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  1. On the Ontological Status of Molecular Structure: Is it Possible to Reconcile Molecular Chemistry with Quantum Mechanics?Sebastian Fortin, Martín Labarca & Olimpia Lombardi - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-17.
    According to classical molecular chemistry, molecules have a structure, that is, they are sets of atoms with a definite arrangements in space and held together by chemical bonds. The concept of molecular structure is central to modern chemical thought given its impressive predictive power. It is also a very useful concept in chemistry education, due to its role in the rationalization and visualization of microscopic phenomena. However, such a concept seems to find no place in the ontology described by quantum (...)
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  • Is the problem of molecular structure just the quantum measurement problem?Sebastian Fortin & Olimpia Lombardi - 2021 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (3):379-395.
    In a recent article entitled “The problem of molecular structure just is the measurement problem”, Alexander Franklin and Vanessa Seifert argue that insofar as the quantum measurement problem is solved, the problems of molecular structure are resolved as well. The purpose of the present article is to show that such a claim is too optimistic. Although the solution of the quantum measurement problem is relevant to how the problem of molecular structure is faced, such a solution is not sufficient to (...)
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  • Do Molecules Have Structure in Isolation? How Models Can Provide the Answer.Vanessa Seifert - 2022 - In Olimpia Lombardi, Juan Camilo Martínez & Sebastian Fortin (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Quantum Chemistry. Springer Cham. pp. 125–143.
    I argue that molecules may not have structure in isolation. I support this by investigating how quantum models identify structure for isolated molecules. Specifically, I distinguish between two sets of models: those that identify structure in isolation and those that do not. The former identify structure because they presuppose structural information about the target system via the Born- Oppenheimer approximation. However, it is an idealisation to assume structure in isolation because there is no empirical evidence of this. In fact, whenever (...)
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