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The Only Real Probabilities in Quantum Mechanics
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1978, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1978), pp. 54-59
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192625
Page Count: 6
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Position probabilities play a privileged role in the interpretation of quantum mechanics. The standard interpretation has it that |Ψ (r)|2 represents the probability that the system is at (or will be found at) the location r. Use of these probabilities, however, creates tremendous conceptual difficulties. It forces us either to adopt a non-standard logic, or to be saddled with an intractable measurement problem. This paper proposes that we try to eliminate position probabilities, and instead to interpret quantum mechanics through the use of energy transition probabilities. Energy transitions, unlike particle positions, either occur, or they do not. Their probabilities are unproblematic, and they do not require either a deviant logic or a nonclassical probability structure. They are thus good candidates to serve as the fundamental interpreted quantity of the quantum theory.
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association © 1978 The University of Chicago Press