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34 found
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  1. Energy Non-conservation in Quantum Mechanics.Sean M. Carroll & Jackie Lodman - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (4):1-15.
    We study the conservation of energy, or lack thereof, when measurements are performed in quantum mechanics. The expectation value of the Hamiltonian of a system changes when wave functions collapse in accordance with the standard textbook treatment of quantum measurement, but one might imagine that the change in energy is compensated by the measuring apparatus or environment. We show that this is not true; the change in the energy of a state after measurement can be arbitrarily large, independent of the (...)
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  2. The Open Systems View.Michael E. Cuffaro & Stephan Hartmann - manuscript
    There is a deeply entrenched view in philosophy and physics, the closed systems view, according to which isolated systems are conceived of as fundamental. On this view, when a system is under the influence of its environment this is described in terms of a coupling between it and a separate system which taken together are isolated. We argue against this view, and in favor of the alternative open systems view, for which systems interacting with their environment are conceived of as (...)
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  3. Everettian Formulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.Yu Feng - manuscript
    The second law of thermodynamics is traditionally interpreted as a coarse-grained result of classical mechanics. Recently its relation with quantum mechanical processes such as decoherence and measurement has been revealed in literature. In this paper we will formulate the second law and the associated time irreversibility following Everett’s idea: systems entangled with an object getting to know the branch in which they live. Accounting for this self-locating knowledge, we get two forms of entropy: objective entropy measuring the uncertainty of the (...)
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  4. Why the de Broglie-Bohm theory is probably wrong.Shan Gao - manuscript
    We investigate the validity of the field explanation of the wave function by analyzing the mass and charge density distributions of a quantum system. It is argued that 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. This is also a consequence of protective measurement. If the wave function is a physical field, then the mass and charge density will be distributed in space simultaneously (...)
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  5. Macroscopic Quantum Superpositions Cannot Be Measured, Even in Principle.Andrew Knight - manuscript
    I show in this paper why the universality of quantum mechanics at all scales, which implies the possibility of Schrodinger's Cat and Wigner's Friend thought experiments, cannot be experimentally confirmed, and why macroscopic superpositions in general cannot be observed or measured, even in principle. Through the relativity of quantum superposition and the transitivity of correlation, it is shown that from the perspective of an object that is in quantum superposition relative to a macroscopic measuring device and observer, the observer is (...)
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  6. An exceptionally simple argument against the many-worlds interpretation.Shan Gao - 2011
    It is shown that the superposed wave function of a measuring device, in each branch of which there is a definite measurement result, does not correspond to many mutually unobservable but equally real worlds, as the superposed wave function can be observed in our world by protective measurement.
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  7. Conquering Mount Everett: Branch-Counting Versus the Born Rule.Jake Khawaja - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Abstract: This paper develops and advocates a rule for assigning self-locating credences in quantum branching scenarios, called Indexed Branch-Counting. It is argued that Indexed Branch-Counting can be justified on both accuracy-theoretic grounds and on the grounds that it satisfies a requirement of exchangeability for probability assignments. Since Indexed Branch-Counting diverges from the Born Rule, this poses trouble for Everettian approaches to probability. The paper also addresses a common argument against branch-counting, namely that the rule is incoherent in light of putative (...)
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  8. The Argument from Locality for Many Worlds Quantum Mechanics.Alyssa Ney - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    One motivation for preferring the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics over realist rivals, such as collapse and hidden variables theories, is that the interpretation is able to preserve locality (in the sense of no action at a distance) in a way these other theories cannot. The primary goal of this paper is to make this argument for the many worlds interpretation precise, in a way that does not rely on controversial assumptions about the metaphysics of many worlds.
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  9. Metaphysical indeterminacy in Everettian quantum mechanics.David Glick & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2024 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 14 (3):1-22.
    The question of whether Everettian quantum mechanics (EQM) justifies the existence of metaphysical indeterminacy has recently come to the fore. Metaphysical indeterminacy has been argued to emerge from three sources: coherent superpositions, the indefinite number of branches in the quantum multiverse and the nature of these branches. This paper reviews the evidence and concludes that those arguments don’t rely on EQM alone and rest on metaphysical auxiliary assumptions that transcend the physics of EQM. We show how EQM can be ontologically (...)
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  10. Making New Tools From the Toolbox of Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2023 - Erkenntnis (5):2251-2257.
    In this review, I specify the metametaphysical background against which Alastair Wilson’s “_The Nature of Contingency_” (Oxford University Press, 2020) should be properly understood. Metaphysics, as a philosophical discipline, is standing on thin ice. The caricature of the situation is polarized, and is often presented as follows: metaphysics is either entirely extracted from science or it is entirely independent of science. There is a recent trend that focuses on the middle ground between these extremes, searching the philosophical literature for metaphysical (...)
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  11. The Open Systems View and the Everett Interpretation.Michael E. Cuffaro & Stephan Hartmann - 2023 - Quantum Reports 5 (2):418-425.
