A fully microrealistic, propensity version of quantumtheory is proposed, according to which fundamental physical entities - neither particles nor fields - have physical characteristics which determine probabilistically how they interact with one another (rather than with measuring instruments). The version of quantum "smearon" theory proposed here does not modify the equations of orthodox quantumtheory: rather, it gives a radically new interpretation to these equations. It is argued that (i) there (...) are strong general reasons for preferring quantum "smearon" theory to orthodox quantumtheory; (ii) the proposed change in physical interpretation leads quantum "smearon" theory to make experimental predictions subtly different from those of orthodox quantumtheory. Some possible crucial experiments are considered. (shrink)
This paper investigates the possibiity of developing a fully microrealistic version of elementary quantum mechanics. I argue that it is highly desirable to develop such a version of quantum mechanics, and that the failure of all current versions and interpretations of quantum mechanics to constitute microrealistic theories is at the root of many of the interpretative problems associated with quantum mechanics, in particular the problem of measurement. I put forward a (...) propensity microrealistic version of quantum mechanics, and suggest how it might be possible to discriminate, on expermental grounds, between this theory and other versions of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
In this paper, possible objections to the propensity microrealistic version of quantum mechanics proposed in Part I are answered. This version of quantum mechanics is compared with the statistical, particle microrealistic viewpoint, and a crucial experiment is proposed designed to distinguish between these to microrealistic versions of quantum mechanics.
In this paper I put forward a new microrealistic, fundamentally probabilistic, propensiton version of quantumtheory. According to this theory, the entities of the quantum domain - electrons, photons, atoms - are neither particles nor fields, but a new kind of fundamentally probabilistic entity, the propensiton - entities which interact with one another probabilistically. This version of quantumtheory leaves the Schroedinger equation unchanged, but reinterprets it to specify how propensitons evolve (...) when no probabilistic transitions occur. Probabilisitic transitions occur when new "particles" are created as a result of inelastic interactions. All measurements are just special cases of this. This propensiton version of quantumtheory, I argue, solves the wave/particle dilemma, is free of conceptual problems that plague orthodox quantumtheory, recovers all the empirical success of orthodox quantumtheory, and at the same time yields as yet untested predictions that differ from those of orthodox quantumtheory. (shrink)
In this new edition, Arthur Fine looks at Einstein's philosophy of science and develops his own views on realism. A new Afterword discusses the reaction to Fine's own theory. "What really led Einstein . . . to renounce the new quantum order? For those interested in this question, this book is compulsory reading."--Harvey R. Brown, American Journal of Physics "Fine has successfully combined a historical account of Einstein's philosophical views on quantum mechanics and a discussion of some (...) of the philosophical problems associated with the interpretation of quantumtheory with a discussion of some of the contemporary questions concerning realism and antirealism. . . . Clear, thoughtful, [and] well-written."--Allan Franklin, Annals of Science "Attempts, from Einstein's published works and unpublished correspondence, to piece together a coherent picture of 'Einstein realism.' Especially illuminating are the letters between Einstein and fellow realist Schrodinger, as the latter was composing his famous 'Schrodinger-Cat' paper."--Nick Herbert, New Scientist "Beautifully clear. . . . Fine's analysis is penetrating, his own results original and important. . . . The book is a splendid combination of new ways to think about quantum mechanics, about realism, and about Einstein's views of both."--Nancy Cartwright, Isis. (shrink)
It is usually taken for granted that orthodox quantumtheory poses a serious problem for scientific realism, in that the theory is empirically extraordinarily successful, and yet has instrumentalism built into it. This paper stand this view on its head. I argue that orthodox quantumtheory suffers from a number of serious (if not always noticed) defects precisely because of its inbuilt instrumentalism. This defective character of orthdoox quantumtheory thus undermines instrumentalism, and (...) supports scientific realism. I go on to consider whether there is here the basis of a general argument against instrumentalism. (shrink)
QuantumTheory and the Flight from Realism is a critical introduction to the long-standing debate concerning the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics, and the problems it has posed for physicists and philosophers from Einstein to the present. Quantumtheory has been a major influence on postmodernism, and presents significant challenges for realists. Clarifying these debates for the non-specialist, Christopher Norris examines the premises of orthodox quantumtheory and its impact on various philosophical developments. (...) He subjects a wide range of opponents and supporters of realism to a high and equal level of scrutiny. Combining rigor and intellectual generosity, he draws out the merits and weaknesses from opposing arguments. (shrink)
