In this paper I put forward a new micro realistic, fundamentally probabilistic, propensiton version of quantum theory. 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 quantum theory 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 quantum theory, I argue, solves the wave/particle dilemma, is free of conceptual problems that plague orthodox quantum theory, recovers all the empirical success of orthodox quantum theory, and at the same time yields as yet untested predictions that differ from those of orthodox quantum theory. (shrink)
Because it fails to solve the wave-particleproblem, orthodox quantum theory 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 quantum theory is needed that is about quantum beables.
A new version of quantum theory is proposed, according to which probabilistic events occur whenever new statioinary or bound states are created as a result of inelastic collisions. The new theory recovers the experimental success of orthodox quantum theory, but differs form the orthodox theory for as yet unperformed experiments.
The classical wave-particleproblem is resolved in accord with Newton's concept of the particle nature of light by associating particle density and flux with the classical wave energy density and flux. Point particles flowing along discrete trajectories yield interference and diffraction patterns, as illustrated by Young's double pinhole interference. Bound particle motion is prescribed by standing waves. Particle motion as a function of time is presented for the case of a “particle in a box.” Initial conditions uniquely determine (...) the subsequent motion. Some discussion regarding quantum theory is preseted. (shrink)
We discuss the issue of quantum-classical transition in a system of a single particle with and without external potential. This is done by elaborating the notion of self-trapped wave function recently developed by the author. For a free particle, we show that there is a subset of self-trapped wave functions which is particle-like. Namely, the spatially localized wave packet is moving uniformly with undistorted shape as if the whole wave packet is indeed a classical free particle. The length of (...) the spatial support of the wave packet is given by the Compton wavelength so that the wave packet is more localized for particle with larger mass. Whereas for a particle of mass m in a macroscopic external potential, we show that the time needed by the corresponding self-trapped wave function to depart from a classical trajectory is of the order ∼m 2 c/ℏ. We argue that it is the Compton wavelength that matters and not the de Broglie wavelength as in conventional semiclassical approach. (shrink)
If one starts from de Broglie's basic relativistic assumptions, i.e., that all particles have an intrinsic real internal vibration in their rest frame, i.e., hv 0 =m 0 c 2 ; that when they are at any one point in space-time the phase of this vibration cannot depend on the choice of the reference frame, then, one can show (following Mackinnon (1) ) that there exists a nondispersive wave packet of de Broglie's waves which can be assimilated to the nonlinear (...) soliton wave U 0 introduced by him in his double solution model of wave mechanics. (2) Since de Broglie's linear pilot waves can be considered to be real waves propagating as collective motions on a covariant subquantum chaotic “aether,” (3) these new solition waves can be considered as describing the particle's immediate neighborhood, i.e., the aether's reaction to the particle's motion in the stochastic interpretation of quantum mechanics. The existence of such a physical aether (which provides a perfectly causal interpretation of the action-a-distance implied by the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen experiments) can now be proved by establishing the reality of de Broglie's waves in realizable experiments. (shrink)
The phenomenon of exchange degeneracy of 2-particle quantum states is studied in detail within the framework of Relativistic Schrödinger Theory (RST). In conventional quantum theory this kind of degeneracy refers to the circumstance that, under neglection of the interparticle interactions, symmetric and anti-symmetric 2-particle states have identical energy eigenvalues. However the analogous effect of RST degeneracy is rather related to the emergence of two types of mixtures (positive and negative) in connection with the vanishing or non-vanishing of certain (...) components of the Hamiltonian (“exchange fields”). As a consequence, there arise two subcases of RST degeneracy: (i) mixture degeneracy through neglection of the exchange fields and (ii) exchange degeneracy through neglection of the mixture character of matter. The latter RST exchange degeneracy consists in the fact that the RST dynamics admits a certain set of pure-state solutions, as borderline case between positive and negative mixtures, and all these different solutions are generating the same physical situation, e.g., concerning mass eigenvalues and physical densities (of current and energy-momentum). The general results are exemplified by considering the 2-particle states for (scalar) Helium. Analogously as the conventional exchange degeneracy is broken (ortho- and para-Helium) by taking into account the interparticle interactions (e.g., Coulomb forces), the RST degeneracy is broken by simultaneously taking into account the mixture character of matter together with non-zero exchange fields. (shrink)
The realist interpretations of quantum theory, proposed by de Broglie and by Bohm, are re-examined and their differences, especially concerning many-particle systems and the relativistic regime, are explored. The impact of the recently proposed experiments of Vigier et al. and of Ghose et al. on the debate about the interpretation of quantum mechanics is discussed. An indication of how de Broglie and Bohm would account for these experimental results is given.
