This paper tries to get a grip on two seemingly conflicting intuitions about reductionism in quantum mechanics. On the one hand it is received wisdom that quantum mechanics puts an end to ‘reductionism’. Quantum-entanglement is responsible for such features of quantum mechanics as holism, the failure of supervenience and emergence. While I agree with these claims I will argue that it is only part of the story. Quantum mechanics provides us with thorough-going reductionist explanations. (...) I will distinguish two kinds of micro-explanation (or micro-‘reduction’). I will argue that even though quantum-entanglement provides an example for the failure of one kind of micro-explanation it does not affect the other. Contrary to a recent paper by Kronz and Tiehen I claim that the explanation of the dynamics of quantum mechanical systems is just as reductionist as it used to be in classical mechanics. (shrink)
We investigate whether standard counterfactual analyses of causation (CACs) imply that the outcomes of space-like separated measurements on entangled particles are causally related. While it has sometimes been claimed that standard CACs imply such a causal relation, we argue that a careful examination of David Lewis's influential counterfactual semantics casts doubt upon this. We discuss ways in which Lewis's semantics and standard CACs might be extended to the case of space-like correlations.
Of the many and varied applications of quantum information theory, perhaps the most fascinating is the sub-field of quantum computation. In this sub-field, computational algorithms are designed which utilise the resources available in quantum systems in order to compute solutions to computational problems with, in some cases, exponentially fewer resources than any known classical algorithm. While the fact of quantum computational speedup is almost beyond doubt, the source of quantum speedup is still a matter of (...) debate. In this paper I argue that entanglement is a necessary component for any explanation of quantum speedup and I address some purported counter-examples that some claim show that the contrary is true. In particular, I address Biham et al.'s mixed-state version of the Deutsch-Jozsa algorithm, and Knill \& Laflamme's deterministic quantum computation with one qubit (DQC1) model of quantum computation. I argue that these examples do not demonstrate that entanglement is unnecessary for the explanation of quantum speedup, but that they rather illuminate and clarify the role that entanglement does play. (shrink)
This paper argues for a metaphysics of relations based on a characterization of quantumentanglement in terms of non-separability, thereby regarding entanglement as a sort of holism. By contrast to a radical metaphysics of relations, the position set out in this paper recognizes things that stand in the relations, but claims that, as far as the relations are concerned, there is no need for these things to have qualitative intrinsic properties underlying the relations. This position thus opposes (...) a metaphysics of individual things that are characterized by intrinsic properties. A principal problem of the latter position is that it seems that we cannot gain any knowledge of these properties insofar as they are intrinsic. Against this background, the rationale behind a metaphysics of relations is to avoid a gap between epistemology and metaphysics. (shrink)
This book uses the formal semantics of counterfactual conditionals to analyze the problem of non-locality in quantum mechanics. Counterfactual conditionals enter the analysis of quantum entangled systems in that they enable us to precisely formulate the locality condition that purports to exclude the existence of causal interactions between spatially separated parts of a system. They also make it possible to speak consistently about alternative measuring settings, and to explicate what is meant by quantum property attributions. The book (...) develops the possible-world semantics of quantum counterfactuals using David Lewis's famous approach as a starting point but modifying it significantly in order to achieve compatibility with the demands of the special theory of relativity as well as quantum mechanics. There have been several attempts to use counterfactuals semantics to strengthen Bell's theorem and its cognates such as the GHZ and Hardy theorems. These are critically evaluated in the book. Finally, a counterfactual reconstruction of the EPR argument and Bell's theorem is proposed that sheds a new light on their philosophical consequences regarding the relations between realism and local causation. (shrink)
The concepts of complementarity and entanglement are considered with respect to their significance in and beyond physics. A formally generalized, weak version of quantum theory, more general than ordinary quantum theory of physical systems, is outlined and tentatively applied to two examples.
My aim in this paper is a modest one. I do not have any particular thesis to advance about the nature of entanglement, nor can I claim novelty for any of the material I shall discuss. My aim is simply to raise some questions about entanglement that spring naturally from certain developments in quantum information theory and are, I believe, worthy of serious consideration by philosophers of science. The main topics I discuss are different manifestations of (...) class='Hi'>quantum nonlocality, entanglement-assisted communication, and entanglement thermodynamics. (shrink)
Entanglement has long been the subject of discussion by philosophers of quantum theory, and has recently come to play an essential role for physicists in their development of quantum information theory. In this paper we show how the formalism of algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT) provides a rigorous framework within which to analyse entanglement in the context of a fully relativistic formulation of quantum theory. What emerges from the analysis are new practical and theoretical (...) limitations on an experimenter's ability to perform operations on a field in one spacetime region that can disentangle its state from the state of the field in other spacelike-separated regions. These limitations show just how deeply entrenched entanglement is in relativistic quantum field theory, and yield a fresh perspective on the ways in which the theory differs conceptually from both standard non-relativistic quantum theory and classical relativistic field theory. (shrink)
Synchronistic or psi phenomena are interpreted as entanglement correlations in a generalized quantum theory. From the principle that entanglement correlations cannot be used for transmitting information, we can deduce the decline effect, frequently observed in psi experiments, and we propose strategies for suppressing it and improving the visibility of psi effects. Some illustrative examples are discussed.
