“I don't like to sound hyperbolic, but I think the word 'seismic' is likely to apply to this paper.” According to a new paper, the quantum wavefunction, which many had assumed was a useful statistical convenience, is in fact physically real.

The debate over how to understand the wavefunction goes back to the 1920s. In the ‘Copenhagen interpretation’ pioneered by Danish physicist Niels Bohr, the wavefunction was considered a computational tool: it gave correct results when used to calculate the probability of particles having various properties, but physicists were encouraged not to look for a deeper explanation of what the wavefunction is.

This paper changes all of that - with some saying this is the biggest result for quantum mechanics since since Bell’s theorem (1964). An astonishing, mind-bending story.