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Valia Allori
Northern Illinois University
  1. Space, Time, and (How They) Matter: A Discussion About Some Metaphysical Insights Provided by Our Best Fundamental Physical Theories.Valia Allori - 2016 - In G. C. Ghirardi & S. Wuppuluri (eds.), Space, Time, and The Limits of Human Understanding. Springer. pp. 95-107.
    This paper is a brief (and hopelessly incomplete) non-standard introduction to the philosophy of space and time. It is an introduction because I plan to give an overview of what I consider some of the main questions about space and time: Is space a substance over and above matter? How many dimensions does it have? Is space-time fundamental or emergent? Does time have a direction? Does time even exist? Nonetheless, this introduction is not standard because I conclude the discussion by (...)
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  2.  37
    Scientific Realism Without the Wave-Function: An Example of Naturalized Quantum Metaphysics.Valia Allori - forthcoming - In Juha Saatsi & Steven French (eds.), Scientific Realism and the Quantum. Oxford University Press.
    Scientific realism is the view that our best scientific theories can be regarded as (approximately) true. This is connected with the view that science, physics in particular, and metaphysics could (and should) inform one another: on the one hand, science tells us what the world is like, and on the other hand, metaphysical principles allow us to select between the various possible theories which are underdetermined by the data. Nonetheless, quantum mechanics has always been regarded as, at best, puzzling, if (...)
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  3.  34
    Free Will in a Quantum World?Valia Allori - forthcoming - In J. De Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Quanta and Mind: Essays on the Connection between Quantum Mechanics and the Consciousness. Synthese Library.
    In this paper, I argue that Conway and Kochen’s Free Will Theorem (1,2) to the conclusion that quantum mechanics and relativity entail freedom for the particles, does not change the situation in favor of a libertarian position as they would like. In fact, the theorem more or less implicitly assumes that people are free, and thus it begs the question. Moreover, it does not prove neither that if people are free, so are particles, nor that the property people possess when (...)
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  4. On the Common Structure of Bohmian Mechanics and the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber Theory: Dedicated to GianCarlo Ghirardi on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday.Valia Allori, Sheldon Goldstein, Roderich Tumulka & Nino Zanghi - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):353 - 389.
    Bohmian mechanics and the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber theory provide opposite resolutions of the quantum measurement problem: the former postulates additional variables (the particle positions) besides the wave function, whereas the latter implements spontaneous collapses of the wave function by a nonlinear and stochastic modification of Schrödinger's equation. Still, both theories, when understood appropriately, share the following structure: They are ultimately not about wave functions but about 'matter' moving in space, represented by either particle trajectories, fields on space-time, or a discrete set of (...)
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  5.  52
    The Road to Maxwell's Demon: Conceptual Foundations of Statistical Mechanics. [REVIEW]Valia Allori - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):453-456.
    Book review of Meir Hemmo and Orly Shenker's book "The Road to Maxwell's Demon: Conceptual Foundations of Statistical Mechanics.".
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  6. Primitive Ontology in a Nutshell.Valia Allori - 2015 - International Journal of Quantum Foundations 1 (2):107-122.
    The aim of this paper is to summarize a particular approach of doing metaphysics through physics - the primitive ontology approach. The idea is that any fundamental physical theory has a well-defined architecture, to the foundation of which there is the primitive ontology, which represents matter. According to the framework provided by this approach when applied to quantum mechanics, the wave function is not suitable to represent matter. Rather, the wave function has a nomological character, given that its role in (...)
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  7.  81
    On the Common Structure of Bohmian Mechanics and the Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber Theory Dedicated to GianCarlo Ghirardi on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday.Valia Allori, Sheldon Goldstein, Roderich Tumulka & Nino Zanghì - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):353-389.
    Bohmian mechanics and the Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber theory provide opposite resolutions of the quantum measurement problem: the former postulates additional variables besides the wave function, whereas the latter implements spontaneous collapses of the wave function by a nonlinear and stochastic modification of Schrödinger's equation. Still, both theories, when understood appropriately, share the following structure: They are ultimately not about wave functions but about ‘matter’ moving in space, represented by either particle trajectories, fields on space-time, or a discrete set of space-time points. The (...)
