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Home > Archives > Volume 7, No 2 (2009) > Article

DOI: 10.14704/nq.2009.7.2.232

Difficulties with Collapse Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics

Casey Blood


Quantum mechanics gives many versions of reality but we perceive only one. One potential explanation for this, the one considered here, is that the wave function collapses down to just one version. The experimental situation is briefly reviewed, with no evidence found for collapse. The theoretical position is also reviewed and found wanting. Collapse-by-observation schemes are logically untenable. A mathematical theory of collapse must be nonlinear, a significant departure from current quantum theory. In addition, the primary candidate theory, the GRW-Pearle model, requires instantaneous, non-local transmission of information. It also requires transmission of information across versions of reality, which is forbidden in current quantum mechanics. And there is no apparent physical quantity, such as particle number, that can provide the mechanism for collapse in all cases. Further, these aspects, which are in disagreement with current theory, seem to be necessary for any mathematical theory of collapse. The conclusion is that the outlook for mathematical collapse schemes is not encouraging.


Collapse in quantum mechanics; collapse by consciousness;GRW-Pearle model of collapse

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