Parts and wholes. An inquiry into quantum and classical correlations

Abstract
** The primary topic of this dissertation is the study of the relationships between parts and wholes as described by particular physical theories, namely generalized probability theories in a quasi-classical physics framework and non-relativistic quantum theory. ** A large part of this dissertation is devoted to understanding different aspects of four different kinds of correlations: local, partially-local, no-signaling and quantum mechanical correlations. Novel characteristics of these correlations have been used to study how they are related and how they can be discerned via Bell-type inequalities that give non-trivial bounds on the strength of the correlations. ** The study of quantum correlations has also prompted us to study a) the multi-partite qubit state space with respect to its entanglement and separability characteristics, and b) the differing strength of the correlations in separable and entangled qubit states. Results include a novel classification of multipartite (partial) separability and entanglement, strong constraints on the monogamy of entanglement and of non-local correlations, and many new entanglement detection criteria that are directly experimentally accessible. ** Because of the generality of the investigation these results also have strong foundational as well as philosophical repercussions for the different sorts of physical theories as a whole; notably for the viability of hidden variable theories for quantum mechanics, for the possibility of doing experimental metaphysics, for the question of holism in physical theories, and for the classical vs. quantum dichotomy.
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Richard Healey (2013). Physical Composition. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (1):48-62.
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