This book is about how to understand quantum mechanics by means of a modal interpretation. Modal interpretations provide a general framework within which quantum mechanics can be considered as a theory that describes reality in terms of physical systems possessing definite properties. The text surveys results obtained using modal interpretations, and is intended as both an accessible survey that can be read from cover to cover, and a systematic reference book.
Quantum mechanics is standardly understood to be a theory about probabilities with which measurements have outcomes. Modal interpretations are relatively new attempts, first proposed in the 1970s and 1980s, to present quantum mechanics as a theory which, like other physical theories, describes an observer-independent reality. In the 1990s much work has been carried out to develop fully these interpretations. In this book, Pieter Vermaas summarises the results of this work. A basic acquaintance with quantum mechanics is assumed.
This book will be of great value to undergraduates, graduate students and researchers in philosophy of science and physics departments with an interest in learning about modal interpretations of quantum mechanics.