This paper examines the epistemological significance of the present situation of underdetermination in quantum mechanics. After analyzing this underdetermination at three levels---formal, ontological, and methodological---the paper considers implications for a number of variants of the thesis of scientific realism in fundamental physics and reassesses Lakatos‘ characterization of progress in physical theory in light of the present situation. Next, this paper considers the implications of underdetermination for Weinberg’s ‘‘dream of a final theory.’’ Finally, the paper concludes by suggesting (...) how one might still think of realism and progress in fundamental physics despite the possibility of persistent underdetermination in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
The interpretation of quantum mechanics is discussed from the viewpoint of quantum logic (QL). QL is understood to concern the possible properties that can be ascribed to a physical system SYS. The micro-state of SYS at any given moment t is identified with the set of all properties actualized by SYS at time t. Minimal adequacy requirements are proposed for all interpretations of micro-states. A strict interpretation is defined to be one according to which the properties (...) ascribable to SYS are individuated by the projection operators on the associated Hilbert space. Two strict interpretations are examined. Kochen's interpretation is also discussed, and it is argued that it is not a strict interpretation. (shrink)
Two successes of old quantumtheory are particularly notable: Bohr’s prediction of the spectral lines of ionised helium, and Sommerfeld’s prediction of the fine-structure of the hydrogen spectral lines. Many scientific realists would like to be able to explain these successes in terms of the truth or approximate truth of the assumptions which fuelled the relevant derivations. In this paper I argue that this will be difficult for the ionised helium success, and is almost certainly impossible for the (...) fine-structure success. Thus I submit that the case against the realist’s thesis that success is indicative of truth is marginally strengthened. (shrink)
I propose a new class of interpretations, real world interpretations, of the quantumtheory of closed systems. These interpretations postulate a preferred factorization of Hilbert space and preferred projective measurements on one factor. They give a mathematical characterisation of the different possible worlds arising in an evolving closed quantum system, in which each possible world corresponds to a (generally mixed) evolving quantum state. In a realistic model, the states corresponding to different worlds should be expected (...) to tend towards orthogonality as different possible quasiclassical structures emerge or as measurement-like interactions produce different classical outcomes. However, as the worlds have a precise mathematical definition, real world interpretations need no definition of quasiclassicality, measurement, or other concepts whose imprecision is problematic in other interpretational approaches. It is natural to postulate that precisely one world is chosen randomly, using the natural probability distribution, as the world realised in Nature, and that this world’s mathematical characterisation is a complete description of reality. (shrink)
Quantumtheory is a tremendously successful physical theory, but nevertheless suffers from two serious problems: the measurement problem and the problem of interpretational underdetermination. The latter, however, is largely overlooked as a genuine problem of its own. Both problems concern the doctrine of realism, but pull, quite curiously, into opposite directions. The measurement problem can be captured such that due to scientific realism about quantumtheory common sense anti-realism follows, while theory underdetermination usually counts (...) as an argument against scientific realism. I will also consider the more refined distinctions of ontic and epistemic realism and demonstrate that quantumtheory in its most viable interpretations conflicts with at least one of the various realism claims. A way out of the conundrum is to come to the bold conclusion that quantumtheory is, possibly, wrong (in the realist sense). (shrink)
Work on the central problems of the philosophy of science has led the author to attempt to create an intelligible version of quantumtheory. The basic idea is that probabilistic transitions occur when new stationary or particle states arise as a result of inelastic collisions.
The basic theme of Popper's philosophy--that something can come from nothing--is related to the present situation in physical theory. Popper carries his investigation right to the center of current debate in quantum physics. He proposes an interpretation of physics--and indeed an entire cosmology--which is realist, conjectural, deductivist and objectivist, anti-positivist, and anti-instrumentalist. He stresses understanding, reminding us that our ignorance grows faster than our conjectural knowledge.
future evolution of the field. These ideas thou h old 'th k oug o, are ei er un nown oz misunderstood, Our point here is that a stron realistic os". g ' ' posi'.ion has consequences: it offers a completely natural..
