Quantum mechanics, orthogonality, and counting

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):313-328 (1997)
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Abstract

In quantum mechanics it is usually assumed that mutually exclusives states of affairs must be represented by orthogonal vectors. Recent attempts to solve the measurement problem, most notably the GRW theory, require the relaxation of this assumption. It is shown that a consequence of relaxing this assumption is that arithmatic does not apply to ordinary macroscopic objects. It is argued that such a radical move is unwarranted given the current state of understanding of the foundations of quantum mechanics.

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Peter J. Lewis
Dartmouth College