The Ontic Probability Interpretation of Quantum Theory - Part III: Schrödinger’s Cat and the ‘Basis’ and ‘Measurement’ Pseudo-Problems (2nd edition)

Abstract

Most of us are either philosophically naïve scientists or scientifically naïve philosophers, so we misjudged Schrödinger’s “very burlesque” portrait of Quantum Theory (QT) as a profound conundrum. The clear signs of a strawman argument were ignored. The Ontic Probability Interpretation (TOPI) is a metatheory: a theory about the meaning of QT. Ironically, equating Reality with Actuality cannot explain actual data, justifying the century-long philosophical struggle. The actual is real but not everything real is actual. The ontic character of the Probable has been elusive for so long because it cannot be grasped directly from experiment; it can only be inferred from physical setups that do not morph it into the Actual. In this Part III, Born’s Rule and the quantum formalism for the microworld are intuitively surmised from instances in our macroworld. The posited reality of the quanton’s probable states and properties is probed and proved. After almost a century, TOPI aims at setting the record straight: the so-called ‘Basis’ and ‘Measurement’ problems are ill-advised. About the first, all bases are legitimate regardless of state and milieu. As for the second, its premise is false: there is no need for a physical ‘collapse’ process that would convert many states into a single state. Under TOPI, a more sensible variant of the ‘measurement problem’ can be reformulated in non-anthropic terms as a real problem. Yet, as such, it is not part of QT per se and will be tackled in future papers. As for the mythical cat, the ontic state of a radioactive nucleus is not pure, so its evolution is not governed by Schrödinger’s equation – let alone the rest of his “hellish machine”. Einstein was right: “The Lord is subtle but not malicious”. However, ‘The Lord’ turned out to be much subtler than what Einstein and Schrödinger could have ever accepted. Part IV introduces QR/TOPI: a new theory that solves the century-old problem of integrating Special Relativity with Quantum Theory [1].

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