By probability theory the probability space to underlie the set of statistical data described by the squared modulus of a coherent superposition of microscopically distinct (sub)states (CSMDS) is non-Kolmogorovian and, thus, such data are mutually incompatible. For us this fact means that the squared modulus of a CSMDS cannot be unambiguously interpreted as the probability density and quantum mechanics itself, with its current approach to CSMDSs, does not allow a correct statistical interpretation. By the example of a 1D completed (...) scattering and double slit diffraction we develop a new quantum-mechanical approach to CSMDSs, which requires the decomposition of the non-Kolmogorovian probability space associated with the squared modulus of a CSMDS into the sum of Kolmogorovian ones. We adapt to CSMDSs the presented by Khrennikov (Found. Phys. 35(10):1655, 2005) concept of real contexts (complexes of physical conditions) to determine uniquely the properties of quantum ensembles. Namely we treat the context to create a time-dependent CSMDS as a complex one consisting of elementary (sub)contexts to create alternative subprocesses. For example, in the two-slit experiment each slit generates its own elementary context and corresponding subprocess. We show that quantum mechanics, with a new approach to CSMDSs, allows a correct statistical interpretation and becomes compatible with classical physics. (shrink)
We put forward the hypothesis that there exist three basic attitudes towards inconsistencies within world views: (1) The inconsistency is tolerated temporarily and is viewed as an expression of a temporary lack of knowledge due to an incomplete or wrong theory. The resolution of the inconsistency is believed to be inherent to the improvement of the theory. This improvement ultimately resolves the contradiction and therefore we call this attitude the ‘regularising’ attitude; (2) The inconsistency is tolerated and both contradicting elements (...) in the theory are retained. This attitude integrates the inconsistency and leads to a paraconsistent calculus; therefore we will call it the paraconsistent attitude. (3) In the third attitude, both elements of inconsistency are considered to be false and the ‘real situation’ is considered something different that can not be described by the theory constructively. This indicates the incompleteness of the theory, and leads us to a paracomplete calculus; therefore we call it the paracomplete attitude. We illustrate these three attitudes by means of two ‘paradoxical’ situations in quantum mechanics, the wave-particle duality and the situation of non locality. (shrink)
We report on the simultaneous determination of complementary wave and particle aspects of light in a double-slit type “welcher-weg” experiment beyond the limitations set by Bohr’s Principle of Complementarity. Applying classical logic, we verify the presence of sharp interference in the single photon regime, while reliably maintaining the information about the particular pinhole through which each individual photon had passed. This experiment poses interesting questions on the validity of Complementarity in cases where measurements techniques that avoid Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and (...)quantum entanglement are employed. We further argue that the application of classical concepts of waves and particles as embodied in Complementarity leads to a logical inconsistency in the interpretation of this experiment. (shrink)
Work on the central problems of the philosophy of science has led the author to attempt to create an intelligible version of quantum theory. The basic idea is that probabilistic transitions occur when new stationary or particle states arise as a result of inelastic collisions.
