# Agnostic approach to learning quantum mechanics?

Quick story: I was watching a semiconductor course of Prof. Lundstrom. When he started mentioning quantum stuff I knew that I have to learn QM to really understand what it means. I found MIT 8.04 by Prof. Zweibach. It was all nice and cool but...

Whenever Professor mentions about an experiment and how its results yield "unintuitive explanations" of quantum mechanics, I ask myself "but what did really happen? What conclusions would I end up with if I was there?"

As I googled some stuff, I learned that there are quite a few interpretations of QM with 42 percent favoring the Copenhagen interpretation. I noticed how there were people like me, saying "ok, this result from the experiment can also be explained with my interpretation" (with the only difference being I, as a novice, currently have no invented personal interpretation). My favorite (already existing interpretation) so far is quantum information theory. [Edit after comment: Not QIT, my intention was Information based interpretation]

I am not qualified in physics as Bohr or Schrödinger but I know that "Entities should not be multiplied without necessity." (Ockham's razor) I feel like this whole "wavefunctions collapsing and spooky actions" situation is a bit far-fetched. Again, I am not a physicist but I know how it feels to understand a new concept. In maths, physics, and chemistry I always can see why the scientists concluded in some specific way and nearly every time I find myself saying "Ok if I was in their place; I would have concluded the same. I can come up with the same explanation if I was stuck alone on an island, without hearing about these scientists' ideas. (If I can live for 1000 years with enough supply of pen and paper)".

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), my first attempt at learning QM is different than my other learning experiences. Now I need a good guide for learning QM but in an interpretation agnostic fashion. I don't think that the current most popular interpretation of QM is "the best explanation" of nature (and physicists don't seem to agree with each other either).

I want your guidance (book names, research topics, etc.) in an agnostic learning journey of quantum mechanics.

• Quantum information theory is not an interpretation... Anyway, I'd recommend you take a look at Asher Peres' textbook. – Mark Mitchison Sep 15 at 9:18
• I have edited that part now :) – alpersunter Sep 15 at 9:39
• @alpersunter it's okay to start at one interpretation and end up with another .. I'm not trying to say all interpretations are equivalent but if you can comfortably do some logical maneuvers in one but not the other then maybe thats the one for you! That said having to more than $1$ interpretation of QM at the same time is crazy ... Though you can be well versed with more than one ... Identifying with more than one is "spookier" than EPR – More Anonymous Sep 15 at 11:16
• @alpersunter Also I suspect many students unknowingly take after the interpretations of their professors (esp. the one who introduces you to the subject). Which is natural and reasonable .. Even the professor will use words such as "In this world" or "collapse of the wavefunction". The real problem is when the professor uses the "no interpretations of QM" and masks his words well then you have some problem cases like me :P – More Anonymous Sep 15 at 11:31
• when you want to know how the physicists came up with the wave-function, these kind of things are more found in a book about the history of quantum mechanics. A usual 'agnostic' textbook on qm will start by postulating that there is a wave-function, and then showing how this is indeed the correct description of the world. If you ask WHY one should bother with wave-functions in the first place: this is exactly what people think about in the branch of qm that would be excluded by agnosticism. – Lorenz Mayer Sep 15 at 12:55