Everett's relative-state formulation of quantum mechanics

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
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Abstract

Everett's relative-state formulation of quantum mechanics is an attempt to solve the measurement problem by dropping the collapse dynamics from the standard von Neumann-Dirac theory of quantum mechanics. The main problem with Everett's theory is that it is not at all clear how it is supposed to work. In particular, while it is clear that he wanted to explain why we get determinate measurement results in the context of his theory, it is unclear how he intended to do this. There have been many attempts to reconstruct Everett's no-collapse theory in order to account for the apparent determinateness of measurement outcomes. These attempts have led to such formulations of quantum mechanics as the many-worlds, many-minds, many-histories, and relative-fact theories. Each of these captures part of what Everett claimed for his theory, but each also encounters problems.

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Jeffrey Barrett
University of California, Irvine

Citations of this work

Quantum monism: an assessment.Claudio Calosi - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3217-3236.
Open Problems in Relational Quantum Mechanics.Federico Laudisa - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (2):215-230.
Probability in the Everett interpretation.Hilary Greaves - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):109–128.
Everett’s pure wave mechanics and the notion of worlds.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):277-302.

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