I defend the projection postulate against two of Margenau's criticisms. One involves two types of nonideal measurements, measurements that disturb and measurements that annihilate. Such measurements cannot be characterized using the original version of the projection postulate. This is one of the most interesting and powerful objections to the projection postulate since most realistic measurements are nonideal, in Margenau's sense. I show that a straightforward generalization of the projection postulate is capable of handling the more realistic kinds of measurements considered (...) by Margenau. His other objection involves the EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) situation. He suggests that there is a significant potential for violations of the no-superluminalsignals requirement of the special theory of relativity, if projections occur in this situation and others like it. He also suggests that what is paradoxical about this situation disappears if the projection postulate is rejected. I show that it is not possible to use measurements on pairs of spatially-separated systems whose states are entangled to transmit information superluminally, and generalize this result to include nonideal measurements. I also show that EPR's dilemma does not really depend on the projection postulate. (shrink)
Quantum mechanical entangled configurations of particles that do not satisfy Bell’s inequalities, or equivalently, do not have a joint probability distribution, are familiar in the foundational literature of quantum mechanics. Nonexistence of a joint probability measure for the correlations predicted by quantum mechanics is itself equivalent to the nonexistence of local hidden variables that account for the correlations (for a proof of this equivalence, see Suppes and Zanotti, 1981). From a philosophical standpoint it is natural to ask (...) what sort of concept can be used to provide a “joint” analysis of such quantum correlations. In other areas of application of probability, similar but different problems arise. A typical example is the introduction of upper and lower probabilities in the theory of belief. A person may feel uncomfortable assigning a precise probability to the occurrence of rain tomorrow, but feel comfortable saying the probability should be greater than ½ and less than ⅞. Rather extensive statistical developments have occurred for this framework. A thorough treatment can be found in Walley (1991) and an earlier measurement-oriented development in Suppes (1974). It is important to note that this focus on beliefs, or related Bayesian ideas, is not concerned, as we are here, with the nonexistence of joint probability distributions. Yet earlier work with no relation to quantum mechanics, but focused on conditions for existence has been published by many people. For some of our own work on this topic, see Suppes and Zanotti (1989). Still, this earlier work naturally suggested the question of whether or not upper and lower measures could be used in quantum mechanics, as a generalization of.. (shrink)
Rob Clifton was one of the most brilliant and productive researchers in the foundations and philosophy of quantum theory, who died tragically at the age of 38. Jeremy Butterfield and Hans Halvorson collect fourteen of his finest papers here, drawn from the latter part of his career (1995-2002), all of which combine exciting philosophical discussion with rigorous mathematical results. Many of these papers break wholly new ground, either conceptually or technically. Others resolve a vague controversy intoa precise technical problem, (...) which is then solved; still others solve an open problem that had been in the air for soem time. All of them show scientific and philosophical creativity of a high order, genuinely among the very best work in the field. The papers are grouped into four Parts. First come four papers about the modal interpretation of quantum mechanics. Part II comprises three papers on the foundations of algebraic quantum field theory, with an emphasis on entanglement and nonlocality. The two papers in Part III concern the concept of a particle in relativistic quantum theories. One paper analyses localization; the other analyses the Unruh effect (Rindler quanta) using the algebraic approach to quantum theory. Finally, Part IV contains striking new results about such central issues as complementarity, Bohr's reply to the EPR argument, and no hidden variables theorems; and ends with a philosophical survey of the field of quantum information. The volume includes a full bibliography of Clifton's publications. Quantum Entanglements offers inspiration and substantial reward to graduates and professionals in the foundations of physics, with a background in philosophy, physics, or mathematics. (shrink)
Given that the world as we perceive it appears to be predominantly classical, how can we stabilize quantum effects? Given the fundamental description of our world is quantum mechanical, how do classical phenomena emerge? Answers can be found from the analysis of the scaling properties of modular quantum systems with respect to a given level of description. It is argued that, depending on design, such partitioned quantum systems may support various functions. Despite their local appearance these (...) functions are emergent properties of the system as a whole. With respect to the separation of subject and object such functions of interest are control, simulation, and observation. They are interpreted in close analogy with more basic physical behavior. (shrink)
We consider the set of all matrices of the form pij = tr[W (Ei ⊗ Fj)] where Ei, Fj are projections on a Hilbert space H, and W is some state on H ⊗ H. We derive the basic properties of this set, compare it with the classical range of probability, and note how its properties may be related to a geometric measures of entanglement.
I explore the nature of the problem generated by the transition from classical to quantum mechanics, and I survey some of the different responses to this problem. I show briefly how recent work on quantum information over the past ten years has led to a shift of focus, in which the puzzling features of quantum mechanics are seen as a resource to be developed rather than a problem to be solved.
Violations of the Bell inequalities in EPR-Bohm type experiments have set the literature on the metaphysics of microscopic systems to flirting with some sort of metaphysical holism regarding spatially separated, entangled systems. The rationale for this behavior comes in two parts. The first part relies on the proof, due to Jon Jarrett  that the experimentally observed violations of the Bell inequalities entail violations of the conjunction of two probabilistic constraints. Jarrett called these two constraints locality and completeness. We prefer (...) the terminology of locality and factorizability. The first part of the rationale for metaphysical holism urges that only Jarrett’s locality allows for “peaceful coexistence” between any model of EPR-Bohm type experiments and special relativity. Factorizability, it is suggested, must be jettisoned. (shrink)
This paper argues that ontic structural realism (OSR) faces a dilemma: either it remains on the general level of realism with respect to the structure of a given theory, but then it is, like epistemic structural realism, only a partial realism; or it is a complete realism, but then it has to answer the question how the structure of a given theory is implemented, instantiated or realized and thus has to argue for a particular interpretation of the theory in question. (...) This claim is illustrated by examining how OSR fares with respect to the three main candidates for an ontology of quantum mechanics, namely many worlds-type interpretations, collapse-type interpretations and hidden variable-type interpretations. The result is that OSR as such is not sufficient to answer the question of what the world is like if quantum mechanics is correct. (shrink)
The paper address the question of whether quantum mechanics (QM) favors Priority Monism, the view according to which the Universe is the only fundamental object. It develops formal frameworks to frame rigorously the question of fundamental mereology and its answers, namely (Priority) Pluralism and Monism. It then reconstructs the quantum mechanical argument in favor of the latter and provides a detailed and thorough criticism of it that sheds furthermore new light on the relation between parthood, composition and fundamentality (...) in QM. (shrink)
