Volume 18: Pages 380-392, 2005
Complementarity between Macro‐ and Micro‐Worlds
Faculty of Environmental and Information Sciences, Yokkaichi University, Yokkaichi, Mie 512‐8512 Japan
It is possible for us to recover the concept of physical reality independent of our consciousness. In particular, we may treat any quantum particle as always localized, as it is when it is measured, just like in classical physics. However, we can neither uniquely nor locally (i.e., within local interactions) measure the state of a quantum object by the orbit itself of the (localized) object. And, in general, we need a wave‐function Ψ, which can be considered to obey the Schrödinger equation, regardless of the measurement. These expedients allow us to have a unified view of the macroscopic and microscopic worlds and solve the measurement problem by taking the complexity of the macroscopic detector into account. The existence of Ψ, together with the superposition principle in the Hilbert space, shows a limitation in our reductionistic and mechanistic viewpoint. That is, quantum theory is inevitably formalized from the position in nature from which we measure the outer world. The description of the behavior of the microscopic object is inseparably bound up with the macroscopic environment, confronting us with an idea of the complementarity between the macroscopic and microscopic worlds. This new frontier of thinking seems to give us one of the clues needed to overcome many present‐day issues, including the rapid destruction of the global environment.
Keywords: complementarity, measurement problem, quantum mechanics, macro‐ and micro‐worlds, physical reality, reduction of the wave‐packet, nonlocality, reductionism, mechanism, environmental issue
Received: August 5, 2004; Published online: December 15, 2008