, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 161-194

Quantization as Selection Problem

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Abstract

Quantum systems exhibit a smaller number of energetic states than classical systems (A. Einstein, 1907, Die Plancksche Theorie der Strahlung und die Theorie der spezifischen Wärme, Ann. Phys. 22, 180ff). We take up the selection criterion for this in two parts. (1) The selection problem between classical and nonclassical mechanical systems is formulated in terms of possible and impossible configurations (among others, this overcomes the difficulties occurring when discussing the behavior of quantum particles in terms of paths). (2) The (nonclassical) selection of the quantum states is formulated, using recurrence relations and the energy law. The reformulation of “quantization as eigenvalue problem” in terms of “quantization as selection problem” allows one to derive Schrödinger’s stationary equation from classical mechanics through a straightforward and unique procedure; the nonstationary and multibody equations are subsequently acquired within the same frame. In contrast to the (classical) eigenvalue problem, the (nonclassical) selection problem can be formulated and solved without any reference to additional a priori assumptions on the nature of the quantum system, such as the wave-corpuscle dualism or an underlying wave equation or the existence of Planck’s finite action parameter. The existence of such an additional parameter—as the only additional one—is inherent in the procedure. Within our axiomatic-deductive approach, we modify classical mechanics only where it itself indicates an inherent limitation.