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  8.  89
    On the Common Structure of Bohmian Mechanics and the Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber Theory: Dedicated to Giancarlo Ghirardi on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday.Valia Allori, Sheldon Goldstein, Roderich Tumulka & and Nino Zanghì - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):353-389.
    Bohmian mechanics and the Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber theory provide opposite resolutions of the quantum measurement problem: the former postulates additional variables (the particle positions) besides the wave function, whereas the latter implements spontaneous collapses of the wave function by a nonlinear and stochastic modification of Schrödinger's equation. Still, both theories, when understood appropriately, share the following structure: They are ultimately not about wave functions but about ‘matter’ moving in space, represented by either particle trajectories, fields on space-time, or a discrete set of (...)
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  9.  17
    From No-Signaling to Spontaneous Localization Theories.Valia Allori - 2019 - International Journal of Quantum Foundations 5:1-10.
  10. Predictions and Primitive Ontology in Quantum Foundations: A Study of Examples.Valia Allori, Sheldon Goldstein, Roderich Tumulka & Nino Zanghi - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (2):axs048.
    A major disagreement between different views about the foundations of quantum mechanics concerns whether for a theory to be intelligible as a fundamental physical theory it must involve a ‘primitive ontology’ (PO), i.e. variables describing the distribution of matter in four-dimensional space–time. In this article, we illustrate the value of having a PO. We do so by focussing on the role that the PO plays for extracting predictions from a given theory and discuss valid and invalid derivations of predictions. To (...)
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  11. Many Worlds and Schrodinger's First Quantum Theory.Valia Allori, Sheldon Goldstein, Roderich Tumulka & Nino Zanghi - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):1-27.
    Schrödinger’s first proposal for the interpretation of quantum mechanics was based on a postulate relating the wave function on configuration space to charge density in physical space. Schrödinger apparently later thought that his proposal was empirically wrong. We argue here that this is not the case, at least for a very similar proposal with charge density replaced by mass density. We argue that when analyzed carefully, this theory is seen to be an empirically adequate many-worlds theory and not an empirically (...)
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  12.  56
    A New Argument for the Nomological Interpretation of the Wave Function: The Galilean Group and the Classical Limit of Nonrelativistic Quantum Mechanics.Valia Allori - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science (2):177-188.
    In this paper I investigate, within the framework of realistic interpretations of the wave function in nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, the mathematical and physical nature of the wave function. I argue against the view that mathematically the wave function is a two-component scalar field on configuration space. First, I review how this view makes quantum mechanics non- Galilei invariant and yields the wrong classical limit. Moreover, I argue that interpreting the wave function as a ray, in agreement many physicists, Galilei invariance (...)
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  13. Maxwell's Paradox: The Metaphysics of Classical Electrodynamics and its Time Reversal Invariance.Valia Allori - 2015 - Analytica: an electronic, open-access journal for philosophy of science 1:1-19.
    In this paper, I argue that the recent discussion on the time - reversal invariance of classical electrodynamics (see (Albert 2000: ch.1), (Arntzenius 2004), (Earman 2002), (Malament 2004),(Horwich 1987: ch.3)) can be best understood assuming that the disagreement among the various authors is actually a disagreement about the metaphysics of classical electrodynamics. If so, the controversy will not be resolved until we have established which alternative is the most natural. It turns out that we have a paradox, namely that the (...)
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  14. Quantum Mechanics and Paradigm Shifts.Valia Allori - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):313-323.
    It has been argued that the transition from classical to quantum mechanics is an example of a Kuhnian scientific revolution, in which there is a shift from the simple, intuitive, straightforward classical paradigm, to the quantum, convoluted, counterintuitive, amazing new quantum paradigm. In this paper, after having clarified what these quantum paradigms are supposed to be, I analyze whether they constitute a radical departure from the classical paradigm. Contrary to what is commonly maintained, I argue that, in addition to radical (...)
