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Study Supports Quantum Mechanics Interpretation Close to Classical Principles

For centuries, researchers have debated how to deduce quantum mechanics. A new study by Jussi Lindgren and Jukka Liukkonen backs an interpretation similar to classical scientific principles.

Photo: Jukka Liukkonen (left) and Jussi Lindgren (right) describe Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Image Credit: Aalto University.

The 1920s saw the advent of quantum mechanics, and since then, researchers have debated how best to understand it. A number of interpretations, such as the Copenhagen interpretation put forth by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg and especially von Neumann-Wigner interpretation, propose that the consciousness of the person carrying out the test influences its result.

Alternatively, Karl Popper and Albert Einstein believed that objective reality is present. Erwin Schrödinger postulated the well-known thought experiment concerning the fate of an unfortunate cat that aimed to illustrate the inadequacies of quantum mechanics.

In their latest article, Jussi Lindgren and Jukka Liukkonen, two Finnish civil servants who study quantum mechanics in their spare time, explore the uncertainty principle that was put forth by Heisenberg in 1927.

According to the conventional interpretation of the principle, momentum and location could not be established concurrently to an arbitrary degree of precision, as the person carrying out the measurement always influences the values.

However, in their research, Lindgren and Liukkonen reported that the relationship between a location and momentum, i.e., their correlation, is fixed. Simply put, the reality is an object that does not rely on the person who measures it. Lindgren and Liukkonen employed stochastic dynamic optimization in their research.

In the frame of reference of their theory, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is brought about by thermodynamic equilibrium, where correlations of arbitrary variables do not disappear.

The results suggest that there is no logical reason for the results to be dependent on the person conducting the measurement. According to our study, there is nothing that suggests that the consciousness of the person would disturb the results or create a certain result or reality.

Jussi Lindgren, Study Researcher and Civil Servant, Finland Government

This interpretation backs such interpretations of quantum mechanics that back classical scientific principles.

The interpretation is objective and realistic, and at the same time as simple as possible. We like clarity and prefer to remove all mysticism,” says Liukkonen.

The investigators published their last article in December 2019, in which mathematical analysis was used as a tool to elucidate quantum mechanics. The technique they applied was stochastic optimal control theory, which has been used to solve complex experiments, for example, how to propel a rocket from the Earth to the Moon.

After Occam’s razor—the law of parsimony that has been named after William of Ockham—the investigators have currently selected the most basic explanation from those that fit.

We study quantum mechanics as a statistical theory. The mathematical tool is clear, but some might think it is a boring one. But is an explanation really an explanation, if it’s a vague one?

Jussi Lindgren, Study Researcher and Civil Servant, Finland Government

Physics is a Great Hobby for a Civil Servant

Besides the exploration of quantum mechanics, Lindgren and Liukkonen have various other similarities: they both belonged to the same math club at Kuopio Lyceum High School, both have completed post-graduate research, and both are employed as civil servants. Liukkonen has already completed his PhD dissertation on endoscopic ultrasound on joints and currently works as an inspector at Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.

Physics is a great hobby for a civil servant. Together we have agonised over how the interpretations of quantum mechanics make no sense.

Jukka Liukkonen, Study Researcher and Civil Servant, Finland Government

Lindgren’s dissertation now includes numerous mathematical articles that attempt to explain quantum mechanics. He is employed full-time as a ministerial adviser at Prime Minister’s Office, where he is involved in negotiating such issues as the EU’s recovery plan. About 10 years ago, as a junior official, he also took part in negotiations on Greece’s loan guarantees.

Lindgren and Liukkonen’s concept of a paradise is a festival conference where short films would be integrated with lectures on quantum physics.

Physicists and artists could find new ways to work together—after all, both areas are manifestations of creativity,” added Lindgren.

Journal Reference

Lindgren, J & Liukkonen, J (2020) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as an Endogenous Equilibrium Property of Stochastic Optimal Control Systems in Quantum Mechanics. Symmetry.


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