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Everett's relative-state formulation of quantum mechanics

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)

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  1. Hilbert Space Quantum Mechanics is Noncontextual.Robert B. Griffiths - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):174-181.
    It is shown that quantum mechanics is noncontextual if quantum properties are represented by subspaces of the quantum Hilbert space rather than by hidden variables. In particular, a measurement using an appropriately constructed apparatus can be shown to reveal the value of an observable A possessed by the measured system before the measurement took place, whatever other compatible observable B may be measured at the same time.
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  • A Consistent Quantum Ontology.Robert B. Griffiths - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (2):93-114.
    The histories interpretation provides a consistent realistic ontology for quantum mechanics, based on two main ideas. First, a logic is employed which is compatible with the Hilbert-space structure of quantum mechanics as understood by von Neumann: quantum properties and their negations correspond to subspaces and their orthogonal complements. It employs a special syntactical rule to construct meaningful quantum expressions, quite different from the quantum logic of Birkhoff and von Neumann. Second, quantum time development is treated as an inherently stochastic process (...)
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  • Some Trends in the Philosophy of Physics.Henrik Zinkernagel - 2011 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 26 (2):215-241.
    A short review of some recent developments in the philosophy of physics is presented. I focus on themes which illustrate relations and points of common interest between philosophy of physics and three of its `neighboring' elds: Physics, metaphysics and general philosophy of science. The main examples discussed in these three `border areas' are decoherence and the interpretation of quantum mechanics; time in physics and metaphysics; and methodological issues surrounding the multiverse idea in modern cosmology.
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  • Realism in Context: The Examples of Lifeworld and Quantum Physics.Gregor Schiemann - 2009 - Human Affairs 19 (2):211-222.
    Lifeworld realism and quantum-physical realism are taken as experience-dependent conceptions of the world that become objects of explicit reflection when confronted with context-external discourses. After a brief sketch of the two contexts of experience—lifeworld and quantum physics—and their realist interpretations, I will discuss the quantum world from the perspective of lifeworld realism. From this perspective, the quantum world—roughly speaking—has to be either unreal or else constitute a different reality. Then, I invert the perspective and examine the lifeworld from the standpoint (...)
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  • Everett’s Pure Wave Mechanics and the Notion of Worlds.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):277-302.
    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 (...)
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  • Time Travel and Time Machines.Douglas Kutach - 2013 - In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Blackwell.
    Thinking about time travel is an entertaining way to explore how to understand time and its location in the broad conceptual landscape that includes causation, fate, action, possibility, experience, and reality. It is uncontroversial that time travel towards the future exists, and time travel to the past is generally recognized as permitted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, though no one knows yet whether nature truly allows it. Coherent time travel stories have added flair to traditional debates over the metaphysical (...)
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  • Probability in the Everett Interpretation.Hilary Greaves - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):109–128.
    The Everett (many-worlds) interpretation of quantum mechanics faces a prima facie problem concerning quantum probabilities. Research in this area has been fast-paced over the last few years, following a controversial suggestion by David Deutsch that decision theory can solve the problem. This article provides a non-technical introduction to the decision-theoretic program, and a sketch of the current state of the debate.
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  • Multiplicity in Everett׳s Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.Louis Marchildon - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):274-284.
  • A Structural Interpretation Of Pure Wave Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2010 - Humana Mente 4 (13).
  • Times Two: The Tenses of Linear and Collapse Dynamics in Relational Quantum Mechanics.Andrew Soltau - 2008
    The nature and topology of time remains an open question in philosophy, both tensed and tenseless concepts of time appear to have merit. A concept of time including both kinds of time evolution of physical systems in quantum mechanics subsumes the properties of both notions. The linear dynamics defines the universe probabilistically throughout space-time, and can be seen as the definition of a block universe. The collapse dynamics is the time evolution of the linear dynamics, and is thus of different (...)
