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The Copenhagen interpretation is an expression of the meaning of quantum mechanics that was largely devised in the years 1925 to 1927 by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. It remains one of the most commonly taught interpretations of quantum mechanics.
According to the Copenhagen interpretation, physical systems generally do not have definite properties prior to being measured, and quantum mechanics can only predict the probabilities that measurements will produce certain results. The act of measurement affects the system, causing the set of probabilities to reduce to only one of the possible values immediately after the measurement. This feature is known as wavefunction collapse.
There have been many objections to the Copenhagen Interpretation over the years. Some have objected to the discontinuous jumps when there is an observation, the probabilistic element introduced upon observation, the subjectiveness of requiring an observer, the difficulty of defining a measuring device or to the necessity of invoking classical physics to describe the "laboratory" in which the results are measured.
Alternatives to the Copenhagen Interpretation include the many-worlds interpretation (see The Many Worlds Interpretation Section), the De Broglie-Bohm (pilot-wave) interpretation, and quantum decoherence theories.
In the early work of Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and Niels Bohr, the occurrence of energy in discrete quantities was postulated in order to explain phenomena such as the spectrum of black-body radiation, the photoelectric effect, and the stability and spectrum of atoms. These phenomena had eluded explanation by classical physics and even appeared to be in contradiction with it. While elementary particles show predictable properties in many experiments, they become thoroughly unpredictable in others, such as attempts to identify individual particle trajectories through a simple physical apparatus.
Classical physics draws a distinction between particles and waves. It also relies on continuity, and on determinism, in natural phenomena. In the early twentieth century, newly discovered atomic and subatomic phenomena seemed to defy those conceptions. In 1925–1926, quantum mechanics was invented as a mathematical formalism that accurately describes the experiments, yet appears to reject those classical conceptions. Instead, it posits that probability, and discontinuity, are fundamental in the physical world. Classical physics also relies on causality. The standing of causality for quantum mechanics is disputed.
Quantum mechanics cannot easily be reconciled with everyday language and observation. Its interpretation has often seemed counter-intuitive to physicists, including its inventors.
The Copenhagen interpretation intends to indicate the proper ways of thinking and speaking about the physical meaning of the mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics and the corresponding experimental results. It offers due respect to discontinuity, probability, and a conception of wave–particle dualism.
So the Copenhagen Interpretation determines that a sub-atomic particle, a photon for example, exists in a "superposition of states" until it reacts with a system. This interpretation suggests that the photon is everywhere, all at once, with any amount of possible positions and outcomes. This leads to probabilities within a system, rather than deterministic predictions on how the system will behave, when or how the associated waveform of the photon will collapse.
The error here, is to consider the photon as a particle at all. Unified Absolute Relativity determines that the energy of the photon never leaves its originating atom, but exists as part of the excited energy state of that atom. In this respect, the potential of the excited atom exists everywhere around it as a waveform. It is not until the originating atom makes distant contact with another atom, one which is at an energy level below that of the originating atom, will this energy be transferred from the originating to the receiving atom. The wavefunction collapses as the originating atom is relieved of its excess energy. There is no "superposition of states" of a sub-atomic particle, but an excited matter atom with the potential to transfer energy to another, less-energetic system. The probabilities, calculated by the Born Rule(see the Born Rule Section) depend upon the energy of the originating atom and the environment in which it exists.