Measure for Measure: Quantum Physics and Reality


When no one is looking, a particle has near limitless potential: it can be nearly anywhere. But measure it, and the particle snaps to one position. How do subatomic objects shed their quantum weirdness? Experts in the field of physics, including David Z. Albert, Sean Carroll, Sheldon Goldstein, Ruediger Schack, and moderator Brian Greene, discuss the history of quantum mechanics, current theories in the field, and possibilities for the future.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

Original Program date: May 29, 2014
Host: Brian Greene
Participants: David Z. Albert, Sean Carroll, Sheldon Goldstein, Ruediger Schack

Brian Greene's Introduction. 00:00

The double-slit experiment 4:03

Waves of probability. 10:50

Participant Introductions. 17:55

The classic outlook changed forever. 19:41

The Norman Ramsey approach to quantum mechanics. 22:44

The quantum measurement problem. 28:45

Does there need to be a clear separation between the quantum description and the observer? 31:44

How does the double slit fit into this example? 38:49

The many worlds approach to quantum mechanics. 45:48

If we can't see the other worlds, isn't that equal to believing in god or angels? 50:45

Summing up the many worlds theory. 59:52

Spontaneous collapse theory. 1:00:04

How do you make this theory precise. 1:08:00

Tallying the votes for collapse theory. 1:13:27

What is Qbism? 1:14:00

Does cubism gives a description of the world that needs an observer? 1:19:25

Two equations vs one. 1:27:04

The final vote for Qbism. 1:30:20

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