Results for 'wave function'

999 found
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  1. The Wave-Function as a Multi-Field.Mario Hubert & Davide Romano - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):521-537.
    It is generally argued that if the wave-function in the de Broglie–Bohm theory is a physical field, it must be a field in configuration space. Nevertheless, it is possible to interpret the wave-function as a multi-field in three-dimensional space. This approach hasn’t received the attention yet it really deserves. The aim of this paper is threefold: first, we show that the wave-function is naturally and straightforwardly construed as a multi-field; second, we show why this (...)
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  2. The Wave Function: Essays in the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Alyssa Ney & David Z. Albert (eds.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a new volume of original essays on the metaphysics of quantum mechanics. The essays address questions such as: What fundamental metaphysics is best motivated by quantum mechanics? What is the ontological status of the wave function? What is the nature of the fundamental space (or space-time manifold) of quantum mechanics?
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  3.  9
    The Wave Function: Essays on the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Alyssa Ney & David Z. Albert (eds.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press USA.
    This is a new volume of original essays on the metaphysics of quantum mechanics. The essays address questions such as: What fundamental metaphysics is best motivated by quantum mechanics? What is the ontological status of the wave function? Does quantum mechanics support the existence of any other fundamental entities, e.g. particles? What is the nature of the fundamental space of quantum mechanics? What is the relationship between the fundamental ontology of quantum mechanics and ordinary, macroscopic objects like tables, (...)
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  4. Wave Function Ontology.Bradley Monton - 2002 - Synthese 130 (2):265-277.
    I argue that the wave function ontology for quantum mechanics is an undesirable ontology. This ontology holds that the fundamental space in which entities evolve is not three-dimensional, but instead 3N-dimensional, where N is the number of particles standardly thought to exist in three-dimensional space. I show that the state of three-dimensional objects does not supervene on the state of objects in 3N-dimensional space. I also show that the only way to guarantee the existence of the appropriate mental (...)
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  5. Realism About the Wave Function.Eddy Keming Chen - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (7).
    A century after the discovery of quantum mechanics, the meaning of quantum mechanics still remains elusive. This is largely due to the puzzling nature of the wave function, the central object in quantum mechanics. If we are realists about quantum mechanics, how should we understand the wave function? What does it represent? What is its physical meaning? Answering these questions would improve our understanding of what it means to be a realist about quantum mechanics. In this (...)
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  6. Bohmian Mechanics Without Wave Function Ontology.Albert Solé - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):365-378.
    In this paper, I critically assess different interpretations of Bohmian mechanics that are not committed to an ontology based on the wave function being an actual physical object that inhabits configuration space. More specifically, my aim is to explore the connection between the denial of configuration space realism and another interpretive debate that is specific to Bohmian mechanics: the quantum potential versus guidance approaches. Whereas defenders of the quantum potential approach to the theory claim that Bohmian mechanics is (...)
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  7.  43
    Niels Bohr on the Wave Function and the Classical/Quantum Divide.Henrik Zinkernagel - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:9-19.
    It is well known that Niels Bohr insisted on the necessity of classical concepts in the account of quantum phenomena. But there is little consensus concerning his reasons, and what he exactly meant by this. In this paper, I re-examine Bohr’s interpretation of quantum mechanics, and argue that the necessity of the classical can be seen as part of his response to the measurement problem. More generally, I attempt to clarify Bohr’s view on the classical/quantum divide, arguing that the relation (...)
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  8.  55
    The Meaning of the Wave Function: In Search of the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics.Shan Gao - unknown
    The meaning of the wave function has been a hot topic of debate since the early days of quantum mechanics. Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in this long-standing question. Is the wave function ontic, directly representing a state of reality, or epistemic, merely representing a state of knowledge, or something else? If the wave function is not ontic, then what, if any, is the underlying state of reality? If the wave (...) is indeed ontic, then exactly what physical state does it represent? In this book, I aim to make sense of the wave function in quantum mechanics and find the ontological content of the theory. The book can be divided into three parts. The first part addresses the question of the nature of the wave function. After giving a comprehensive and critical review of the competing views of the wave function, I present a new argument for the ontic view in terms of protective measurements. In addition, I also analyze the origin of the wave function by deriving the free Schroedinger equation. The second part analyzes the ontological meaning of the wave function. I propose a new ontological interpretation of the wave function in terms of random discontinuous motion of particles, and give two main arguments supporting this interpretation. The third part investigates whether the suggested quantum ontology is complete in accounting for our definite experience and whether it needs to be revised in the relativistic domain. (shrink)
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  9. Ontological Reduction and the Wave Function Ontology.Alyssa Ney - 2013 - In Alyssa Ney & David Z. Albert (eds.), The Wave Function: Essays on the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford University Press. pp. 168-183.
