The Hidden Worlds of Quantum Mechanics
Green College Coach House - February 11, 2004

Craig Callender

Department of Philosophy, UCSD

The so-called 'measurement problem' has plagued quantum mechanics since the theory took its modern form in 1925. The last twenty years, however, have witnessed the rise of several (more or less) conceptually clear and empirically adequate solutions to this problem. Each of these solutions describes a strikingly different underlying quantum world. In his talk, Prof. Callender will explain the measurement problem in non-technical terms and describe some of the astonishing variety of possible worlds that result from different methods of solving this problem.

This variety of worlds shows that one can say very little about the general structure of the quantum world that is independent of one's solution to the measurement problem. Even worse, there seems little prospect of experimentally determining which of these various possible worlds we live in. Will we always be in this predicament? Have we always been in this situation? What does this under-determination of theory by evidence mean for scientific realism? The talk will address these questions and others.

For more information about Craig Callender, visit his web site.

Additional resources from the talk: slides, and video.

To view the movie you may need to download Quicktime.