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Schrödinger’s Theoretical Project

  • Michel Bitbol
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 188)

Abstract

Even though this essay is primarily devoted to an assessment of the most sophisticated version of Schrödinger’s interpretation of quantum mechanics, namely at the beginning of the 1950’s, we cannot avoid analyzing in some detail the ideas he defended during the mid-twenties. It was indeed during this early period that Schrödinger first formulated his life-long methodological requirements for a theory of atomic processes. But of course, the perspective we shall adopt is quite different from that of most historians of the beginnings of quantum mechanics. Our task goes beyond identifying an initial version of Schrödinger’s requirements and inserting it within the intellectual context of the time. We also have to track successive statements of these requirements in later texts, and to comment retrospectively on their significance. The very vocabulary we use when we speak of a “theoretical project”, and of the “methodological requirements” which are constitutive of it, has a retrospective tinge. For, after all, little had to be said about the project as long as it appeared to be immediately realized by wave mechanics, and few of the methodological requirements had to be made explicit when they were considered as unproblematically fulfilled by the current theory.

Keywords

Quantum Mechanic Wave Packet Wave Mechanic Compton Effect Theoretical Entity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Bitbol
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueParisFrance

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