  10. Meaning of the Wave Function.Shan Gao - 2010
    We investigate the meaning of the wave function by analyzing the mass and charge density distributions of a quantum system. According to protective measurement, a charged quantum system has effective mass and charge density distributing in space, proportional to the square of the absolute value of its wave function. In a realistic interpretation, the wave function of a quantum system can be taken as a description of either a physical field or the ergodic motion (...)
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  11. Our Fundamental Physical Space: An Essay on the Metaphysics of the Wave Function.Eddy Keming Chen - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (7):333-365.
    The mathematical structure of realist quantum theories has given rise to a debate about how our ordinary 3-dimensional space is related to the 3N-dimensional configuration space on which the wave function is defined. Which of the two spaces is our (more) fundamental physical space? I review the debate between 3N-Fundamentalists and 3D-Fundamentalists and evaluate it based on three criteria. I argue that when we consider which view leads to a deeper understanding of the physical world, especially given the (...)
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  12.  46
    Can the Wave Function in Configuration Space Be Replaced by Single-Particle Wave Functions in Physical Space?Travis Norsen, Damiano Marian & Xavier Oriols - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3125-3151.
    The ontology of Bohmian mechanics includes both the universal wave function and particles. Proposals for understanding the physical significance of the wave function in this theory have included the idea of regarding it as a physically-real field in its 3N-dimensional space, as well as the idea of regarding it as a law of nature. Here we introduce and explore a third possibility in which the configuration space wave function is simply eliminated—replaced by a set (...)
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  13. Finding the world in the wave function: some strategies for solving the macro-object problem.Alyssa Ney - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4227-4249.
    Realists wanting to capture the facts of quantum entanglement in a metaphysical interpretation find themselves faced with several options: to grant some species of fundamental nonseparability, adopt holism, or to view localized spacetime systems as ultimately reducible to a higher-dimensional entity, the quantum state or wave function. Those adopting the latter approach and hoping to view the macroscopic world as grounded in the quantum wave function face the macro-object problem. The challenge is to articulate the metaphysical (...)
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  14. Fundamental Physical Ontologies and the Constraint of Empirical Coherence: A Defense of Wave Function Realism.Alyssa Ney - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3105-3124.
    This paper defends wave function realism against the charge that the view is empirically incoherent because our evidence for quantum theory involves facts about objects in three-dimensional space or space-time . It also criticizes previous attempts to defend wave function realism against this charge by claiming that the wave function is capable of grounding local beables as elements of a derivative ontology.
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  15.  35
    Epistemology of Wave Function Collapse in Quantum Physics.Charles Wesley Cowan & Roderich Tumulka - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):405-434.
    Among several possibilities for what reality could be like in view of the empirical facts of quantum mechanics, one is provided by theories of spontaneous wave function collapse, the best known of which is the Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber theory. We show mathematically that in GRW theory there are limitations to knowledge, that is, inhabitants of a GRW universe cannot find out all the facts true of their universe. As a specific example, they cannot accurately measure the number of collapses that (...)
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  16. 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 (...)
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  17.  46
    Decoherence and Wave Function Collapse.Roland Omnès - 2011 - Foundations of Physics 41 (12):1857-1880.
    The possibility of consistency between the basic quantum principles of quantum mechanics and wave function collapse is reexamined. A specific interpretation of environment is proposed for this aim and is applied to decoherence. When the organization of a measuring apparatus is taken into account, this approach leads also to an interpretation of wave function collapse, which would result in principle from the same interactions with environment as decoherence. This proposal is shown consistent with the non-separable character (...)
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  18. Realism and Instrumentalism About the Wave Function. How Should We Choose?Mauro Dorato & Federico Laudisa - 2014 - In Shao Gan (ed.), Protective Measurements and Quantum Reality: Toward a New Understanding of Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge University Press.
    The main claim of the paper is that one can be ‘realist’ (in some sense) about quantum mechanics without requiring any form of realism about the wave function. We begin by discussing various forms of realism about the wave function, namely Albert’s configuration-space realism, Dürr Zanghi and Goldstein’s nomological realism about Ψ, Esfeld’s dispositional reading of Ψ Pusey Barrett and Rudolph’s realism about the quantum state. By discussing the articulation of these four positions, and their interrelation, (...)
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  19. Laws of Nature and the Reality of the Wave Function.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3179-3201.
