • Willem M. . Princeton Univ.edu/entries/qm-copenhagen/)" by Jan Faye.

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

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

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

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

wave-function collapse is interpreted subjectively. 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. am convinced that He (God) does not throw dice. in response.e. Physics Today. at any rate. or predetermine. which is finite. page 31. The Copenhagen Interpretation gives special status to measurement processes without clearly defining them or explaining their peculiar effects..e. i. he knows the spin of the other. in that speed of light limitations applies to all information."[23] and "Do you really think the moon isn't there if you aren't looking at it?"[24] exemplify this. said: . Experimental tests of Bell's inequality using particles have supported the quantum mechanical prediction of entanglement. it seems as if the Copenhagen interpretation is inconsistent with special relativity. However." countering the view of Alexandrov that (in Heisenberg's paraphrase) "the wave function in configuration space characterizes the objective state of the electron. since they imply that the laws of physics allow for influences to propagate at speeds greater than the speed of light. But.. 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. it should be noted that is a somewhat spurious argument." Heisenberg says. The moment one observer measures the spin of one particle. In his article entitled "Criticism and Counterproposals to the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory. Copenhagenists claim that interpretations of quantum mechanics where the wave function is regarded as real have problems with EPR-type effects. Steven Weinberg in "Einstein's Mistakes". processes in space and time.The Copenhagen Interpretation that the effect is instantaneous so that something that happens in one galaxy could cause an instantaneous change in another galaxy. and it does not matter whether the observer is an apparatus or a human being.[22] Many physicists and philosophers have objected to the Copenhagen interpretation. The observer has. The Copenhagen Interpretation: Assuming wave functions are not real. 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. don't tell God what to do". Bohr. This is totally spurious. and therefore cannot manipulate what the other observer measures." is absolutely necessary here and cannot be omitted from the interpretation of quantum theory. what he observes. proponents of Many worlds[19] and the Transactional interpretation[20][21] (TI) maintain that Copenhagen interpretation is fatally non-local. November 2005. another observer cannot benefit until the results of that measurement have been relayed to him. no information-bearing signal or entity can travel at or faster than the speed of light. 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). the transition from the "possible" to the "actual. i. Einstein's comments "I. at less than or equal to the speed of light. 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. only the function of registering decisions. rather. according to Einstein's theory of special relativity. Thus. However. 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. not to what can or can not be subsequently done with the information. but the registration. However. said "Einstein. 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.

Many physicists have subscribed to the instrumentalist interpretation of quantum mechanics. Philosophy of Science: 669–682.1103/PhysRev. it defines an "observer" merely as that which collapses the wave function. I & II". which I cannot go into here. the Schrödinger equation. It is enough to say that neither Bohr nor Einstein had focused on the real problem with quantum mechanics. Although the Copenhagen interpretation is often confused with the idea that consciousness causes collapse. a state vector) that evolves in a perfectly deterministic way. Quantum physics & observed reality: a critical interpretation of quantum mechanics (http:/ / books. where the quantum system is the universe. but not for the reason Einstein thought. . pointed out probability is a measure of a human's information about the physical world. p.[30] Notes and references [1] Hermann Wimmel (1992).[26] from a Bayesian point of view.. But these rules are expressed in terms of a wave function (or. Quantum mechanics under the Copenhagen Interpretation interpreted probability as a physical phenomenon. Rechenberg. This is surely wrong: Physicists and their apparatus must be governed by the same quantum mechanical rules that govern everything else in the universe. Retrieved 9 May 2011. Don (2004). Physics and Philosophy. David (1952). JSTOR 10. and the so-called "retarded" or time-forward version[28] are both regarded as real and the transactional interpretation results. "Who invented the Copenhagen Interpretation? A study in mythology". The problem of thinking in terms of classical measurements of a quantum system becomes particularly acute in the field of quantum cosmology. [3] Howard. Bohr's version of quantum mechanics was deeply flawed. While this slogan is sometimes attributed to Paul Dirac[29] or Richard Feynman. ("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. Mehra and H. p. Princeton University Press. doi:10. T.1086/425941. Springer-Verlag. [4] Bohm. [2] J.[22] If the wave function is regarded as ontologically real.85. but not for single particles. Kragh. 1999.166. Bibcode 1952PhRv. so they have to be accepted. [5] H. to observers and their apparatus. For an atemporal interpretation that “makes no attempt to give a ‘local’ account on the level of determinate particles”. a position often equated with eschewing all interpretation. The Copenhagen interpretation describes what happens when an observer makes a measurement.166B. but it leaves out an irony. 90 Alternatives The Ensemble interpretation is similar. 210. an objective collapse theory is obtained.[27] the conjugate wavefunction.[25] E. com/ books?id=-4sJ_fgyZJEC& pg=PA2). it offers an interpretation of the wave function.. 2001.The Copenhagen Interpretation All this familiar story is true. 1958 . Harper. it is in fact due to David Mermin. It is summarized by the sentence "Shut up and calculate!". Quantum generations: A History of Physics in the Twentieth Century.") [6] Werner Heisenberg. A similar view is adopted in Quantum Information Theories.85.[27] Dropping the principle that the wave function is a complete description results in a hidden variable theory. a many worlds theory results. 2. 271. ("advanced" or time-reversed) of the relativistic version of the wavefunction. The historical development of quantum theory. google. But this leaves the task of explaining them by applying the deterministic equation for the evolution of the wave function. more precisely. but the observer and the act of measurement are themselves treated classically. The consistent histories interpretation advertises itself as "Copenhagen done right".. Jaynes. which is what Jaynes called a Mind Projection Fallacy. World Scientific. 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. and collapse is entirely rejected. Physical Review 85 (2): 166–193. The Copenhagen rules clearly work. ISBN 978-981-02-1010-6. p. If wave function collapse is regarded as ontologically real as well. "A Suggested Interpretation of the Quantum Theory in Terms of "Hidden" Variables.

