Solipsism Shrugged


“While physicists have debated about the nature of the quantum state since the early days of quantum theory (with, most famously, Bohr being in favor of the ontic interpretation and Einstein arguing for the epistemic one), most modern evidence has supported the view that the quantum state does indeed represent reality.

Philosophically, this interpretation can be hard to swallow, as it means that the many counterintuitive features of quantum theory are properties of reality, and not due to limitations of theory. One of the most notable of these features is superposition. Before a quantum object is measured, quantum theory says that the object simultaneously exists in more than one state, each with a particular probability. If these states are ontic, it means that a particle really does occupy two states at once, not merely that it appears that way due to our limited ability to prepare particles, as in the epistemic view…”

Proposed test would offer strongest evidence yet that the quantum state is real –


~ by theobservereffect on February 21, 2017.

5 Responses to “Solipsism Shrugged”

  1. I’m very much out of my comfort zone asking questions about this but I just read ‘Dark Matter’ and I’d love to know is it necessary for the observer or measurer to be human? Would quantum objects never exist in one state only is there were no humans to observe. Forgive this if this is a dumb question!

    • Not a dumb question, but one hotly debated.

      I don’t know. I have an opinion, but all opinions on this are ultimately untestable – for, at some point, a human has to “peek” at the answer to the human question posed and human hypothesis tested, and in so doing, becomes a part of the experiment.

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