    In this paper I review three different positions on the wave function, namely: nomological realism, dispositionalism, and configuration space realism by regarding as essential their capacity to account for the world of our experience. I conclude that the first two positions are committed to regard the wave function as an abstract entity. The third position will be shown to be a merely speculative attempt to derive a primitive ontology from a reified mathematical space. Without entering any (...)
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  20.  93
    Comment on "How to Protect the Interpretation of the Wave Function Against Protective Measurements" by Jos Uffink.Shan Gao - 2011
    It is shown that Uffink's attempt to protect the interpretation of the wave function against protective measurements fails due to several errors in his arguments.
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  21.  62
    An Argument Against the Realistic Interpretation of the Wave Function.Carlo Rovelli - 2016 - Foundations of Physics 46 (10):1229-1237.
    Testable predictions of quantum mechanics are invariant under time reversal. But the evolution of the quantum state in time is not so, neither in the collapse nor in the no-collapse interpretations of the theory. This is a fact that challenges any realistic interpretation of the quantum state. On the other hand, this fact raises no difficulty if we interpret the quantum state as a mere calculation device, bookkeeping past real quantum events.
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  22. Derivation of the Meaning of the Wave Function.Shan Gao - 2011
    We show that the physical meaning of the wave function can be derived based on the established parts of quantum mechanics. It turns out that the wave function represents the state of random discontinuous motion of particles, and its modulus square determines the probability density of the particles appearing in certain positions in space.
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  23.  21
    On the Quantum Mechanical Wave Function as a Link Between Cognition and the Physical World: A Role for Psychology.Douglas Snyder - 1995 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 16 (2):151-179.
    A straightforward explanation of fundamental tenets concerning the quantum mechanical wave function results in the thesis that the quantum mechanical wave function is a link between human cognition and the physical world. The way in which physicists have not accepted this explanation is discussed, and some of the roots of the problem are explored. The basis for an empirical test as to whether the wave function is a link between human cognition and the physical (...)
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  24. The Wave Function and Its Evolution.Shan Gao - 2011
    The meaning of the wave function and its evolution are investigated. First, we argue that the wave function in quantum mechanics is a description of random discontinuous motion of particles, and the modulus square of the wave function gives the probability density of the particles being in certain locations in space. Next, we show that the linear non-relativistic evolution of the wave function of an isolated system obeys the free Schrödinger equation due (...)
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  25. The Wave Function and Particle Ontology.Shan Gao - 2014
    In quantum mechanics, the wave function of a N-body system is a mathematical function defined in a 3N-dimensional configuration space. We argue that wave function realism implies particle ontology when assuming: (1) the wave function of a N-body system describes N physical entities; (2) each triple of the 3N coordinates of a point in configuration space that relates to one physical entity represents a point in ordinary three-dimensional space. Moreover, the motion of particles (...)
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  26.  20
    Quantum States of a Time-Asymmetric Universe: Wave Function, Density Matrix, and Empirical Equivalence.Eddy Keming Chen - unknown
    What is the quantum state of the universe? Although there have been several interesting suggestions, the question remains open. In this paper, I consider a natural choice for the universal quantum state arising from the Past Hypothesis, a boundary condition that accounts for the time-asymmetry of the universe. The natural choice is given not by a wave function but by a density matrix. I begin by classifying quantum theories into two types: theories with a fundamental wave (...) and theories with a fundamental density matrix. The Past Hypothesis is compatible with infinitely many initial wave functions, none of which seems to be particularly natural. However, once we turn to density matrices, the Past Hypothesis provides a natural choice---the normalized projection onto the Past Hypothesis subspace in the Hilbert space. Nevertheless, the two types of theories can be empirically equivalent. To provide a concrete understanding of the empirical equivalence, I provide a novel subsystem analysis in the context of Bohmian theories. Given the empirical equivalence, it seems empirically underdetermined whether the universe is in a pure state or a mixed state. Finally, I discuss some theoretical payoffs of the density-matrix theories and present some open problems for future research. (shrink)
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  27. Protective Measurement and the Meaning of the Wave Function.Shan Gao - 2011
    This article analyzes the implications of protective measurement for the meaning of the wave function. According to protective measurement, a charged quantum system has mass and charge density proportional to the modulus square of its wave function. It is shown that the mass and charge density is not real but effective, formed by the ergodic motion of a localized particle with the total mass and charge of the system. Moreover, it is argued that the ergodic motion (...)
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  28.  29
    The Meaning of the Wave Function: In Search of the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics.Dustin Lazarovici - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):321-324.
