Protective Measurements and the Reality of the Wave Function

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (3):777-794 (2022)
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Abstract

It has been debated whether protective measurement implies the reality of the wave function. In this article, I present a new analysis of the relationship between protective measurements and the reality of the wave function. First, I briefly introduce protective measurements and the ontological models framework for them. Second, I give a simple proof of Hardy’s theorem in terms of protective measurements. Third, I analyse two suggested ψ -epistemic models of a protective measurement. It is shown that although these models can explain the appearance of expectation values of observables in a single measurement, their predictions about the variance of the result of a non-ideal protective measurement are different from those of quantum mechanics. Finally, I argue that under an auxiliary finiteness assumption about the dynamics of the ontic state, protective measurement implies the reality of the wave function in the ontological models framework.

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On Uffink's criticism of protective measurements.Shan Gao - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):513-518.

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Shan Gao
Shanxi University

Citations of this work

A No-Go Result for QBism.Shan Gao - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (5):1-6.

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References found in this work

The meaning of protective measurements.Yakir Aharonov, Jeeva Anandan & Lev Vaidman - 1996 - Foundations of Physics 26 (1):117-126.
An argument for ψ-ontology in terms of protective measurements.Shan Gao - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):198-202.

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