I offer an account of how the quantumtheory we have helps us explain so much. The account depends on a pragmatist interpretation of the theory: this takes a quantum state to serve as a source of sound advice to physically situated agents on the content and appropriate degree of belief about matters concerning which they are currently inevitably ignorant. The general account of how to use quantum states and probabilities to explain otherwise puzzling regularities (...) is then illustrated by showing how we can explain single-particle interference phenomena, the stability of matter, and interference of Bose–Einstein condensates. Finally, I note some open problems and relate this account to alternative approaches to explanation that emphasize the importance of causation, of unification, and of structure. 1 Introduction2 Two Requirements on Explanations in Physics3 What We Can use QuantumTheory to Explain4 The Function of Quantum States and Born Probabilities5 How These Functions Contribute to the Explanatory Task6 Example One: Single-Particle Interference7 Example Two: Explanation of the Stability of Matter8 Example Three: Bose Condensation9 Conclusion. (shrink)
The measurement problem of quantumtheory is discussed, and the difficulty of trying to solve it within the confines of a local, Lorentz-invariant physics is emphasised. This leads to the obvious suggestion to seek a solution beyond physics, in particular, by introducing the concept of consciousness. The resulting dualistic model, in the natural form suggested by quantumtheory, is shown to differ in several respects from the classical model of Descartes, and to suggest solutions to some (...) of the long-standing problems concerning the relation of consciousness to the physical world. (shrink)
Science is always presupposing some basic concepts that are held to be useful. These absolute presuppositions (Collingwood) are rarely debated and form the framework for what has been termed paradigm by Kuhn. Our currently accepted scientific model is predicated on a set of presuppositions that have difficulty accommodating holistic structures and relationships and are not geared towards incorporating non-local correlations. Since the theoretical models we hold also determine what we perceive and take as scientifically viable, it is important to look (...) for an alternative model that can deal with holistic relationships. One approach is to generalise algebraic quantumtheory, which is an inherently holistic framework, into a generic model. Relaxing some restrictions and definitions from quantumtheory proper yields an axiomatic framework that can be applied to any type of system. Most importantly, it keeps the core of the quantum theoretical formalism. It is capable of handling complementary observables, i.e. descriptors which are non-commuting, incompatible and yet collectively required to fully describe certain situations. It also predicts a generalised form of non-local correlations that in quantumtheory are known as entanglement. This generalised version is not quantum entanglement but an analogue form of holistic, non-local connectedness of elements within systems, predicted to occur whenever elements within systems are described by observables which are complementary to the description of the whole system. While a considerable body of circumstantial evidence supports the plausibility of the model, we are not yet in a position to use it for clear cut predictions that could be experimentally falsified. The series of papers offered in this special issue are the beginning of what we hope will become a rich scientific debate. (shrink)
The Everett interpretation of quantumtheory requires either the existence of an infinite number of conscious minds associated with each brain or the existence of one universal consciousness. Reasons are given, and the two ideas are compared.
