Bohm, Bohm, Bohm-Bohm

(Try the title with the Dragnet theme in mind, if you’re old enough.)

The aforelinked Bohemian Mechanical Rhapsody was fallout from some discussion on quantum mechanics interpretations, namely Quick Impressions of Bohmian Mechanics and The Problem of (Quantum) Moderation: On Many Worlds

QM interpretations is a subject that can go into quite amount of detail and some people are quite passionate about it, as some of the comments in those threads show. Alas, I just don’t find myself getting worked up enough to tackle any of it in any real depth. I don’t see that there is ultimately any result that shows one interpretation to be any better in an objective sense, which makes it metaphysics. All of it seems to be ways of casting quantum mechanics in some more comfortable classical (or at least quasi-classical) framework, which I think only serves to deny that quantum mechanics really is weird. If that helps you understand it, great, but don’t lose sight of the fact that science is a description of how nature behaves, not how it really is. It’s only a model, and if you don’t want to go to quantumland because it is a silly place, then pick up one of the interpretations.

Update: The discussion to which Ian referred: Is the wavefunction ontological? (which I did read, honest, and should have thought to include)

One thought on “Bohm, Bohm, Bohm-Bohm

  1. THANK YOU! As a theorist interested in “interpretations” I nevertheless acknowledge that it’s basically metaphysics unless it makes some actual prediction that another one doesn’t. And, indeed, it’s all just models. Too many of my colleagues think it’s all about reality (see some of the recent debates about the ontological status of the wavefunction on my blog).

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