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  15. Primitive Ontology and the Classical World.Valia Allori - 2016 - In R. Kastner, J. Jeknic-Dugic & G. Jaroszkiewicz (eds.), Quantum Structural Studies: Classical Emergence from the Quantum Level. World Scientific. pp. 175-199.
    In this paper I present the common structure of quantum theories with a primitive ontology, and discuss in what sense the classical world emerges from quantum theories as understood in this framework. In addition, I argue that the primitive ontology approach is better at answering this question than the rival wave function ontology approach or any other approach in which the classical world is nonreductively ‘emergent:’ even if the classical limit within this framework needs to be fully developed, the difficulties (...)
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  16.  6
    Predictions and Primitive Ontology in Quantum Foundations: A Study of Examples.Valia Allori, Sheldon Goldstein, Roderich Tumulka & Nino Zanghi - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):323-352.
    A major disagreement between different views about the foundations of quantum mechanics concerns whether for a theory to be intelligible as a fundamental physical theory it must involve a ‘primitive ontology’ (PO), i.e. variables describing the distribution of matter in four-dimensional space–time. In this article, we illustrate the value of having a PO. We do so by focusing on the role that the PO plays for extracting predictions from a given theory and discuss valid and invalid derivations of predictions. To (...)
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  17.  15
    Peter J. Lewis. Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Valia Allori - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):735-738.
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  18. Primitive Ontology and the Structure of Fundamental Physical Theories.Valia Allori - 2013 - In Alyssa Ney & David Z. Albert (eds.), The Wave Function: Essays in the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press.
    For a long time it was believed that it was impossible to be realist about quantum mechanics. It took quite a while for the researchers in the foundations of physics, beginning with John Stuart Bell [Bell 1987], to convince others that such an alleged impossibility had no foundation. Nowadays there are several quantum theories that can be interpreted realistically, among which Bohmian mechanics, the GRW theory, and the many-worlds theory. The debate, though, is far from being over: in what respect (...)
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  19. E' completa la descrizione della realta' fisica fornita dalla meccanica quantistica?Valia Allori & Nino Zanghi - 2007 - Il Protagora 9:163-180.
    In this paper (in Italian) we discuss how quantum theories can be thought of as having the same structure. If so, even the theories that appear to be about the wave function are incomplete, even if in a way which is very different from the one Einstein proposed.
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  20.  54
    Response to Authors "The Road to Maxwell's Demon".Valia Allori - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (1):94-98.
    I recently reviewed Hemmo and Shenker's book "The Road to Maxwell's Demon" and the authors subsequently replied to my criticism. Here is my response to them.
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  21. On the Classical Limit of Quantum Mechanics.Valia Allori & Nino Zanghi - 2008 - Foundations of Physics 10.1007/S10701-008-9259-4 39 (1):20-32.
    Contrary to the widespread belief, the problem of the emergence of classical mechanics from quantum mechanics is still open. In spite of many results on the ¯h → 0 asymptotics, it is not yet clear how to explain within standard quantum mechanics the classical motion of macroscopic bodies. In this paper we shall analyze special cases of classical behavior in the framework of a precise formulation of quantum mechanics, Bohmian mechanics, which contains in its own structure the possibility of describing (...)
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  22. La storia del gatto che era sia vivo che morto.Valia Allori - 2009 - In Enrico Giannetto (ed.), Da Archimede a Majorana: la fisica nel suo divenire. Guaraldi. pp. 273-283.
    Questa è la breve storia , forse un poco romanzata, del gatto che, se non forse il più citato, è di sicuro il più bistrattato della storia della fisica e della filosofia: il gatto di Schrödinger.
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  23.  94
    Ontologie quantistiche di particelle, campi e lampi.Valia Allori & Nino Zanghi - 2007 - In Vincenzo Fano & Mauro Antonelli (eds.), "Strutture dello spazio tra fisica e psicologia" Teorie e Modelli XII, III. Pitagora. pp. 9-29.
