In this new edition, Arthur Fine looks at Einstein's philosophy of science and develops his own views on realism. A new Afterword discusses the reaction to Fine's own theory. "What really led Einstein . . . to renounce the new quantum order? For those interested in this question, this book is compulsory reading."--Harvey R. Brown, American Journal of Physics "Fine has successfully combined a historical account of Einstein's philosophical views on quantum mechanics and a discussion of some (...) of the philosophical problems associated with the interpretation of quantumtheory with a discussion of some of the contemporary questions concerning realism and antirealism. . . . Clear, thoughtful, [and] well-written."--Allan Franklin, Annals of Science "Attempts, from Einstein's published works and unpublished correspondence, to piece together a coherent picture of 'Einstein realism.' Especially illuminating are the letters between Einstein and fellow realist Schrodinger, as the latter was composing his famous 'Schrodinger-Cat' paper."--Nick Herbert, New Scientist "Beautifully clear. . . . Fine's analysis is penetrating, his own results original and important. . . . The book is a splendid combination of new ways to think about quantum mechanics, about realism, and about Einstein's views of both."--Nancy Cartwright, Isis. (shrink)
We show that three fundamental information-theoretic constraints -- the impossibility of superluminal information transfer between two physical systems by performing measurements on one of them, the impossibility of broadcasting the information contained in an unknown physical state, and the impossibility of unconditionally secure bit commitment -- suffice to entail that the observables and state space of a physical theory are quantum-mechanical. We demonstrate the converse derivation in part, and consider the implications of alternative answers to a remaining open (...) question about nonlocality and bit commitment. (shrink)
Two radically different views about time are possible. According to the first, the universe is three dimensional. It has a past and a future, but that does not mean it is spread out in time as it is spread out in the three dimensions of space. This view requires that there is an unambiguous, absolute, cosmic-wide "now" at each instant. According to the second view about time, the universe is four dimensional. It is spread out in both space and time (...) - in space-time in short. Special and general relativity rule out the first view. There is, according to relativity theory, no such thing as an unambiguous, absolute cosmic-wide "now" at each instant. However, we have every reason to hold that both special and general relativity are false. Not only does the historical record tell us that physics advances from one false theory to another. Furthermore, elsewhere I have shown that we must interpret physics as having established physicalism - in so far as physics can ever establish anything theoretical. Physicalism, here, is to be interpreted as the thesis that the universe is such that some unified "theory of everything" is true. Granted physicalism, it follows immediately that any physical theory that is about a restricted range of phenomena only, cannot be true, whatever its empirical success may be. It follows that both special and general relativity are false. This does not mean of course that the implication of these two theories that there is no unambiguous cosmic-wide "now" at each instant is false. It still may be the case that the first view of time, indicated at the outset, is false. Are there grounds for holding that an unambiguous cosmic-wide "now" does exist, despite special and general relativity, both of which imply that it does not exist? There are such grounds. Elsewhere I have argued that, in order to solve the quantum wave/particle problem and make sense of the quantum domain we need to interpret quantumtheory as a fundamentally probabilistic theory, a theory which specifies how quantum entities - electrons, photons, atoms - interact with one another probabilistically. It is conceivable that this is correct, and the ultimate laws of the universe are probabilistic in character. If so, probabilistic transitions could define unambiguous, absolute cosmic-wide "nows" at each instant. It is entirely unsurprising that special and general relativity have nothing to say about the matter. Both theories are pre-quantum mechanical, classical theories, and general relativity in particular is deterministic. The universe may indeed be three dimensional, with a past and a future, but not spread out in four dimensional space-time, despite the fact that relativity theories appear to rule this out. These considerations, finally, have implications for views about the arrow of time and free will. (shrink)
