Interpretations of

Quantum Mechanics

Quantum Mechanics

Implications of

Quantum Mechanics

Quantum Mechanics

24. The Ensemble or Statistical Interpretation.

Summary

The ensemble or statistical interpretation is unsatisfactory because it is vague and does not take advantage of all we know about quantum mechanics.

There are interpretations (championed by Einstein) in which it is assumed that quantum mechanics gives only statistical information. It is assumed that there is a collection, or ensemble, of copies of the physical system and our perceived world corresponds to only one of them. The wave function then gives statistical information about which one of these copies corresponds to our actual world.

But such interpretations do not say what the actual world is ‘made of.’

And they do not explain why the copies change in time in a way that is consistent with the changes in the wave function. That is, the dynamics of the actual copies of the physical world are not specified. In my opinion, these schemes are not well-formulated enough to say whether or not they constitute a valid interpretation.

There are also ‘transitional’ interpretations which suppose quantum mechanics gives only information about how we get from one state of matter to another, but they do not say anything about the nature of the matter itself. I believe such interpretations are unnecessarily conservative. Neither ensemble nor ‘transitional’ interpretations give sufficient weight to the non-statistical or ‘absolute’ facts that quantum mechanics itself implies matter has mass, charge, quantized spin (Mass, Spin, and Charge), and is perceived as localized (Localization); and that it gives accurate energy levels for composite systems.