LPS H141 Honors Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (Winter 2015)

Course Description: Together with special relativity, quantum mechanics makes the most accurate empirical predictions we have had from a physical theory. But there are two related puzzles: (1) on a strict reading, quantum mechanics is logically inconsistent and (2) even if one can fix its internal problems, it is unclear how to make quantum mechanics consistent with relativity. Our strategy will be to consider the empirical phenomena that led to the adoption of quantum mechanics, consider the theory and how it accounts for the phenomena, then turn our attention to the puzzles and a number of proposed resolutions. Whatever else we may learn, it will be clear that the physical world does not accord well with our common-sense or philosophical intuitions.