The traditional “realist” conception of physics, according to which human concepts, laws and theories can grasp the essence of a reality in our absence , seems incompatible with quantum formalism and it most fruitful interpretation. The proof rests on the violation by quantum mechanical formalism of some fundamental principles of the classical ontology. We discuss if the conception behind Einstein’s idea of a reality in our absence, could be still maintained and at which price. We conclude that (...) class='Hi'>quantum mechanical formalism is not formulated on those terms, leaving for a separated paper the discussion about the terms in which it could be formulated and the onto-epistemological implications it might have. (shrink)
The paper address the question of whether quantum mechanics (QM) favors Priority Monism, the view according to which the Universe is the only fundamental object. It develops formal frameworks to frame rigorously the question of fundamental mereology and its answers, namely (Priority) Pluralism and Monism. It then reconstructs the quantum mechanical argument in favor of the latter and provides a detailed and thorough criticism of it that sheds furthermore new light on the relation between parthood, composition and fundamentality (...) in QM. (shrink)
How much of philosophical, scientific, and political thought is caught up with the idea of continuity? What if it were otherwise? This paper experiments with the disruption of continuity. The reader is invited to participate in a performance of spacetime (re)configurings that are more akin to how electrons experience the world than any journey narrated though rhetorical forms that presume actors move along trajectories across a stage of spacetime (often called history). The electron is here invoked as our host, an (...) interesting body to inhabit (not in order to inspire contemplation of flat-footed analogies between ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ worlds, concepts that already presume a given spatial scale), but a way of thinking with and through dis/continuity – a dis/orienting experience of the dis/jointedness of time and space, entanglements of here and there, now and then, that is, a ghostly sense of dis/continuity, a quantum dis/continuity. There is no overarching sense of temporality, of continuity, in place. Each scene diffracts various temporalities within and across the field of spacetimemattering. Scenes never rest, but are reconfigured within, dispersed across, and threaded through one another. The hope is that what comes across in this dis/jointed movement is a felt sense of différance, of intra-activity, of agential separability – differentiatings that cut together/apart – that is the hauntological nature of quantum entanglements. (shrink)
The paper compares ontic structural realism in quantum physics with ontic structural realism about space–time. We contend that both quantum theory and general relativity theory support a common, contentful metaphysics of ontic structural realism. After recalling the main claim of ontic structural realism and its physical support, we point out that both in the domain of quantum theory and in the domain of general relativity theory, there are objects whose essential ways of being are certain relations so (...) that these objects do not possess an intrinsic identity. Nonetheless, the qualitative, physical nature of these relations is in the quantum case (entanglement) fundamentally different from the classical, metrical relations treated in general relativity theory. (shrink)
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 conference brought together experts in different fields related to the foundations of quantum mechanics, ranging from mathematical physics to experimental physics, as well as the philosophy of science. The major topics discussed are: collapse models, Bohemian mechanics and their relativistic extensions, other alternative formulation of quantum mechanics, properties of entanglement, statistical physics and probability theory, new experimental results, as well as philosophical and epistemological issues.
We revisit quantum measurement when the apparatus is initially in a mixed state. We find that, in a particular restriction setup, the amount of entanglement between the system and the apparatus is given by the entropy increasing of the system under the measurement transformation. We show that the information gained is equal to the amount of entanglement under performing perfect measurement. Based on the perfect measurement, we give an upper bound of quantum discord.
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 quantum theory, which is an inherently holistic framework, into a generic model. Relaxing some restrictions and definitions from quantum theory 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 quantum theory are known as entanglement. This generalised version is not quantumentanglement 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)
A recent paper by Rieper, Anders and Vedral (arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053: The Relevance Of Continuous Variable Entanglement In DNA) suggests that quantumentanglement among base pairs in the DNA double helix stabilizes the molecule. A summary of their paper is reported in MIT Technology Review (http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/25375/) is below..
We use a new, distinctly “geometrical” interpretation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics (NRQM) to argue for the fundamentality of the 4D blockworld ontology. We argue for a geometrical interpretation whose fundamental ontology is one of spacetime relations as opposed to constructive entities whose time-dependent behavior is governed by dynamical laws. Our view rests on two formal results: Kaiser (1981 & 1990), Bohr & Ulfbeck (1995) and Anandan, (2003) showed independently that the Heisenberg commutation relations of NRQM follow from the relativity (...) of simultaneity (RoS) per the Poincaré Lie algebra. And, Bohr, Ulfbeck & Mottelson (2004a & 2004b) showed that the density matrix for a particular NRQM experimental outcome may be obtained from the spacetime symmetry group of the experimental configuration. This shows how the blockworld view is not only consistent with NRQM, not only an implication of our geometrical interpretation of NRQM, but it is necessary in a non-trivial way for explaining quantum interference and “non-locality” from the spacetime perspective. Together the formal results imply that contrary to accepted wisdom, NRQM, the measurement problem and so-called quantum non-locality do not provide reasons to abandon the 4D blockworld implication of RoS. But rather, the deep non-commutative structure of the quantum and the deep structure of spacetime as given by the Minkowski interpretation of special relativity (STR) are deeply unified in a 4D spacetime regime that lies between Galilean spacetime (G4) and Minkowski spacetime (M4). Taken together the aforementioned formal results allow us to model NRQM phenomena such as interference without the need for realism about 3N Hilbert space, establishing that the world is really 4D and that configuration space is nothing more than a calculational device. Our new geometrical interpretation of NRQM provides a geometric account of quantumentanglement and so-called non-locality free of conflict with STR and free of interpretative mystery. In section 2 we discuss the various tensions between STR and NRQM with respect to the dimensionality of the world. Section 3 is devoted to an explication of the Kaiser et al. results and their philosophical implications. Likewise, the Bohr et al. results and their implications are the subject of section 4. In section 5, we present our geometric interpretation of quantumentanglement and “non-locality.”. (shrink)