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  29.  29
    Spontaneous Localizations of the Wave Function and Classical Behavior.Andor Frenkel - 1990 - Foundations of Physics 20 (2):159-188.
    We investigate and develop further two models, the GRW model and the K model, in which the Schrödinger evolution of the wave function is spontaneously and repeatedly interrupted by random, approximate localizations, also called “self-reductions” below. In these models the center of mass of a macroscopic solid body is well localized even if one disregards the interactions with the environment. The motion of the body shows a small departure from the classical motion. We discuss the prospects and the (...)
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  30. Scientific Realism and Primitive Ontology Or: The Pessimistic Induction and the Nature of the Wave Function.Valia Allori - 2018 - Lato Sensu 1 (5):69-76.
    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 (...)
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  31.  9
    The Wave-Function for Primitive Ontologists.Belot Gordon - unknown
    I survey the options for understanding the nature of the wave-function in the setting of the relativistic collapse models recently developed by Tumulka. Some of the options involve surprising features, such as backwards causation or locality.
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  32.  37
    The Wave Function Collapse as an Effect of Field Quantization.K. Lewin - 2009 - Foundations of Physics 39 (10):1145-1160.
    It is pointed out that ordinary quantum mechanics as a classical field theory cannot account for the wave function collapse if it is not seen within the framework of field quantization. That is needed to understand the particle structure of matter during wave function evolution and to explain the collapse as symmetry breakdown by detection. The decay of a two-particle bound s state and the Stern-Gerlach experiment serve as examples. The absence of the nonlocality problem in (...)
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  33.  7
    Wave Function Collapse in Retinal Structure Under Aided/Unaided Conditions.M. Galdamez Karla - 2017 - Cosmos and History 13 (2):126-140.
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  34.  8
    Wave-Function and the Concept of a Nano-Mental Element of Representation.Eric Wallich - 1993 - Acta Biotheoretica 41 (1-2):119-125.
    Scientific endeavour has often tried to localize superior cerebral functions either in areas like the ones described by Broca as being those connected with language in the left hemisphere, or in the huge array of the hundred billion of interconnected neurons. But in this last case the coined description of the grandmother neuron, tends to show humorously that hopes have fallen short of their target.Along the same lines, the specific timing of electric neural activity is known to take place around (...)
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  35.  32
    Life and Death in the Tails of the Wave Function.David Wallace - unknown
    It seems to be widely assumed that the only effect of the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber dynamical collapse mechanism on the `tails' of the wavefunction is to reduce their weight. In consequence it seems to be generally accepted that the tails behave exactly as do the various branches in the Everett interpretation except for their much lower weight. These assumptions are demonstrably inaccurate: the collapse mechanism has substantial and detectable effects within the tails. The relevance of this misconception for the dynamical-collapse theories is (...)
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  36.  99
    The Puzzling Entanglement of Schrödinger's Wave Function.G. C. Ghirardi, A. Rimini & T. Weber - 1988 - Foundations of Physics 18 (1):1-27.
    A brief review of the conceptual difficulties met by the quantum formalism is presented. The main attempts to overcome these difficulties are considered and their limitations are pointed out. A recent proposal based on the assumption of the occurrence of a specific type of wave function collapse is discussed and its consequences for the above-mentioned problems are analyzed.
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  37.  27
    Reply to Gao’s ”Comment on ”How to Protect the Interpretation of the Wave Function Against Protective Measurements”.Jos Uffink - unknown
    Shan Gao recently presented a critical reconsideration of a paper I wote on the subject of protective measurement. Here, I take the occasion to reply to his objections.
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  38.  19
    The Wave Function as Matter Density: Ontological Assumptions and Experimental Consequences.Markku Jääskeläinen - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (6):591-610.
    The wavefunction is the central mathematical entity of quantum mechanics, but it still lacks a universally accepted interpretation. Much effort is spent on attempts to probe its fundamental nature. Here I investigate the consequences of a matter ontology applied to spherical masses of constant bulk density. The governing equation for the center-of-mass wavefunction is derived and solved numerically. The ground state wavefunctions and resulting matter densities are investigated. A lowering of the density from its bulk value is found for low (...)
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  39.  76
    Does It Make Sense to Speak of Self-Locating Uncertainty in the Universal Wave Function? Remarks on Sebens and Carroll.Adrian Kent - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (2):211-217.
    Following a proposal of Vaidman The Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy, 2014) The probable and the improbable: understanding probability in physics, essays in memory of Itamar Pitowsky, 2011), Sebens and Carroll , have argued that in Everettian quantum theory, observers are uncertain, before they complete their observation, about which Everettian branch they are on. They argue further that this solves the problem of making sense of probabilities within Everettian quantum theory, even though the theory itself is deterministic. We note some problems (...)