E. Asher Peres (2002).. doi:10.from Copenhagen to the present day". Fortsch. For example. Petschinka. the problem arises to come up with an interpretation of quantum theory that contains no classical realms on the fundamental level. Physical Review Letters 88 (10): 100404. 907.0.CO. Lucia. Hackermüller.1002/(SICI)1521-3978(199811)46:6/8<855::AID-PROP855>3. htm#local) [20] Relativity and Causality in the Transactional Interpretation (http:/ / www.2. edu/ entries/ qm-copenhagen/ ) [8] "There seems to be at least as many different Copenhagen interpretations as people who use that term. 124. Stefan. 1958. Physics Today 57 (5). [23] "God does not throw dice" quote [24] A. "On the interpretation of quantum theory . "Diffraction of Complex Molecules by Structures Made of Light". p. Einstein and the quantum theory. the word anschaulich (intuitive) is contained in the title of Heisenberg’s paper. J. hep.10078P. doi:10. Björn. upenn. [26] Jaynes.1103/PhysRevLett. Vol41. html#2. [18] Brezger. com/ manworld. In fact. arXiv:quant-ph/0210152 [quant-ph].100404. gov/ ~skands/ slides/ A-Quantum-Journey. Physics and Philosophy. 9) [21] Collapse and Nonlocality in the Transactional Interpretation (http:/ / www. stanford. 863-914 (1979). arXiv:quant-ph/0210152 [quant-ph]. [12] "the “collapse” or “reduction” of the wave function. arXiv:quant-ph/0210152 [quant-ph]. Claus Kiefer (2002).160401. npl. arXiv:quant-ph/0210152 [quant-ph]. aip. Bibcode 2002PhRvL. Maximum Entropy and Bayesian Methods: 7. Bibcode 1998ForPh.]Reduction of the wave packet as a formal rule without dynamical significance". Reviews of Modern Physics 51. doi:10. History Philos. David Mermin. Harper.May2010 [28] The non-relativistic Schrödinger equation does not admit advanced solutions. Markus. arXiv:quant-ph/0110012. Zeilinger. "Popper's experiment and the Copenhagen interpretation". edu/ npl/ int_rep/ tiqm/ TI_33. Uttenthaler.from Copenhagen to the present day". 91 .. in two classic articles on the foundations of quantum mechanics. one can identify the following ingredients as being characteristic for the Copenhagen interpretation(s)[. npl. Claus Kiefer (2002).".. [13] Max Tegmark (1998). edu/ npl/ int_rep/ tiqm/ TI_20. T.46. His move from positivism to operationalism can be clearly understood as a reaction on the advent of Schrödinger’s wave mechanics which. Arndt. [10] John Cramer on the Copenhagen Interpretation (http:/ / www. Iss. probably there are more. Q for Quantum [16] Erwin Schrödinger. RE Kastner.88. "On the interpretation of quantum theory . [9] "Historically. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. p. npl. arXiv:quant-ph/9910078. Stud. Arndt. "On the interpretation of quantum theory . Pais.The Copenhagen Interpretation [7] In fact Bohr and Heisenberg never totally agreed on how to understand the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. ps) [15] Gribbin. (1989).. [25] 'Since the Universe naturally contains all of its observers.'. Physical Review Letters 87 (16). Anton (2001). hedweb. Björn. edu/ etj/ articles/ cmystery. pdf). wustl. in an article in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. arXiv:quant-ph/0202158.87. 7) [22] Werner Heisenberg. "The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: Many Worlds or Many Words?". washington. "Clearing up Mysteries--The Original Goal" (http:/ / bayes. . shtml). washington.. washington. PMID 11909334. [14] The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http:/ / www. .88j0404B. Markus. Julia. 323-38. 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". fnal. arXiv:quant-ph/9709032. "Matter-Wave Interferometer for Large Molecules". [29] http:/ / home. 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. org/ journals/ doc/ PHTOAD-ft/ vol_57/ iss_5/ 10_1. "On the interpretation of quantum theory . 0) [11] "To summarize. [27] The Quantum Liar Experiment.from Copenhagen to the present day". [17] Nairz. Bibcode 2001PhRvL. Ballentine (1970) and Stapp(1972) give diametrically opposite definitions of 'Copenhagen.from Copenhagen to the present day". html#3. ppt [30] N. Brezger. Claus Kiefer (2002).1103/PhysRevLett. from Claus Kiefer (2002). Bibcode 1999quant.855T. getting rid of all intuitive (anschauliche) concepts such as particle trajectories in space-time. html#3. Zeilinger. 46 (6–8): 855–862. "Could Feynman Have Said This?" (http:/ / scitation. Heisenberg wanted to base quantum theory solely on observable quantities such as the intensity of spectral lines. Olaf. [19] Michael price on nonlocality in Many Worlds (http:/ / www. Bohr once distanced himself from what he considered to be Heisenberg's more subjective interpretation Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http:/ / plato. edu/ ~max/ everett. in particular due to its intuitiveness..2-Q.'".87p0401N. 137. Anton (2002). became soon very popular among physicists.ph. Modern Physics 33 (23): 10078.Phys. edu/ npl/ int_rep/ tiqm/ TI_38.

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

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

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

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

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

smothered by the formalism. the past). In his view. an "element of reality". The authors claim that given a specific experiment. 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. would have preferentially selected a single point to the exclusion of all others. in multiple reproducible physics experiments. Quantum mechanics was developed with the aim of describing atoms and explaining the observed spectral lines in a measurement apparatus. it has yet to be seriously challenged. in the sense that each belongs to a certain point in spacetime. Quantum theory and quantum mechanics do not provide single measurement outcomes in a deterministic way. in which the outcome of a measurement is known before the measurement takes place. 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. quantum theory has proved to be successful in describing accurately the physical reality of the mesoscopic and microscopic world. These claims are founded on assumptions about nature that constitute what is now known as local realism. the essential thing was. Those electrons. there must exist something in the real world. based on discussions at the Institute for Advanced Study with Einstein and Rosen. are all individually described by wave fronts that expand in all directions from the point of entry. "it did not come out as well as I had originally wanted. something which was not expressly claimed in the original paper.e. Though the EPR paper has often been taken as an exact expression of Einstein's views. so to speak. According to the understanding of quantum mechanics known as the Copenhagen interpretation. Each element may only be influenced by events which are located in the backward light cone of its point in spacetime (i. measurement causes an instantaneous collapse of the wave function describing the quantum system into an eigenstate of the observable state that was measured. The 1935 EPR paper [7] condensed the philosophical discussion into a physical argument. however.[9] .EPR Paradox 97 Quantum mechanics and its interpretation Since the early twentieth century. Einstein characterized this imagined collapse in the 1927 Solvay Conference. rather. however. Philosophical interpretations of quantum phenomena. A wave as it is understood in everyday life would paint a large area of the detection screen. it was primarily authored by Podolsky.[4] Einstein's opposition Einstein was the most prominent opponent of the Copenhagen interpretation. quantum mechanics is incomplete. The electrons will contact the spherical detection screen in a widely dispersed manner. Although disputed. or. Einstein later expressed to Erwin Schrödinger that. 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. Commenting on this. 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. They postulate that these elements of reality are local. that determines the measurement outcome. Einstein asks what makes each electron's wave front "collapse" at its respective location. in other words."[8] In 1936 Einstein presented an individual account of his local realist ideas. 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).

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

the system collapses into state IIa. According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Whatever axis their spins are measured along. However. of course. they are always found to be opposite. so its x-spin is uncertain. when Bob measures the x-spin of his positron. since prior to this he hasn't disturbed his particle at all. electrons to Alice (left) and positrons to Bob (right). Alice's electron has spin −x and Bob's positron has spin +x. Therefore. cannot be explained by any hidden variable theory. This is demonstrated in Bell's theorem. Now. Suppose Alice measures the z-spin and obtains +z. and hence B's z-spin calculated. he would get an answer with absolute certainty. There is. Here is the crux of the matter. 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. We'll call these states Ia and IIa. so that the quantum state collapses into state I. But Bob's positron has a 50% probability of producing +x and a 50% probability of −x—so the outcome is not certain. This can only be explained if the particles are linked in some way. and Bob will get +x. if Alice gets −z. the x-spin and z-spin are "incompatible observables". You might imagine that. Similarly. She can obtain one of two possible outcomes: +z or −z. once the electron's spin has been measured about the x-axis (and the positron's spin about the x-axis deduced). or (b) it has a definite spin already. there is 100% probability that he will obtain −z. Bob will get +z. 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. Suppose she gets +z. if Alice measures +x. Alice now measures the spin along the z-axis. In state Ia. as if (a) it knows that the measurement has taken place.[13] In quantum mechanics. when the system is in state I. In state IIa. and becomes its opposite about that one axis—an "entanglement" argument. and Bob will get −x. who can perform spin measurements. . The quantum state determines the probable outcomes of any measurement performed on the system. If Alice measures −x. Bob's positron "knows" that Alice's electron has been measured. about a second axis—a hidden variable. performed with electron–positron pairs. which have been confirmed by experiment. the quantum state of the system collapses into state I. if the two particles have their spins measured about different axes. if Bob subsequently measures spin along the z-axis. Bob's x-spin measurement will have a 50% probability of producing +x and a 50% probability of -x. the system 'collapses' into state Ia. it turns out that the predictions of Quantum Mechanics. meaning there is a Heisenberg uncertainty principle operating between them: a quantum state cannot possess a definite value for both of these variables. Moreover. In this case. It is impossible to predict which outcome will appear until Bob actually performs the measurement. Alice's electron has spin +x and Bob's positron has spin −x. and its z-spin detected. Bob measures the x-spin.EPR Paradox 99 The EPR thought experiment. instead of measuring the z-spin as well. Suppose that Alice and Bob had decided to measure spin along the x-axis. According to quantum mechanics. A source (center) sends particles toward two observers. the positron's spin about the y-axis will no longer be certain.