Weak QuantumTheory (WQT) and the Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI) are two psychophysical concepts developed on the basis of quantum physics. The present study contributes to their empirical examination. The issue of the study is whether WQT and MPI can not only explain ‘psi’-phenomena theoretically but also prove to be consistent with the empirical phenomenology of extrasensory perception (ESP). From the main statements of both models, 33 deductions for psychic readings are derived. Psychic readings are defined (...) as settings, in which psychics support or counsel clients by using information not mediated through the five senses. A qualitative approach is chosen to explore how the psychics experience extrasensory perceptions. Eight psychics are interviewed with a half-structured method. The reports are examined regarding deductive and inductive aspects, using a multi-level structured content analysis. The vast majority of deductions is clearly confirmed by the reports. Even though the study has to be seen as an explorative attempt with many aspects to be specified, WQT and MPI prove to be coherent and helpful concepts to explain ESP in psychic readings. (shrink)
A summary of recent experimental results shows that entanglement can be generated more easily than before, and that there are improved chances for its persistence. An eminent finding of Generalised QuantumTheory is the insight that the notion of entanglement can be extended, such that, e.g., psychological or psychophysical problem areas can be included, too. First, a general condition for entanglement to occur is given by the term ‘common prearranged context’. A formalised treatment requires a quantitative definition of (...) the similarity or dissimilarity between two complex structures which takes their internal structures into account. After some specific remarks on distance, metrics, and semi-metrics in mathematics, a procedure is described for setting up a similarity function with the required properties. This procedure is in analogy with the two-step character of measurement and with the well-known properties of perspective notions. A general methodology can be derived for handling perspective notions. Finally, these concepts supply heuristic clues towards a formalised treatment of the notions of ‘meaning’ and ‘interpretation’. (shrink)
The main formal structures of generalized quantumtheory are summarized. Recent progress has sharpened some of the concepts, in particular the notion of an observable, the action of an observable on states (putting more emphasis on the role of proposition observables), and the concept of generalized entanglement. Furthermore, the active role of the observer in the structure of observables and the partitioning of systems is emphasized.
Recently it has been claimed that no extension of quantumtheory can have improved predictive power, the statement following, according to the authors, from the assumptions of free will and of the correctness of quantum predictions concerning the correlations of measurement outcomes. Here we prove that the argument is basically flawed by an inappropriate use of the assumption of free will. In particular, among other implications, the claim, if correct, would imply that Bohmian Mechanics is incompatible with (...) free will. This statement, appearing in the paper, derives from the unjustified identification of free will with the no-signaling constraint and of a purely formal and not physical use of such a constraint. (shrink)
After a brief account of theway quantumtheory 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. (shrink)
Quantum Mechanics can be viewed as a linear dynamical theory having a familiar mathematical framework but a mysterious probabilistic interpretation, or as a probabilistic theory having a familiar interpretation but a mysterious formal framework. These points of view are usually taken to be somewhat in tension with one another. The first has generated a vast literature aiming at a “realistic” and “collapse-free” interpretation of quantum mechanics that will account for its statistical predictions. The second has (...) generated an at least equally large literature aiming to derive, or at any rate motivate, the formal structure of quantumtheory in probabilistically intelligible terms. In this paper I explore, in a preliminary way, the possibility that these two programmes have something to offer one another. In particular, I show that a version of the measurement problem occurs in essentially any non-classical probabilistic theory, and ask to what extent various interpretations of quantum mechanics continue to make sense in such a general setting. I make a start on answering this question in the case of a rudimentary version of the Everett interpretation. (shrink)
Halvorson and Clifton have given a mathematical reconstruction of Bohr’s reply to Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen (EPR), and argued that this reply is dictated by the two requirements of classicality and objectivity for the description of experimental data, by proving consistency between their objectivity requirement and a contextualized version of the EPR reality criterion which had been introduced by Howard in his earlier analysis of Bohr’s reply. In the present paper, we generalize the above consistency theorem, with a rather elementary (...) proof, to a general formulation of EPR states applicable to both non-relativistic quantum mechanics and algebraic quantum field theory; and we clarify the elements of reality in EPR states in terms of Bohr’s requirements of classicality and objectivity, in a general formulation of algebraic quantumtheory. (shrink)
The limitation on the sharing of entanglement is a basic feature of quantumtheory. For example, if two qubits are completely entangled with each other, neither of them can be at all entangled with any other object. In this paper we show, at least for a certain standard definition of entanglement, that this feature is lost when one replaces the usual complex vector space of quantum states with a real vector space. Moreover, the difference between the two (...) theories is extreme: in the real-vector-space theory, there exist states of arbitrarily many binary objects, “rebits,” in which every rebit in the system is maximally entangled with each of the other rebits. (shrink)