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  40.  18
    Principle of Random Wave-Function Phase of the Final State in Free-Electron Emission in a Wiggler.S. H. Kim - 1993 - Apeiron: Studies in Infinite Nature 17:13-17.
  41.  49
    Gravity-Related Wave Function Collapse: Is Superfluid He Exceptional?Lajos Diósi - 2014 - Foundations of Physics 44 (5):483-491.
    The gravity-related model of spontaneous wave function collapse, a longtime hypothesis, damps the massive Schrödinger Cat states in quantum theory. We extend the hypothesis and assume that spontaneous wave function collapses are responsible for the emergence of Newton interaction. Superfluid helium would then show significant and testable gravitational anomalies.
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  42.  63
    The Meaning of the Wave Function: In Search of the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics. [REVIEW]Mario Hubert - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:00-00.
    What is the meaning of the wave-function? After almost 100 years since the inception of quantum mechanics, is it still possible to say something new on what the wave-function is supposed to be? Yes, it is. And Shan Gao managed to do so with his newest book. Here we learn what contemporary physicists and philosophers think about the wave-function; we learn about the de Broglie-Bohm theory, the GRW collapse theory, the gravity-induced collapse theory by (...)
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  43.  66
    The Black Hole Information Paradox and the Collapse of the Wave Function.Elias Okon & Daniel Sudarsky - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (4):461-470.
    The black hole information paradox arises from an apparent conflict between the Hawking black hole radiation and the fact that time evolution in quantum mechanics is unitary. The trouble is that while the former suggests that information of a system falling into a black hole disappears, the latter implies that information must be conserved. In this work we discuss the current divergence in views regarding the paradox, we evaluate the role that objective collapse theories could play in its resolution and (...)
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  44. Scientific Realism Without the Wave-Function: An Example of Naturalized Quantum Metaphysics.Valia Allori - 2020 - 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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  45.  15
    Constructibility of the Universal Wave Function.Arkady Bolotin - 2016 - Foundations of Physics 46 (10):1253-1268.
    This paper focuses on a constructive treatment of the mathematical formalism of quantum theory and a possible role of constructivist philosophy in resolving the foundational problems of quantum mechanics, particularly, the controversy over the meaning of the wave function of the universe. As it is demonstrated in the paper, unless the number of the universe’s degrees of freedom is fundamentally upper bounded or hypercomputation is physically realizable, the universal wave function is a non-constructive entity in the (...)
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  46.  19
    Does the Quantum Mechanical Wave Function Exist?Claus Kiefer - 2019 - Philosophical Problems in Science 66:111-128.
    I address the question whether the wave function in quantum theory exists as a real quantity or not. For this purpose, I discuss the essentials of the quantum formalism and emphasize the central role of the superposition principle. I then explain the measurement problem and discuss the process of decoherence. Finally, I address the special features that the quantization of gravity brings into the game. From all of this I conclude that the wave function really exists, (...)
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  47.  71
    The Ontological Interpretation of the Wave Function of the Universe.Quentin Smith - 1997 - The Monist 80 (1):160-185.
    There are two distinct questions that arise when one asks about “the interpretation of quantum mechanics” or “how can quantum mechanics be reconciled with the ‘real’ world—the world we experience.”.
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  48.  3
    Collapse of the Quantum Wave Function.Pete A. Y. Gunter - 2009 - Process Studies 38 (2):304-318.
    The following introduction offers a broad survey of the history of quantum physics. It then outlines the position of each contributor in this Special Focus Section concerning the collapse of the quantum wave function and defines three important terms used in discussing this topic.
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  49. Dirac-Type Equations in a Gravitational Field, with Vector Wave Function.Mayeul Arminjon - 2008 - Foundations of Physics 38 (11):1020-1045.
    An analysis of the classical-quantum correspondence shows that it needs to identify a preferred class of coordinate systems, which defines a torsionless connection. One such class is that of the locally-geodesic systems, corresponding to the Levi-Civita connection. Another class, thus another connection, emerges if a preferred reference frame is available. From the classical Hamiltonian that rules geodesic motion, the correspondence yields two distinct Klein-Gordon equations and two distinct Dirac-type equations in a general metric, depending on the connection used. Each of (...)
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  50.  22
    The Theory of the Universal Wave Function.Hugh Everett Iii - 1973 - In B. DeWitt & N. Graham (eds.), The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Princeton Up. pp. 3.
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