    La meccanica quantistica è una delle più grandi conquiste intellettuali del xx secolo. Le sue leggiregolano il mondo atomico e subatomico e si riverberano su una miriade di fenomeni del mondomacroscopico, dalla formazione dei cristalli alla superconduttività, dalle proprietà dei fluidi a bassatemperatura agli spettri di emissione di una candela che brucia o di una supernova che esplode, daimeccanismi di combustione della fornace solare ai principi di base delle nanotecnologie. Non c’èquasi nulla nel mondo che ci circonda su cui non (...)
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  24.  67
    Scientific Realism and Primitive Ontology Or: The Pessimistic Induction and the Nature of the Wave Function.Valia Allori - 2017 - Lato Sensu.
    In this paper I wish to connect the recent debate in the philosophy of quantum mechanics concerning the nature of the wave function to the historical debate in the philosophy of science regarding the tenability of scientific realism. Being realist about quantum mechanics is particularly challenging when focusing on the wave function. According to the wave function ontology approach, the wave function is a concrete physical entity. In contrast, according to an alternative viewpoint, namely the primitive ontology approach, the wave (...)
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  25. On the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Valia Allori - 2013 - In Soazig Lebihan (ed.), Precis de la Philosophie de la Physique. Vuibert.
    What is quantum mechanics about? The most natural way to interpret quantum mechanics realistically as a theory about the world might seem to be what is called wave function ontology: the view according to which the wave function mathematically represents in a complete way fundamentally all there is in the world. Erwin Schroedinger was one of the first proponents of such a view, but he dismissed it after he realized it led to macroscopic superpositions (if the wave function evolves in (...)
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  26.  95
    How to Make Sense of Quantum Mechanics : Fundamental Physical Theories and Primitive Ontology.Valia Allori - manuscript
    Quantum mechanics has always been regarded as, at best, puzzling, if not contradictory. The aim of the paper is to explore a particular approach to fundamental physical theories, the one based on the notion of primitive ontology. This approach, when applied to quantum mechanics, makes it a paradox-free theory.
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  27. Response.Valia Allori - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (1):94-98.
  28. Book Review Of: "Everywhere and Everywhen: Adventures in Physics and Philosophy" by N. Huggett. [REVIEW]Valia Allori - 2011 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011 (1).
    Book Review of: "Everywhere and Everywhen: Adventures in Physics and Philosophy" by Nick Huggett.
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  29. Book Review Of: "Do We Really Understand Quantum Mechanics?" by Franck Laloë. [REVIEW]Valia Allori - 2013 - Notre Dame Philosophical Review.
  30.  99
    What is Bohmian Mechanics.Valia Allori & Nino Zanghi - 2004 - International Journal of Theoretical Physics 43:1743-1755.
    Bohmian mechanics is a quantum theory with a clear ontology. To make clear what we mean by this, we shall proceed by recalling first what are the problems of quantum mechanics. We shall then briefly sketch the basics of Bohmian mechanics and indicate how Bohmian mechanics solves these problems and clarifies the status and the role of of the quantum formalism.
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  31.  43
    La Natura Delle Cose: Introduzione Ai Fondamenti E Alla Filosofia Della Fisica.Valia Allori, Mauro Dorato, Federico Laudisa & Nino Zanghi (eds.) - 2005 - Carocci.
    The year 2005 has been named the World Year of Physics in recognition of the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's "Miracle Year," in which he published four landmark papers which had deep and great influence on the last and the current century: quantum theory, general relativity, and statistical mechanics. Despite the enormous importance that Einstein’s discoveries played in these theories, most physicists adopt a version of quantum theory which is incompatible with the idea that motivated Einstein in the first place. (...)
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  32.  82
    Seven Steps Toward the Classical World.Valia Allori, Detlef Duerr, Nino Zanghi & Sheldon Goldstein - 2002 - Journal of Optics B 4:482–488.
    Classical physics is about real objects, like apples falling from trees, whose motion is governed by Newtonian laws. In standard quantum mechanics only the wave function or the results of measurements exist, and to answer the question of how the classical world can be part of the quantum world is a rather formidable task. However, this is not the case for Bohmian mechanics, which, like classical mechanics, is a theory about real objects. In Bohmian terms, the problem of the classical (...)
