Quantum Optics Seminar by Martin Ringbauer – University of Copenhagen

QUANTOP > Quantum Optics Calendar > Calendar 2015 > Quantum Optics Seminar...

Quantum Optics Seminar by Martin Ringbauer

Measurements on the Reality of the Wavefunction

The quantum wavefunction is at the heart of our best description of nature, yet we don't know what this object actually represents. Does it correspond to physical reality (the psi-ontic interpretation), is a representation of knowledge or information about an underlying reality (the psi-epistemic interpretation) or is there no reality at all and the wavefunction just represents our subjective experience? The psi-epistemic viewpoint appears very compelling in that it offers intuitive and simple explanations for many puzzling quantum phenomena.
I will discuss recent theoretical and experimental work that demonstrates that no realist psi-epistemic model can fully explain quantum phenomena. This suggest that maintaining a notion of objective, observer-independent reality requires a psi-ontic interpretation, which assigns objective reality to the wavefunction. If we wish to maintain the epistemic character of the wavefunction we are thus lead to rejecting the notion of observer-independent reality in our physical world. Alternatively one could also reject the ontological model framework and consider more exotic alternatives, such as retrocausal influences.