An Examination of Two Competing Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics with a Critique of the Kochen-Specker Theorem

January 23, 2024
Undergraduate Research

By Eliza Miller

Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University


The Kochen-Specker Theorem is a mathematical statement that is widely accepted as proof that deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics must fail. By analyzing the definitions and logic underpinning Kochen and Specker’s results, Miller finds that the axioms of the theorem are not applicable to quantum systems and thus that its results are inconsequential. This reintroduces the possibility of determinism, resolves what is often thought of as an inconsistency between quantum mechanics and classical physics, and highlights the need to better define several terms salient to effective physics discussion and communication.

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