Quantumtheory may be formulated using Hilbert spaces over any of the three associative normed division algebras: the real numbers, the complex numbers and the quaternions. Indeed, these three choices appear naturally in a number of axiomatic approaches. However, there are internal problems with real or quaternionic quantumtheory. Here we argue that these problems can be resolved if we treat real, complex and quaternionic quantumtheory as part of a unified structure. Dyson called (...) this structure the ‘three-fold way’. It is perhaps easiest to see it in the study of irreducible unitary representations of groups on complex Hilbert spaces. These representations come in three kinds: those that are not isomorphic to their own dual (the truly ‘complex’ representations), those that are self-dual thanks to a symmetric bilinear pairing (which are ‘real’, in that they are the complexifications of representations on real Hilbert spaces), and those that are self-dual thanks to an antisymmetric bilinear pairing (which are ‘quaternionic’, in that they are the underlying complex representations of representations on quaternionic Hilbert spaces). This three-fold classification sheds light on the physics of time reversal symmetry, and it already plays an important role in particle physics. More generally, Hilbert spaces of any one of the three kinds—real, complex and quaternionic—can be seen as Hilbert spaces of the other kinds, equipped with extra structure. (shrink)
Manifestly covariant quantumtheory with invariant evolution parameter is a parametrized relativistic dynamical theory. The study of parameterized relativistic dynamics (PRD) helps us understand the consequences of changing key assumptions of quantum field theory (QFT). QFT has been very successful at explaining physical observations and is the basis of the conventional paradigm, which includes the Standard Model of electroweak and strong interactions. Despite its record of success, some phenomena are anomalies that may require a modification (...) of the Standard Model. The anomalies include neutrino oscillations, non-locality, and gravity.The two key QFT assumptions that are altered in PRD are the following: fields depend on space and time; and interactions between fields are local. Locality and non-locality refer to the correlation of particles with space-like separation. A local theory does not allow the existence of greater than light speed correlations, while a non-local theory does. PRD is a non-local theory that allows fields to depend on space, time and an invariant evolution parameter. A formulation of PRD is presented together with applications that can be directly compared to results from the conventional paradigm. (shrink)
Quantumtheory has the property of “local tomography”: the state of any composite system can be reconstructed from the statistics of measurements on the individual components. In this respect the holism of quantumtheory is limited. We consider in this paper a class of theories more holistic than quantumtheory in that they are constrained only by “bilocal tomography”: the state of any composite system is determined by the statistics of measurements on pairs of (...) components. Under a few auxiliary assumptions, we derive certain general features of such theories. In particular, we show how the number of state parameters can depend on the number of perfectly distinguishable states. We also show that real-vector-space quantumtheory, while not locally tomographic, is bilocally tomographic. (shrink)
I argue that quantumtheory can, and in fact must, be applied to the Universe as a whole. After a general introduction, I discuss two concepts that are essential for my chain of arguments: the universality of quantumtheory and the emergence of classical behaviors by decoherence. A further motivation is given by the open problem of quantum gravity. I then present the main ingredients of quantum cosmology and discuss their relevance for the interpretation (...) of quantumtheory. I end with some brief epistemological remarks. (shrink)
In the present work, quantumtheory is founded on the framework of consciousness, in contrast to earlier suggestions that consciousness might be understood starting from quantumtheory. The notion of streams of consciousness, usually restricted to conscious beings, is extended to the notion of a Universal/Global stream of conscious flow of ordered events. The streams of conscious events which we experience constitute sub-streams of the Universal stream. Our postulated ontological character of consciousness also consists of an (...) operator which acts on a state of potential consciousness to create or modify the likelihoods for later events to occur and become part of the Universal conscious flow. A generalized process of measurement-perception is introduced, where the operation of consciousness brings into existence, from a state of potentiality, the event in consciousness. This is mathematically represented by (a) an operator acting on the state of potential consciousness before an actual event arises in consciousness and (b) the reflecting of the result of this operation back onto the state of potential consciousness for comparison in order for the event to arise in consciousness. Beginning from our postulated ontology that consciousness is primary and from the most elementary conscious contents, such as perception of periodic change and motion, quantumtheory follows naturally as the description of the conscious experience. (shrink)
Following Asher Peres’s observation that, as in classical physics, in quantumtheory, too, a given physical object considered “has a precise position and a precise momentum,” this article examines the question of the definition of quantum variables, and then the new type (as against classical physics) of relationships between mathematics and physics in quantumtheory. The article argues that the possibility of the precise definition and determination of quantum variables depends on the particular nature (...) of these relationships. (shrink)
In a recent paper [e-print quant-ph/0101012], Hardy has given a derivation of “quantumtheory from five reasonable axioms.” Here we show that Hardy's first axiom, which identifies probability with limiting frequency in an ensemble, is not necessary for his derivation. By reformulating Hardy's assumptions, and modifying a part of his proof, in terms of Bayesian probabilities, we show that his work can be easily reconciled with a Bayesian interpretation of quantum probability.