The 1927 Solvay conference was perhaps the most important meeting in the history of quantumtheory. Contrary to popular belief, the interpretation of quantumtheory was not settled at this conference, and no consensus was reached. Instead, a range of sharply conflicting views were presented and extensively discussed, including de Broglie's pilot-wave theory, Born and Heisenberg's quantum mechanics, and Schrödinger's wave mechanics. Today, there is no longer an established or dominant interpretation of quantum (...)theory, so it is important to re-evaluate the historical sources and keep the interpretation debate open. This book contains a complete translation of the original proceedings, with background essays on the three main interpretations of quantumtheory presented at the conference, and an extensive analysis of the lectures and discussions in the light of current research in the foundations of quantumtheory. The proceedings contain much unexpected material, including extensive discussions of de Broglie's pilot-wave theory (which de Broglie presented for a many-body system), and a theory of 'quantum mechanics' apparently lacking in wave function collapse or fundamental time evolution. This book will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in physics and in the history and philosophy of quantumtheory. (shrink)
I offer an account of how the quantumtheory we have helps us explain so much. The account depends on a pragmatist interpretation of the theory: this takes a quantum state to serve as a source of sound advice to physically situated agents on the content and appropriate degree of belief about matters concerning which they are currently inevitably ignorant. The general account of how to use quantum states and probabilities to explain otherwise puzzling regularities (...) is then illustrated by showing how we can explain single-particle interference phenomena, the stability of matter, and interference of Bose–Einstein condensates. Finally, I note some open problems and relate this account to alternative approaches to explanation that emphasize the importance of causation, of unification, and of structure. 1 Introduction2 Two Requirements on Explanations in Physics3 What We Can use QuantumTheory to Explain4 The Function of Quantum States and Born Probabilities5 How These Functions Contribute to the Explanatory Task6 Example One: Single-Particle Interference7 Example Two: Explanation of the Stability of Matter8 Example Three: Bose Condensation9 Conclusion. (shrink)
The basic theme of Popper's philosophy--that something can come from nothing--is related to the present situation in physical theory. Popper carries his investigation right to the center of current debate in quantum physics. He proposes an interpretation of physics--and indeed an entire cosmology--which is realist, conjectural, deductivist and objectivist, anti-positivist, and anti-instrumentalist. He stresses understanding, reminding us that our ignorance grows faster than our conjectural knowledge.
Two successes of old quantumtheory are particularly notable: Bohr’s prediction of the spectral lines of ionised helium, and Sommerfeld’s prediction of the fine-structure of the hydrogen spectral lines. Many scientific realists would like to be able to explain these successes in terms of the truth or approximate truth of the assumptions which fuelled the relevant derivations. In this paper I argue that this will be difficult for the ionised helium success, and is almost certainly impossible for the (...) fine-structure success. Thus I submit that the case against the realist’s thesis that success is indicative of truth is marginally strengthened. (shrink)
Science is always presupposing some basic concepts that are held to be useful. These absolute presuppositions (Collingwood) are rarely debated and form the framework for what has been termed paradigm by Kuhn. Our currently accepted scientific model is predicated on a set of presuppositions that have difficulty accommodating holistic structures and relationships and are not geared towards incorporating non-local correlations. Since the theoretical models we hold also determine what we perceive and take as scientifically viable, it is important to look (...) for an alternative model that can deal with holistic relationships. One approach is to generalise algebraic quantumtheory, which is an inherently holistic framework, into a generic model. Relaxing some restrictions and definitions from quantumtheory proper yields an axiomatic framework that can be applied to any type of system. Most importantly, it keeps the core of the quantum theoretical formalism. It is capable of handling complementary observables, i.e. descriptors which are non-commuting, incompatible and yet collectively required to fully describe certain situations. It also predicts a generalised form of non-local correlations that in quantumtheory are known as entanglement. This generalised version is not quantum entanglement but an analogue form of holistic, non-local connectedness of elements within systems, predicted to occur whenever elements within systems are described by observables which are complementary to the description of the whole system. While a considerable body of circumstantial evidence supports the plausibility of the model, we are not yet in a position to use it for clear cut predictions that could be experimentally falsified. The series of papers offered in this special issue are the beginning of what we hope will become a rich scientific debate. (shrink)
There is a consistent and simple interpretation of the quantumtheory of isolated systems. The interpretation suffers no measurement problem and provides a quantum explanation of state reduction, which is usually postulated. Quantum entanglement plays an essential role in the construction of the interpretation.