A modified Beltrametti-Cassinelli-Lahti model of the measurement apparatus that satisfies both the probability reproducibility condition and the objectification requirement is constructed. Only measurements on microsystems are considered. The cluster separability forms a basis for the first working hypothesis: the current version of quantum mechanics leaves open what happens to systems when they change their separation status. New rules that close this gap can therefore be added without disturbing the logic of quantum mechanics. The second working hypothesis is that (...) registration apparatuses for microsystems must contain detectors and that their readings are signals from detectors. This implies that the separation status of a microsystem changes during both preparation and registration. A new rule that specifies what happens when these changes occur and that guarantees the objectification is formulated and discussed. A part of our result has certain similarities with ‘collapse of the wave function’. (shrink)
It is pointed out that ordinary quantum mechanics as a classical field theory cannot account for the wave function collapse if it is not seen within the framework of field quantization. That is needed to understand the particle structure of matter during wave function evolution and to explain the collapse as symmetry breakdown by detection. The decay of a two-particle bound s state and the Stern-Gerlach experiment serve as examples. The absence of the nonlocality problem in Bohm’s version (...) of the EPR arrangement favours the approach described. (shrink)
Recent double-slit type neutron experiments (1) and their theoretical implications (2) suggest that, since one can tell through which slit the individual neutrons travel, coherent wave packets remain nonlocally coupled (with particles one by one), even in the case of wide spatial separation. Following de Broglie's initial proposal, (3) this property can be derived from the existence of the persisting action of real superluminal physical phase waves considered as building blocks of the real subluminal wave field packets which surround individual (...) particle paths in the Einstein-de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
Mereological nihilism is the philosophical position that there are no items that have parts. If there are no items with parts then the only items that exist are partless fundamental particles, such as the true atoms (also called philosophical atoms) theorized to exist by some ancient philosophers, some contemporary physicists, and some contemporary philosophers. With several novel arguments I show that mereological nihilism is the correct theory of reality. I will also discuss strong similarities that mereological nihilism has with empirical (...) results in quantum physics. And I will discuss how mereological nihilism vindicates a few other theories, such as a very specific theory of philosophical atomism, which I will call quantum abstract atomism. I will show that mereological nihilism also is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that avoids the problems of other interpretations, such as the widely known, metaphysically generated, quantum paradoxes of quantum physics, which ironically are typically accepted as facts about reality. I will also show why it is very surprising that mereological nihilism is not a widely held theory, and not the premier theory in philosophy. (shrink)
Next SectionAn attempt to resolve the controversy regarding the solution of the Sleeping Beauty Problem in the framework of the Many-Worlds Interpretation led to a new controversy regarding the Quantum Sleeping Beauty Problem. We apply the concept of a measure of existence of a world and reach the solution known as ‘thirder’ solution which differs from Peter Lewis’s ‘halfer’ assertion. We argue that this method provides a simple and powerful tool for analysing rational decision theory problems.
We argue that human consciousness may be a property of single electron in the brain. We suppose that each electron in the universe has at least primitive consciousness. Each electron subjectively “observes” its quantum dynamics (energy, momentum, “shape” of wave function) in the form of sensations and other mental phenomena. However, some electrons in neural cells have complex “human” consciousnesses due to complex quantum dynamics in complex organic environment. We discuss neurophysiological and physical aspects of this hypothesis and (...) show that: (1) single chemically active electron has enough informational capacity to “contain” the richness of human subjective experience; (2) quantum states of some electrons might be directly influenced by human sensory data and have direct influence upon human behavior in real brain; (3) main physical and philosophical drawbacks of “conventional” “quantum theories of consciousness” may be solved by our hypothesis without much changes in their conceptual basis. We do not suggest any “new physics”, and our neuroscientific assumptions are similar to those used by other proponents of “quantum consciousness”. However, our hypothesis suggests radical changes in our view on human and physical reality. (shrink)
Everett (1957a, b, 1973) relative-state formulation of quantum mechanics has often been taken to involve a metaphysical commitment to the existence of many splitting worlds each containing physical copies of observers and the objects they observe. While there was earlier talk of splitting worlds in connection with Everett, this is largely due to DeWitt’s (Phys Today 23:30–35, 1970) popular presentation of the theory. While the thought of splitting worlds or parallel universes has captured the popular imagination, Everett himself favored (...) the language of elements, branches, or relative states in describing his theory. The result is that there is no mention of splitting worlds or parallel universes in any of Everett’s published work. Everett, however, did write of splitting observers and was willing to adopt the language of many worlds in conversation with people who were themselves using such language. While there is evidence that Everett was not entirely comfortable with talk of many worlds, it does not seem to have mattered much to him what language one used to describe pure wave mechanics. This was in part a result of Everett’s empirical understanding of the cognitive status of his theory. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to give a systematic account of the so-called “measurement problem” in the frame of the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics. It is argued that there is not one but five distinct formulations of this problem. Each of them depends on what is assumed to be a “satisfactory” description of the measurement process in the frame of the standard interpretation. Moreover, the paper points out that each of these formulations refers not to (...) a unique problem, but to a set of sub-problems. (shrink)