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 conclusion they drew was that quantum mechanics is not a complete theory.e. there is a 50% probability of getting "+" and 50% of getting "−". faster than light. Incidentally. Einstein. in quantum field theory "locality" means that quantum fields at different points of space do not interact with one another. completely at random. However. because polarized photons are easy to prepare and measure. in the one measurement he is allowed to make. Furthermore. 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. . and look at the statistical distribution of the results. quantum field theories that are "local" in this sense appear to violate the principle of locality as defined by EPR. as it seems to be a consequence of special relativity. 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. neither the EPR experiment nor any quantum experiment demonstrates that faster-than-light signaling is possible. this is the "paradox". At first sight. In recent years. Podolsky and Rosen were unwilling to abandon it. it is fundamentally impossible for her to influence what result she gets. The EPR paper used momentum for the observable. known as the "no cloning theorem". according to quantum mechanics. whether real or apparent. but they nevertheless do not violate locality in a more general sense. the principle of locality appeals powerfully to physical intuition. 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. However. perform a spin measurement on each. It is generally believed that any theory which violates causality would also be internally inconsistent. It turns out that the usual rules for combining quantum mechanical and classical descriptions violate the principle of locality without violating causality. this appears to be a reasonable assumption to make. Therefore. as outlined in the example above. how does Bob's positron know which way to point if Alice decides (based on information unavailable to Bob) to measure x (i. she has a 50% probability of obtaining "+" and 50% probability of obtaining "−". so there must be action at a distance (entanglement) or the positron must know more than it's supposed to (hidden variables). For example. The word locality has several different meanings in physics.e. Therefore. and Einstein. Bell used spin as his example.EPR Paradox Put another way. but to say that measuring the first particle's momentum affects the uncertainty in the position of the other is another thing altogether. Experimental realisations of the EPR scenario often use photon polarization. doubt has been cast on EPR's conclusion due to developments in understanding locality and especially quantum decoherence. it follows that neither does the additional effect of wavefunction collapse.e. Whichever axis she uses. which makes it impossible for him to make a million copies of the electron he receives. 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. Causality is preserved because there is no way for Alice to transmit messages (i. but many types of physical quantities—referred to as "observables" in quantum mechanics—can be used. Bob is only able to perform his measurement once: there is a fundamental property of quantum mechanics. Einstein derided the quantum mechanical predictions as "spooky action at a distance". regardless of whether or not his axis is aligned with Alice's. to be the opposite of Alice's electron's spin about the x-axis) and also how to point if Alice measures z. which states that information can never be transmitted faster than the speed of light without violating causality. Since the underlying behaviour doesn't violate local causality. and thus useless. however. i. information) to Bob by manipulating her measurement axis. Wavefunction collapse can be viewed as an epiphenomenon of quantum decoherence.

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

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

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

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

p. Cambridge University Press. Nature 398 (6724): 189–90. 2009. p. Retrieved 2010-09-08. pages 144–145. Quantum. Quantum. pp. J.. No. pdf). Teresi. 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. J. ISBN 0-7045-3071-6. on page 147. 2nd ed. 2009. J (1984). stanford. aps. Quantum Theory (http:/ / books.777. com/ nature/ journal/ v409/ n6822/ full/ 409791a0.. (1951). "Bell’s inequality test: more ideal than ever" (http:/ / www-ece. The relevant section appears on pp. ISBN 0-201-53929-2. F. Oxford University Press. Springer. pdf). [11] Kumar. Volume 14 By David Robert Bates (http:/ / books. (1993). 1323—27 of Journal of the Franklin Institute.47. Bibcode 1935PhRv. edu/ ~kono/ ELEC565/ Aspect_Nature. R." British Journal for the History of Science 27 (1994): 129–152. 187 to 189. google.398.. [9] See "Physics and Reality.777E. org/ abstract/ PR/ v47/ i10/ p777_1 [8] Quoted in Kaiser. 221. and the meaning of quantum theory. The English translation can be downloaded. wustl. [15] Aspect A (1999-03-18). Englewood Cliffs. (1994) Modern Quantum Mechanics. html [22] http:/ / arxiv. M. Icon Books. Quantum. The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer. "[Experiments in the early 1980s] have conclusively shown that quantum mechanics is indeed orrect. aps. Univ. and Chapter 22 Section 19. Sakurai. D.1038/18296.1103/PhysRev. Princeton. [16] http:/ / www-ece. from: www. Bibcode 1999Natur. [10] Kumar. edu/ etj/ articles/ cmystery. What is the Question? Houghton Mifflin Company.. A. philosophy. ISBN 0-521-36869-3. New York: Plenum Press. and that the EPR argument had relied upon incorrect assumptions. [13] George Greenstein and Arthur G. M.189A.. [4] http:/ / plato. David. com/ David/ EPR. In Search of Schrödinger's cat. org/ abstract/ PRL/ v48/ i5/ p291_1 [20] http:/ / prola.380. • J. Icon Books. of Chicago Press. drchinese. org/ abstract/ PRL/ v71/ i11/ p1665_1 [21] http:/ / www. 2009. pdf [17] http:/ / www. J. The Quantum Challenge. • John Gribbin (1984) In Search of Schrödinger's Cat. doi:10. page 29.edu/Physics and Reality-Albert Einstein. edu/ entries/ qt-epr/ [5] von Neumann. google. • Arthur Fine (1996) The Shaky Game: Einstein. (1932/1955). pdf [18] http:/ / www.. drchinese. N Rosen (1935-05-15). L.. Addison-Wesley: 174–187. Icon Books. 371–379. "Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality be Considered Complete?". . Black Swan. and Chapter 5 section 3. (1988) Quantum Mechanics Versus Local Realism: The Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen Paradox. [12] Kumar. Physical Review 47 (10): 777–780. "Bringing the human actors back on stage: the personal context of the Einstein–Bohr debate. cited by Baggott. ISBN 978-0-552-12555-0 . p. Berlin. [6] Bohm. with the Jean Piccard translation starting p. p. aps.. J.pdf. ISBN 0-19-852927-9. with different pagination. Princeton University Press. 223–232. B Podolsky.47. org/ abs/ quant-ph/ 0604064 105 Books • John S.kostic. • Selleri. Bell (1987) Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics.. edu/ ~kono/ ELEC565/ Aspect_Nature. [2] Advances in atomic and molecular physics. Oxford." [14] Clearing up mysteries: the original goal (http:/ / bayes. 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). rice. pdf [19] http:/ / prola. [7] http:/ / prola. 313–347. Zajonc. com. nature. Realism and the Quantum Theory. rice. pages 21. 305–6. ISBN 0-306-42739-7 • Leon Lederman. Black Swan. (2004) Beyond Measure: Modern physics. com/ David/ Bell_Compact. doi:10. 305.niu. In Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik.T. com. .EPR Paradox Notes [1] Einstein.." originally published in vol. 306. D.J. translated into English by Beyer. Prentice-Hall. M.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus and therefore Remark 1 The correlation inequality (1) still holds if the variables .Bell's Theorem 1. Then at least one of is 0. Bell's inequality. The CHSH inequality (1) holds under the hidden variables assumptions above. 2. For simplicity. we remove this assumption in Remark 1 below. 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 relevant idea is that each summand in the above average is bounded above by 2. without loss of generality. The values observed by Alice or Bob are functions of the local detector settings and the hidden parameter only. Indeed. we can assume that In that case . are allowed to take on any real values between −1 and +1. 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. Let . Thus • Value observed by Alice with detector setting is • Value observed by Bob with detector setting is Implicit in assumption 1) above. There is a probability space and the observed outcomes by both Alice and Bob result by random sampling of 112 the parameter .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

