Volume 1, Issue 4, pages 215-229
Peter Lewis studied physics at Oxford University and philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. He has taught philosophy at Texas Tech University and the University of Miami, where he is currently Associate Professor. He has been a visiting scholar at Hong Kong University, the University of Sydney, and Durham University. His work concentrates on the foundations of quantum mechanics, but he has also published on scientific realism and on the epistemology of self-locating belief.
The call to supplement the quantum wave function with local beables is almost as old as quantum mechanics. But what exactly is the problem with the wave function as the representation of a quantum system? I canvass three potential problems with the wave function: the well-known problems of incompleteness and dimensionality, and the lesser known problem of non-locality introduced recently by Myrvold. Building on Myrvold’s insight, I show that the standard ways of introducing local beables into quantum mechanics are unsuccessful. I consider whether we really need local beables, and assess the prospects for a new theory of local beables.