Many have suggested that the transformation standardly referred to as `time reversal' in quantumtheory is not deserving of the name. I argue on the contrary that the standard definition is perfectly appropriate, and is indeed forced by basic considerations about the nature of time in the quantum formalism.
The main formal structures of generalized quantumtheory are summarized. Recent progress has sharpened some of the concepts, in particular the notion of an observable, the action of an observable on states (putting more emphasis on the role of proposition observables), and the concept of generalized entanglement. Furthermore, the active role of the observer in the structure of observables and the partitioning of systems is emphasized.
Concentrating upon applications that are most relevant to modern physics, this valuable book surveys variational principles and examines their relationship to dynamics and quantumtheory. Stressing the history and theory of these mathematical concepts rather than the mechanics, the authors provide many insights into the development of quantum mechanics and present much hard-to-find material in a remarkably lucid, compact form. After summarizing the historical background from Pythagoras to Francis Bacon, Professors Yourgrau and Mandelstram cover Fermat's principle (...) of least time, the principle of least action of Maupertuis, development of this principle by Euler and Lagrange, and the equations of Lagrange and Hamilton. Equipped by this thorough preparation to treat variational principles in general, they proceed to derive Hamilton's principle, the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, and Hamilton's canonical equations. An investigation of electrodynamics in Hamiltonian form covers next, followed by a resume of variational principles in classical dynamics. The authors then launch into an analysis of their most significant topics: the relation between variational principles and wave mechanics, and the principles of Feynman and Schwinger in quantum mechanics. Two concluding chapters extend the discussion to hydrodynamics and natural philosophy. Professional physicists, mathematicians, and advanced students with a strong mathematical background will find this stimulating volume invaluable reading. Extremely popular in its hardcover edition, this volume will find even wider appreciation in its first fine inexpensive paperbound edition. (shrink)
Recently it has been claimed that no extension of quantumtheory can have improved predictive power, the statement following, according to the authors, from the assumptions of free will and of the correctness of quantum predictions concerning the correlations of measurement outcomes. Here we prove that the argument is basically flawed by an inappropriate use of the assumption of free will. In particular, among other implications, the claim, if correct, would imply that Bohmian Mechanics is incompatible with (...) free will. This statement, appearing in the paper, derives from the unjustified identification of free will with the no-signaling constraint and of a purely formal and not physical use of such a constraint. (shrink)
It is usually taken for granted that orthodox quantumtheory poses a serious problem for scientific realism, in that the theory is empirically extraordinarily successful, and yet has instrumentalism built into it. This paper stand this view on its head. I argue that orthodox quantumtheory suffers from a number of serious (if not always noticed) defects precisely because of its inbuilt instrumentalism. This defective character of orthdoox quantumtheory thus undermines instrumentalism, and (...) supports scientific realism. I go on to consider whether there is here the basis of a general argument against instrumentalism. (shrink)
Weak QuantumTheory (WQT) and the Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI) are two psychophysical concepts developed on the basis of quantum physics. The present study contributes to their empirical examination. The issue of the study is whether WQT and MPI can not only explain ‘psi’-phenomena theoretically but also prove to be consistent with the empirical phenomenology of extrasensory perception (ESP). From the main statements of both models, 33 deductions for psychic readings are derived. Psychic readings are defined (...) as settings, in which psychics support or counsel clients by using information not mediated through the five senses. A qualitative approach is chosen to explore how the psychics experience extrasensory perceptions. Eight psychics are interviewed with a half-structured method. The reports are examined regarding deductive and inductive aspects, using a multi-level structured content analysis. The vast majority of deductions is clearly confirmed by the reports. Even though the study has to be seen as an explorative attempt with many aspects to be specified, WQT and MPI prove to be coherent and helpful concepts to explain ESP in psychic readings. (shrink)
Any empirical physical theory must have implications for observable events at the scale of everyday life, even though that scale plays no special role in the basic ontology of the theory itself. The fundamental physical scales are microscopic for the “local beables” of the theory and universal scale for the non-local beables. This situation creates strong demands for any precise quantumtheory. This paper examines those constraints, and illustrates some ways in which they can be (...) met. (shrink)
