What is quantum mechanics trying to tell us?

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Classical physics did not need any disclaimers. The kind of physics that was born with Isaac Newton and ruled until the early 1900s seemed pretty straightforward: Matter was like little billiard balls. It accelerated or decelerated when exposed to forces. None of this needed any special interpretations attached. The details could get messy, but there was nothing weird about it. 

Then came quantum mechanics, and everything got weird really fast.  

Quantum mechanics is the physics of atomic-scale phenomena, and it is the most successful theory we have ever developed. So why are there a thousand competing interpretations of the theory? Why does quantum mechanics need an interpretation at all? 

What, fundamentally, is it trying to tell us?

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There are many weirdnesses in quantum physics — many ways it differs from the classical worldview of perfectly knowable particles with perfectly describable properties. The weirdness you focus on will tend to be the one that shapes your favorite interpretation. 

But the weirdness that has stood out most, the one that has shaped the most interpretations, is the nature of “superpositions” and of measurement in quantum mechanics.


https://bigthink.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/13.8_What-Is-Quantum-Mechanics-Telling-Us_Lead.jpg?lb=1536,864Credit: Lucid Pixel / Adobe Stock



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