A recent rethinking of the early history of Quantum Mechanics deemed the late 1920s agreement on the equivalence of Matrix Mechanics and Wave Mechanics, prompted by Schrödinger’s 1926 proof, a myth. Schrödinger supposedly failed to achieve the goal of proving isomorphism of the mathematical structures of the two theories, while only later developments in the early 1930s, especially the work of mathematician John von Neumman (1932) provided sound proof of equivalence. The alleged agreement about the Copenhagen Interpretation, predicated to (...) a large extent on this equivalence, was deemed a myth as well. If such analysis is correct, it provides considerable evidence that, in its critical moments, the foundations of scientific practice might not live up to the minimal standards of rigor, as such standards are established in the practice of logic, mathematics, and mathematical physics, thereby prompting one to question the rationality of the practice of physics. In response, I argue that Schrödinger’s proof concerned primarily a domain-specific ontological equivalence, rather than the isomorphism. It stemmed initially from the agreement of the eigenvalues of Wave Mechanics and energy-states of Bohr’s Model that was discovered and published by Schrödinger in his First and Second Communications of 1926. Schrödinger demonstrated in this proof that the laws of motion arrived at by the method of Matrix Mechanics could be derived successfully from eigenfunctions as well (while he only outlined the reversed derivation of eigenfunctions from Matrix Mechanics, which was necessary for the proof of isomorphism of the two theories). This result was intended to demonstrate the domain-specific ontological equivalence of Matrix Mechanics and Wave Mechanics, with respect to the domain of Bohr’s atom. And although the full-fledged mathematico-logical equivalence of the theories did not seem out of the reach of existing theories and methods, Schrödinger never intended to fully explore such a possibility in his proof paper. In a further development of Quantum Mechanics, Bohr’s complementarity and Copenhagen Interpretation captured a more substantial convergence of the subsequently revised (in light of the experimental results) Wave and Matrix Mechanics. I argue that both the equivalence and Copenhagen Interpretation can be deemed myths if one predicates the philosophical and historical analysis on a narrow model of physical theory which disregards its historical context, and focuses exclusively on its formal aspects and the exploration of the logical models supposedly implicit in it. (shrink)
The use of real clocks and measuring rods in quantum mechanics implies a natural loss of unitarity in the description of the theory. We briefly review this point and then discuss the implications it has for the measurement problem in quantum mechanics. The intrinsic loss of coherence allows to circumvent some of the usual objections to the measurement process as due to environmental decoherence.
It is argued that the so-called minimal statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics does not completely resolve the measurement problem in that this view is unable to show that quantjum mechanics can dispense with classical physics when it comes to a treatment of the measuring interaction. It is suggested that the view that quantum mechanics applies to individual systems should not be too hastily abandoned, in that this view gives perhaps the best hope of leading to a version (...) of quantum mechanics which does provide a complete solution to the measurement problem. (shrink)
This paper presents a new Symmetrical Interpretation (SI) of relativistic quantum mechanics which postulates: quantum mechanics is a theory about complete experiments, not particles; a complete experiment is maximally described by a complex transition amplitude density; and this transition amplitude density never collapses. This SI is compared to the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) for the analysis of Einstein’s bubble experiment. This SI makes several experimentally testable predictions that differ from the CI, solves one part of the measurement problem, (...) resolves some inconsistencies of the CI, and gives intuitive explanations of some previously mysterious quantum effects. (shrink)
Defining the observable φ canonically conjugate to the number observable N has long been an open problem in quantum theory. The problem stems from the fact that N is bounded from below. In a previous work we have shown how to define the absolute phase observable Φ≡|φ| by suitably restricting the Hilbert space of x and p like variables. Here we show that also from the classical point of view, there is no rigorous definition for the phase (...) even though it's absolute value is well defined. (shrink)
According to orthodox quantum mechanics, state vectors change in two incompatible ways: "deterministically" in accordance with Schroedinger's time-dependent equation, and probabilistically if and only if a measurement is made. It is argued here that the problem of measurement arises because the precise mutually exclusive conditions for these two types of transitions to occur are not specified within orthodox quantum mechanics. Fundamentally, this is due to an inevitable ambiguity in the notion of "meawurement" itself. Hence, if the (...) class='Hi'>problem of measurement is to be resolved, a new, fully objective version of quantjm mechanics needs to be developed which does not incorporate the notion of measurement in its basic postuolates at all. (shrink)
