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Is it possible that the Schrodinger wave function describes a real phenomenon not just a statistical one?

Many physicists now think that more than 3 spatial dimensions exist (string theory), bell said quantum effects are too certain to be statistical and entangled particles interact faster than light. My question is: is it possible that the Schrodinger wave function describes a real phenomenon not just a statistical one? Perhaps the wave packet is simply vibrating in a dimension we cannot detect yet?
Greg Halsall from West Sussex (Aged 35-44)

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2 Responses

  1. With “real” you mean as in Newtonian Physics right?
    The idea of so-called “hidden varaiable theories” is quite old: one attempts to derive quantum mechanics embedded in something larger but Newtonian.
    Most if not all of those attempts have been unsuccessful; anyway they are getting so ugly that I wouldn’t trust them.
    The reality of the wave function is important. To me the wave function is real; it is measurement on the wave function that is statistical. That sound like words, but the whole issue of how we physically perform a classical measurement on a quantum system is where the question arise.

  2. Super, many thanks for answering my question. My maths wasn’t good enough to study physics but I like reading about science. I’ve been thinking about what you said and if you have time perhaps we could continue the conversation a little?

    Newtonian physics suggests a determinate physics where “The universe … can do only one thing” (1) Therefore a supercomputer could calculate the one possible answer to any problem.

    But modern physics has found randomness or chaos in everyday life where forces interact: “The idea that all these classical deterministic systems….. could generate randomness was intriguing” (2) So randomness is possible in a Newtonian or even Einsteinian world.

    As the Schrödinger wave is real for you then Schrödinger would be happy as apparently he was convinced it was real and “became disillusioned with quantum physics when presented with its probabilistic character”(3). but he did not know about Chaos theory.

    Perhaps you do not need another dimension to make it real, instead your answer made me wonder if the Schrödinger wave has a strange attractor?

    1. Ian Stewart “Does God play dice” p10 Penguin 1990
    2. Doyne Farmer quoted in “Chaos” p250, by James Gleick 1987
    3. John Polkinghorne “Quantum Theory-a very short introduction” p25 Oxford 2002

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