Talk:Interpretations of quantum mechanics

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There is no von Neumann interpretation[edit]

And if there were a von Neumann interpretation, it would not be identical with the consciousness causes collapse interpretation. The name von Neumann interpretation was apparently created on January 2010 on the main article by a single contributor who didn't wrote anything else on wikipedia. The name Wigner was added on 21 February 2010 in an apparent attempt to fix the previous mistake.

None of the references of the article on the consciousness causes collapse interpretation uses the name von Neumann interpretation or von Neumann-Wigner interpretation. The closest is a single use of von Neumann-Wigner quantum theory and multiple uses of von Neumann quantum theory in the article of H. Stapp from 2001. (That information has been reported here.)

Hence I will change the terminology back to the terminology before the mistake, i.e. replace both von Neumann interpretation and von Neumann/Wigner interpretation by the old name consciousness causes collapse. This is independent of whether it makes sense to rename the Von Neumann–Wigner interpretation article. --Jakito (talk) 01:35, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I have the feeling the name "the Von Neumann–Wigner interpretation" is around – whereas the name " the consciousness causes collapse interpretation" isn't around as a name for the thing. None of von Neumann or Wigner deserve to have their name dragged in the dirt. Undoubtedly, Wigner later regretted having planted the whole idea. I bet he only took it as a challenge to find a consistent (because it is consistent with experiment) interpretation. But this is not for me or Wikipedia to rectify. YohanN7 (talk) 11:29, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
WP:RSs certainly don't say that Von Neumann originated or supported "consciousness causes collapse". John von Neumann, in his 1932 book The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics focused on the chain of causal processes that constitute a "measurement" (now called a "Von Neumann chain").[1], [2] p.526, [3] p.207, For example, in measuring the spin of a photon, the photon mus be detected by a polarizing photodetector, and the signal amplified, displayed, and then observed by the experimenter. If the photon is in a superposition, somewhere in this chain the state of the apparatus changes from a superposition to a single state which is observed by the experimenter. This is "wavefunction collapse". Von Neumann just pointed out that the mathematics allowed the point of "wavefunction collapse" to be considered to occur at any point in this chain between the particle striking the detector and the "subjective perception" of the human observer. He suggested that either the detection or perception point be considered the location of wavefunction collapse, but nowhere expressed a preference.[4] In 1939, F. London and E. Bauer argued that it occurred at perception, originating the "consciousness causes collapse" interpretation.
@YohanN7I: "consciousness causes collapse" most certainly is the WP:COMMONNAME for this interpretation; it is found in hundreds of books. This name also is clearer for general readers, and doesn't raise controversial issues of whether Von Neumann or Wigner supported it, so it should stand. --ChetvornoTALK 16:33, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I take that as good news. Then there's still the main article on the subject to rename. YohanN7 (talk) 09:11, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
It does seem to me that someone doesn't have to support something, just because it is named after that person. But I suppose there is some suggestion, for those not reading carefully, that the named person supported the idea. Either name is fine with me. Gah4 (talk) 18:16, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

Sentences added as minor edits[edit]

The following unsourced statement was added as a supposedly minor edit to section The Copenhagen interpretation by user Arlene47 on 10 October 2013‎ (and later re-added in an article restoration on 6 May 2016):

  • What collapses in this interpretation is the knowledge of the observer and not an "objective" wavefunction.

Also, the following statement was added to section Many worlds (also unsourced, also minor edit, same user, same date):

  • In this interpretation the wavefunction has objective reality.

Question: Are there any sources that confirm the above two statements? If not, should they be in the article? -- HLachman (talk) 18:07, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

As far as I know, there is no standard for what is, and isn't, a minor edit. Personally, I mostly don't check that box. I am not against removing the statements. Gah4 (talk) 18:51, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

 Done. Since one month went by with no dissenting comments, I reverted the two sentences in question (both of which had been added on 10 October 2013). The main issue was that these sentences made meaningful additions or changes to the material presented, while being unsourced. That by itself is an issue, and it also leaves open the possibility that the statements in question were original research. Also, responding to Gah4, I didn't mean to imply that the marking of the original edits as "minor" was the main issue. And while there is no standard for that, a suggested practice is given at WP:MINOR, and I support the notion that additions or changes in the meaning of the material should not be marked as "minor" (which is what I meant to convey). -- HLachman (talk) 18:39, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

I think the second sentence is relatively uncontroversial. I'll find a source and re-add it or similar. Porphyro (talk) 10:25, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

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NPOV Issue with De Broglie[edit]

User:Mikec755 keeps reverting changes made to the section De Broglie's double solution theory, back to a version with NPOV issues. I seriously object to the phrase "realized the pilot-wave existed in fictitious configuration space" as it logically states that the configuration space is fictitious; the reality of the wavefunction is asserted in many of the interpretations on this page and this is clearly biased towards this editor's favourite one. The editor dislikes my suggestion of what to change it to, although as far as I understand the point he is making, De Broglie didn't like the idea that the large configuration space was physically real (ontologically relevant), and dismissed it as a mathematical fiction. Porphyro (talk) 11:11, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

While we're at it, a google document with a pasted book is not, I think, an acceptable source for the page- we can just refer them to the book itself, it doesn't need to be available with one click.