We use the primitive ontology framework of Allori et al. to analyze the quantum information-theoretic interpretation of Bub and Pitowsky. There are interesting parallels between the two approaches, which differentiate them both from the more standard realist interpretations of quantumtheory. Where they differ, however, is in terms of their commitments to an underlying ontology on which the manifest image of the world supervenes. Employing the primitive ontology framework in this way makes perspicuous the differences between the (...)quantum information-theoretic interpretation, and the various realist interpretations of quantumtheory. It also allows us to identify a sense in which the commitments of quantum information-theoretic interpretation are underspecified. Several possible ways of completing the interpretation are presented, and it is suggested that the most likely strategy would leave the information-theoretic interpretation such that it would fail to qualify as a theory, according to the primitive ontology approach. (shrink)
In a recent paper [e-print quant-ph/0101012], Hardy has given a derivation of “quantumtheory from five reasonable axioms.” Here we show that Hardy's first axiom, which identifies probability with limiting frequency in an ensemble, is not necessary for his derivation. By reformulating Hardy's assumptions, and modifying a part of his proof, in terms of Bayesian probabilities, we show that his work can be easily reconciled with a Bayesian interpretation of quantum probability.
Quantumtheory is one the most important and successful theories of modern physical science. It has been estimated that its principles form the basis for about 30 per cent of the world's manufacturing economy. This is all the more remarkable because quantumtheory is a theory that nobody understands. The meaning of QuantumTheory introduces science students to the theory's fundamental conceptual and philosophical problems, and the basis of its non-understandability. It does (...) this with the barest minimum of jargon and very little mathematics in the main text. Readers wishing to delve more deeply into the theory's mathematical subtleties can do so in an extended series of appendices. The book brings the reader up to date with the results of new experimental tests of quantum weirdness and reviews the latest thinking on alternative interpretations, the frontiers of quantum cosmology, quantum gravity and potential application of this weirdness in computing, cryptography and teleportation. (shrink)
Halvorson and Clifton have given a mathematical reconstruction of Bohr’s reply to Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen (EPR), and argued that this reply is dictated by the two requirements of classicality and objectivity for the description of experimental data, by proving consistency between their objectivity requirement and a contextualized version of the EPR reality criterion which had been introduced by Howard in his earlier analysis of Bohr’s reply. In the present paper, we generalize the above consistency theorem, with a rather elementary (...) proof, to a general formulation of EPR states applicable to both non-relativistic quantum mechanics and algebraic quantum field theory; and we clarify the elements of reality in EPR states in terms of Bohr’s requirements of classicality and objectivity, in a general formulation of algebraic quantumtheory. (shrink)
I argue that quantumtheory can, and in fact must, be applied to the Universe as a whole. After a general introduction, I discuss two concepts that are essential for my chain of arguments: the universality of quantumtheory and the emergence of classical behaviors by decoherence. A further motivation is given by the open problem of quantum gravity. I then present the main ingredients of quantum cosmology and discuss their relevance for the interpretation (...) of quantumtheory. I end with some brief epistemological remarks. (shrink)
I propose a new class of interpretations, real world interpretations, of the quantumtheory of closed systems. These interpretations postulate a preferred factorization of Hilbert space and preferred projective measurements on one factor. They give a mathematical characterisation of the different possible worlds arising in an evolving closed quantum system, in which each possible world corresponds to a (generally mixed) evolving quantum state. In a realistic model, the states corresponding to different worlds should be expected to (...) tend towards orthogonality as different possible quasiclassical structures emerge or as measurement-like interactions produce different classical outcomes. However, as the worlds have a precise mathematical definition, real world interpretations need no definition of quasiclassicality, measurement, or other concepts whose imprecision is problematic in other interpretational approaches. It is natural to postulate that precisely one world is chosen randomly, using the natural probability distribution, as the world realised in Nature, and that this world’s mathematical characterisation is a complete description of reality. (shrink)
The Everett interpretation of quantumtheory requires either the existence of an infinite number of conscious minds associated with each brain or the existence of one universal consciousness. Reasons are given, and the two ideas are compared.