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  • O problema ontológico da consciência na mecânica quântica.Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2015 - Dissertation, Universidade Estadual de Maringá
    Quantum mechanics is an area of Physics that deals with subatomic phenomena. It can be extracted from a vision of the physical world which contradicts many aspects of our everyday perception, prompting many philosophical debates and admitting different interpretations. Among the wide range of problems within the interpretation of quantum theory, there is the measurement problem. Some philosophical aspects of the problems concerning the notion of “measurement” in quantum mechanics are analyzed in order to identify how the problem arises in (...)
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  • On What There Is According to Quantum Mechanics.Brendan Kane - unknown
    In this essay I make use of the resources of ‘naturalized ontology’ in order to determine what quantum mechanics implies about answers to fundamental metaphysical questions. Naturalized ontology is a methodology for metaphysics influenced by the philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine which makes explicit reference to our best scientific theories in order to answer questions which have traditionally been reckoned to belong solely to the realm of philosophy such as ‘What is the nature of reality in the most general sense?’ (...)
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  • The Quantum Mechanical Frame of Reference.Andrew Soltau - unknown
    Everett demonstrates the appearance of collapse, within the context of the unitary linear dynamics. However, he does not state clearly how observers are to have determinate measurement records, hence 50 years of debate. This, however, is inherent. He defines the observer as the record of observations, which, naturally, is the record of correlations established with the physical environment. As in Rovelli's Relational Quantum Mechanics, the correlations record is the sole determinant of the effective physical environment, here the quantum mechanical frame (...)
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  • Event Ontology in Quantum Mechanics and the Problem of Emergence.Rodolfo Gambini & Jorge Pullin - unknown
    We introduce an ontology of objects and events that is particularly well suited for several interpretations of quantum mechanics. It leads to an important revision of the notion of matter and its implications. Within this context one can show that systems in entangled states present emergent new properties and downward causation where certain behavior of parts of the system are only determined by the state of the whole. Interpretations of quantum mechanics that admit such an event ontology solve the problem (...)
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  • Fundamental Physical Theories: Mathematical Structures Grounded on a Primitive Ontology.Valia Allori - 2007 - Dissertation, Rutgers
    In my dissertation I analyze the structure of fundamental physical theories. I start with an analysis of what an adequate primitive ontology is, discussing the measurement problem in quantum mechanics and theirs solutions. It is commonly said that these theories have little in common. I argue instead that the moral of the measurement problem is that the wave function cannot represent physical objects and a common structure between these solutions can be recognized: each of them is about a clear three-dimensional (...)
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  • On the Physical Explanation for Quantum Computational Speedup.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario
    The aim of this dissertation is to clarify the debate over the explanation of quantum speedup and to submit, for the reader's consideration, a tentative resolution to it. In particular, I argue, in this dissertation, that the physical explanation for quantum speedup is precisely the fact that the phenomenon of quantum entanglement enables a quantum computer to fully exploit the representational capacity of Hilbert space. This is impossible for classical systems, joint states of which must always be representable as product (...)
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  • Logical Types in Quantum Mechanics.Andrew Soltau - unknown
    Barbour shows that time does not exist in the physical world, and similar conclusions are reached by others such as Deutsch, Davies and Woodward. Every possible configuration of a physical environment simply exists in the universe. The system is objectively static. Observation, however, is an inherently transtemporal phenomenon, involving actual or effective change of the configuration, collapse. Since, in a static environment, all possible configurations exist, transtemporal reality is of the logical type of a movie. The frame of a movie (...)
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  • Interactive Destiny.Andrew Soltau - manuscript
    Mitra demonstrates that memory erasure can cause the observer to end up in a different sector of the multiverse with a different destiny, events in the future remote to any possible influence of the observer having radically different probabilities. The concept only applies to an observer defined by a structure of information, so cannot apply to the physical bodies of human observers. However, Everett defines the functional identity of the observer as the contents of the memory, a structure of information, (...)