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  33.  46
    Quantum Theory: A Philosopher’s Overview. [REVIEW]Valia Allori - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):330-333.
    Book review of "Quantum Theory: a Philosopher's Overview".
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  34.  79
    Book Review of "Quantum Theory: A Philosopher's Overview" by S. Cannavo. [REVIEW]Valia Allori - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):330-333.
    Book Review of "Quantum Mechanics- a Philosopher's Overview," by Salvator Cannavo.
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  35.  5
    On the Common Structure of Bohmian Mechanics and the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber Theory.Valia Allori, Sheldon Goldstein, Roderich Tumulka & Nino Zanghi - unknown
    Bohmian mechanics and the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber theory provide opposite resolutions of the quantum measurement problem: the former postulates additional variables besides the wave function, whereas the latter implements spontaneous collapses of the wave function by a nonlinear and stochastic modification of Schrodinger's equation. Still, both theories, when understood appropriately, share the following structure: They are ultimately not about wave functions but about ``matter'' moving in space, represented by either particle trajectories, fields on space-time, or a discrete set of space-time points. The (...)
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  36.  27
    Fundamental Physical Theories: Mathematical Structures Grounded on a Primitive Ontology.Valia Allori - 2007 - Dissertation, Rutgers
    In my dissertation I analyze the structure of fundamental physical theories. I start with an analysis of what an adequate primitive ontology is, discussing the measurement problem in quantum mechanics and theirs solutions. It is commonly said that these theories have little in common. I argue instead that the moral of the measurement problem is that the wave function cannot represent physical objects and a common structure between these solutions can be recognized: each of them is about a clear three-dimensional (...)
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  37.  7
    Book Review of S. Gao "Protective Measurement and Quantum Reality". [REVIEW]Valia Allori - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:x-y.
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  38.  3
    Scientific Realism and Primitive Ontology.Valia Allori - unknown
    In this paper I wish to connect the recent debate in the philosophy of quantum mechanics concerning the nature of the wave-function to the historical debate in the philosophy of science regarding the tenability of scientific realism. Being realist about quantum mechanics is particularly challenging when focusing on the wave-function. According to the wave-function ontology approach, the wave-function is a concrete physical entity. In contrast, according to an alternative viewpoint, namely the primitive ontology approach, the wave-function does not represent physical (...)
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  39.  34
    Book Review of "The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science" by M. Friedman and A. Nordmann. [REVIEW]Valia Allori - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):pp. 478-479.
    Book review of "The Kantian legacy in the Nineteenth -Century Science,'' M. Friedman, and A. Nordmann.
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  40.  8
    On the Classical Limit of Quantum Mechanics.Valia Allori & Nino Zanghì - 2009 - Foundations of Physics 39 (1):20-32.
    Contrary to the widespread belief, the problem of the emergence of classical mechanics from quantum mechanics is still open. In spite of many results on the ¯h → 0 asymptotics, it is not yet clear how to explain within standard quantum mechanics the classical motion of macroscopic bodies. In this paper we shall analyze special cases of classical behavior in the framework of a precise formulation of quantum mechanics, Bohmian mechanics, which contains in its own structure the possibility of describing (...)
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  41.  8
    The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science (Review).Valia Allori - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):478-479.
    The book originates from an international conference held in November 2000 at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT. The main conviction of the authors is that not only the development of modern mathematics, foundations of mathematics, and mathematical logic, but also the development of modern scientific thought can be better understood as an evolution from Kant. The main reason for focusing on the nineteenth century is that this will allow us to set aside the (...)
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  42.  3
    The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science : FriedmanMichael,, Ed.1947-Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science. [REVIEW]Valia Allori - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):478-479.
  43. Decoherence and the Classical Limit of Quantum Mechanics.Valia Allori - 2002 - Dissertation, University of Genova, Italy
    In my dissertation (Rutgers, 2007) I developed the proposal that one can establish that material quantum objects behave classically just in case there is a “local plane wave” regime, which naturally corresponds to the suppression of all quantum interference.
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