de/ rzt/ rzt/ it/ QM/ cat. Anderson AJ (2006). ensmp. Retrieved 2010-09-10. e. The issue here is. pp 36–44 (1991) [11] Rovelli. . stanford. ensmp. The Metaphysics Research Lab Center for the Study of Language and Information. Zurek.g. 44. fr/ aflb/ AFLB-Web/ en-annales-index. Carlo (1996). e. J (2008-01-24). [3] Schroedinger: "The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics" (http:/ / www. or only when the second observer is informed of the first observer's observations? In another extension. org/ abstract/ PR/ v47/ i10/ p777_1) [2] Schrödinger. ISBN 978-981-02-1010-6.35. org/ abs/ quant-ph/ 0105127) [10] Wojciech H. All the superconducting electrons in the SQUID flow both ways around the loop at once when they are in the Schrödinger’s cat state. 715 or (http:/ / arxiv. html#sect5) [4] Pay link to Einstein letter (http:/ / www. Reviews of Modern Physics 2003. aps. fr/ aflb/ AFLB-311/ aflb311m387.[18][19] References [1] EPR article: Can Quantum-Mechanical Description Reality Be Considered Complete? (http:/ / prola. com/ books?id=-4sJ_fgyZJEC& pg=PA2).[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.".[12] These experiments do not show that a cat-sized object can be superposed. • A "cat state" has been achieved with photons. [9] Wojciech H. [8] Penrose. even when cooled to near absolute zero. tu-harburg.g. einselection. archive. ensmp.1007/BF02302261.[13] • A beryllium ion has been trapped in a superposed state. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Naturwissenschaften. "The death of Schroedinger's Cat and of consciousness-based wave-function collapse" (http:/ / web.. htm) 31 (1): 45–52. doi:10. Decoherence. pdf) on 2006-11-30. fr/ aflb/ AFLB-311/ aflb311m387. . google. superpositions of relatively large (by the standards of quantum physics) objects have been performed.[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. Retrieved 2010-09-19. Bibcode 1996IJTP. pdf). However. although this is a controversial viewpoint. [7] Carpenter RHS. 2. arXiv:quant-ph/9609002. The resonator comprises about 10 trillion atoms. . Physics Today. . org/ web/ 20080618174026/ http:/ / www. In many cases the state is short-lived. edu/ entries/ qm-copenhagen/ ). Annales de la Fondation Louis de Broglie (http:/ / web.. 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. "Decoherence and the transition from quantum to classical". does the wave function "collapse" when the first observer opens the box. successful experiments involving similar principles. p 807. and the machine proposed is not known to have been constructed.. Stanford University. and the quantum origins of the classical. [6] Faye. The Road to Reality. Quantum physics & observed reality: a critical interpretation of quantum mechanics (http:/ / books. "Die gegenwärtige Situation in der Quantenmechanik (The present situation in quantum mechanics)". org/ pss/ 687649) [5] Hermann Wimmel (1992).Schrödinger's Cat 125 Applications and tests The experiment as described is a purely theoretical one. 75. Superconducting electrons move en masse. but the known upper limit on "cat states" has been pushed upwards by them. Zurek. World Scientific. Retrieved 9 May 2011. jstor. R. archive. "Relational Quantum Mechanics".[16] • An experiment involving a flu virus has been proposed. "Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" (http:/ / plato. Erwin (November 1935). which can be placed into a superposition of vibrating and non vibrating states. org/ web/ 20061130173850/ http:/ / www. 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. Archived from the original (http:/ / www.1637R. International Journal of Theoretical Physics 35: 1637–1678.[15] • A piezoelectric "tuning fork" has been constructed. p.

pdf) [15] Physics World: Schrodinger's cat comes into view (http:/ / physicsworld.com/story/viennese-meow/) • The story of Schroedinger's cat (an epic poem) (http://www.com/) • Erwin Schrödinger. scientificamerican.com/siftpodcast/schr-dingers-cat) produced by Sift (http:// siftpodcast.de/rzt/ rzt/it/QM/cat. com/ questions/ 3309/ what-is-the-worlds-biggest-schrodinger-cat) [13] Schr%C%B6dingers Cat Now Made of Light (http:/ / www. Lett. Lawrence M. com/ channel/ fundamentals/ mg19626313. arXiv:0711.com/watch?v=CrxqTtiWxs4) .com/classics/a1_122. (US: APS) 100 (17). Bibcode 2008PhRvL.100.171301..html) • The EPR paper (http://prola.tu-harburg.short story) (http://primastoria.org/abstract/PR/v47/i10/p777_1) • Viennese Meow (the cat's perspective . html). 800-has-observing-the-universe-hastened-its-end. cfm?id=quantum-microphone) [17] How to Create Quantum Superpositions of Living Things (http:/ / www. 126 External links • Schrödinger's cat in audio (http://soundcloud. et. James Dent (April 30. UK (http://physicsworld. "Has observing the universe hastened its end?" (http:/ / www.1103/PhysRevLett. 2000) New life for Schrödinger's cat. technologyreview. Monroe. [19] Krauss. New Scientist. .100q1301K. com/ blog/ arxiv/ 24101/ )> [18] Chown. The Straight Dope • Tom Leggett (Aug. Marcus (2007-11-22).straightdope. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 2008). "Late Time Behavior of False Vacuum Decay: Possible Implications for Cosmology and Metastable Inflating States".com/solutions/ experiments/schrodingerscat/) More diagrams and an information creation explanation. 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. science20. stackexchange.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.html). com/ news_articles/ schrÃ¶dingers_cat_now_made_light) [14] C. al. newscientist.1821.informationphilosopher. Phys. com/ article. Physics World. com/ seminar/ seminar-topics/ SchrodingerCatAtom. • A YouTube video explaining Schrödingers cat (http://www.youtube.aps.Schrödinger's Cat [12] What is the World's Biggest Schrodinger Cat? (http:/ / physics. A “Schrodinger Cat” Superposition State of an Atom (http:/ / www. Rev. quantumsciencephilippines. The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics (Translation) (http://www. 1. doi:10.