This paper uses a non-distributive system of Boolean fractions (a|b), where a and b are 2-valued propositions or events, to express uncertain conditional propositions and conditional events. These Boolean fractions, ‘a if b’ or ‘a given b’, ordered pairs of events, which did not exist for the founders of quantum logic, can better represent uncertain conditional information just as integer fractions can better represent partial distances on a number line. Since the indeterminacy of some pairs of quantum events (...) is due to the mutual inconsistency of their experimental conditions, this algebra of conditionals can express indeterminacy. In fact, this system is able to express the crucial quantum concepts of orthogonality, simultaneous verifiability, compatibility, and the superposition of quantum events, all without resorting to Hilbert space. A conditional (a|b) is said to be “inapplicable” (or “undefined”) in those instances or models for which b is false. Otherwise the conditional takes the truth-value of proposition a. Thus the system is technically 3-valued, but the 3rd value has nothing to do with a state of ignorance, nor to some half-truth. People already routinely put statements into three categories: true, false, or inapplicable. As such, this system applies to macroscopic as well as microscopic events. Two conditional propositions turn out to be simultaneously verifiable just in case the truth of one implies the applicability of the other. Furthermore, two conditional propositions (a|b) and (c|d) reside in a common Boolean sub-algebra of the non-distributive system of conditional propositions just in case b=d, their conditions are equivalent. Since all aspects of quantum mechanics can be represented with this near classical logic, there is no need to adopt Hilbert space logic as ordinary logic, just a need perhaps to adopt propositional fractions to do logic, just as we long ago adopted integer fractions to do arithmetic. The algebra of Boolean fractions is a natural, near-Boolean extension of Boolean algebra adequate to express quantum logic. While this paper explains one group of quantum anomalies, it nevertheless leaves no less mysterious the ‘influence-at-a-distance’, quantumentanglement phenomena. A quantum realist must still embrace non-local influences to hold that “hidden variables” are the measured properties of particles. But that seems easier than imaging wave-particle duality and instant collapse, as offered by proponents of the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
”Quantumentanglement”, a phrase ﬁrst coined by Erwin Schr¨ odinger1, describes a condition of the separated parts of the same quantum system in which each of the parts can only be described by referencing the state of other part. This is one of the most counterintuitive aspects of quantum mechanics, because classically one would expect system parts out of speed-of-light contact to be completely independent. Thus, entanglement represents a kind of quantum connectedness in which (...) measurements on one isolated part of an entangled quantum system have non-classical consequences for the outcome of measurements performed on the other (possibly very distant) part of the same system. This quantum connectedness that enforces the measurement correlation and state-matching in entangled quantum systems has come to be called quantum nonlocality. (shrink)
Features of consciousness difficult to understand in terms of conventional neuroscience have evoked application of quantum theory, which describes the fundamental behavior of matter and energy. In this paper we propose that aspects of quantum theory (e.g. quantum coherence) and of a newly proposed physical phenomenon of quantum wave function "self-collapse"(objective reduction: OR -Penrose, 1994) are essential for consciousness, and occur in cytoskeletal microtubules and other structures within each of the brain's neurons. The particular characteristics of (...) microtubules suitable for quantum effects include their crystal-like lattice structure, hollow inner core, organization of cell function and capacity for information processing. We envisage that conformational states of microtubule subunits (tubulins) are coupled to internal quantum events, and cooperatively interact (compute) with other tubulins. We further assume that macroscopic coherent superposition of quantum-coupled tubulin conformational states occurs throughout significant brain volumes and provides the global binding essential to consciousness. We equate the emergence of the microtubule quantum coherence with pre-conscious processing which grows (for up to 500 milliseconds) until the mass-energy difference among the separated states of tubulins reaches a threshold related to quantum gravity. According to the arguments for OR put forth in Penrose (1994), superpositioned states each have their own space-time geometries. When the degree of coherent mass-energy difference leads to sufficient separation of space-time geometry, the system must choose and decay (reduce, collapse) to a single universe state. In this way, a transient superposition of slightly differing space-time geometries persists until an abrupt quantum classical reduction occurs. Unlike the random, "subjective reduction"( SR, or R) of standard quantum theory caused by observation or environmental entanglement, the OR we propose in microtubules is a self-collapse and it results in particular patterns of microtubule-tubulin conformational states that regulate neuronal activities including synaptic functions. (shrink)
We put forward a possible new interpretation and explanatory framework for quantum theory. The basic hypothesis underlying this new framework is that quantum particles are conceptual entities. More concretely, we propose that quantum particles interact with ordinary matter, nuclei, atoms, molecules, macroscopic material entities, measuring apparatuses, in a similar way to how human concepts interact with memory structures, human minds or artificial memories. We analyze the most characteristic aspects of quantum theory, i.e. entanglement and non-locality, (...) interference and superposition, identity and individuality in the light of this new interpretation, and we put forward a specific explanation and understanding of these aspects. The basic hypothesis of our framework gives rise in a natural way to a Heisenberg uncertainty principle which introduces an understanding of the general situation of ‘the one and the many’ in quantum physics. A specific view on macro and micro different from the common one follows from the basic hypothesis and leads to an analysis of Schrödinger’s Cat paradox and the measurement problem different from the existing ones. We reflect about the influence of this new quantum interpretation and explanatory framework on the global nature and evolutionary aspects of the world and human worldviews, and point out potential explanations for specific situations, such as the generation problem in particle physics, the confinement of quarks and the existence of dark matter. (shrink)
A quantum algorithm succeeds not because the superposition principle allows ‘the computation of all values of a function at once’ via ‘quantum parallelism’, but rather because the structure of a quantum state space allows new sorts of correlations associated with entanglement, with new possibilities for information‐processing transformations between correlations, that are not possible in a classical state space. I illustrate this with an elementary example of a problem for which a quantum algorithm is more efficient (...) than any classical algorithm. I also introduce the notion of ‘pseudotelepathic’ games and show how the difference between classical and quantum correlations plays a similar role here for games that can be won by quantum players exploiting entanglement, but not by classical players whose only allowed common resource consists of shared strings of random numbers (common causes of the players’ correlated responses in a game). *Received October 2008. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
This paper analyses the phenomenon of entanglement exchange in Bohm's pilot wave interpretation of quantum mechanics. The interesting feature of the phenomenon is that systems become entangled without causal interaction; hence it is a useful situation for investigating the unique nature of interaction in Bohmian mechanics. The first two sections introduce, respectively, entanglement exchange in the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics, and the basic principles of Bohmian mechanics. The next section shows that the Bohmian interpretation makes (...) the same experimental predictions about entanglement exchange as the standard one. The final section draws some conclusions about interactions and entanglement in Bohmian mechanics. (shrink)
Entangled quantum systems can be harnessed to transmit, store, and manipulate information in a more efficient and secure way than possible in the realm of classical physics. Given this resource character of entanglement, it is an important problem to characterize ways to manipulate it and meaningful approaches to its quantification. This is the objective of entanglement theory.