The measurement problem of quantumtheory is discussed, and the difficulty of trying to solve it within the confines of a local, Lorentz-invariant physics is emphasised. This leads to the obvious suggestion to seek a solution beyond physics, in particular, by introducing the concept of consciousness. The resulting dualistic model, in the natural form suggested by quantumtheory, is shown to differ in several respects from the classical model of Descartes, and to suggest solutions to some (...) of the long-standing problems concerning the relation of consciousness to the physical world. (shrink)
A summary of recent experimental results shows that entanglement can be generated more easily than before, and that there are improved chances for its persistence. An eminent finding of Generalised QuantumTheory is the insight that the notion of entanglement can be extended, such that, e.g., psychological or psychophysical problem areas can be included, too. First, a general condition for entanglement to occur is given by the term ‘common prearranged context’. A formalised treatment requires a quantitative definition of (...) the similarity or dissimilarity between two complex structures which takes their internal structures into account. After some specific remarks on distance, metrics, and semi-metrics in mathematics, a procedure is described for setting up a similarity function with the required properties. This procedure is in analogy with the two-step character of measurement and with the well-known properties of perspective notions. A general methodology can be derived for handling perspective notions. Finally, these concepts supply heuristic clues towards a formalised treatment of the notions of ‘meaning’ and ‘interpretation’. (shrink)
Quantumtheory may be formulated using Hilbert spaces over any of the three associative normed division algebras: the real numbers, the complex numbers and the quaternions. Indeed, these three choices appear naturally in a number of axiomatic approaches. However, there are internal problems with real or quaternionic quantumtheory. Here we argue that these problems can be resolved if we treat real, complex and quaternionic quantumtheory as part of a unified structure. Dyson called (...) this structure the ‘three-fold way’. It is perhaps easiest to see it in the study of irreducible unitary representations of groups on complex Hilbert spaces. These representations come in three kinds: those that are not isomorphic to their own dual (the truly ‘complex’ representations), those that are self-dual thanks to a symmetric bilinear pairing (which are ‘real’, in that they are the complexifications of representations on real Hilbert spaces), and those that are self-dual thanks to an antisymmetric bilinear pairing (which are ‘quaternionic’, in that they are the underlying complex representations of representations on quaternionic Hilbert spaces). This three-fold classification sheds light on the physics of time reversal symmetry, and it already plays an important role in particle physics. More generally, Hilbert spaces of any one of the three kinds—real, complex and quaternionic—can be seen as Hilbert spaces of the other kinds, equipped with extra structure. (shrink)
In spite of the interference manifested in the double-slit experiment, quantumtheory predicts that a measure of interference defined by Sorkin and involving various outcome probabilities from an experiment with three slits, is identically zero. We adapt Sorkin’s measure into a general operational probabilistic framework for physical theories, and then study its relationship to the structure of quantumtheory. In particular, we characterize the class of probabilistic theories for which the interference measure is zero as ones (...) in which it is possible to fully determine the state of a system via specific sets of ‘two-slit’ experiments. (shrink)
Quantumtheory has the property of “local tomography”: the state of any composite system can be reconstructed from the statistics of measurements on the individual components. In this respect the holism of quantumtheory is limited. We consider in this paper a class of theories more holistic than quantumtheory in that they are constrained only by “bilocal tomography”: the state of any composite system is determined by the statistics of measurements on pairs of (...) components. Under a few auxiliary assumptions, we derive certain general features of such theories. In particular, we show how the number of state parameters can depend on the number of perfectly distinguishable states. We also show that real-vector-space quantumtheory, while not locally tomographic, is bilocally tomographic. (shrink)
I consider the fact that there are a number of interesting ways to ‘reconstruct’ quantumtheory, and suggest that, very broadly speaking, a form of ‘instrumentalism’ makes good sense of the situation. This view runs against some common wisdom, which dismisses instrumentalism as ‘cheap’. In contrast, I consider how an instrumentalist might think about the reconstruction theorems, and, having made a distinction between ‘reconstructing’ quantumtheory and ‘reinventing’ quantumtheory, I suggest that there is (...) an adequate instrumentalist approach to the theory that invokes both. (shrink)
In the present work, quantumtheory is founded on the framework of consciousness, in contrast to earlier suggestions that consciousness might be understood starting from quantumtheory. The notion of streams of consciousness, usually restricted to conscious beings, is extended to the notion of a Universal/Global stream of conscious flow of ordered events. The streams of conscious events which we experience constitute sub-streams of the Universal stream. Our postulated ontological character of consciousness also consists of an (...) operator which acts on a state of potential consciousness to create or modify the likelihoods for later events to occur and become part of the Universal conscious flow. A generalized process of measurement-perception is introduced, where the operation of consciousness brings into existence, from a state of potentiality, the event in consciousness. This is mathematically represented by (a) an operator acting on the state of potential consciousness before an actual event arises in consciousness and (b) the reflecting of the result of this operation back onto the state of potential consciousness for comparison in order for the event to arise in consciousness. Beginning from our postulated ontology that consciousness is primary and from the most elementary conscious contents, such as perception of periodic change and motion, quantumtheory follows naturally as the description of the conscious experience. (shrink)
In this paper we review the general framework of operational probabilistic theories, along with the six axioms from which quantumtheory can be derived. We argue that the OPT framework along with a relaxed version of five of the axioms, define a general information theory. We close the paper with considerations about the role of the observer in an OPT, and the interpretation of the von Neumann postulate and the Schrödinger-cat paradox.
In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant argues that the empirical knowledge of the world depends on a priori conditions of human sensibility and understanding, i. e., our capacities of sense experience and concept formation. The objective knowledge presupposes, on one hand, space and time as a priori conditions of sensibility and, on another hand, a priori judgments, like the principle of causality, as constitutive conditions of understanding. The problem is that in the XX century the physical science completely changed (...) how we conceive our knowledge of the world. Face to this new situation, what was changed in our classical reason? However, if the transcendental point of view is adopted, in the specific case of quantum mechanics, we have to wonder about the general conditions of this theory that make possible such knowledge, which predictive value is much more accurate than the classical physics. The aim of this work is firstly to show the Kantian implications on Bohr’s interpretation of quantum phenomena and secondly to provide an overview of the key elements for understanding the transcendental locus of ordinary language in the quantum mechanics context, in order to give support to a transcendental pragmatic position in the analysis of science. (shrink)
Generalized QuantumTheory seeks to explain and predict quantum-like phenomena in areas usually outside the scope of quantum physics, such as biology and psychology. It draws on fundamental theories and uses the algebraic formalism of quantumtheory that is used in the study of observable physical matter such as photons, electrons, etc. In contrast to quantumtheory proper, GQT is a very generalized form that does not allow for the full application of (...) formalism. For instance neither a commutator, such as Planck’s constant, nor any additive operations are defined, which precludes the usage of a full Hilbert-space formalism. But it is a formalized phenomenological theory that is applicable whenever the core element of a quantumtheory needs to be captured, namely in the presence of incompatible or non-commuting operations. As a consequence, it also predicts nonlocal, generalized entanglement correlations in systems other than proper quantum systems. In this paper we summarize the specific scientific evidence relating to the quantum-like mental, behavioral and physiological nonlocal correlations. Such non-local, generalized entanglement correlations are expected, both in space and time, between subsystems of a larger system, whenever observables pertaining to the global system are incompatible or complementary to observables pertaining to subsystems, as predicted by GQT. The result is a coherent explanation of a significant amount of controversial and seemingly weird occurrences that cannot be explained by classical physical laws. This review also offers a new perspective of the human mind’s potential. (shrink)
Some mathematical theories in physics justify their explanatory superiority over earlier formalisms by the clarity of their postulates. In particular, axiomatic reconstructions drive home the importance of the composition rule and the continuity assumption as two pillars of quantumtheory. Our approach sits on these pillars and combines new mathematics with a testable prediction. If the observer is defined by a limit on string complexity, information dynamics leads to an emergent continuous model in the critical regime. Restricting it (...) to a family of binary codes describing ‘bipartite systems,’ we find strong evidence of an upper bound on bipartite correlations equal to 2.82537. This is measurably different from the Tsirelson bound. The Hilbert space formalism emerges from this mathematical investigation as an effective description of a fundamental discrete theory in the critical regime. (shrink)
Manifestly covariant quantumtheory with invariant evolution parameter is a parametrized relativistic dynamical theory. The study of parameterized relativistic dynamics (PRD) helps us understand the consequences of changing key assumptions of quantum field theory (QFT). QFT has been very successful at explaining physical observations and is the basis of the conventional paradigm, which includes the Standard Model of electroweak and strong interactions. Despite its record of success, some phenomena are anomalies that may require a modification (...) of the Standard Model. The anomalies include neutrino oscillations, non-locality, and gravity.The two key QFT assumptions that are altered in PRD are the following: fields depend on space and time; and interactions between fields are local. Locality and non-locality refer to the correlation of particles with space-like separation. A local theory does not allow the existence of greater than light speed correlations, while a non-local theory does. PRD is a non-local theory that allows fields to depend on space, time and an invariant evolution parameter. A formulation of PRD is presented together with applications that can be directly compared to results from the conventional paradigm. (shrink)
Because it fails to solve the wave-particle problem, orthodox quantumtheory is obliged to be about observables and not quantum beables. As a result the theory is imprecise, ambiguous, ad hoc, lacking in explanatory power, restricted in scope and resistant to unification. A new version of quantumtheory is needed that is about quantum beables.
The limitation on the sharing of entanglement is a basic feature of quantumtheory. For example, if two qubits are completely entangled with each other, neither of them can be at all entangled with any other object. In this paper we show, at least for a certain standard definition of entanglement, that this feature is lost when one replaces the usual complex vector space of quantum states with a real vector space. Moreover, the difference between the two (...) theories is extreme: in the real-vector-space theory, there exist states of arbitrarily many binary objects, “rebits,” in which every rebit in the system is maximally entangled with each of the other rebits. (shrink)
Following Asher Peres’s observation that, as in classical physics, in quantumtheory, too, a given physical object considered “has a precise position and a precise momentum,” this article examines the question of the definition of quantum variables, and then the new type (as against classical physics) of relationships between mathematics and physics in quantumtheory. The article argues that the possibility of the precise definition and determination of quantum variables depends on the particular nature (...) of these relationships. (shrink)
The aim of science is the explanation of complicated systems by reducing it to simple subsystems. According to a millennia-old imagination this will be attained by dividing matter into smaller and smaller pieces of it. The popular superstition that smallness implies simplicity seems to be ineradicable. However, since the beginning of quantumtheory it would be possible to realize that the circumstances in nature are exactly the other way round. The idea “smaller becomes simpler” is useful only down (...) to the atoms of chemistry. Planck’s formula shows that smaller extensions are related to larger energies. That more and more energy should result in simpler and simpler structures, this does not only sound absurd, it is absurd. A reduction to really simple structures leads one to smallest energies and, thus, to utmost extended quantum systems. The simplest quantum structure, referred to as quantum bit, has a two-dimensional state space, and it establishes a cosmological structure. Taking many of such quantum bits allows also for the construction of localized particles. The non-localized fraction of quantum bits can appear as “dark matter”. (shrink)
This article seeks to clarify the relation between consciousness and quantum physics. It is argued that, in order to be consistent with quantumtheory, one must never assert that conscious action has caused a given event to occur. Rather, consciousness must be identified with "measurement" or, more concretely, with an increase in the entropy of the probability distribution of possible events. It is suggested that the feeling of self-awareness may be associated with the exchange of entropy between (...) groups of quantum systems which are so tightly coupled as to be, for all practical purposes, an indivisible unit. Such groups of systems may be understood to measure themselves. Two interpretations of the quantumtheory of consciousness are distinguished: one in which consciousness is defined as quantum measurement; and one in which this measurement is hypothesized to correlate with a certain biological phenomenon called consciousness. (shrink)
Quantumtheory is one of science's most thrilling, challenging and even mysterious areas. Scientists such as Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg and Schrödinger uncovered bizarre paradoxes in the early 20th century that seemed to destroy the fundamental assumptions of 'classical physics' - the basic laws we are taught in school. Notoriously difficult, quantumtheory is nonetheless an amazing and inspiring intellectual adventure, explained here with patience, wit and clarity.
This book is a critical introduction to the long-standing debate concerning the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics and the problems it has posed for physicists and philosophers from Einstein to the present. Quantumtheory has been a major infulence on postmodernism, and presents significant problems for realists. Keeping his own realist position in check, Christopher Norris subjects a wide range of key opponents and supporters of realism to a high and equal level of scrutiny. With a characteristic (...) combination of rigour and intellectual generosity, he draws out the merits and weaknesses from opposing arguments. In a sequence of closely argued chapters, Norris examines the premises of orthodox quantumtheory, as developed most influentially by Bohr and Heisenberg, and its impact on varous philosophical developments. These include the ideas developed by W.V Quine, Thomas Kuhn, Michael Dummett, Bas van Fraassen, and Hilary Puttnam. In each case, Norris argues, these thinkers have been influenced by the orthodox construal of quantum mechanics as requiring drastic revision of principles which had hitherto defined the very nature of scientific method, causal explanati and rational enquiry. Putting the case for a realist approach which adheres to well-tried scientific principles of causal reasoning and inference to the best explanation, Christopher Norris clarifies these debates to a non-specialist readership and scholars of philosophy, science studies and the philosophy of science alike. QuantumTheory and the Flight From Realism suggests that philosophical reflection can contribute to a better understanding of these crucial, current issues. (shrink)
Work on the central problems of the philosophy of science has led the author to attempt to create an intelligible version of quantumtheory. The basic idea is that probabilistic transitions occur when new stationary or particle states arise as a result of inelastic collisions.
We introduce a new “positive formalism” for encoding quantum theories in the general boundary formulation, somewhat analogous to the mixed state formalism of the standard formulation. This makes the probability interpretation more natural and elegant, eliminates operationally irrelevant structure and opens the general boundary formulation to quantum information theory.
Quantum theoretical developments in physical science challenge the foundational assumptions of both realist and constructivist social paradigms. Furthermore, when quantum metaphysics is coupled with biological, neuro-scientific discoveries that the brain regenerates and reprograms itself throughout life in response to environmental challenges and the force of attention and will, the result is a different picture of human nature and the social behavior that is possible, ethical, and scientifically plausible than that suggested by either social realists or constructivists. This article (...) explores the frontier of recent developments in the physical and biological sciences and considers how these findings might allow for a new foundation for social theory. (shrink)
We present a discrete model theory similar in structure to ordinary quantum mechanics, but based on a finite field instead of complex amplitudes. The interpretation of this theory involves only the “modal” concepts of possibility and necessity rather than quantitative probability measures. Despite its simplicity, our model theory includes entangled states and has versions of both Bell’s theorem and the no cloning theorem.
This conference was devoted to the 80 years of the Copenhagen Interpretation, and to the question of the relevance of the Copenhagen interpretation for the present understanding of quantum mechanics. It is in this framework that fundamental questions raised by quantum mechanics, especially in information theory, were discussed throughout the conference. As has become customary in our series of conference in Växjö, we were glad to welcome a fruitful assembly of theoretical physicists, experimentalists, mathematicians and even philosophers (...) interested in the foundations of probability and physics. The nature of quantum fluctuations---in the form of Stochastic Electrodynamics or in other approaches to stochastic quantum mechanics---was also a central topic discussed during the conference, especially during debates. We should also mention talks on the completeness or incompleteness of quantum mechanics; on macroscopic quantum systems; on Bell's inequality, entanglement and experiments on quantum nonlocality (and locality); on Bohmian mechanics; on the connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity; on quantum probability; on quantum computing, quantum teleportation and quantum cryptography technologies; and more generally on the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics and on the philosophical problems raised by its interpretations. (shrink)