Making quantum theory compatible with realism

Foundations of Science 7 (1-2):11-47 (2002)
After a brief account of theway quantum theory deals with naturalprocesses, the crucial problem that such atheory meets, the measurement or, better, themacro-objectification problem is discussed.The embarrassing aspects of the occurrence ofentangled states involving macroscopic systemsare analyzed in details. The famous example ofSchroedinger's cat is presented and it ispointed out how the combined interplay of thesuperposition principle and the ensuingentanglement raises some serious difficultiesin working out a satisfactory quantum worldview, agreeing with our definiteperceptions. The orthodox solution to themacro-objectification problem, i.e. thepostulate of wave packet reduction, isanalyzed and is proved to be inconsistent withthe assumption that the theory governes alsothe measurement process. After these premises,the rest of the paper is devoted to discuss arecent proposal of overcoming the difficultiesof the standard formalism by acceptingnonlinear and stochastic modifications of thequantum dynamics. The proposed theory is shownto agree with all known predictions of thestandard theory concerning microscopic systemsand to account, on the basis of a universaldynamics which is assumed to govern allnatural processes, for wave packet reductionin measurement processes and, more important,to eliminate all the difficulties concerningmacroscopic situations. Actually, the proposedtheory allows one to take consistently amacrorealistic position about natural processes and about our definite perceptions.
Keywords foundations of quantum mechanics  quantum entanglement  quantum mechanics and realism  superposition principle  the macro-objetification problem
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DOI 10.1023/A:1016039307391
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