We develop and defend the thesis that the Hilbert space formalism of quantum mechanics is a new theory of probability. The theory, like its classical counterpart, consists of an algebra of events, and the probability measures defined on it. The construction proceeds in the following steps: (a) Axioms for the algebra of events are introduced following Birkhoff and von Neumann. All axioms, except the one that expresses the uncertainty principle, are shared with the classical event space. The only models (...) for the set of axioms are lattices of subspaces of inner product spaces over a field K. (b) Another axiom due to Soler forces K to be the field of real, or complex numbers, or the quaternions. We suggest a probabilistic reading of Soler's axiom. (c) Gleason's theorem fully characterizes the probability measures on the algebra of events, so that Born's rule is derived. (d) Gleason's theorem is equivalent to the existence of a certain finite set of rays, with a particular orthogonality graph (Wondergraph). Consequently, all aspects of quantum probability can be derived from rational probability assignments to finite "quantum gambles". (e) All experimental aspects of entanglement- the violation of Bell's inequality in particular- are explained as natural outcomes of the probabilistic structure. (f) We hypothesize that even in the absence of decoherence macroscopic entanglement can very rarely be observed, and provide a precise conjecture to that effect .We also discuss the relation of the present approach to quantum logic, realism and truth, and the measurement problem. (shrink)
In this paper we try to justify our way of looking for an alternative approach to quantum mechanics, which is based on a non-classical logic. We consider two specific questions related to quantum theory, namely, entanglement and the indiscernibility of quanta. We characterize individuals, and then explain in what sense entanglement is a concept which can be applied to individuals in a restricted sense only. Then, we turn to indiscernibility and, after realizing that this concept is (...) of a fundamental importance, we mention the ‘traditional’ theory of identity (TTI) of standard logic and mathematics, which underly the basic formalism of quantum theory. Then we propose to call the Problem of Identity the question whether identity of objects can be justified, and under what conditions. As in the Hume’s celebrated Problem of Induction, we conclude that the attribution of transtemporal identity to an object (either a macroscopic or a microscopic one) has no logic justification, and must be considered as a metaphysical hypothesis. Numerical identity is also put aside for similar reasons. Then we guess that identity is just an useful concept, but which in certain fields, mainly in the quantum realm, could be substituted by a weaker concept of indiscernibility. This assumption motivates us to look for an interpretation of quantum mechanics based on a non-classical logic, termed non-reflexive, and the corresponding mechanics is called non-reflexive quantum mechanics. (shrink)
The main formal structures of generalized quantum theory 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.
This dissertation reconsiders some traditional issues in the foundations of quantum mechanics in the context of relativistic quantum field theory (RQFT); and it considers some novel foundational issues that arise first in the context of RQFT. The first part of the dissertation considers quantum nonlocality in RQFT. Here I show that the generic state of RQFT displays Bell correlations relative to measurements performed in any pair of spacelike separated regions, no matter how distant. I also show that (...) local systems in RQFT are "open" to influence from their environment, in the sense that it is generally impossible to perform local operations that would remove the entanglement between a local system and any other spacelike separated system. The second part of the dissertation argues that RQFT does not support a particle ontology -- at least if particles are understood to be localizable objects. In particular, while RQFT permits us to describe situations in which a determinate number of particles are present, it does not permit us to speak of the location of any individual particle, nor of the number of particles in any particular region of space. Nonetheless, the absence of localizable particles in RQFT does not threaten the integrity of our commonsense concept of a localized object. Indeed, RQFT itself predicts that descriptions in terms of localized objects can be quite accurate on the macroscopic level. The third part of the dissertation examines the so-called observer-dependence of the particle concept in RQFT -- that is, whether there are any particles present must be relativized to an observer's state of motion. Now, it is not uncommon for modern physical theories to subsume observer-dependent descriptions under a more general observer-independent description of some underlying state of affairs. However, I show that the conflicting accounts concerning the particle content of the field cannot be reconciled in this way. In fact, I argue that these conflicting accounts should be thought of as "complementary" in the same sense that position and momentum descriptions are complementary in elementary quantum mechanics. (shrink)
This thesis is a contribution to the debate on the implications of quantum information theory for the foundations of quantum mechanics. In Part 1, the logical and conceptual status of various notions of information is assessed. It is emphasized that the everyday notion of information is to be firmly distinguished from the technical notions arising in information theory; however it is maintained that in both settings `information' functions as an abstract noun, hence does not refer to a particular (...) or substance (the worth of this point is illustrated in application to quantum teleportation). The claim that `Information is Physical' is assessed and argued to face a destructive dilemma. Accordingly, the slogan may not be understood as an ontological claim, but at best, as a methodological one. The reflections of Bruckner and Zeilinger (2001) and Deutsch and Hayden (2000) on the nature of information in quantum mechanics are critically assessed and some results presented on the characterization of entanglement in the Deutsch-Hayden formalism. Some philosophical aspects of quantum computation are discussed and general morals drawn concerning the nature of quantum information theory. In Part II, following some preliminary remarks, two particular information-theoretic approaches to the foundations of quantum mechanics are assessed in detail. It is argued that Zeilinger's (1999) Foundational Principle is unsuccessful as a foundational principle for quantum mechanics. The information-theoretic characterization theorem of Clifton, Bub and Halvorson (2003) is assessed more favourably, but the generality of the approach is questioned and it is argued that the implications of the theorem for the traditional foundational problems in quantum mechanics remains obscure. (shrink)
This paper surveys some of the questions that arise when we consider how entanglement and relativity are related via the notion of non-locality. We begin by reviewing the role of entangled states in Bell inequality violation and question whether the associated notions of non-locality lead to problems with relativity. The use of entanglement and wavefunction collapse in Einstein's famous incompleteness argument is then considered, before we go on to see how the issue of non-locality is transformed if one (...) considers quantum mechanics without collapse to be a complete theory, as in the Everett interpretation. (shrink)
According to Zurek, the emergence of a classical world from a quantum substrate could result from a long selection process that privileges the classical bases according to a principle of optimal information. We investigate the consequences of this principle in a simple case, when the system and the environment are two interacting scalar particles supposedly in a pure state. We show that then the classical regime corresponds to a situation for which the entanglement between the particles (the system (...) and the environment) disappears. We describe in which circumstances this factorisability condition is fulfilled, in the case that the particles interact via position-dependent potentials, and also describe in appendix the tools necessary for understanding our results (entanglement, Bell inequalities and so on). (shrink)
