Posted: Oct 09, 2011 11:17 am
by mizvekov
hackenslash wrote:No, I'm not a Platonic realist. Nor do I need to be, because '5' isn't a property, while spin, angular momentum, etc, are.

But '5' describes the property 'number of fingers' of my left hand.
And so does f(x) = 5, where x is distance to the moon, describes the same thing, but at least I would not say that function 'f' is real because it describes something which is very real and observable.
And similarly the operators, they are mathematical abstract objects which describe properties of the particles.
I mean, I am not saying it isn't possible to hold consistently the view that operators are 'real', and as far as controversy on ontology is concerned, this particular branch of physics is deep into it, but one thing that is very uncommon among physicists is to attribute reality into any mathematical objects. That particular thing raises red flags immediately.