David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Review of "The Collected Works of Eugene Paul Wigner", Volume I, III, and VI. Excerpt from the Conclusions: Many of Wigner’s papers on mathematical physics are great classics. Most famous is his work on group representations which is of lasting value for a proper mathematical foundation of quantum theory. The modern development of quantum theory (which is not reflected in Wigner’s work) is in an essential way a representation theory (e.g. representations of kinematical groups, or representations of C*-algebras). This view owes very much to Wigner’s seminal papers on the unitary representations of compact and noncompact groups. Wigner showed much courage in relating the then unresolved questions of the measurement problem to the much deeper problem of consciousness. In view of this very unorthodox proposal it is astonishing that Wigner was very reactionary with respect of the dogmas of orthodox quantum mechanics. In contrast to von Neumann himself, he took the old von-Neumann codification of quantum mechanics as authoritative and not to be questioned. Much of the efforts to interpret the meaning of this codification and to prove no-go theorems, such as the insolubility of the measurement problem or the impossibility of a quantum theory of individual objects, are physically irrelevant since they are based on a codification of quantum mechanics that is valid only for strictly closed systems with finitely many degrees of freedom. However, in nature there are no such systems. Every material system is coupled to the gravitational and to the electromagnetic field – systems which require in a Hamiltonian description infinitely many degrees of freedom. A deeper insight into the conceptual problems of quantum theory is possible only if the modern development of a quantum theory of infinite systems is taken into account.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Hans Halvorson (2001). Reeh-Schlieder Defeats Newton-Wigner: On Alternative Localization Schemes in Relativistic Quantum Field Theory. Philosophy of Science 68 (1):111-133.
Amit Hagar & Meir Hemmo (2006). Explaining the Unobserved: Why Quantum Theory Ain't Only About Information. Foundations of Physics 36 (9):1295-1234.
Jeffrey Bub (1988). From Micro to Macro: A Solution to the Measurement Problem of Quantum Mechanics. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:134 - 144.
Don Robinson (1990). The Infinite Apparatus in the Quantum Theory of Measurement. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:251 - 261.
John T. Bruer (1982). The Classical Limit of Quantum Theory. Synthese 50 (2):167 - 212.
Michael Chayut (2001). From the Periphery: The Genesis of Eugene P. Wigner's Application of Group Theory to Quantum Mechanics. [REVIEW] Foundations of Chemistry 3 (1):55-78.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads78 ( #25,623 of 1,696,514 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #69,930 of 1,696,514 )
How can I increase my downloads?