QUANTUM mechanics is the most fundamental theory we have, sitting squarely at the center of every serious attempt to formulate deep laws of nature.

If nobody understands quantum mechanics, nobody understands the universe.

You would naturally think, then, that understanding quantum mechanics would be the absolute highest priority among physicists worldwide.

Investigating the foundations of quantum theory should be a glamour specialty within the field, attracting the brightest minds. highest salaries and most prestigious prizes. Physicists you might imagine would stop at nothing until they have understood quantum mechanics.

The reality is exactly backward.

Few modern physics department have researchers working to understand the foundations of quantum theory. On the contrary, students who demonstrate an interest in the topic are gently but firmly -maybe not so gently - steered away. sometimes with an admonishment to ''Shut up and calculate!''

Professors who become interested are might see their grant money drying up, as their colleagues bemoan that they have lost interest in serious work.

This has been the case since 1930s, when physicists collectively described that what mattered was not understanding quantum mechanics itself, what mattered was using a set of ad hoc quantum rules to construct models of particles and materials.

The former enterprise came to be thought of as vaguely philosophical and disreputable.

One is reminded of Aespo's fox. who decoded that the grapes he couldn't reach were probably sour, and he didn't want them anyway.

Physicists brought up in the modern system will look into your eyes and explain with all sincerity that they are not really interested in understanding how nature really works' they just want to successfully predict the outcomes of experiments.

This attitude can be traced to the dawn of modern quantum theory.

In the 1920s there was a serious of famous debated between Einstein and Niel Bohr. one of the founders of quantum theory.

Einstein argued that contemporary versions of quantum theory didn't rise to the level of a complete physical theory, and that we should try to dig more deeply. But Bohr felt otherwise, insisting that everything was in fine shape.

Much more academically collaborative and rhetorically persuasive than Einstein. Bohr scored a decisive victory, at least in the public-relations battle.

Not everyone was happy that Bohr's views prevailed, but these people typically found themselves shunned by or estranged from the field.     

The honor and serving of the latest global thinking on Quantum Mechanics, continues.


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