The concept of individuality in quantum mechanics shows radical differences from the concept of individuality in classical physics, as E. Schrödinger pointed out in the early steps of the theory. Regarding this fact, some authors suggested that quantum mechanics does not possess its own language, and therefore, quantum indistinguishability is not incorporated in the theory from the beginning. Nevertheless, it is possible to represent the idea of quantum indistinguishability with a first-order language using quasiset theory (Q). (...) In this work, we show that Q cannot capture one of the most important features of quantum non-individuality, which is the fact that there are quantum systems for which particle number is not well defined. An axiomatic variant of Q, in which quasicardinal is not a primitive concept (for a kind of quasisets called finite quasisets), is also given. This result encourages the searching of theories in which the quasicardinal, being a secondary concept, stands undefined for some quasisets, besides showing explicitly that in a set theory about collections of truly indistinguishable entities, the quasicardinal needs not necessarily be a primitive concept. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
We numerically solve the functional differential equations (FDEs) of 2-particle electrodynamics, using the full electrodynamic force obtained from the retarded Lienard–Wiechert potentials and the Lorentz force law. In contrast, the usual formulation uses only the Coulomb force (scalar potential), reducing the electrodynamic 2-body problem to a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The ODE formulation is mathematically suspect since FDEs and ODEs are known to be incompatible; however, the Coulomb approximation to the full electrodynamic force has been believed to (...) be adequate for physics. We can now test this long-standing belief by comparing the FDE solution with the ODE solution, in the historically interesting case of the classical hydrogen atom. The solutions differ. A key qualitative difference is that the full force involves a ‘delay’ torque. Our existing code is inadequate to calculate the detailed interaction of the delay torque with radiative damping. However, a symbolic calculation provides conditions under which the delay torque approximately balances (3rd order) radiative damping. Thus, further investigations are required, and it was prematurely concluded that radiative damping makes the classical hydrogen atom unstable. Solutions of FDEs naturally exhibit an infinite spectrum of discrete frequencies. The conclusion is that (a) the Coulomb force is not a valid approximation to the full electrodynamic force, so that (b) the n-body interaction needs to be reformulated in various current contexts such as molecular dynamics. (shrink)
A common understanding of quantum mechanics (QM) among students and practical users is often plagued by a number of “myths”, that is, widely accepted claims on which there is not really a general consensus among experts in foundations of QM. These myths include wave-particle duality, time-energy uncertainty relation, fundamental randomness, the absence of measurement-independent reality, locality of QM, nonlocality of QM, the existence of well-defined relativistic QM, the claims that quantum field theory (QFT) solves the problems of (...) relativistic QM or that QFT is a theory of particles, as well as myths on black-hole entropy. The fact is that the existence of various theoretical and interpretational ambiguities underlying these myths does not yet allow us to accept them as proven facts. I review the main arguments and counterarguments lying behind these myths and conclude that QM is still a not-yet-completely-understood theory open to further fundamental research. (shrink)
Sum rules are derived for the quantum wave functions of the Hadamard billiard in arbitrary dimensions. This billiard is a strongly chaotic (Anosov) system which consists of a point particle moving freely on a D-dimensional compact manifold (orbifold) of constant negative curvature. The sum rules express a general (two-point)correlation function of the quantum mechanical wave functions in terms of a sum over the orbits of the corresponding classical system. By taking the trace of the orbit sum rule or (...) pre-trace formula, one obtains the Selberg trace formula. The sum rules are applied in two dimensions to a compact Riemann surface of genus two, and in three dimensions to the only non-arithmetic tetrahedron existing in hyperbolic 3-space. It is shown that the quantum wave functions can be computed from classical orbits. Conversely, we demonstrate that the structure of classical orbits can be extracted from the quantum mechanical energy levels and wave functions (inverse quantum chaology). (shrink)
We review the past and present theoretical and experimental situations relating to wave-particle dualism. New tests aimed at enlightening the individual behavior as awave, then as aparticle, of asingle quantum mechanical system in the same experimental run are presented. The related epistemological, philosophical, and historical backgrounds are presented in a twofold exposition taking into account thepositivistic standard Copenhagen interpretation as well as therealist de Broglian point of view.
Neutron matter-wave optics provides the basis for new quantum experiments and a step towards applications of quantum phenomena. Most experiments have been performed with a perfect crystal neutron interferometer where widely separated coherent beams can be manipulated individually. Various geometric phases have been measured and their robustness against fluctuation effects has been proven, which may become a useful property for advanced quantum communication. Quantum contextuality for single particle systems shows that quantum correlations are to some (...) extent more demanding than classical ones. In this case entanglement between external and internal degrees of freedom offers new insights into basic laws of quantum physics. Non-contextuality hidden variable theories can be rejected by arguments based on the Kochen-Specker theorem. (shrink)
The book Heisenberg and the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics—The Physicist as Philosopher, by Kristian Camilleri is critically reviewed. The work details Heisenberg’s philosophical development from an early positivist commitment towards a later philosophy of language. It is of interest to researchers and graduate students in the history and philosophy of quantum mechanics.
