The projection postulate: A new perspective

Philosophy of Science 51 (3):369-395 (1984)
Previous work has shown that the problem of measurement in quantum mechanics is not correctly seen as one of understanding some allegedly univocal process of measurement in nature which corresponds to the projection postulate. The present paper introduces a new perspective by showing that how we are to understand the nature of the change of quantum mechanical state on measurement depends very sensitively on the interpretation of the state function, and by showing how attention to this dependence can greatly sharpen the problems and relations between them. In particular, the problems take a form resembling their traditional formulation only on an inexact value interpretation, according to which the state function attributes inexact values of quantities to systems. On other interpretations we can apply (with various drawbacks) the subensemble idea, according to which a discontinuous change of quantum mechanical description results on measurement simply because we need a new state function to describe a new object
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