abstract-dass – Niels Bohr Archive

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Niels Bohr Archive > Calendar > 2013 > 100 years of the Bohr atom > Programme > abstract-dass

N.D. Hari Dass, Chennai Mathematical Institute; CQIQC, IISc, India
The Superposition Principle in Quantum Mechanics ‒ did the rock enter the foundation surreptitiously?

The superposition principle forms the backbone of Quantum Theory. The resulting linear structure of quantum theory is structurally so rigid that tampering with it has serious, seemingly unphysical, consequences. This principle has also met the stringent tests at the highest available accelerator energies. Is this aspect of quantum theory forever then ?
The present work is an attempt to understand the attitude of the founding fathers towards this principle. It appears as if they accepted it without debating to the same excruciating degree as they did many interpretational aspects.

As a first attempt, I am looking carefully into the proceedings of the 1927 Solvay Meeting. In my talk I shall present these aspects along with some speculations about possible ways of escaping linearity.