It is well known that quantum theory is ridden with foundational problems such as the measurement problem, nonlocality, wavefunction collapse, etc. Moreover, it seems that all those problems continue to persist even in relativistic quantum field theory. However, does string theory help resolve or understand those foundational problems in any manner?

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    $\begingroup$ Those are problems with quantum mechanical treatments of everything. Including relativistic strings. $\endgroup$ Aug 24 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ There are no foundational problems with quantum mechanics. None of the things you mentioned are problems at all. Further, string theory is simply a special type of quantum theory so any feature of quantum mechanics is most definitely also a feature of string theory. $\endgroup$
    – Prahar
    Aug 24 at 17:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Prahar: Thanks, but I don't quite agree. It would be long debate that we could perhaps have elsewhere. But I found this answer by Peter Shor quite interesting and insightful: physics.stackexchange.com/a/4152/92343 $\endgroup$
    – Girish
    Aug 24 at 17:23
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    $\begingroup$ For the uninitiated, here is a short and nice book that describes the foundational issues in quantum theory quite well: amazon.com/Foundations-Quantum-Mechanics-Elements-Philosophy/dp/… $\endgroup$
    – Girish
    Aug 24 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ The measurement problem and wavefunction collapse are problems with the Copenhagen interpretation specifically. It doesn't really emerge if you are willing to abandon the idea of point-particles and embrace wave-mechanics as fundamental, which isn't such a big sacrifice as point particles never made much sense to begin with. QFT does go some way to expanding on that idea with the concept of fields (no one takes Copenhagen seriously these days). Nonlocality is problematic as it doesn't play nice with relativity, but you could just as well argue that it's relativity's problem. $\endgroup$ Aug 25 at 4:39

2 Answers 2



String Theory builds on the same foundation laid by QFT, which builds on the same foundation laid in QM. Generally the laws that yield probabilities - which lead to scattering cross sections - are the same in these theories. They share the same general framework, and the notion of "measurement" is not any more well-defined in any of them.


String theory is a discredited paradigm, that in 50 years of sisyphean effort involving thousands of acolytes has not yielded a single verifiable prediction. As such it is incapable of shedding light on anything except the sociology of scientific fads.


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