Is quantum indeterminism real? Theological implications

Zygon 50 (3):736-756 (2015)

Authors
Claudia Vanney
Universidad Austral
Abstract
Quantum mechanics studies physical phenomena on a microscopic scale. These phenomena are far beyond the reach of our observation, and the connection between QM's mathematical formalism and the experimental results is very indirect. Furthermore, quantum indeterminism defies common sense. Microphysical experiments have shown that, according to the empirical context, electrons and quanta of light behave as waves and other times as particles, even though it is impossible to design an experiment that manifests both behaviors at the same time. Unlike Newtonian physics, the properties of quantum systems are not all well-defined simultaneously. Moreover, quantum systems are not characterized by their properties, but by a wave function. Although one of the principles of the theory is the uncertainty principle, the trajectory of the wave function is controlled by the deterministic Schrödinger equations. But what is the wave function? Like other theories of the physical sciences, quantum theory assigns states to systems. The wave function is a particular mathematical representation of the quantum state of a physical system, which contains information about the possible states of the system and the respective probabilities of each state
Keywords critical realism  quantum mechanics  interdisciplinarity  epistemology  theology and science  philosophy of science  divine action  quantum reality  determinism  interpretation
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DOI 10.1111/zygo.12186
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References found in this work BETA

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