The analysis of the Helmholtz equation is shown to lead to an exact Hamiltonian system describing in terms of ray trajectories, for a stationary refractive medium, a very wide family of wave-like phenomena (including diffraction and interference) going much beyond the limits of the geometrical optics (“eikonal”) approximation, which is contained as a simple limiting case. Due to the fact, moreover, that the time independent Schrödinger equation is itself a Helmholtz-like equation, the same mathematics holding for a classical optical beam (...) turns out to apply to a quantum particle beam moving in a stationary force field, and leads to a system of Hamiltonian equations providing exact and deterministic particle trajectories and dynamical laws, and containing the laws of Classical Mechanics in the eikonal limit. (shrink)
Two different concepts of distinguishability are often mixed up in attempts to derive in quantum mechanics the (anti)symmetry of the wave function from indistinguishability of identical particles. Some of these attempts are analyzed and shown to be defective. It is argued that, although identical particles should be considered as observationally indistinguishable in (anti)symmetric states, they may be considered to be conceptually distinguishable. These two notions of (in)distinguishability have quite different physical origins, the former one being related to observations while (...) the latter has to do with the preparation of the system. (shrink)
What is quantum mechanics about? The most natural way to interpret quantum mechanics realistically as a theory about the world might seem to be what is called wave function ontology: the view according to which the wave function mathematically represents in a complete way fundamentally all there is in the world. Erwin Schroedinger was one of the first proponents of such a view, but he dismissed it after he realized it led to macroscopic superpositions (if the wave function (...) evolves in time according to the equations that has his name). The Many-Worlds interpretation1 accepts the existence of such macroscopic superpositions but takes it that they can never be observed. Superposed objects and superposed observers split together in different worlds of the type of the one we appear to live in. For these who, like Schroedinger, think that macroscopic superpositions are a problem, the common wisdom is that there are two alternative views: "Either the wave function, as given by the Schroedinger equation, is not everything, or is not right" [Bell 1987]. The deBroglie-Bohm theory, now commonly known as Bohmian Mechanics, takes the first option: the description provided by a Schroedinger-evolving wave function is supplemented by the information provided by the configuration of the particles. The second possibility consists in assuming that, while the wave function provides the complete description of the system, its temporal evolution is not given by the Schroedinger equation. Rather, the usual Schroedinger evolution is interrupted by random and sudden "collapses". The most promising theory of this kind is the GRW theory, named after the scientists that developed it: Gian Carlo Ghirardi, Alberto Rimini and Tullio Weber.. It seems tempting to think that in GRW we can take the wave function ontologically seriously and avoid the problem of macroscopic superpositions just allowing for quantum jumps. In this paper we will argue that such "bare" wave function ontology is not possible, neither for GRW nor for any other quantum theory: quantum mechanics cannot be about the wave function simpliciter. That is, we need more structure than the one provided by the wave function. As a response, quantum theories about the wave function can be supplemented with structure, without taking it as an additional ontology. We argue in reply that such "dressed-up" versions of wave function ontology are not sensible, since they compromise the acceptability of the theory as a satisfactory fundamental physical theory. Therefore we maintain that: 1- Strictly speaking, it is not possible to interpret quantum theories as theories about the wave function; 2- Even if the wave function is supplemented by additional non-ontological structures, there are reasons not to take the resulting theory seriously. Moreover, we will argue that any of the traditional responses to the measurement problem of quantum mechanics (Bohmian mechanics, GRW and Many-Worlds), contrarily to what commonly believed, share a common structure. That is, we maintain that: 3- All quantum theories should be regarded as theories in which physical objects are constituted by a primitive ontology. The primitive ontology is mathematically represented in the theory by a mathematical entity in three-dimensional space, or space-time. (shrink)
I argue that the many worlds explanation of quantum computation is not licensed by, and in fact is conceptually inferior to, the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics from which it is derived. I argue that the many worlds explanation of quantum computation is incompatible with the recently developed cluster state model of quantum computation. Based on these considerations I conclude that we should reject the many worlds explanation of quantum computation.
