Amanda Gefter (US): The Many-Observer Problem of Quantum Mechanics

Donnerstag, 12.04.2018 16:00

Ort: Ludwig-Boltzmann-Hörsaal, Boltzmanngasse 5, EG

Hugh Everett began his famous dissertation by pointing out that the standard Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is inconsistent for a world containing more than one observer. This was, in fact, a problem that Niels Bohr himself had considered, and one that Eugene Wigner made explicit in the thought experiment known as “Wigner’s friend.” But it was, perhaps, Everett’s advisor, John Archibald Wheeler, who struggled most with the problem of multiple observers.“What troubles me more than anything else is how different observers combine their impressions to build up what we call reality,” he wrote. Using archival documents from Wheeler’s personal journals, we will trace his thinking on the matter, and examine what it means for our understanding of reality.

This talk is part of a Lecture series on foundations of physics: scientific realism(260020VO, 2.5 ECTS, organised by the students of natural science of the University of Vienna (see


Ludwig-Boltzmann-Hörsaal, Boltzmanngasse 5, EG

Olafur Eliasson The Weather Project © Andrew Dunkley and Marcus Leith