Porphyro (talk) 11:15, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

The section in question has to do with de Broglie's double solution theory. In de Broglie's double solution theory de Broglie insists that configuration space is fictitious and that the wave-function is a mathematical construct only. Why does the section having to do with de Broglie's double solution theory have to take into account what de Broglie thought was the incorrect notion of a physically real wave-function? It makes no sense to have to delute de Broglie's double solution theory in the section having to do with it. What is really happening here is that a change is being made by User:Porphyro who would rather use their own interpretation of de Broglie's double solution theory then to use de Broglie's own words to describe his theory. It is actually the change that is being made that is not a NPOV.
Futher, why not link to the actual book so people can actually read it?
Mikec755 (talk) 13:32, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
We can use De Broglie’s own words as long as we don’t present them as incontrovertible fact, which is what it seems you demand we do. And the google document is not verifiable, it’s impossible to know if it has been edited, as well as it being a blatant copyright violation. Porphyro (talk) 14:30, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm explaining de Broglie's double solution theory in the de Broglie's double solution theory section of the interpretations of quantum mechanics wiki page. Why would we use your words and terms instead of de Broglie's own words and terms in the section having to do with his theory? De Broglie consistently referred to configuration space as being fictitious. He never once referred to it as not having "ontological relevance". Why do you think your interpretation of de Broglie's double solution theory is more of a NPOV than using de Broglie's own words and terms to describe his theory? If you think about it I think you would realize that your changes are not the NPOV. This is the section having to do with de Broglie's double solution theory. I think the NPOV is to use de Broglie's words and terms when describing his theory. If you can find a link to his book that is readable and searchable then replace the links to the google document. I found his book online years ago as a pdf and paid to have it be searchable as the pdf version was just images of the book pages. I am no longer able to find it online. And just referencing it without at least linking it to a google document version of it so people can read it makes no sense. Do the leg work. Find the book online and link to it or realize the google document is better than just a reference without a link to the actual book as people can the read it. Mikec755 (talk) 14:58, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm not particularly attached to the wording I used in my edit, just that I want the article to avoid stating De Broglie's opinion as fact. Using our own words to describe sources is hardly unusual, though, and the use of the word "ontology" is standard in most interpretational literature and used throughout the article. In any case, using the word fictitious- as a quotation, not a statement- and talking about ontological realisation are hardly mutually exclusive options. Porphyro (talk) 15:41, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I think the main issue is the following. You said, "the reality of the wavefunction is asserted in many of the interpretations on this page". That is correct. However, the whole point of de Broglie's double solution theory is that the wavefunction does not describe reality. Why are you insisting that the section having to do with de Broglie's double solution theory refer to how other interpretations interpret the wavefunction when the whole point of de Broglie's double solution theory is that the wavefunction does not describe reality? I don't see the issue with using de Broglie's words and terms to describe his theory. Now you are saying, "I want the article to avoid stating De Broglie's opinion as fact". I don't see the issue with stating De Broglie's opinion in the section having to do with his theory. Mikec755 (talk) 15:55, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request :
The Google Doc link is a blatant copyright violation. It is against policy to link to it. If there is a better source, use that, or remove the statements that don't have a source.

But this is only part of the problem — you also don't agree on how to word this statement. Is there a neutral way to phrase it that you can both live with? I don't see anyone trying to compromise, but that is usually how we arrive at a consensus. Bradv 15:12, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

As mentioned above, I'm not particularly attached to the specific wording I applied in the edit. Anything that avoids stating de Broglie's opinion as a concrete fact is acceptable by me. Porphyro (talk) 15:32, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Weighing in as a fourth opinion, I also object to using "fictitious" in editorial comments. If there's a different quote of his that would make the same point but include "fictitious" that would be acceptable, but including it in the article directly isn't neutral. I prefer Porphyro's phrasing, or something along those lines. 'Ontological' is clearly defined on this page and fits well with the rest of the article. --Quantum7 13:56, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Equivalence of Bohmian mechanics and other formalisms[edit]

In revision 814258340, user 2602:306:c439:94b0:d6f:4b8d:9888:9ee2 added the following commentary to the main article:

Not so. For example, see M. Nauenberg "Is Bohm's Interpretation consistent with Quantum Mechanics?" Quanta 3(2104) 43-46

This was in response to the paragraph,

Other approaches to resolve conceptual problems introduce new mathematical formalism, and so propose alternative theories with their interpretations. An example is Bohmian mechanics, whose empirical equivalence with the three standard formalisms—Schrödinger's wave mechanics, Heisenberg's matrix mechanics, and Feynman's path integral formalism—has been demonstrated.

While the equivalence may be wrong or controversial (I haven't read the reference), adding the comment to the main article is misplaced. Either fix the text or continue discussion here.

--Quantum7 13:31, 5 February 2018 (UTC)