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

and H.. 76 (4): 1267–1305. P.[5] Quantum decoherence was proposed in the context of the many-worlds interpretation. ISBN 0-19-820428-0. Belavkin (1994). but it has also become an important part of some modern updates of the Copenhagen interpretation based on consistent histories. doi:10. Annals of Physics. Pages 112-149 (http:/ / www. [5] H D Zeh (http:/ / arxiv. Rev. but it explains the conversion of the quantum probabilities (that exhibit interference effects) to the ordinary classical probabilities. H. Springer-Verlag. S.). Vol. Kiefer. aip. Stamatescu (editors) ed. org/ fulltext?format=application/ pdf& identifier=oai:arXiv. "Decoherence. see subsection "Contra quantum mechanics" [3] Wojciech Hubert Zurek Decoherence. org/ journals/ doc/ PHTOAD-ft/ vol_58/ iss_11/ 31_1.. for example. the measurement problem. Kupsch. P. D. Zeh.. org:quant-ph/ 0506199) Further reading • R. July 2003 (http:/ / hubcap. Zurek. arXiv:quant-ph/0512208. 223.. D. ISBN 3-540-00390-8. bits and jumps: uncertainties. Erich Joos. google.1007/BF02054669. B 59. January 2006. doi:10.shantena. See. pdf) [4] Joos. Zee On the origin of probability in quantum mechanics (2006) (http://duende. Mod. 128 References and notes [1] Steven Weinberg (1998). Phys. [many papers by Bohr insist upon] the fundamental role of classical concepts. Issue 1. Zeh. Hsu and A. … As it is well known. O. Oxford University Press.1016/S0079-6727(00)00011-2.).76.1103/RevModPhys.1267.[8] The present situation is slowly clarifying. and the quantum origins of the classical Reviews of Modern Physics. The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century (http:/ / books. decoherence.The Measurement Problem boundary between the quantum microworld and the world where the classical intuition is applicable. Buniy. Quantum decoherence does not describe the actual process of the wavefunction collapse. shtml) in Physics Today (2005). 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. C. Z.1267S. Decoherence and the Appearance of a Classical World in Quantum Theory (http:/ / books.pdf) External links • The Quantum Measurement Problem (http://www. v75p715y03. Domenico Giulini. [9] M Schlosshauer: Experimental motivation and empirical consistency in minimal no-collapse quantum mechanics. doi:10.76. The experimental evidence for superpositions of macroscopically distinct states on increasingly large length scales counters such a dictum. edu/ ~daw/ D_PHYS455/ RevModPhys.. clemson. (2003). Progress in Quantum Electronics 25 (1): 1–53.M1) (2nd Edition. com/ ?id=uYTW5ZWrwWAC& pg=PA22& dq=observer+ measurement+ "S+ Weinberg") (Michael Howard & William Roger Louis. 26.uoregon. editors ed. "The emergence of classical properties through interaction with the environment" (1985). [7] V. org/ abs/ quant-ph/ 9506020v3) in E. citebase. Joos . Foundations of Physics 24 (5): 685–714. edu/~hsu/talks/probability_qm. I.com/en/physicslectures/quantummeasurement) Two presentations: a non-technical and a more technical presentation.[6] [7] .[3] Zeh[5] and Schlosshauer.. [6] V. . J. [2] Steven Weinberg: Einstein's Mistakes (http:/ / scitation. Bibcode 2004RvMP. arXiv:quant-ph/0512188. p. Volume 321. Phys. google. Belavkin (2001). einselection. [8] Maximilian Schlosshauer (2005). 75. Chapter 2. Only the physical interactions between systems then determine a particular decomposition into classical states from the view of each particular system. arXiv:quant-ph/0312059. 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. measurements and filtering". "Quantum noise. . com/ ?id=6eTHcxeNxdUC& printsec=frontcover& dq=isbn=3540613943#PPT21. . and interpretations of quantum mechanics". "Nondemolition principle of quantum measurement theory". E.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is only possible to transform quantum information between quantum systems of sufficient information capacity. This is because it is always possible to efficiently transform information from one representation to another.The CQC. Qwiki [7] . "Quantum Information Theory. ON Canada. The existence of Bell correlations between quantum systems cannot be converted into classical information. for example. The example of classical analog information shows that quantum information processing schemes must necessarily be tolerant against noise. As a consequence of the noisy-channel coding theorem. A two-level quantum system can carry at most one qubit. 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. Charles H. Vol 44. It was a big breakthrough for the theory of quantum information. Quantiki [8] . to write down on paper the previously unknown information contained in the polarisation of a photon.A quantum physics wiki devoted to providing technical resources for practicing quantum information scientists. otherwise there would not be a chance for them to be useful. for this reason. However. in the same sense a classical binary digit can carry at most one classical bit. is a group of researchers studying quantum information. pp 2724–2742. quantum mechanics does not allow us to read out the state of a quantum system with arbitrary precision. It is very difficult to protect the remaining finite information content of analog information carriers against noise. Bennett and Peter W. this is not the case for quantum information: it is not possible. In general. be measured in terms of the minimum number n of two-level systems which are needed to store the message: consists of n qubits. In its original theoretical sense. 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] . the term qubit is thus a measure for the amount of information. when quantum error correction codes and fault-tolerant quantum computation schemes were discovered. part of Cambridge University. Quantum Information Group [6] The quantum information research group at the University of Nottingham. based in Waterloo. • Quantum information can be negative [12] . The information content of a message can. and is a useful portal for those interested in this field.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.The Institute for Quantum Computing. Shor. Oct 1998 • Institute for Quantum Computing [9] .A wiki portal for quantum information with introductory tutorials." IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. is a research institute working in conjunction with the University of Waterloo [10] and Perimeter Institute [11] on the subject of Quantum Information. noise limits the information content of an analog information carrier to be finite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abraham Pais. uk/ user/ tong/ qft.. ac. ac. Bruce A. Müller.). (2000). N. Wiley.). Schulte-Frohlinde. ISBN 3-540-67672-4. 61. References Further reading General readers: • Weinberg.. Press. Electrodynamics. Ynduráin.). Schroeder. and Gravitation (http://users. cam. I to III. Mark. ISBN 0-201-11749-5.400. H.). • Feynman.html#B6). html). damtp. Princeton University Press. damtp. S.de/~kleinert/public_html/kleiner_reb11/psfiles/mvf. R.. Reviews of Modern Physics 21 (3): 400–406. 19.21. QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter.org/us/catalogue/catalogue. An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory. Press. Princeton University Press. html). Springer. Critical Properties of φ4-Theories (http://users. Relativistic Quantum Mechanics and Introduction to Field Theory (1st ed.Quantum Field Theory 158 Notes [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] People.fu-berlin. (1980). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. World Scientific. (2000). World Scientific.. Shaw. McGraw-Hill.1103/RevModPhys..). Zee. p.whitman.P. D. • Feynman. (2004) Deep Down Things. • • • • • • • Advanced texts: . (2001) [1964]. Mark (2007) Quantum Field Theory. Feynman's method is now part of the standard methods for physicists. • Schumm.D. Chpt.H. John Wiley & Sons. (2006) [1985]. Quantum Field Theory (1st ed. Loudon. (1998). whitman. Mandl. "Localized states for elementary particles". E. D. Ryder. The Character of Physical Law. C. Gauge Field Theories. The Quantum Theory of Light. B. ISBN 0-07-032071-3. (1995). physik. (http://www. edu/ ~beckmk/ QM/ grangier/ Thorn_ajp. Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell (2nd ed. ISBN 0-521-33859-X. G.P. Mark. Bibcode 1949RvMP. Anthony. Kane. Quantum Field Theory (1st ed.edu (http:/ / people. Modern Elementary Particle Physics. uk/ user/ tong/ qft. (1982). (1987).-B. T. • Gribbin. P.. J. (1996). M. ISBN 0-691-01019-6. 4.physik. 25–6. Benjamin-Cummings. Q is for Quantum: Particle Physics from A to Z. L. asp?isbn=0521864496) Cambridge Univ. Springer. UK.de/~kleinert/re. [9] Newton. Quantum Field Theory. Quantum Field Theory. Quantum Field Theory. Westview Press. ISBN 0-297-81752-3. ISBN 0-201-50397-2. H.cambridge. Srednicki. F. ISBN 0-8053-0983-7.H. 3. Kleinert. Lectures on Quantum Field Theory (http:/ / www. Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell. Pais recounts how his astonishment at the rapidity with which Feynman could calculate using his method. Anthony. 2000. pp. ISBN 0-262-56003-8. ISBN 978-981-279-170-2. Cambridge University Press. Introductory texts: • • • • • • • Bogoliubov. Peskin. Greiner.. Quantum Field Theory. Frontiers in Physics (2nd ed.P.. Srednicki. Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell (2nd ed. Introduction. (2008). pdf) David Tong. Gauge Theory of Weak Interactions.L. doi:10. Verena (2001).21. F. ISBN 0-691-12575-9. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Zee. MIT Press. Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World ISBN 0-19-851997-4. Frampton. (1949). fu-berlin. Kleinert. R. Zuber. Multivalued Fields in Condensed Matter. p. A. W. Wigner. Oxford University Press. (2003). ISBN 978-3-540-60453-2. ISBN 981-02-4658-7. (1985). chapter 1. J. (1993).. Itzykson. David Tong. Srednicki.).400N. ISBN 0-19-851155-8. cam. Shirkov. Johns Hopkins Univ. R (1983). Perseus Books.pdf). Vols. Zee. Lectures on Quantum Field Theory (http:/ / www. ISBN 00471941867 . Quantum Fields. G.J. p.

