Quantum Mechanics Unscrambled

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Delhotel, Jean-Michel
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Is quantum mechanics about ‘states’? Or is it basically another kind of probability theory? It is argued that the elementary formalism of quantum mechanics operates as a well-justified alternative to ‘classical’ instantiations of a probability calculus. Its providing a general framework for prediction accounts for its distinctive traits, which one should be careful not to mistake for reflections of any strange ontology. The suggestion is also made that quantum theory unwittingly emerged, in Schrödinger’s formulation, as a ‘lossy’ by-product of a quantum-mechanical variant of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation. As it turns out, the effectiveness of quantum theory qua predictive algorithm makes up for the computational impracticability of that master equation.