Why the Global Phase is Not Real

Foundations of Physics 54 (2):1-6 (2024)
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Abstract

In this paper, I present a new analysis of the meaning of the phase in quantum mechanics. First, I give a simple but rigorous proof that the global phase is not real in $$\psi$$ -ontic quantum theories. Next, I argue that a similar strategy cannot be used to prove the reality of the global phase due to the existence of the tails of the wave function. Finally, I argue that the relative phase is not a nonlocal property of two regions together, and adding a relative phase to one local branch of a superposition only changes the local properties at the boundary of the region of the branch.

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2024-03-09

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Shan Gao
Shanxi University

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