Foundations of Chemistry 12 (2):159-166 (2010)

Abstract
According to ontological reductionism, molecular chemistry refers, at last, to the quantum ontology; therefore, the ontological commitments of chemistry turn out to be finally grounded on quantum mechanics. The main problem of this position is that nobody really knows what quantum ontology is. The purpose of this work is to argue that the confidence in the existence of the physical entities described by quantum mechanics does not take into account the interpretative problems of the theory: in the discussions about the relationship between chemistry and physics, difficulties are seen only on the side of chemistry, whereas matters highly controversial on the side of physics are taken for granted. For instance, it is usually supposed that the infinite mass limit in the Born-Oppenheimer approximation leads by itself to the concept of molecular framework used in molecular chemistry. We will argue that this assumption is implicitly based on an interpretative postulate for quantum mechanics, which, in turn, runs into difficulties when applied to the explanation of the simplest model of the hydrogen atom
Keywords Molecular chemistry  Quantum mechanics  Born-Oppenheimer approximation  Quantum ontology
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DOI 10.1007/s10698-010-9090-9
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References found in this work BETA

The Problem of Hidden Variables in Quantum Mechanics.Simon Kochen & E. P. Specker - 1967 - Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics 17:59--87.
Interpreting the Quantum World.Jeffrey Bub - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):637-641.
The Structure and Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.R. I. G. Hughes - 1992 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 54 (4):735-736.
A Modal-Hamiltonian Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Olimpia Lombardi & Mario Castagnino - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (2):380-443.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Strong Emergence of Molecular Structure.Vanessa A. Seifert - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-25.
A New Application of the Modal-Hamiltonian Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: The Problem of Optical Isomerism.Sebastian Fortin, Olimpia Lombardi & Juan Camilo Martínez González - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:123-135.

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