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PHYSICISTS WANT TO REBUILD QUANTUM THEORY FROM SCRATCH

• https://www.wired.com, PHILIP BALL

An informal poll taken at a 2011 conference on Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality showed that there's still no consensus on what quantum theory says about reality—the participants remained deeply divided about how the theory should be interpreted.

Some physicists just shrug and say we have to live with the fact that quantum mechanics is weird. So particles can be in two places at once, or communicate instantaneously over vast distances? Get over it. After all, the theory works fine. If you want to calculate what experiments will reveal about subatomic particles, atoms, molecules and light, then quantum mechanics succeeds brilliantly.

But some researchers want to dig deeper. They want to know why quantum mechanics has the form it does, and they are engaged in an ambitious program to find out. It is called quantum reconstruction, and it amounts to trying to rebuild the theory from scratch based on a few simple principles.

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