We investigate the problem of “wave packet reduction” in quantum mechanics by solving the Schrödinger equation for a system composed of a model measuring apparatusM interacting with a microscopic objects. The “instrument” is intended to be somewhat more realistic than others previously proposed, but at the same time still simple enough to lead to an explicit solution for the time-dependent density matrix. It turns out that,practically, everything happens as if the wave packet reduction had occurred. This is a (...) consequence of the fact that the apparatus is made up of a very large number of microsystems interacting withs. More precisely, our model shows that the “macroscopic size” of a measuring apparatus can lead by itself to a density matrix for the systemM + s which is physically equivalent to the density matrix of a statistical mixture corresponding to the reduced wave packet. (shrink)
In a quantum mechanical two-slit experiment one can observe a single photon simultaneously as particle (measuring the path) and as wave (measuring the interference pattern) if the path and the interference pattern are measured in the sense of unsharp observables. These theoretical predictions are confirmed experimentally by a photon split-beam experiment using a modified Mach—Zehnder interferometer.
We develop here the general treatment arising from the Bethe-Salpeter equation for a two-particle bound system in which at least one of the particles is spinless. It is shown that a natural two-component formalism can be formulated for describing the propagators of scalar particles. This leads to a formulation of the Bethe-Salpeter equation in a form very reminiscent of the fermion-fermion case. It is also shown, that using this two-component formulation for spinless particles, the perturbation theory can be systematically developed (...) in a manner similar to that of fermions. Quantum electrodynamics for scalar particles is then developed in the two component formalism, and the problem of bound states, in which one of the constituent particles is spinless, is examined by means of the means of the Bethe-Salpeter equation. For this case, the Bethe-Salpeter equation is cast into a form which is convenient to perform a Foldy-Woutyhuysen transformation which we carry out, keeping the lowest-order relativistic corrections to the nonrelativistic equation. The results are compared with the corresponding fermion-fermion case. It is shown, as might have been expected, that the only spin-independent terms that occur for the fermion-fermion system which do not occur for bound scalar particle cases, is the zitterbewegung contribution. The relevance of the above considerations for systems that are essentially bound by electromagnetic interactions, such as kaonic hydrogen, is discussed. (shrink)
Quantum limitations arising in measurements of a classical force acting on a quantum harmonic oscillator are studied in connection with the problem of increasing the sensitivity of gravity wave experiments. The physical nature of possible limits of sensitivity is elucidated. It originates in a degree of an uncertainty of an observable used for detecting an external force. This uncertainty can be made as small as desired for all moments of time for the observables corresponding to quantum (...) integrals of motion. Advantages of integrals of motion with continuous spectra (like the operator of the initial coordinate) over integrals with discrete spectra (like energy) are discussed. An example of an observable suitable for exact continuous measurements of an external force independently on the initial state of the system—the difference link operator—is given. The general rule for constructing such “optimal observables” can be derived from the quantum optimal filtration theory. It is shown using Ehrenfest's theorem that no quantum limitations exist in principle for the accuracy of measurements of an external classical force acting on an arbitrary quantum system: limitations can appear only due to nonadequate measuring procedures. The general problem of finding the initial quantum states possessing the best sensitivity to an external force is formulated. The parametrically excited oscillator is briefly discussed, and it is shown that measuring the suitable integral of motion one can achieve the great gain in sensitivity. The role of quantum interference effects is emphasized. (shrink)
The quantum measurement problem and various unsuccessful attempts to resolve it are reviewed. A suggestion by Diosi and Penrose for the half-life of the quantum superposition of two Newtonian gravitational fields is generalized to an arbitrary quantum superposition of relativistic, but weak, gravitational fields. The nature of the “collapse” process of the wave function is examined.
