A Dialogue on Position

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Scientific Paper
Title A Dialogue on Position
Read in full Link to paper
Author(s) Richard Oldani
Keywords position
Published 2002
Journal Galilean Electrodynamics
Volume 12
Number 2
No. of pages 10
Pages 70-80

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A student who wants to "understand" quantum mechanics asks a physics professor how to determine the four-coordinate position of a particle. It soon becomes evident that Heisenberg's microscope experiment is totally inadequate as a model since the observer does not actually participate in the measurement process, and a procedure for measuring the time coordinate microscopically has never been defined. In fact, in a strict sense, quantum mechanics does not have a logically coherent method for determining position in even a single dimension. Their attempts to resolve these differences are an exercise in futility until the student finally realizes that before they can agree on anything they have to be able to communicate.