The nature of quantum computation is discussed. It is argued that, in terms of the amount of information manipulated in a given time, quantum and classical computation are equally efficient. Quantum superposition does not permit quantum computers to ''perform many computations simultaneously'' except in a highly qualified and to some extent misleading sense. Quantum computation is therefore not well described by interpretations of quantum mechanics which invoke the concept of vast numbers of parallel universes. (...) Rather, entanglement makes available types of computation processes which, while not exponentially larger than classical ones, are unavailable to classical systems. The essence of quantum computation is that it uses entanglement to generate and manipulate a physical representation of the correlations between logical entities, without the need to completely represent the logical entities themselves. (shrink)
In the May 15, 1935 issue of Physical Review Albert Einstein co-authored a paper with his two postdoctoral research associates at the Institute for Advanced Study, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen. The article was entitled “Can Quantum Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?” (Einstein et al. 1935). Generally referred to as “EPR”, this paper quickly became a centerpiece in the debate over the interpretation of the quantum theory, a debate that continues today. The paper features a (...) striking case where two quantum systems interact in such a way as to link both their spatial coordinates in a certain direction and also their linear momenta (in the same direction). As a result of this “entanglement”, determining either position or momentum for one system would fix (respectively) the position or the momentum of the other. EPR use this case to argue that one cannot maintain both an intuitive condition of local action and the completeness of the quantum description by means of the wave function. This entry describes the argument of that 1935 paper, considers several different versions and reactions, and explores the ongoing significance of the issues they raise. (shrink)
** 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. (shrink)
We introduce a new interpretation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM) called Relational Blockworld (RBW). We motivate the interpretation by outlining two results due to Kaiser, Bohr, Ulfeck, Mottelson, and Anandan, independently. First, the canonical commutation relations for position and momentum can be obtained from boost and translation operators,respectively, in a spacetime where the relativity of simultaneity holds. Second, the QM density operator can be obtained from the spacetime symmetry group of the experimental configuration exclusively. We show how QM, obtained (...) from relativistic quantum field theory per RBW, explains the twin-slit experiment and conclude by resolving the standard conceptual problems of QM, i.e., the measurement problem, entanglement and non-locality. (shrink)
We present a logical calculus for reasoning about information flow in quantum programs. In particular we introduce a dynamic logic that is capable of dealing with quantum measurements, unitary evolutions and entanglements in compound quantum systems. We give a syntax and a relational semantics in which we abstract away from phases and probabilities. We present a sound proof system for this logic, and we show how to characterize by logical means various forms of entanglement (e.g. the (...) Bell states) and various linear operators. As an example we sketch an analysis of the teleportation protocol. (shrink)
The mental system of an individual usually generates a reality-model that includes a self-model and a world-model as fundamental components. Exceptional experiences (ExE) can be classified as subjectively experienced anomalies in the self-model or the world-model or in the relation of both. Empirical studies show significant correlations between specific patterns of ExE and socially and clinically relevant variables. In order to examine the ontological status of anomalous phenomena a psychophysical approach is presented in which the principle of complementarity is of (...) fundamental importance. Applying a generalized quantum theory to psychosocial and psychophysical systems, complementary aspects such as autonomy versus reliability or novelty versus confirmation are identified as possible local and global variables. The findings indicate that entanglement correlations could play a role in the occurrence of ExE and that specific psychological interventions can dissolve them. (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.
We present a scenario describing how time emerges in the framework of weak quantum theory. In a process similar to the emergence of time in quantum cosmology, time arises after an epistemic split of an undivided unus mundus as a quality of the individual conscious mind. Synchronization with matter and other mental systems is achieved by entanglement correlations. In the course of its operationalization, time loses its original quality and the time of physics as measured by clocks (...) appears. avoided/explicated. (shrink)
In quantum computation non classical features such as superposition states and entanglement are used to solve problems in new ways, impossible on classical digital computers.We illustrate by Deutsch algorithm how a quantum computer can use superposition states to outperform any classical computer. We comment on the view of a quantum computer as a massive parallel computer and recall Amdahls law for a classical parallel computer. We argue that the view on quantum computation as a massive (...) parallel computation disregards the presence of entanglement in a general quantum computation and the non classical way in which parallel results are combined to obtain the final output. (shrink)
In this paper we describe some first steps for bringing the framework of branching space-times to bear on quantum information theory. Our main application is quantum error correction. It is shown that branching space-times offers a new perspective on quantum error correction: as a supplement to the orthodox slogan, ``fight entanglement with entanglement'', we offer the new slogan, ``fight indeterminism with indeterminism''.
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)
Relations occur on all levels of systems. Following a major assumption of generalized quantum theory, namely that the principles of quantum mechanics will occur on higher system levels as well, it was investigated in an a posteriori analysis of pre-existing data whether relational patterns found for two-photon experiments are similarly performed by two cell-populations. In particular, the typical pattern in outcomes of two-photon entanglement experiments was extrapolated to discover similar patterns of relationships in the cellular biological system (...) of the Ciliate Paramecium caudatum. In the former case we find one photon assuming a particular state when being measured and the other assuming a correlated state with regard to the first particle. From a perspective of degrees of freedom (df) the author interprets this outcome as follows: Each particle has only one df for assuming a particular state (e.g. its spin). When measured this is leading to a pattern: They use their two degrees of freedom for establishing a relation among them (particle-to-particle) and for a relation with the environment (particle-to-measurement). If this pattern is unique then we should find it also in cell-to-cell relationships. It was suggested to consider causations in cell-to-cell relations as the analogue to the relationship between the quantum particles (see above) and the dependence of repeating the experiments as the analogue to the measurement event in the quantum experiment. It was hypothesized that in a relational system of two cell populations only one should be sensitive to the repetition of the experiment. The other population, however, should establish a relation with the first one. Since the author had successfully performed experiments with pairs of cell populations that were separated with glass barriers from each other but having effects on each other (Fels in PLoS One 4:e5086, 2009), the system was perfectly well suited for testing the hypothesis. The assessed cell variable was cell division. An a posteriori analysis of three similar experiments confirmed that when populations were in a relation with each other, only one of them stood in relation with the repetition of the experiment. (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 Quantum Theory 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)
A novel and versatile polarization-entanglement scheme is adopted to investigate the violation of the EPR local realism for a non-maximally entangled two-photon system according to the recent nonlocality proof by Lucien Hardy. In this context the adoption of a sophisticated detection method allows direct determination of any element of physical reality (viz., determined with probability equal to unity in the words of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen) for the pair system within complete measurements that are largely insensitive to the detector (...)quantum-efficiencies and noise. (shrink)
