There are a lot of potentially correct interpretations of quantum mechanics. While I've heard descriptions of a lot of them, I've never heard of an experiment being done to test any of them aside from the old Bell test experiments.

What ongoing experiments are looking to test interpretations of quantum mechanics?

What about experiments that have been proposed, but not actually performed?

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    $\begingroup$ (Don't do this at home:) Quantum suicide. If the multiple consciousness interpretation is correct, then if you put yourself into Schrödinger's cat's box, there is always a universe where you haven't been killed yet. Since you're dead in the other universes, your consciousness will only live in the universes where you're not dead, so despite all odds you should survive the experiment for an arbitrary amount of time, at least from your point of view. $\endgroup$
    – Lagerbaer
    May 10, 2013 at 23:10
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    $\begingroup$ If they are experimentally distinguishable, wouldn't they be competing theories rather than interpretations of one theory? $\endgroup$
    – Stan Liou
    May 10, 2013 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


There are a variety of thought experiments that are designed to make some interpretations seem more plausible than others (e.g. the PBR experiment). The problem is that there is no argument that will ever make anybody change their mind (just like with religion or politics).

As for actual experimental outcomes, all interpretations always predict the same outcome so the differences are untestable. Otherwise we would have tested them and thrown out the interpretations that didn't fit. The exception to this is the dynamical collapse theories, which predict that the wave function collapses on its own due to some not yet known physical principle, such as quantum gravity or something. Under these theories, large scale delicate experiments (such as quantum computers, or large objects in superposition states) could expose these new effects. I see proposals pop up on arXiv occasionally, but unfortunately I don't remember any of the titles.


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