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  • Multisolipsism.Andrew Soltau - unknown
    A perspective on Everett's relative state formulation is proposed, leading to a simple relational quantum mechanics. There are inevitably a large number of different versions of the world in which a specific observer could exist, and in the universe of the unitary wave function they are all existing and coincident. If these different versions of the world are superposed, the effective physical environment in the functional frame of reference of this observer would be highly indeterminate, since every possible variation of (...)
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  • Reconstructing Reality: Environment-Induced Decoherence, the Measurement Problem, and the Emergence of Definiteness in Quantum Mechanics.Hanneke Janssen - unknown
    This work is a critique of the program of "environment-induced decoherence" as advocated by Zurek, Zeh and Joos, among others. In particular, the alleged relevance of decoherence for a solution of the "measurement problem" is subjected to a detailed philosophical analysis. In the first chapter, an attempt is made to unravel what exactly this "measurement problem" amounts to for the decoherence theorists. The second chapter reviews the standard decoherence literature. The third chapter starts with a brief discussion of the philosophical (...)
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  • Times Two.Andrew Soltau - unknown
    The nature and topology of time remain an open question in philosophy. Both tensed and tenseless concepts of time appear to have merit. Quantum mechanics demonstrates that both are instantiated, as complementary aspects of the time evolution of physical systems. The linear dynamics is tenseless. It defines the universe probabilistically throughout space-time, and can be seen as the definition of an unchanging block universe. All properties of the universe are defined for the whole extent of the linear time dimension of (...)
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  • Universe Superposition, Relational Quantum Mechanics, and the Reality of the No-Collapse Universe.Andrew Soltau - unknown
    A perspective on Everett's relative state formulation is proposed leading to a relational quantum mechanics. There are inevitably a large number of different versions of the universe in which a specific observer could exist, and in the universe of the unitary wave function they are all existing and coincident. If these different versions of the universe are superposed the result is a universe in which the superposition of all of the identical copies sums to a single observer. The effective universe (...)
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  • Quantum Mechanics and Paradigm Shifts.Valia Allori - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):313-323.
    It has been argued that the transition from classical to quantum mechanics is an example of a Kuhnian scientific revolution, in which there is a shift from the simple, intuitive, straightforward classical paradigm, to the quantum, convoluted, counterintuitive, amazing new quantum paradigm. In this paper, after having clarified what these quantum paradigms are supposed to be, I analyze whether they constitute a radical departure from the classical paradigm. Contrary to what is commonly maintained, I argue that, in addition to radical (...)
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  • Pure Wave Mechanics and the Very Idea of Empirical Adequacy.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3071-3104.
    Hugh Everett III proposed his relative-state formulation of pure wave mechanics as a solution to the quantum measurement problem. He sought to address the theory’s determinate record and probability problems by showing that, while counterintuitive, pure wave mechanics was nevertheless empirically faithful and hence empirical acceptable. We will consider what Everett meant by empirical faithfulness. The suggestion will be that empirical faithfulness is well understood as a weak variety of empirical adequacy. The thought is that the very idea of empirical (...)
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  • A Consistent Quantum Ontology.Robert B. Griffiths - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (2):93-114.
    The histories interpretation provides a consistent realistic ontology for quantum mechanics, based on two main ideas. First, a logic is employed which is compatible with the Hilbert-space structure of quantum mechanics as understood by von Neumann: quantum properties and their negations correspond to subspaces and their orthogonal complements. It employs a special syntactical rule to construct meaningful quantum expressions, quite different from the quantum logic of Birkhoff and von Neumann. Second, quantum time development is treated as an inherently stochastic process (...)
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  • On the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Valia Allori - 2013 - In Soazig Lebihan (ed.), Precis de la Philosophie de la Physique. Vuibert.
    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 (...)
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  • Many Worlds, the Cluster-State Quantum Computer, and the Problem of the Preferred Basis.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (1):35-42.
    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.
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  • Entanglement and Disentanglement in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48 (2):168-174.