The traditional approach to the covariance problem in quantum mechanics is inverted and the space-time transformations are assumed as the basicunknowns, according to the prescription that the correspondence principle and the commutation rules must becovariant. It is shown that the only solutions are either Galilean or Lorentzian (including the possibility of an imaginary light-velocity c2<0). The Dirac formalism for the wave-equation and the condition c2>0 are obtained simoultaneously as theunique solution, provided that the Hamiltonian is Hermitean (in the (...) usual sense), and the internal degrees of freedom allow for afinite-dimensional representation. Infinite-dimensional representations are introduced in order to extend the Hamiltonian formalism to other spinors. (shrink)
The energy spectrum of single- and two-particle excitations for a one-dimensional aperiodic Fibonacci sequence of quantum dots (QDs) was determined within the pair interaction approximation. The critical behaviour of the energy spectrum and wave functions were obtained. The energy spectrum is a Cantor set of zero Lebesgue measure. The perturbation theory was used to obtain the critical value of the distance between the centres of the neighboring QDs when the first-order corrections to the energy of the excitations were neglected. (...) The contribution of the external transverse magnetic field to particle localization was also considered and the influence of the external field on the first-order corrections to the energy was analyzed. The transmission coefficient was determined using the quasi-classical approximation and the energy level splitting versus the distance between the QDs was obtained. The effect of resonance tunneling of the excitations between QD pairs was studied. Localization occurs at finite values of the perturbations, in contrast to periodic one-dimensional sequences. (shrink)
It has been shown earlier that while strict localization of the free Dirac particle is not describable within the usual mathematical formalism, it is possible to describe sequences of positive-energy states whose spread Δ x =〈(x−x 0)2〉 about any given point x 0 approaches zero, where x is Dirac's position operator. The concept of a generalized function is extended here to allow for the succinct description of localized states in terms of “Asymptotic Localizing Functions.” Localization of both the nonrelativistic particle (...) and the Dirac particle can be adequately represented in this new formalism. (shrink)
The relativistic theory of unconstrained p-dimensional membranes (p-branes) is further developed and then applied to the embedding model of induced gravity. Space-time is considered as a 4-dimensional unconstrained membrane evolving in an N-dimensional embedding space. The parameter of evolution or the evolution time τ is a distinct concept from the coordinate time t=x0. Quantization of the theory is also discussed. A covariant functional Schrödinger equation has a solution for the wave functional such that it is sharply localized in a certain (...) subspace P of space-time, and much less sharply localized (though still localized) outside P. With the passage of evolution the region P moves forward in space-time. Such a solution we interpret as incorporating two seemingly contradictory observations: (i) experiments clearly indicate that space-time is a continuum in which events are existing; (ii) not the whole 4-dimensional space-time, but only a 3-dimensional section which moves forward in time, is accessible to our immediate experience. The notorious problem of time is thus resolved in our approach to quantum gravity. Finally we include sources into our unconstrained embedding model. (shrink)
Knowledge of the entanglement properties of the wave functions commonly used to describe quantum many-particle systems can enhance our understanding of their correlation structure and provide new insights into quantum phase transitions that are observed experimentally or predicted theoretically. To illustrate this theme, we first examine the bipartite entanglement contained in the wave functions generated by microscopic many-body theory for the transverse Ising model, a system of Pauli spins on a lattice that exhibits an order-disorder magnetic quantum (...) phase transition under variation of the coupling parameter. Results for the single-site entanglement and measures of two-site bipartite entanglement are obtained for optimal wave functions of Jastrow-Hartree type. Second, we address the nature of bipartite and tripartite entanglement of spins in the ground state of the noninteracting Fermi gas, through analysis of its two- and three-fermion reduced density matrices. The presence of genuine tripartite entanglement is established and characterized by implementation of suitable entanglement witnesses and stabilizer operators. We close with a broader discussion of the relationships between the entanglement properties of strongly interacting systems of identical quantum particles and the dynamical and statistical correlations entering their wave functions. (shrink)
I review arguments demonstrating how the concept of “particle” numbers arises in the form of equidistant energy eigenvalues of coupled harmonic oscillators representing free fields. Their quantum numbers (numbers of nodes of the wave functions) can be interpreted as occupation numbers for objects with a formal mass (defined by the field equation) and spatial wave number (“momentum”) characterizing classical field modes. A superposition of different oscillator eigenstates, all consisting of n modes having one node, while all others have none, (...) defines a non-degenerate “n-particle wave function”. Other discrete properties and phenomena (such as particle positions and “events”) can be understood by means of the fast but continuous process of decoherence: the irreversible dislocalization of superpositions. Any wave-particle dualism thus becomes obsolete. The observation of individual outcomes of this decoherence process in measurements requires either a subsequent collapse of the wave function or a “branching observer” in accordance with the Schrödinger equation—both possibilities applying clearly after the decoherence process. Any probability interpretation of the wave function in terms of local elements of reality, such as particles or other classical concepts, would open a Pandora’s box of paradoxes, as is illustrated by various misnomers that have become popular in quantum theory. (shrink)
The deBroglie–Bohm quantum potential is the potential energy function of the wave field. The quantum potential facilitates the transference of energy from wave field to particle and back again which accounts for energy conservation in isolated quantum systems. Factors affecting energy exchanges and the form of the quantum potential are discussed together with the related issues of the absence of a source term for the wave field and the lack of a classical back reaction.