Foundations of Physics

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 23–33 | Cite as

The concept of transition in quantum mechanics

  • James L. Park


The concept of quantum transition is critically examined from the perspective of the modern quantum theory of measurement. Historically rooted in the famous quantum jump of the Old Quantum Theory, the transition idea survives today in experimental jargon due to (1) the notion of uncontrollable disturbance of a system by measurement operations and (2) the wave-packet reduction hypothesis in several forms. Explicit counterexamples to both (1) and (2) are presented in terms of quantum measurement theory. It is concluded that the idea of transition, or quantum jump, can no longer be rationally comprehended within the framework of contemporary physical theory.


Quantum Mechanic Quantum Theory Physical Theory Measurement Theory Quantum Measurement 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. Park
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsWashington State UniversityPullman

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