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May 19, 2011
@ 6:46 pm
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Unlike Newton’s mechanics, or Maxwell’s electrodynamics, or Einstein’s relativity, quantum theory was not created - or even definitively packaged - by one individual, and it retains to this day some of the scars of its exhilarating but traumatic youth. There is no general consensus as to what its fundamental principles are, how it should be taught, or what it really “means.” Every competent physicist can “do” quantum mechanics, but the stories we tell ourselves about what we are doing are as various as the tales of Scheherazade, and almost as implausible. Richard Feynman (one of its greatest practitioners) remarked, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

— David Griffiths, 1995 Preface to Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

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