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Copenhagen interpretation

Copenhagen interpretation

The Copenhagen interpretation was the first general attempt to understand the world of atoms as this is represented by quantum mechanics. The founding father was mainly the Danish physicist Niels Bohr, but Werner Heisenberg, Max Born and other physicists made important contributions as well.

The Copenhagen interpretation is composed of three related arguments.

1. The wave function is a complete description of a wave/particle. Any information that cannot be derived from the wave function does not exist. For example, a wave is spread over a broad region, therefore does not have a specific location.

2. When a measurement of the wave/particle is made, its wave function collapses. In the case of momentum, a wave packet is made of many waves each with its own momentum value. Measurement reduced the wave packet to a single wave and a single momentum.

and 3. If two properties are related by an uncertainty relation, no measurement can simultaneously determine both properties to a precision greater than the uncertainty relation allows. So, if we measure a wave/particles position, its momentum becomes uncertain.


Further Resources


Copenhagen Interpretation - Philosophy for Heroes


January 21, 2019


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