although this view developed to the superstring theory. Logunov. Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind) believe that string theory is a step towards the correct fundamental description of nature. Mod.I. have criticized string theory for not providing novel experimental predictions at accessible energy scales. five superstring theories were developed that incorporated fermions and possessed other properties necessary for a theory of everything. 71. Part A. Todorov. General Principles of Quantum Field Theory. ed. Cambridge University Press.edu/entries/ quantum-field-theory/)". but rather 1-dimensional oscillating lines ("strings"). Warren..org/abs/hep-th/9803075)". 159 External links • Hazewinkel. the bosonic string. a self-contained mathematical model that describes all fundamental forces and forms of matter. an eleven-dimensional theory called M-theory is believed to encompass all of the previously distinct superstring theories.. Oksak.. J. Many theoretical physicists (among them Stephen Hawking. ISBN 978-1-55608-010-4 • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: " Quantum Field Theory (http://plato. 1–3. other physicists. Subsequent to this. • Weinberg. N. such as Feynman and Glashow. ISBN 978-0-7923-0540-8. String theory posits that the elementary particles (i. (http://insti. Since the mid-1990s. by Meinard Kuhlmann."[5] Nevertheless. Michiel.org/index.nl/~thooft/ lectures/basisqft. agrees with general insights in quantum gravity (such as the holographic principle and black hole thermodynamics). (1990).sunysb. It is a contender for a theory of everything (TOE). also available from arXiv:hep-th/9912205. • Frank Wilczek (1999) " Quantum field theory (http://arxiv. Fields. I. Reviews of Modern Physics 71: S83-S95. incorporated only bosons. A.pdf) by P. J. Edward Witten. Philosophy of Physics. in addition to the four known spacetime dimensions. Encyclopedia of Mathematics.. A.. Mulders String Theory String theory is an active research framework in particle physics that attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity.[6] . eds. php?title=p/q076300). The Quantum Theory of Fields. Kluwer Academic Publishers. (2001).Quantum Field Theory • Bogoliubov..phys. • Quantum Field Theory (http://www.html) A free text. in particular due to insights from dualities shown to relate the five theories.pdf)" in Butterfield. "Quantum field theory" (http://www.encyclopediaofmath.[1][2][3][4] According to Hawking in particular. S. 2005.edu/~siegel/errata. This is because string theory allows for the consistent combination of quantum field theory and general relativity. (1995). Elsevier: 661-730. The theory has its origins in an effort to understand the strong force.A. and because it has passed many non-trivial checks of its internal consistency.stanford. the dual resonance model (1969). Phys. The earliest string model. • Siegel.nl/~mulders/QFT-0. Springer.vu. Also doi=10.1103/Rev. which posits that a connection (a "supersymmetry") exists between bosons and fermions. electrons and quarks) within an atom are not 0-dimensional objects.uu. "M-theory is the only candidate for a complete theory of the universe.nat. String theories also require the existence of several extra dimensions to the universe that have been compactified into extremely small scales.T. and John Earman. Articles: • Gerard 't Hooft (2007) " The Conceptual Basis of Quantum Field Theory (http://www.e.physics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

for example an extremal black hole. 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. On the other hand. 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.. it lives on a spacetime identical to the boundary of the near-horizon gravitational theory). The gauge theory lives only on the D-brane itself. then its dual field theory will be asymptotically free. one of the directions in spacetime is the radial direction. i. a gravitational theory. since usually there is an event horizon around (or at) the gravitational source.[37] When particles are far away from this source.String Theory applies to various models. This latter region (close to the source) is termed the near-horizon limit. In the gravitational theory.e. 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. 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. so small radius in the gravitational theory translates to low energy scale in the gauge theory (i. This is known as the AdS/CFT correspondence. its coupling will grow weaker in high energies. the scale of the distance between quantum fluctuations in a quantum field theory is related (inversely) to the energy scale in this theory. also. they can still be described by closed strings.[33][34][35][36] a name often used for Gauge / gravity duality in general. . the IR regime of the field theory).e. going from the gravitational source and away (toward the bulk). As the particles approach the gravitational source. and the other close to the source — then the latter region can also be described by a gauge theory on D-branes. 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. the UV regime of the field theory). In the gauge theory.1 or a three-sphere with time S3 × R). so it does not include the radial direction: it lives in a spacetime with one less dimension compared to the gravitational theory (in fact. they can be described by objects similar to QCD strings. 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). This duality can be thought of as follows: suppose there is a spacetime with a gravitational source. they are described by closed strings (i. Thus the angle between the arriving particles in the gravitational theory translates to the distance scale between quantum fluctuations in the gauge theory.e. these are "projected" onto the boundary. 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. 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. while large radius in the gravitational theory translates to high energy scale in the gauge theory (i.[38][39][40] which are made of gauge bosons (gluons) and other gauge theory degrees of freedom...[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.e. while the field theory includes also off-shell correlation function. or usually supergravity).

Schmid[42] developed some sum rules for hadron exchange. meaning both described the whole amplitude and included the other. Yoichiro Nambu. String theory was originally developed during the late 1960s and early 1970s as a never completely successful theory of hadrons. and noted that there is an inconsistency unless the dimension of the theory is 26. The first person to add a fifth dimension to general relativity was German mathematician Theodor Kaluza in 1919. the lightest particle must be a tachyon. Veneziano and Sergio Fubini introduced an operator formalism for computing the scattering amplitudes that was a forerunner of world-sheet conformal theory. where they are demanded by consistency conditions. the other giving peaks at certain energies. Veneziano was able to find a consistent scattering amplitude with poles on straight lines. the two particles annihilate to make temporary intermediate states that fall apart into the final state particles. Dolen. while Virasoro understood how to remove the poles with wrong-sign residues using a constraint on the states. The scattering amplitudes were derived systematically from the . R. while Ziro Koba and Holger Nielsen generalized Veneziano's integral representation to multiparticle scattering. While the scale was off by many orders of magnitude. the Swedish physicist Oskar Klein gave a physical interpretation of the unobservable extra dimension — it is wrapped into a small circle. Holger Bech Nielsen and Leonard Susskind to be the relationship expected from rotating strings. 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. the subatomic particles like the proton and neutron that feel the strong interaction. which obeyed duality and had the appropriate Regge scaling at high energy. 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. while much later Brans and Dicke added a scalar component to gravity. In field theory. the two contributions add together. Charles Thorn. In the 1960s. Chew advocated making a theory for the interactions of these trajectories that did not presume that they were composed of any fundamental particles. leading Gabriele Veneziano to construct a scattering amplitude that had the property of Dolen-Horn-Schmid duality. In 1969. Einstein introduced a non-symmetric metric tensor. one giving a continuous background contribution. In the t-channel. D. the approach he advocated was ideally suited for a theory of quantum gravity. which Heisenberg believed break down at the nuclear scale. virtual particles can be exchanged in two qualitatively different ways. the particles exchange intermediate states by emission and absorption. and had a suggestive integral representation that could be used for generalization. Miguel Virasoro and Joel Shapiro found a different amplitude now understood to be that of closed strings. and Leonard Susskind recognized that the theory could be given a description in space and time in terms of strings. Over the next years. The amplitude could fit near-beam scattering data as well as other Regge type fits. an obvious self-consistency condition. later renamed world-sheet duality. Working with experimental data. Horn and C. hundreds of physicists worked to complete the bootstrap program for this model. The amplitude needed poles where the particles appear. with many surprises.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. 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. By manipulating combinations of Gamma functions. 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. but would construct their interactions from self-consistency conditions on the S-matrix. In the s-channel. with mostly positive residues. In 1926. Claud Lovelace calculated a loop amplitude. These ideas would be revived within string theory. In the data. 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. Holger Bech Nielsen. The result was widely advertised by Murray Gell-Mann. who noted that gravity in five dimensions describes both gravity and electromagnetism in four. Veneziano himself discovered that for the scattering amplitude to describe the scattering of a particle that appears in the theory. When a particle and antiparticle scatter.