I discuss the quantum mechanical theory of consciousness and freewill offered by Stapp (1993, 1995, 2000, 2004). First I show that decoherence-based arguments do not work against this theory. Then discuss a number of problems with the theory: Stapp's separate accounts of consciousness and freewill are incompatible, the interpretations of QM they are tied to are questionable, the Zeno effect could not enable freewill as he suggests because weakness of will would then be ubiquitous, and the holism of measurement (...) in QM is not a good explanation of the unity of consciousness for essentially the same reason that local interactions may seem incapable to account for it. (shrink)
_René Descartes proposed an interactive dualism that posits an interaction between the_ _mind of a human being and some of the matter located in his or her brain. Isaac Newton_ _subsequently formulated a physical theory based exclusively on the material/physical_ _part of Descartes’ ontology. Newton’s theory enforced the principle of the causal closure_ _of the physical, and the classical physics that grew out of it enforces this same principle._ _This classical theory purports to give, in principle, a complete deterministic account (...) of the_ _physically described properties of nature, expressed exclusively in terms of these_ _physically described properties themselves. Orthodox contemporary physical theory_ _violates this principle in two separate ways. First, it injects random elements into the_ _dynamics. Second, it allows, and also requires, abrupt probing actions that disrupt the_ _mechanistically described evolution of the physically described systems. These probing_ _actions are called Process 1 interventions by von Neumann. They are psycho-physical_ _events. Neither the content nor the timing of these events is determined either by any_ _known law, or by the afore-mentioned random elements. Orthodox quantum mechanics_ _considers these events to be instigated by choices made by conscious agents. In von_ _Neumann’s formulation of quantum theory each such intervention acts upon the state of_ _the brain of some conscious agent. Thus orthodox von Neumann contemporary physics_ _posits an interactive dualism similar to that of Descartes. But in this quantum version the_ _effects of the conscious choices upon our brains are controlled, in part, by the known_ _basic rules of quantum physics. This theoretically specified mind-brain connection allows_ _many basic psychological and neuropsychological findings associated with the apparent_ _physical effectiveness of our conscious volitional efforts to be explained in a causal and_ _practically useful way.. (shrink)
The textbook presentation of quantum mechanics, in a nutshell, is this. The physical state of any isolated system evolves deterministically in accordance with Schrödinger's equation until a "measurement" of some physical magnitude M (e.g. position, energy, spin) is made. Restricting attention to the case where the values of M are discrete, the system's pre-measurement state-vector f is a linear combination, or "superposition", of vectors f1, f2,... that individually represent states that..
We show that consciousness may violate the basic quantum principle, according to which the nonorthogonal quantum states can't be distinguished. This implies that the physical world is not causally closed without consciousness, and consciousness is a fundamental property of matter.
This paper offers a critical assessment of the current state of the debate about the identity and individuality of material objects. Its main aim, in particular, is to show that, in a sense to be carefully specified, the opposition between the Leibnizian ‘reductionist’ tradition, based on discernibility, and the sort of ‘primitivism’ that denies that facts of identity and individuality must be analysable has become outdated. In particular, it is argued that—contrary to a widespread consensus—‘naturalised’ metaphysics supports both the acceptability (...) of non-qualitatively grounded (both ‘contextual’ and intrinsic) identity and a pluralistic approach to individuality and individuation. A case study is offered that focuses on non-relativistic quantum mechanics, in the context of which primitivism about identity and individuality, rather than being regarded as unscientific, is on the contrary suggested to be preferable to the complicated forms of reductionism that have recently been proposed. More generally, by assuming a plausible form of anti-reductionism about scientific theories and domains, it is claimed that science can be regarded as compatible with, or even as suggesting, the existence of a series of equally plausible grades of individuality. The kind of individuality that prevails in a certain context and at a given level can be ascertained only on the basis of the specific scientific theory at hand. (shrink)
Quantum indeterminism may make available the option of an interactionism that does not have to pay the price of a force over and above those forces that are acknowledged in physics in order to explain how intentions can be physically effective. I show how this option might work in concrete terms and offer a criticism of it.
It has been widely thought that consciousness has no causal efficacy in the physical world. However, this may be not the case. In this paper, we show that a conscious being can distinguish definite perceptions and their quantum superpositions, while a physical measuring system without consciousness cannot distinguish such nonorthogonal quantum states. The possible existence of this distinct quantum physical effect of consciousness may have interesting implications for the science of consciousness. In particular, it suggests that consciousness (...) is not emergent but a fundamental feature of the universe. This may provide a possible quantum basis for panpsychism. (shrink)
René Descartes proposed an interactive dualism that posits an interaction between the mind of a human being and some of the matter located in his or her brain. Isaac Newton subsequently formulated a physical theory based exclusively on the material/physical part of Descartes’ ontology. Newton’s theory enforced the principle of the causal closure of the physical, and the classical physics that grew out of it enforces this same principle. This classical theory purports to give, in principle, a complete deterministic account (...) of the physically described properties of nature, expressed exclusively in terms of these physically described properties themselves. Orthodox contemporary physical theory violates this principle in two separate ways. First, it injects random elements into the dynamics. Second, it allows, and also requires, abrupt probing actions that disrupt the mechanistically described evolution of the physically described systems. These probing actions are called Process 1 interventions by von Neumann. They are psycho-physical events. Neither the content nor the timing of these events is determined either by any known law, or by the afore-mentioned random elements. Orthodox quantum mechanics considers these events to be instigated by choices made by conscious agents. In von Neumann’s formulation of quantum theory each such intervention acts upon the state of the brain of some conscious agent. Thus orthodox von Neumann contemporary physics posits an interactive dualism similar to that of Descartes. But in this quantum version the effects of the conscious choices upon our brains are controlled, in part, by the known basic rules of quantum physics. This theoretically specified mind-brain connection allows many basic psychological and neuropsychological findings associated with the apparent physical effectiveness of our conscious volitional efforts to be explained in a causal and practically useful way.. (shrink)
The central thesis of this paper is that contemporary theoretical physics is grounded in philosophical presuppositions that make it difficult to effectively address the problems of subject-object interaction and discontinuity inherent to quantum gravity. The core objectivist assumption implicit in relativity theory and quantum mechanics is uncovered and we see that, in string theory, this assumption leads into contradiction. To address this challenge, a new philosophical foundation is proposed based on the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger. (...) Then, through the application of qualitative topology and hypernumbers, phenomenological ideas about space, time, and dimension are brought into focus so as to provide specific solutions to the problems of force-field generation and unification. The phenomenological string theory that results speaks to the inconclusiveness of conventional string theory and resolves its core contradiction. (shrink)