In spite of the interference manifested in the double-slit experiment, quantumtheory predicts that a measure of interference defined by Sorkin and involving various outcome probabilities from an experiment with three slits, is identically zero. We adapt Sorkin’s measure into a general operational probabilistic framework for physical theories, and then study its relationship to the structure of quantumtheory. In particular, we characterize the class of probabilistic theories for which the interference measure is zero as ones (...) in which it is possible to fully determine the state of a system via specific sets of ‘two-slit’ experiments. (shrink)
Quantumtheory is one the most important and successful theories of modern physical science. It has been estimated that its principles form the basis for about 30 per cent of the world's manufacturing economy. This is all the more remarkable because quantumtheory is a theory that nobody understands. The meaning of QuantumTheory introduces science students to the theory's fundamental conceptual and philosophical problems, and the basis of its non-understandability. It does (...) this with the barest minimum of jargon and very little mathematics in the main text. Readers wishing to delve more deeply into the theory's mathematical subtleties can do so in an extended series of appendices. The book brings the reader up to date with the results of new experimental tests of quantum weirdness and reviews the latest thinking on alternative interpretations, the frontiers of quantum cosmology, quantum gravity and potential application of this weirdness in computing, cryptography and teleportation. (shrink)
Because it fails to solve the wave-particle problem, orthodox quantumtheory is obliged to be about observables and not quantum beables. As a result the theory is imprecise, ambiguous, ad hoc, lacking in explanatory power, restricted in scope and resistant to unification. A new version of quantumtheory is needed that is about quantum beables.
We introduce a new “positive formalism” for encoding quantum theories in the general boundary formulation, somewhat analogous to the mixed state formalism of the standard formulation. This makes the probability interpretation more natural and elegant, eliminates operationally irrelevant structure and opens the general boundary formulation to quantum information theory.
In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant argues that the empirical knowledge of the world depends on a priori conditions of human sensibility and understanding, i. e., our capacities of sense experience and concept formation. The objective knowledge presupposes, on one hand, space and time as a priori conditions of sensibility and, on another hand, a priori judgments, like the principle of causality, as constitutive conditions of understanding. The problem is that in the XX century the physical science completely changed (...) how we conceive our knowledge of the world. Face to this new situation, what was changed in our classical reason? However, if the transcendental point of view is adopted, in the specific case of quantum mechanics, we have to wonder about the general conditions of this theory that make possible such knowledge, which predictive value is much more accurate than the classical physics. The aim of this work is firstly to show the Kantian implications on Bohr’s interpretation of quantum phenomena and secondly to provide an overview of the key elements for understanding the transcendental locus of ordinary language in the quantum mechanics context, in order to give support to a transcendental pragmatic position in the analysis of science. (shrink)
We show that three fundamental information-theoretic constraints -- the impossibility of superluminal information transfer between two physical systems by performing measurements on one of them, the impossibility of broadcasting the information contained in an unknown physical state, and the impossibility of unconditionally secure bit commitment -- suffice to entail that the observables and state space of a physical theory are quantum-mechanical. We demonstrate the converse derivation in part, and consider the implications of alternative answers to a remaining open (...) question about nonlocality and bit commitment. (shrink)
We present a discrete model theory similar in structure to ordinary quantum mechanics, but based on a finite field instead of complex amplitudes. The interpretation of this theory involves only the “modal” concepts of possibility and necessity rather than quantitative probability measures. Despite its simplicity, our model theory includes entangled states and has versions of both Bell’s theorem and the no cloning theorem.
