Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This essay treats of the relationship between quantum and classical mechanics. Both physicists and philosophers hold that quantum mechanics reduces to classical mechanics as h->0, or that classical mechanics is a special case of quantum mechanics in this limit. If one theory reduces to another, certain formal and nonformal conditions must be satisfied. These conditions are formulated and it is shown that the Wigner transformation can serve as a natural reduction function in a reduction which satisfies the formal and nonformal conditions. Finally, it is argued that this reduction does not aid in solving the problem of providing an adequate metaphysical interpretation of quantum theory.


A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Rockefeller University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

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