# Quantum Mechanics

## Theoretical Implications Of Quantum Mechanics

The **standard model** of quantum physics offers an theoretically and mathematically sound model of particle behavior that serves as an empirically validated middle-ground between the need for undiscovered hidden variables that determine particle behavior, and a mystical anthropocentric universe where it is the observations of humans that determine reality. Although the implications of the latter can be easily dismissed, the debate over the existence of hidden variables in quantum theory remained a subject of serious scientific debate during the twentieth century. Based upon our everyday experience, well explained by the deterministic concepts of classical physics, it is intuitive that there be hidden variables to determine quantum states. Nature is not, however, obliged to act in accord with what is convenient or easy to understand. Although the existence and understanding of heretofore hidden variables might seemingly explain Albert Einstein's "spooky" forces, the existence of such variables would simply provide the need to determine whether they, too, included their own hidden variables.

Quantum theory breaks this never-ending chain of causality by asserting (with substantial empirical evidence) that there are no hidden variables. Moreover, quantum theory replaces the need for a deterministic evaluation of natural phenomena with an understanding of particles and particle behavior based upon statistical probabilities. Although some philosophers and metaphysicists would like to keep the hidden variable argument alive, the experimental evidence is persuasive, compelling, and conclusive that such hidden variables do not exist.

See also Quantum number.

## Resources

### Books

Albert, A. Z. *Quantum Mechanics and Experience.* Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.

Bohr, Niels. *The Unity of Knowledge.* New York: Doubleday & Co., 1955.

Feynman, Richard P. *QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter.* New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Feynman, Richard P. *The Character of Physical Law.* MIT Press, 1985.

Gregory, B. *Inventing Reality: Physics as Language.* New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1990.

Han, M.Y. *The Probable Universe.* Blue Ridge Summit, PA: TAB Books, 1993.

Liboff, Richard L. *Introductory Quantum Mechanics.* 4th ed. Addison-Wesley Publishing, 2002.

Phillips, A.C. *Introduction to Quantum Mechanics.* New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2003.

K. Lee Lerner

## Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: *Propagation* to *Quantum electrodynamics (QED)*Quantum Mechanics - Quantum Results, Theoretical Implications Of Quantum Mechanics