This conference was devoted to the 80 years of the Copenhagen Interpretation, and to the question of the relevance of the Copenhagen interpretation for the present understanding of quantum mechanics. It is in this framework that fundamental questions raised by quantum mechanics, especially in information theory, were discussed throughout the conference. As has become customary in our series of conference in Växjö, we were glad to welcome a fruitful assembly of theoretical physicists, experimentalists, mathematicians and even philosophers (...) interested in the foundations of probability and physics. The nature of quantum fluctuations---in the form of Stochastic Electrodynamics or in other approaches to stochastic quantum mechanics---was also a central topic discussed during the conference, especially during debates. We should also mention talks on the completeness or incompleteness of quantum mechanics; on macroscopic quantum systems; on Bell's inequality, entanglement and experiments on quantum nonlocality (and locality); on Bohmian mechanics; on the connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity; on quantum probability; on quantum computing, quantum teleportation and quantum cryptography technologies; and more generally on the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics and on the philosophical problems raised by its interpretations. (shrink)
This Växjö conference was devoted to the reconsideration of quantum foundations. Due to increasing research in quantum information theory, especially on quantum computing and cryptography, many questions regarding the foundations of quantum mechanics, which have long been considered to be exclusively of philosophical interest, nowadays play an important role in theoretical and experimental quantum physics.
Sorkin’s recent proposal for a realist interpretation of quantumtheory, the anhomomorphic logic or coevent approach, is based on the idea of a “quantum measure” on the space of histories. This is a generalisation of the classical measure to one which admits pair-wise interference and satisfies a modified version of the Kolmogorov probability sum rule. In standard measure theory the measure on the base set Ω is normalised to one, which encodes the statement that “Ω happens”. (...) Moreover, the Kolmogorov sum rule implies that the measure of any subset A is strictly positive if and only if A cannot be covered by a countable collection of subsets of zero measure. In quantum measure theory on the other hand, simple examples suffice to demonstrate that this is no longer true. We propose an appropriate generalisation, the quantum cover, which in addition to being a cover of A, satisfies the property that if the quantum measure of A is non-zero then this is also the case for at least one of the elements in the cover. Our work implies a non-triviality result for the coevent interpretation for Ω of finite cardinality, and allows us to cast the Peres-Kochen-Specker theorem in terms of quantum covers. (shrink)
The relationship between quantum collapse and consciousness is reconsidered under the assumption that quantum collapse is an objective dynamical process. We argue that the conscious observer can have a distinct role from the physical measuring device during the process of quantum collapse owing to the intrinsic nature of consciousness; the conscious observer can know whether he is in a definite state or a quantum superposition of definite states, while the physical measuring device cannot “know”. As a (...) result, the consciousness observer can distinguish the definite states and their quantum superposition, while the physical measuring device without consciousness cannot do. This provides a possible quantum physical method to distinguish man and machine. The new result also implies that consciousness has causal efficacies in the physical world when considering the existence of quantum collapse. Accordingly consciousness is not reducible or emergent, but a new fundamental property of matter. This may establish a quantum basis for panpsychism, and make it be a promising solution to the hard problem of consciousness. Furthermore, it is suggested that a unified theory of matter and consciousness includes two parts: one is the psychophysical principle or corresponding principle between conscious content and matter state, and the other is the complete quantum evolution of matter state, which includes the definite nonlinear evolution element introduced by consciousness and relating to conscious content. Lastly, some experimental schemes are presented to test the proposed quantumtheory of consciousness. (shrink)
A case for the project of excising of confusion and obfuscation in the contemporary quantumtheory initiated and promoted by David Deutsch has been made. It has been argued that at least some theoretical entities which are conventionally labelled as “interpretations” of quantum mechanics are in fact full-blooded physical theories in their own right, and as such are falsifiable, at least in principle. The most pertinent case is the one of the so-called “Many-Worlds Interpretation” (MWI) of Everett (...) and others. This set of idea differs from other “interpretations” since it does not accept reality of the collapse of Schrödinger’s wavefunction. A survey of several important proposals for discrimination between quantum theories with and without wavefunction collapse appearing from time to time in the literature has been made, and the possibilities discussed in the framework of a wider taxonomy. (shrink)