Journal Article

Many Worlds and Schrödinger’s First Quantum Theory

Valia Allori, Sheldon Goldstein, Roderich Tumulka and Nino Zanghì

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 62, issue 1, pages 1-27
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axp053
Many Worlds and Schrödinger’s First Quantum Theory

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Schrödinger’s first proposal for the interpretation of quantum mechanics was based on a postulate relating the wave function on configuration space to charge density in physical space. Schrödinger apparently later thought that his proposal was empirically wrong. We argue here that this is not the case, at least for a very similar proposal with charge density replaced by mass density. We argue that when analyzed carefully, this theory is seen to be an empirically adequate many-worlds theory and not an empirically inadequate theory describing a single world. Moreover, this formulation—Schrödinger’s first quantum theory—can be regarded as a formulation of the many-worlds view of quantum mechanics that is ontologically clearer than Everett’s. 1

Monstrosity

2

Duality

3

Parallelity

4

Reality

5

Nonlocality

6

Relativity

7

Probability

8

Typicality

9

Uncertainty

10

Summary

Journal Article.  10462 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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