”The theory cannot be expressed pictorially and mere words mean nothing” (Heisenberg)
A those nuggets of the wise ancients, like alchemical musings they are. Just add mandragore.
The quantum mechanical formalism doesn't support our intuition, nor does it elucidate the key concepts that govern the behaviour of the entities that are subject to the laws of quantum physics. The arrays of complex numbers are kin to the arrays of 0s and 1s of the early days of computer programming practice. In this review we present steps towards a diagrammatic `high-level' alternative for the Hilbert space formalism, one which appeals to our intuition. It allows for intuitive reasoning about interacting quantum systems, and trivialises many otherwise involved and tedious computations. It clearly exposes limitations such as the no-cloning theorem, and phenomena such as quantum teleportation. As a logic, it supports `automation'. It allows for a wider variety of underlying theories, and can be easily modified, having the potential to provide the required step-stone towards a deeper conceptual understanding of quantum theory, as well as its unification with other physical theories. Specific applications discussed here are purely diagrammatic proofs of several quantum computational schemes, as well as an analysis of the structural origin of quantum non-locality. The underlying mathematical foundation of this high-level diagrammatic formalism relies on so-called monoidal categories, a product of a fairly recent development in mathematics. These monoidal categories do not only provide a natural foundation for physical theories, but also for proof theory, logic, programming languages, biology, cooking, ... The challenge is to discover the necessary additional pieces of structure that allow us to predict genuine quantum phenomena.
”Cultural anxieties during 1920s Germany were ultimately the reason why the founders of Quantum Mechanics placed randomness at the centre of their theory”.
This bodes well for new advances in the early 21st century, where permanent observation, economic and cultural upheavals and the death throes of the american empire are sure to lead to new metaphors.