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

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

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

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Journal of High Energy Physics 2007 (9): 036.1016/S0370-1573(99)00083-6. Bibcode 2003IJMPD. [39] Meyer. html)) [52] "String theory [is] yet to have any real successes in explaining or predicting anything measurable" New York Times. Erik. 8 November 2005) [53] Rovelli.2150W.724. R. Schmid. [45] Lee Smolin. Phys. "Anti-de Sitter space and holography".001. [40] Koji Hashimoto (2007) Cosmic Strings. arXiv:hep-th/0506034v1.. H.166.th.. • Greene. columbia. S. S.columbia. T.damtp. doi:10. Time. and the Texture of Reality. • Greene.2005v1. D. 464.) (1992). 569. Bibcode 1998PhLB.. W.12. arXiv:hep-th/0302219. permanently safe" NOVA interview (http:/ / pbs. ISBN 0-521-43775-X. [46] The n-Category Cafe (http:/ / golem. New Scientist.. arXiv:hep-th/9610043v3. p. Verlinde...February 2001. Julian R.55. "Large N Field Theories. Nuclear Physics B 724: 432.html). "Is string theory in trouble?" (http://www. Retrieved on 2012-07-11.edu (2007-02-25). p. • Gefter.edu. Bibcode 1998hep.. ISBN 0-393-05858-1. C. edu/ ~woit/ wordpress/ ?cat=2).. doi:10. columbia. Nuclear Physics B 506: 121. Astrophysics and Cosmology] 12 (9): 1509. New York: Alfred A. Brown (Eds.07. "Vortices on the worldsheet of the QCD string". `You guys are wrong. ac. Terashima.uk/user/mbg15/superstrings/ superstrings. arXiv:hep-th/9905111.

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

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

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

[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. thus motivating the search for a quantum theory of gravity. are well-described by linearized gravity except for Mercury's perihelion precession. it is referred to as a theory of everything (TOE).e. that is.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. others such as loop quantum gravity make no such attempt. they simply quantize the gravitational field while keeping it separate from the other forces. at both subatomic and cosmological scales. Motivation for quantizing gravity comes from the remarkable success of the quantum theories of the other three fundamental interactions. . If the theory of quantum gravity also achieves a grand unification of the other known interactions. Most observed physical phenomena can be described well by quantum mechanics or general relativity. are "very small" spatially yet are "very large" from a mass or energy perspective. for objects no larger than typical molecules. There is a lack of experimental evidence relating to quantum gravity. show up mainly for the "very large" bodies such as collapsed stars. 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). unless large extra dimension conjectures are correct). such objects cannot be understood with current theories of quantum mechanics or general relativity. gravity). certain physical phenomena. such as singularities. 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). for masses of objects from about 10−23 to 1030 kg. Quantum effects are usually important only for the "very small".. However. 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. without needing both. and from experimental evidence suggesting that gravity can be made to show quantum effects. but moreover be able to predict the outcome of situations where both quantum effects and strong-field gravity are important (at the Planck scale. and classical physics adequately describes the observed effects of gravity over a range of 50 orders of magnitude of mass. General relativistic effects. on the other hand. i. This can be thought of as due to an extreme separation of mass scales at which they are important. as of 2011. (Planets' gravitational fields.

Indeed. only a finite number of these coupling constants need to be measured in order to make legitimate quantum-mechanical predictions. The "infinities" then become large but finite quantities proportional to this finite cutoff scale. In fact. beyond which we do not expect that the theory provides a good description of nature.) While confirming that quantum mechanics and gravity are indeed consistent at reasonable energies. Specifically. while the series still do not converge. the problem of combining quantum mechanics and gravity becomes an issue only at very high energies. Effective field theories Quantum gravity can be treated as an effective field theory. Effective quantum field theories come with some high-energy cutoff. (By comparison. General relativity models gravity as a curvature within space-time that changes as a gravitational mass moves. gravity is in many ways a much better quantum field theory than the Standard Model. and at energies well below the fundamental cutoff of the theory. Historically. 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. but those are few enough in number to be removable via renormalization. the Standard Model is expected to start to break down above its cutoff at the much smaller scale of around 1000 GeV. since it appears to be valid all the way up to its cutoff at the Planck scale. 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. . finite results. This same logic works just as well for the highly successful theory of low-energy pions as for quantum gravity. to any desired precision. a new model of nature will be needed. and may well require a totally new kind of model. In the old-fashioned understanding of renormalization. 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). These quantities can then be absorbed into an infinite collection of coupling constants. This is in contrast with quantum electrodynamics where. the interactions sometimes evaluate to infinite results. Quantum field theory depends on particle fields embedded in the flat space-time of special relativity. and correspond to processes that involve very high energies near the fundamental cutoff.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. 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 model problem. accordingly. quantization and even . such as the behavior of black holes. unified theory. one of the deepest problems in theoretical physics is harmonizing the theory of general relativity.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. Supporting this theory is the observation that all fundamental forces except gravity have one or more known messenger particles. including string theory. which describes the other three fundamental forces acting on the atomic scale. contrary to the popular claim that quantum mechanics and general relativity are fundamentally incompatible. 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. a five-dimensional theory that combined gravitation and electromagnetism. Gravity Probe B (GP-B) has measured spacetime curvature near Earth to test related models in application of Einstein's general theory of relativity. as it should resolve the dual conundrums of special relativity with regard to the uniformity of acceleration and gravity. which describes gravitation. quantized theories of matter may necessitate their existence. Many of the accepted notions of a unified theory of physics since the 1970s. To simplify the problem. 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. One problem with this approach is that it is unknown whether quantum gravity will actually conform to a simple and elegant theory. it appears in string theory. This problem must be put in the proper context. all assume. superstring theory. it has appeared in the lower-dimensional many-bodied gravity problem[10] based on the field theoretic approach of Roman Jackiw. The dilaton The dilaton made its first appearance in Kaluza–Klein theory. While there is no concrete proof of the existence of gravitons. Generally. It was also found that the field equation governing the dilaton (derived from differential geometry) was the Schrödinger equation and consequently amenable to quantization. M-theory. and the origin of the universe. Quantum mechanics and general relativity The graviton At present. More recently. In particular. and to some degree depend upon. Many researchers view the detection of the graviton as vital to validating their work. the number of dimensions was lowered to (1+1) namely one spatial dimension and one temporal dimension. the existence of the graviton. however. planets.[12] Thus. galaxies). Such a theory is required in order to understand problems involving the combination of very high energy and very small dimensions of space. and general relativity with regard to spacetime curvature. 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). with quantum mechanics. loop quantum gravity. and applies to large-scale structures (stars. they have dubbed these hypothetical particles gravitons. one had a theory which combined gravity. leading researchers to believe that at least one most likely does exist.

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

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

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

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.[31][32] The resulting candidate for a theory of quantum gravity is Loop quantum gravity. in which space is represented by a network structure called a spin network. which is based on the classical concept of a point particle. however. Sorting through this large family of solutions remains one of the major challenges.[25] The theory is successful in that one mode will always correspond to a graviton.[26] In what is called the second superstring revolution. evolving over time in discrete steps. however.[30] A major break-through came with the introduction of what are now known as Ashtekar variables.[24] At the energies reached in current experiments.[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. but. which would constitute a uniquely defined and consistent theory of quantum gravity. and which features are modified.Quantum Gravity One attempt to overcome these limitations is to replace ordinary quantum field theory.[28][29] As presently understood. crucially. 184 Loop quantum gravity Another approach to quantum gravity starts with the canonical quantization procedures of quantum theory. • Path-integral based models of quantum cosmology[42] . The approaches differ depending on which features of general relativity and quantum theory are accepted unchanged. In this way. the result is an analogue of the Schrödinger equation: the Wheeler–DeWitt equation. these strings are indistinguishable from point-like particles. which some argue is ill-defined. Starting with the initial-value-formulation of general relativity (cf. string theory admits a very large number (10500 by some estimates) of consistent vacua. with a quantum theory of one-dimensional extended objects: string theory. string theory promises to be a unified description of all particles and interactions. which represent geometric gravity using mathematical analogues of electric and magnetic fields. above). 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.[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. the messenger particle of gravity. comprising the so-called "string landscape". the section on evolution equations. different modes of oscillation of one and the same type of fundamental string appear as particles with different (electric and other) charges.

