A new chapter in the problem of the reduction of chemistry to physics: the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules

Foundations of Chemistry 21 (1):125-136 (2019)

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Abstract
The problem of the reduction of chemistry to physics has been traditionally addressed in terms of classical structural chemistry and standard quantum mechanics. In this work, we will study the problem from the perspective of the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules, proposed by Richard Bader in the nineties. The purpose of this article is to unveil the role of QTAIM in the inter-theoretical relations between chemistry and physics. We argue that, although the QTAIM solves two relevant obstacles to reduction by providing a rigorous definition of chemical bond and of atoms in a molecule, it appeals to concepts that are unacceptable in the quantum–mechanical context. Therefore, the QTAIM fails to provide the desired reduction. On the other hand, we will show that the QTAIM is more similar to Bohmian mechanics and that the basic elements of both theories are closely related.
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DOI 10.1007/s10698-018-09332-1
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Interpreting the Quantum World.Jeffrey Bub - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):637-641.

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