# What Is a Quantum State?

# What Is a Quantum State?

This chapter first discusses statistical techniques and concepts — including probability, probability distribution, average and expectation value, and uncertainty — that are relevant to quantum mechanics. The physical interpretation of probability in quantum mechanics is then discussed. It is argued that by adopting the statistical interpretation, one can think clearly about quantum mechanics without committing to any of the various physical interpretations, and without tackling the conceptual hurdles that they present. The history and substance of interpretational issues in quantum mechanics is then briefly discussed, the point being to introduce these profound, unresolved questions without taking sides in ongoing scientific debates. The chapter closes with a personal reflection on Albert Einstein, the most revered and fascinating figure in physics, and the one most famously at odds with the conventional interpretation of quantum mechanics.

*Keywords:*
probability, probability distribution, expectation value, uncertainty, statistical interpretation, Albert Einstein

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .