Reality and the Role of the Wavefunction in Quantum Theory


Abstract
The most puzzling issue in the foundations of quantum mechanics is perhaps that of the status of the wave function of a system in a quantum universe. Is the wave function objective or subjective? Does it represent the physical state of the system or merely our information about the system? And if the former, does it provide a complete description of the system or only a partial description? We shall address these questions here mainly from a Bohmian perspective, and shall argue that part of the difficulty in ascertaining the status of the wave function in quantum mechanics arises from the fact that there are two different sorts of wave functions involved. The most fundamental wave function is that of the universe. From it, together with the configuration of the universe, one can define the wave function of a subsystem. We argue that the fundamental wave function, the wave function of the universe, has a law-like character.
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References found in this work BETA

Everett and Structure.David Wallace - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (1):87-105.
Bohmian Mechanics.Sheldon Goldstein - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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Citations of this work BETA

One World, One Beable.Craig Callender - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3153-3177.
The Wave-Function as a Multi-Field.Mario Hubert & Davide Romano - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):521-537.
Bohmian Mechanics Without Wave Function Ontology.Albert Solé - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):365-378.
Bohm's Approach and Individuality.Paavo Pylkkänen, Basil Hiley & Ilkka Pättiniemi - 2016 - In Alexandre Guay & Thomas Pradeu (eds.), Individuals Across the Sciences. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

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