Many Worlds and Schrodinger's First Quantum Theory
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The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 0007-0882, Vol: 62, Issue: 1, Page: 1-27
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- Arts and Humanities
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Schrödinger's first proposal for the interpretation of quantum mechanics was based on a postulate relating the wave function on configuration space to charge density in physical space. Schrödinger apparently later thought that his proposal was empirically wrong. We argue here that this is not the case, at least for a very similar proposal with charge density replaced by mass density. We argue that when analyzed carefully, this theory is seen to be an empirically adequate many-worlds theory and not an empirically inadequate theory describing a single world. Moreover, this formulation - Schrödinger's first quantum theory - can be regarded as a formulation of the many-worlds view of quantum mechanics that is ontologically clearer than Everett's. © 2010 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science. All rights reserved.