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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 19, Issue 3, Septiembre 2004

Nicholas Maxwell
Pages 321-336

Does probabilism solve the great quantum mystery?

What sort of entities are electrons, photons and atoms given their wave-like and particle-like properties? Is nature fundamentally deterministic or probabilistic? Orthodox quantum theory (OQT) evades answering these two basic questions by being a theory about the results of performing measurements on quantum systems. But this evasion results in OQT being a seriously defective theory. A rival, somewhat ignored strategy is to conjecture that the quantum domain is fundamentally probabilistic. This means quantum entities, interacting with one another probabilistically, must differ radically from the entities of deterministic classical physics, the classical wave or particle. It becomes possible to conceive of quantum entities as a new kind of fundamentally probabilistic entity, the “propensiton”, neither wave nor particle. A fully micro realistic, testable rival to OQT results.

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