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Quantum Structures and their Future Diederik Aerts

Summary: Quantum Structures and their Future
Diederik Aerts
Brussels Free University,
Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels;
e-mail: diraerts@vub.ac.be
Relativity theory, formulated in great part by one person, Albert Einstein [1],
is founded on the concept of `event', which is a concept that is physically well
defined and understood [2]. Within relativity theory itself, the events are rep-
resented by the points of a four dimensional space-time continuum. In this way,
relativity theory has a well defined physical and mathematical base.
The development of quantum mechanics proceeded in a rather haphazard
manner, with the introduction of many ill-defined and poorly understood new
concepts. During its first years, from 1890 to 1925, quantum mechanics, com-
monly referred to as the `old quantum theory', did not even possess a coherent
mathematical basis. In 1926 Werner Heisenberg formulated matrix mechanics
in a mainly technical effort to explain and describe the energy spectrum of the
atoms [3]. Around the same time Erwin Schršodinger elaborated wave mechanics
which seemed to have a more solid physical base: a general idea of wave-particle


Source: Aerts, Diederik - Leo Apostel Centre, Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Collections: Multidisciplinary Databases and Resources; Physics