Quantum mechanics (QM; also known as quantum physics, or quantum theory) is a fundamental branch of physics which deals with physical phenomena atnanoscopic scales, where the action is on the order of the Planck constant. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the quantum realm of atomic andsubatomic length scales. Quantum mechanics provides a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energyand matter. Quantum mechanics provides a substantially useful framework for many features of the modern periodic table of elements, including the behavior of atomsduring chemical bonding, and has played a significant role in the development of many modern technologies.
An interpretation of quantum mechanics is a set of statements which attempt to explain how quantum mechanics informs our understanding of nature. Although quantum mechanics has held up to rigorous and thorough experimental testing, many of these experiments are open to different interpretations. There exist a number of contending schools of thought, differing over whether quantum mechanics can be understood to be deterministic, which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered “real”, and other matters.
This question is of special interest to philosophers of physics, as physicists continue to show a strong interest in the subject. They usually consider an interpretation of quantum mechanics as an interpretation of the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics, specifying the physical meaning of the mathematical entities of the theory.