The Problem of Molecular Structure Just Is The Measurement problem

Vanessa A Seifert, Alexander Franklin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Whether or not quantum physics can account for molecular structure is a matter of considerable controversy. Three of the problems raised in this regard are the problems of molecular structure. We argue that these problems are just special cases of the measurement problem of quantum mechanics: insofar as the measurement problem is solved, the problems of molecular structure are resolved as well. In addition, we explore one consequence of our argument: that claims
about the reduction or emergence of molecular structure cannot be settled independently of the choice of a particular resolution to the measurement problem. Specifically, we consider how three standard putative solutions to the measurement problem inform our understanding of a molecule in isolation, as well as of chemistry’s relation to quantum physics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Early online date1 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2021

Bibliographical note

The MetaScience project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's (EU) Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No 771509.

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Science and Philosophy


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