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Charles Tresser

Vendredi 4 novembre 2011

à 11h en salle C. Brot

These talks are about the foundations of Quantum Mechanics (QM) (or rather Quantum Physics but we will not make the distinction in the rest of this abstract), including the Interpretation of QM : a new Interpretation will be suggested most if not all elements of which are not original by themselves. A small sample of practices of some of the people working in that field or in related ones such as Quantum Computing and Quantum Information Theory will be shortly reviewed as this helps explain the huge hiatus between the level of rigor of QM and of discussions on it interpretation. We will see how correcting some errors on details and lack of precision and much bigger mistakes by Einstein and Bohr [7], Dirac [3], Wheeler [10], Feynman-Hibbs [4], and others help getting an interpretation where the only intellectual discomfort is the lack or realism. However, we will both see that :
- Non-realism is supported (using Occam’s razor, at least) by experiments, gedanken experiments or actual ones, some of which are classroom optics experiments that use a laser, some polarizers, and a Mach Zehnder interferometer (or MZI, or preferably a small modification of a MZI that permits to see interference fringes), but needs neither one photon at a time nor EPR pairs.
- Many people who declare and even some who write that there is no realism at the quantum scale will assume it implicitly and often even explicitly in other aspects of their work, when not in the same paper. The implicit use is both very frequent and entailed by deep and grave consequences and mis-interpretations of important aspects of QM. In brief our aim is to bring more rigor (in particular in the interpretation of some essential experiments) and less a priori philosophy (such as duality) to the interpretation of QM. Some recent work [8], [9] on Bell’s theory[1], [2], [6] will be reviewed in a simpler form than in the former presentation of similar partial results previously made in Nice (that part would be reduced to a bare minimum if the others are amplified to obey public demand). While this work on Bell’s theory is what prompted the new interpretation of QM, it came as a surprise that realism could be attacked by much more direct and elementary ways, with the further merit that we avoid the headache. Further analysis of Bell’s theorem under usual hypothesis will also be mentioned. At last, we will see how an intuition presented by Riemann in his habilitation (that can be found, e.g., in the second volume of Spivak’s treatise on Differential geometry) help some aspects of the new interpretation, that are shared but for other reasons by the Cøopengagen interpretation, make more sense.


I. All that can be taken from Wikipedia and even more, the Online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy concerning Quantum Mechanics and its interpretation, especially the 4 articles on : Quantum Mechanics, Bell’s Theorem, The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Argument in Quantum Theory, The Copenhagen Interpretation.

II. Cited Literature

(1) J.S. Bell, On the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox. Physic (Long Island City, NY) 1, 195- 200 (1964).

(2) J.F. Clauser, M.A. Horne, A. Shimony, R.A. Holt, Proposed experiment to test local hiddenvariable theories, Phys. Rev. Lett. 23, 880-884 (1969).

(3) P.A.M. Dirac, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics, (Clarendon Press, Oxford ; 1930).

(4) R.P. Feynman and A.R. Hibbs, Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, (McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York ; 1965).

(5) D.M. Greenberger, M.A. Horne, and A. Zeilinger, Going beyond Bell’s Theorem, in Bell’s Theorem. Quantum Theory, and Conceptions of the Universe, edited by M. Kafatos, (Kluwer Academics, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 1989), pp. 73-76.

(6) N.D. Mermin, Am. J. Phys. 58, 731 (1990).

(7) P.A. Schilpp, (editor) Albert Einstein : Philosopher-Scientist (The Open Court Publishing Co. ; La Salle, IL, 3rd edition, 1969 (Vol. 1) - 1970 (Vol. 2)).

(8) C. Tresser : “Bell’s Theory with no Locality assumption” Eur. Phys J. D 58, (2010) 385-396.

(9) C. Tresser : “Bell’s Theorem with no Locality assumption : putting Free Will at work.”, Eur. Phys J. D 62, (2011) 139-154.

(10) J.A. Wheeler, in Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Theory, A.R. Marlow, ed, (Academic Press, New York ; 1978).

III. Some Other Books

(11) M. Le Bellac Quantum Physics, (Cambridge University Press ; Cambridge 2006).

(12) R.B. Griffiths, Consistent Quantum Theory, (Cambridge University Press ; Cambridge, 2002).

(13) R. Omn`es, The interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, (Princeton University Press ; Princeton, 1994).

(14) R. Penrose, The Emperor’s New Mind, (Oxford University Press, Oxford ; 1989/ Books, New York ; 1991).

(15) R. Penrose, The Road to Reality, (Jonathan Cape, London ; 2004).

(16) A. Peres, Quantum Theory : Concepts and Methods, (Kluwer : Dordrecht, 1993

Voir en ligne : IBM