What is quantum mechanics?
- Conference date: 17-19 October 2006
- Location: Madrid (Spain)
We discuss the arguments for suspecting that there exists a classical, i.e. deterministic theory underlying quantum mechanics. A difficulty is that an explanation must be found of the fact that the Hamiltonian, which is defined to be the operator that generates evolution in time, is bounded from below. The mechanism that can produce exactly such a constraint is identified in this paper. It is the fact that not all classical data are registered in the quantum description. Large sets of values of these data are assumed to be indistinguishable, forming equivalence classes. It is argued that this should be attributed to information loss, such as what one might suspect to happen during the formation and annihilation of virtual black holes.
The nature of the equivalence classes is further elucidated, as it follows from the positivity of the Hamiltonian. Our world is assumed to consist of a very large number of subsystems that may be regarded as approximately independent, or weakly interacting with one another. As long as two (or more) sectors of our world are treated as being independent, they all must be demanded to be restricted to positive energy states only. What follows from these considerations is a unique definition of energy in the quantum system in terms of the periodicity of the limit cycles of the deterministic model.
An example of a deterministic dissipative model producing exact quantum mechanics is provided for the case of a finite‐dimensional vector space. These lecture notes have been produced partly from material published earlier, and as such contain more material than what could be presented in the talk.
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