FOR THOSE WHO SPEND THEIR DAYS tinkering with quantum mechanics in the way other people make a living repairing cars or closing business deals, the formalism and axioms of quantum theory quickly become second nature. Hilbert spaces, normalized vectors, Hermitian operators, complex-valued partial differential equations: it’s as if God had carved the quantum axioms into a slab of stone—complete with a large golden heading reading the commandments of Ψ—and then lowered the tablet down from the heavens and presented it to us with his trademark enigmatic smile. “This is it. These are the symbols and the rules that represent how your world works. Don’t ask why.”
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