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“What is quantum mechanics? A minimal formulation”

March 20, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
Prof. Pierre Hohenberg, NYU
“What is quantum mechanics? A minimal formulation”
This talk asks why the interpretation of quantum mechanics, in contrast to classical mechanics, remains a subject of controversy. I shall present a ‘minimal formulation’ modeled on the formulation of classical mechanics. In both cases the formulation is ‘microscopic’, by which I mean applicable to any closed system with an arbitrary number of degrees of freedom. Starting from the sole assumption of a ‘Hilbert space ontology’, it is argued that all the usual features of quantum mechanics follow essentially inevitably, thus providing the sought after minimal formulation. The so-called ‘measurement problem’ is briefly discussed and claimed to be resolved. The usual questions and controversies over ‘interpretations’ of quantum mechanics can then be treated by ‘macroscopic quantum mechanics’ as an application of the more general microscopic theory and not part of the foundational formulation.


March 20, 2017
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm