We show that a new interpretation of quantum mechanics, in which the notion of event is defined without reference to measurement or observers, allows to construct a quantum general ontology based on systems, states and events. Unlike the Copenhagen interpretation, it does not resort to elements of a classical ontology. The quantum ontology in turn allows us to recognize that a typical behavior of quantum systems exhibits strong emergence and ontological non-reducibility. Such phenomena are not exceptional but natural, and are (...) rooted in the basic mathematical structure of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
We make a first attempt to axiomatically formulate the Montevideo interpretation of quantum mechanics. In this interpretation environmental decoherence is supplemented with loss of coherence due to the use of realistic clocks to measure time to solve the measurement problem. The resulting formulation is framed entirely in terms of quantum objects without having to invoke the existence of measurable classical quantities like the time in ordinary quantum mechanics. The formulation eliminates any privileged role to the measurement process giving an objective (...) definition of when an event occurs in a system. (shrink)
The use of real clocks and measuring rods in quantum mechanics implies a natural loss of unitarity in the description of the theory. We briefly review this point and then discuss the implications it has for the measurement problem in quantum mechanics. The intrinsic loss of coherence allows to circumvent some of the usual objections to the measurement process as due to environmental decoherence.
We argue that it is fundamentally impossible to recover information about quantum superpositions when a quantum system has interacted with a sufficiently large number of degrees of freedom of the environment. This is due to the fact that gravity imposes fundamental limitations on how accurate measurements can be. This leads to the notion of undecidability: there is no way to tell, due to fundamental limitations, if a quantum system evolved unitarily or suffered wavefunction collapse. This in turn provides a solution (...) to the problem of outcomes in quantum measurement by providing a sharp criterion for defining when an event has taken place. We analyze in detail in examples two situations in which in principle one could recover information about quantum coherence: (a) “revivals” of coherence in the interaction of a system with the measurement apparatus and the environment and (b) the measurement of global observables of the system plus apparatus plus environment. We show in the examples that the fundamental limitations due to gravity and quantum mechanics in measurement prevent both revivals from occurring and the measurement of global observables. It can therefore be argued that the emerging picture provides a complete resolution to the measurement problem in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
We outline three principles that should guide us in the construction of a theory of canonical quantum gravity: diffeomorphism invariance, implementing the proper dynamics and related constraint algebra, local Lorentz invariance. We illustrate each of them with its role in model calculations in loop quantum gravity.