Shelly Goldstein

A basic theme in the research I'm likely to be involved in during the next few years is the indispensable role of taking ontology seriously when confronting issues in the foundations of quantum mechanics, especially cosmological issues.  I would like to explore the status of the wave function of the universe in our quantum world. My feeling is that the most promising possibility is that this wave function, while objective, is not a concrete physical reality but rather a compact representation of the law governing the behavior of something else, the primitive ontology. The latter is given by objects and structures in space-time—what Bell called local beables—with which quantum theory should be regarded as fundamentally concerned. It is through the behavior of the primitive ontology, governed by the wave function of the universe, that quantum theory manages to make any experimental predictions at all, and to explain the things that physics is intended to explain.

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