The many-worlds interpretation and quantum computation

Philosophy of Science 74 (5):1007-1018 (2007)
David Deutsch and others have suggested that the Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics is the only interpretation capable of explaining the special efficiency quantum computers seem to enjoy over classical ones. I argue that this view is not tenable. Using a toy algorithm I show that the Many-Worlds Interpretation must crucially use the ontological status of the universal state vector to explain quantum computational efficiency, as opposed to the particular ontology of the MWI, that is, the computational histories of worlds. As such, any other interpretation that treats the state vector as representing real ontological features of a system can explain quantum speedup too. ‡Thanks to Soazig Le Bihan for her critical comments on this paper. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Liberal Arts 101, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812; e-mail: armond. duwell
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DOI 10.1086/525640
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A. M. Steane (2003). A Quantum Computer Only Needs One Universe. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (3):469-478.

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