Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Wave FunctionEssays on the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alyssa Ney and David Z Albert

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199790807

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790807.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 July 2020

Reality and the Role of the Wave Function in Quantum Theory

Reality and the Role of the Wave Function in Quantum Theory

(p.91) 4 Reality and the Role of the Wave Function in Quantum Theory
The Wave Function

Sheldon Goldstein

Nino Zanghì

Oxford University Press

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? If the former, does it provide a complete or partial description of the system ? We address these questions mainly from a Bohmian perspective and argue that part of the difficulty in ascertaining the status of the wave function arises from the fact that there are two different sorts of wave functions involved. The most fundamental wave function is that of the universe, which, we argue, has a law-like character. From the wave function of the universe together with its configuration one can define the wave function of a subsystem of the universe. This, although objective, has a strong informational/subjective aspect.

Keywords:   quantum mechanics, Bohmian mechanics, wave function, primitive ontology

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 .