The 1st Ockham Debate: The Problem of Quantum Measurement


Jun 05 2013 68 mins   51
According to the 'standard' quantum theory, states evolve with certainty between measurements, but 'collapse' randomly when we measure them. But what is measurement? And why does it (appear to) enjoy a privileged position in the theory? The measurement problem has been one of the hottest topics in physics ever since quantum theory was proposed and, despite much progress, remains so today. The 1st Ockham Debate (The 12th meeting in the Ockham Lecture series) for the first time offered the different perspectives of not one but two expert speakers: Simon Saunders, Professor of the Philosophy of Physics and Fellow of Linacre College, a leading proponent of the 'many worlds' interpretation of quantum mechanics, which argues that the Universe we see it is emergent, and constantly subject to 'splitting' including during measurements; and James Binney, Professor of Physics and Fellow of Merton College, who advocates an alternative programme, suggesting that we should gain insight into measurement by better understanding the dynamics of the system's interactions with the measuring apparatus. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/