The mystery behind Schroedinger's first communication: a non-historical study on the variational approach and its implications

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Ip, Pui Him
conference paper description
It is well known that Schroedinger first derived his equation via a seemingly ad hoc variational principle. However, he abandoned the approach soon after. In this paper, it is argued that the variational approach can be well motivated physically. In this perspective, the quantum state is found to be conceptually analogous to the role of motion in classical mechanics. Paradoxically, it refers to a real ensemble with fictitious parts. Further, it is argued that due to unobservability, the concept motion in quantum mechanics should be relegated to a lesser role.