I offer an account of how the quantum theory we have helps us explain so much. The account depends on a pragmatist interpretation of the theory: This takes a quantum state to serve solely 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. (shrink)
b>: Replacing faulty nineteenth century physics by its orthodox quantum successor converts the earlier materialist conception of nature to a structure that does not enforce the principle of the causal closure of the physical. The quantum laws possess causal gaps, and these gaps are filled in actual scientific practice by inputs from our streams of consciousness. The form of the quantum laws permits and suggests the existence of an underlying reality that is built not on substances, but (...) on psychophysical events, and on objective tendencies for these events to occur. These events constitute intrinsic mind-brain connections. They are fundamental links between brain processes described in physical terms and events in our streams of consciousness. This quantum ontology confers upon our conscious intentions the causal efficacy assigned to them in actual scientific practice, and creates a substance- free interactive dualism. This putative quantum ontology has previously been shown to have impressive explanatory power in both psychology and neuroscience. Here it is used to reconcile the existence of physically efficacious conscious free will with causal anomalies of both the Libet and Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky types. (shrink)
The measurement problem of quantum theory 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 quantum theory, 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)
This paper attempts to build a bridge between the interpretation of quantum theory and the philosophy of mind. In contrast to other such attempts, the bridge which this paper suggests does not consist in extending features of quantum theory to the philosophy of mind. The argument of this paper is that the discussion about a revision of the Cartesian tradition in current philosophy of mind is relevant to the interpretation of quantum theory: taking this discussion into account (...) sharpens up the task for the interpretation of quantum physics as far as the scope of what is known as quantum holism is concerned. In particular, considering this discussion makes out a strong case against the interpretation that considers quantum holism to be universal in the physical realm. (shrink)
Niels Bohr, founding father of modern atomic physics and quantum theory, was as original a philosopher as he was a physicist. This study explores several dimensions of Bohr's vision: the formulation of quantum theory and the problems associated with its interpretation, the notions of complementarity and correspondence, the debates with Einstein about objectivity and realism, and his sense of the infinite harmony of nature. Honner focuses on Bohr's epistemological lesson, the conviction that all our description of nature is (...) dependent on the words we use and the ways we can unambiguously use them. (shrink)
Replies are given to arguments advanced in this journal that claim to show that it is to nonlinear classical mechanics rather than quantum mechanics that one must look for the physical underpinnings of conscious ness..
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)
It is usually taken for granted that orthodox quantum theory 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 quantum theory suffers from a number of serious (if not always noticed) defects precisely because of its inbuilt instrumentalism. This defective character of orthdoox quantum theory 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)
The Everett interpretation of quantum theory 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.
There have been suggestions that the unity of consciousness may be related to the kind of holism depicted only in quantum physics. This argument will be clarified and strengthened. It requires the brain to contain a quantum system with the right properties — a Bose-Einstein condensate. It probably does contain one such system, as both theory and experiment have indicated. In fact, we cannot pay full attention to a quantum whole and its parts simultaneously, though we may (...) oscillate between the two. In a quantum theory of consciousness, emergent meanings arise as an inevitable consequence of Heisenberg''s Uncertainty Principle. (shrink)
An account is given of a recent proposal to complete modern quantum theory by adding a characterisation of consciousness. The resulting theory is applied to give mechanisms for typical parapsychological phenomena, and ways of testing it are discussed.
Quantum field theory (QFT) combines quantum mechanics with Einstein's special theory of relativity and underlies elementary particle physics. This book presents a philosophical analysis of QFT. It is the first treatise in which the philosophies of space-time, quantum phenomena, and particle interactions are encompassed in a unified framework. Describing the physics in nontechnical terms, and schematically illustrating complex ideas, the book also serves as an introduction to fundamental physical theories. The philosophical interpretation both upholds the reality of (...) the quantum world and acknowledges the irreducible cognitive elements in its representation. The interpretation is based on an analysis of our ways of thinking as the are embedded in the logical structure of QFT. The author argues that philosophical categories are significant only if they play active and essential roles in our knowledge and hence constitute part of the theories in actual use. Thus she regards physical theories as primary, extracts their categorical structure, and uses it to rethink key philosophical questions. Among the questions this book tries to answer are: What are the quantum properties independent of measurements? How do we refer to individual things in a continuous field? How do theories relate to objects? What are the general conditions of the world and of our ways of thinking that make possible our knowledge of the microscopic realm, which is so intangible and counterintuitive? As a penetrating analysis of vital themes in contemporary science, the book will engage the interest of students and professionals in physics and philosophy alike. (shrink)
In Process and Reality and other works, Alfred North Whitehead struggled to come to terms with the impact the new science of quantum mechanics would have on metaphysics.This ambitious book is the first extended analysis of the intricate relationships between relativity theory, quantum mechanics, and Whitehead's cosmology. Michael Epperson illuminates the intersection of science and philosophy in Whitehead's work-and details Whitehead's attempts to fashion an ontology coherent with quantum anomalies.Including a nonspecialist introduction to quantum mechanics, Epperson (...) adds an essential new dimension to our understanding of Whitehead-and of the constantly enriching encounter between science and philosophy in our century. (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 quantum theory 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)
This paper attempts an interpretation of Everett's relative state formulation of quantum mechanics that avoids the commitment to new metaphysical entities like âworldsâ or âmindsâ. Starting from Everett's quantum mechanical model of an observer, it is argued that an observer's belief to be in an eigenstate of the measurement (corresponding to the observation of a well-defined measurement outcome) is consistent with the fact that she objectively is in a superposition of such states. Subjective states corresponding to such beliefs (...) are constructed. From an analysis of these subjective states and their dynamics it is argued that Everett's pure wave mechanics is subjectively consistent with von Neumann's classical formulation of quantum mechanics. It follows from the argument that the objective state of a system is in principle unobservable. Nevertheless, an adequate concept of empirical reality can be constructed. (shrink)
Aiming to unravel the mystery of quantum mechanics, this book is concerned with questions about action-at-a-distance, holism, and whether quantum mechanics gives a complete account of microphysical reality. With rigorous arguments and clear thinking, the author provides an introduction to the philosophy of physics.
As is well known, Einstein was dissatisfied with the foundation of quantum theory and sought to find a basis for it that would have satisfied his need for a causal explanation. In this paper this abandoned idea is investigated. It is found that it is mathematically not dead at all. More in particular: a quantum mechanical U(1) gauge invariant Dirac equation can be derived from Einstein's gravity field equations. We ask ourselves what it means for physics, the history (...) of physics and for the actual discussion on foundations. (shrink)