Alexander Meehan
Yale University
In this article I raise a new problem for quantum mechanics, which I call the control problem. Like the measurement problem, the control problem places a fundamental constraint on quantum theories. The characteristic feature of the problem is its focus on state preparation. In particular, whereas the measurement problem turns on a premise about the completeness of the quantum state ('no hidden variables'), the control problem turns on a premise about our ability to prepare or control quantum states. After raising the problem, I discuss some applications. I suggest that it provides a useful new lens through which to view existing theories or interpretations, in part because it draws attention to aspects of those theories that the measurement problem does not. I suggest that it also helps clarify the physical significance of the well-known no-go result—the no-cloning theorem—on which it is based.
Keywords measurement problem  control problem  quantum states  the no-cloning theorem
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axz053
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