David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Foundations of Physics 40:93-115 (2010)
We argue that it is fundamentally impossible to recover information about quantum superpositions when a quantum system has interacted with a sufficiently large number of degrees of freedom of the environment. This is due to the fact that gravity imposes fundamental limitations on how accurate measurements can be. This leads to the notion of undecidability: there is no way to tell, due to fundamental limitations, if a quantum system evolved unitarily or suffered wavefunction collapse. This in turn provides a solution to the problem of outcomes in quantum measurement by providing a sharp criterion for defining when an event has taken place. We analyze in detail in examples two situations in which in principle one could recover information about quantum coherence: a) “revivals” of coherence in the interaction of a system with the measurement apparatus and the environment and b) the measurement of global observables of the system plus apparatus plus environment. We show in the examples that the fundamental limitations due to gravity and quantum mechanics in measurement prevent both revivals from occurring and the measurement of global observables. It can therefore be argued that the emerging picture provides a complete resolution to the measurement problem in quantum mechanics.
|Keywords||undecidability interpretation of quantum mechanics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Rodolfo Gambini, Luis Pedro García-Pintos & Jorge Pullin (2011). An Axiomatic Formulation of the Montevideo Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (4):256-263.
Similar books and articles
Don Robinson (1990). The Infinite Apparatus in the Quantum Theory of Measurement. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:251 - 261.
Nicholas Maxwell (1973). The Problem of Measurement - Real or Imaginary? American Journal of Physics 41:1022-5.
Hasok Chang (1997). On the Applicability of the Quantum Measurement Formalism. Erkenntnis 46 (2):143-163.
Jeffrey Bub (1988). From Micro to Macro: A Solution to the Measurement Problem of Quantum Mechanics. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:134 - 144.
Peter J. Lewis (2010). Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics. Manuscrito 33:285--306.
Mauricio Suárez (2004). Quantum Selections, Propensities and the Problem of Measurement. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):219 - 255.
Nicholas Maxwell (1975). Does the Minimal Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Resolve the Measurement Problem? Methodology and Science 8:84-101.
Jeffrey Bub & Itamar Pitowsky (2010). Two Dogmas About Quantum Mechanics. In Simon Saunders, Jonathan Barrett, Adrian Kent & David Wallace (eds.), Many Worlds?: Everett, Quantum Theory, & Reality. Oup Oxford.
Nicholas Maxwell (1972). A New Look at the Quantum Mechanical Problem of Measurement. American Journal of Physics 40:1431-5..
Added to index2009-11-14
Total downloads29 ( #57,758 of 1,096,701 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #271,187 of 1,096,701 )
How can I increase my downloads?