1103/RevModPhys. [2] Jenke.1683. Tadayuki. Pergamon Press.1088/0264-9381/8/1/022. nature. Retrieved 2011-04-21. doi:10. Jason (2011-04-18). (1970). (1954).8. physicists have realized that evidence for quantum gravitational effects can guide the development of the theory. the possibility of experimentally testing quantum gravity had not received much attention prior to the late 1990s.98. [13] Mann. [11] Sikkema. Bibcode 1957RvMP. Recent Developments in General Relativity. R B. However. N. html). Bibcode 2011NatPh.7.. Abele. in the past decade. "Einstein's and Other Theories of Gravitation".55. & Hatfield. arXiv:gr-qc/9605004. T (1997). has obtained increased attention. Reviews of Modern Physics 29 (3): 334–336. pp. Bibcode 1997PhRvD. Lemmel & Abele. Nesvizhevsky et al. the phenomenology of quantum gravity which studies the possibility of experimental tests.96. com/ nature/ journal/ v415/ n6869/ abs/ 415297a. Classical and Quantum Gravity 24 (18): 4647–4659. Geltenbort. (1957). S. theory of BEC vacuum Supergravity Twistor models[44] 185 Weinberg–Witten theorem In quantum field theory. arXiv:gr-qc/9611008.. doi:10. Bibcode 2002Natur. However.219S. Ohta.9D. html). B. Bibcode 1955PhRv.334G. arXiv:gr-qc/0611144. Physical Review 96 (6): 1683–1685.1103/PhysRev. G.. Bibcode 1991CQGra. Retrieved 2011-04-21.334.. doi:10. Bibcode 1954PhRv. References [1] Nesvizhevsky. "Exact solution for the metric and the motion of two bodies in (1+1)-dimensional gravity".. Peter. bbc.a.. Geltenbort.1038/415297a. Nature 415 (6869): 297–299. Scott (2007). The most widely pursued possibilities for quantum gravity phenomenology include violations of Lorentz invariance. R. For this reason. . A E. (1995). [4] Donoghue (1995). R B (1991).4723.. (2002-01-17).24. [10] Ohta. Since the theoretical development has been slow. the Weinberg–Witten theorem would not be valid.1118K.. [5] Kraichnan. Robert (1996).[45][46] There is presently no confirmed experimental signature of quantum gravitational effects.1118. S.29. [8] Gupta..1007/BF00759198.29. arXiv:gr-qc/9512024 [gr-qc].. "Self-Interaction and Gauge Invariance". (1962). "Introduction to the Effective Field Theory Description of Gravity".. B. N. [6] Gupta. doi:10. doi:10. quantum gravitational effects are extremely weak and therefore difficult to test..13. BBC News. ISBN 0-201-62734-5.1683G. W. . Rev. "N-body Gravity and the Schroedinger Equation". doi:10. Classical and Quantum Gravity 8: 219–235.1038/nphys1970. Hartmut (2011-04-17). D. doi:10. recent developments attempt to show that if locality is only approximate and the holographic principle is correct.. 251–258. Physical Review 98 (4): 1118–1122. "Canonical reduction of two-dimensional gravity for particle dynamics".Quantum Gravity • • • • • Regge calculus String-nets giving rise to gapless helicity ±2 excitations with no other gapless excitations[43] Superfluid vacuum theory a. [9] Deser.1103/PhysRev. Morinigo.. H.k. 55 (8): 4723–4747.4647F.96.. com/ nphys/ journal/ vaop/ ncurrent/ full/ nphys1970.1088/0264-9381/24/18/006. and decoherence induced by fluctuations in the space-time foam.. co. [7] Gupta.415. "Realization of a gravity-resonance-spectroscopy technique" (http:/ / www. P.. doi:10. Feynman lectures on gravitation.4723M. .55. Bibcode 1996CQGra. Phys. Addison-Wesley. Wagner. "Quantum Theory of Gravitation". imprints of quantum gravitational effects in the Cosmic Microwave Background (in particular its polarization). [12] Farrugia.. Bibcode 2007CQGra. doi:10. uk/ news/ science-environment-13097370).1103/PhysRevD.. arXiv:gr-qc/0411023. Mann..1088/0264-9381/13/9/022. "Special-Relativistic Derivation of Generally Covariant Gravitation Theory". N. nature. Lemmel. Nature 7 (6): 468–472. F..98. "Gravitation and cosmology in (1+1) dimensions"... S.1. . Bibcode 1970GReGr. [3] Palmer. Retrieved 2011-04-21.297N. Mann. "Quantum states of neutrons in the Earth's gravitational field" (http:/ / www. Experimental Tests As was emphasized above.468J. Classical and Quantum Gravity 13 (9): 2585–2602. Mann. "Neutrons could test Newton's gravity and string theory" (http:/ / www. the Weinberg–Witten theorem places some constraints on theories of composite gravity/emergent gravity. S. doi:10.. General Relativity and Gravitation 1: 9–18. Hartmut. (1955). [14] Feynman..2585O. R. "Gravitation and Electromagnetism".

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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.

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

On the other hand. measurement results are not repeatable in general. Statistical mixtures of states are separate from a linear combination. If its momentum were measured.[5] This is the content of the Heisenberg uncertainty relation. The operator serves as a linear function which acts on the states of the system. 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. while each observable quantity (such as the energy or momentum of a particle) is associated with a mathematical operator. with no quantum uncertainty. the result is guaranteed to be 1 kg·m/s. We can represent this linear combination of eigenstates as: . even pure states show statistical behaviour. The coefficients are time dependent. [3][4] . Statistical mixtures represent the degree of knowledge whilst the uncertainty within quantum mechanics is fundamental. 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. 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. and we must understand the expectation value of an observable A as a statistical mean. pure quantum states correspond to vectors in a vector space. A statistical mixture of states occurs with a statistical ensemble of independent systems. . Mathematically a statistical mixture is not a combination of complex coefficients but by a combination of probabilities of different states . The eigenvalues of the operator correspond to the possible values of the observable: For example. at least one of them will have a range of possible values. For example. 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. definite. It is this mean and the distribution of probabilities that is predicted by physical theories. represents the probability of a randomly selected system being in the state eigenstate. a system in a linear combination of multiple different eigenstates does in general have quantum uncertainty. 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. The coefficient which corresponds to a particular state in the linear combination is complex thus allowing interference effects between states. There is no state which is simultaneously an eigenstate for all observables. well-defined value of momentum of 1 kg·m/s.

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

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

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

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

Aliencam.Article Sources and Contributors 196 Article Sources and Contributors History of Quantum Mechanics Source: http://en. BlastOButter42. DanielGlazer. Daniel Vollmer. BiT. Alan Liefting. AxelBoldt. Jebba. Bci2. J04n. Ranjithsutari. Count Iblis. Viraj nadkarni. WAS 4. PhySusie. Gandalf61. Jackthegrape. Csmiller. JeffreyVest.W. Gwernol. Geremia. Weregerbil. Caltas. Rocknrollanoah. Andy Dingley. Yang. Djr32. Bongwarrior. Lorne ipsum. Zadock9. RockMagnetist. Petri Krohn. Decumanus. Yang. Dpotter. DrKiernan. Chris5858. DMacks. Arion 3x3. Ixfd64.org/w/index.HG. Dmr2. Gonzonoir. Carowinds. Dharmaraj. Bearian. Techdawg667. Tealish. Riversider2008. FrancoGG. Zarniwoot. ChristopherWillis. Mild Bill Hiccup. Craig Stuntz. Closedmouth. GoingBatty. Trifle. Ian Pitchford. K-UNIT. Count Iblis.ballestrero. A. George100. Cp111. DuncanHill. Evan Robidoux. CIreland. J. Stevertigo. BohemianWikipedian. di M. Kaesle. Comrade009. Barak Sh. Antandrus. Henry Delforn (old). JzG.24. Dionyziz. Srleffler. 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