    It is argued that those who defend the Everett, or ‘many-worlds’, interpretation of quantum mechanics should embrace what we call the general quantum theory of open systems (GT) as the proper framework in which to conduct foundational and philosophical investigations in quantum physics. GT is a wider dynamical framework than its alternative, standard quantum theory (ST). This is true even though GT makes no modifications to the quantum formalism. GT rather takes a different view, what we call the open systems (...)
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  12. Whence deep realism for Everettian quantum mechanics?Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo & Jonas R. Becker Arenhart - 2022 - Foundations of Physics 52 (6):121.
    ‘Shallow’ and ‘deep’ versions of scientific realism may be distinguished as follows: the shallow realist is satisfied with belief in the existence of the posits of our best scientific theories; by contrast, deep realists claim that realism can be legitimate only if such entities are described in metaphysical terms. We argue that this methodological discussion can be fruitfully applied in Everettian quantum mechanics, specifically on the debate concerning the existence of worlds and the recent dispute between Everettian actualism and quantum (...)
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  13. Against ‘Interpretation’: Quantum Mechanics Beyond Syntax and Semantics.Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo & Gilson Olegario da Silva - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (6):1243-1279.
    The question “what is an interpretation?” is often intertwined with the perhaps even harder question “what is a scientific theory?”. Given this proximity, we try to clarify the first question to acquire some ground for the latter. The quarrel between the syntactic and semantic conceptions of scientific theories occupied a large part of the scenario of the philosophy of science in the 20th century. For many authors, one of the two currents needed to be victorious. We endorse that such debate, (...)
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  14. Metaphysical indeterminacy in the multiverse.Claudio Calosi & Jessica Wilson - 2022 - In Valia Allori (ed.), Quantum Mechanics and Fundamentality: Naturalizing Quantum Theory between Scientific Realism and Ontological Indeterminacy. Cham: Springer. pp. 375-395.
    One might suppose that Everettian quantum mechanics (EQM) is inhospitable to metaphysial indeterminacy (MI), given that, as A. Wilson (2020) puts it, "the central idea of EQM is to replace indeterminacy with multiplicity" (77). But as Wilson goes on to suggest, the popular decoherence-based understanding of EQM (henceforth: DEQM) appears to admit of indeterminacy in both world number and world nature, where the latter indeterminacy---our focus here---is plausibly metaphysical. After a brief presentation of DEQM (S1), we bolster the case for (...)
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  15. Reality as a Vector in Hilbert Space.Sean M. Carroll - 2022 - In Valia Allori (ed.), Quantum Mechanics and Fundamentality: Naturalizing Quantum Theory between Scientific Realism and Ontological Indeterminacy. Cham: Springer. pp. 211-224.
    I defend the extremist position that the fundamental ontology of the world consists of a vector in Hilbert space evolving according to the Schrödinger equation. The laws of physics are determined solely by the energy eigenspectrum of the Hamiltonian. The structure of our observed world, including space and fields living within it, should arise as a higher-level emergent description. I sketch how this might come about, although much work remains to be done.
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  16. Centering the Everett Interpretation.Isaac Wilhelm - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):1019-1039.
    I propose an account of probability in the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. According to the account, probabilities are objective chances of centered propositions. As I show, the account solves a number of problems concerning the role of probability in the Everett interpretation. It also challenges an implicit assumption, concerning the aim and scope of fundamental physical theories, that is made throughout the philosophy of physics literature.
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  17. Fundamentality and Levels in Everettian Quantum Mechanics.Alastair Wilson - 2022 - In Valia Allori (ed.), Quantum Mechanics and Fundamentality: Naturalizing Quantum Theory between Scientific Realism and Ontological Indeterminacy. Cham: Springer.
    Distinctions in fundamentality between different levels of description are central to the viability of contemporary decoherence-based Everettian quantum mechanics (EQM). This approach to quantum theory characteristically combines a determinate fundamental reality (one universal wave function) with an indeterminate emergent reality (multiple decoherent worlds). In this chapter I explore how the Everettian appeal to fundamentality and emergence can be understood within existing metaphysical frameworks, identify grounding and concept fundamentality as promising theoretical tools, and use them to characterize a system of explanatory (...)
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  18. The Cosmic Void.Eddy Keming Chen - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-Being: New Essays on the Metaphysics of Nonexistence. Oxford University Press.
    What exists at the fundamental level of reality? On the standard picture, the fundamental reality contains (among other things) fundamental matter, such as particles, fields, or even the quantum state. Non-fundamental facts are explained by facts about fundamental matter, at least in part. In this paper, I introduce a non-standard picture called the "cosmic void” in which the universe is devoid of any fundamental material ontology. Facts about tables and chairs are recovered from a special kind of laws that satisfy (...)
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  19. The physics and metaphysics of Tychistic Bohmian Mechanics.Patrick Duerr & Alexander Ehmann - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90:168-183.
    The paper takes up Bell's “Everett theory” and develops it further. The resulting theory is about the system of all particles in the universe, each located in ordinary, 3-dimensional space. This many-particle system as a whole performs random jumps through 3N-dimensional configuration space – hence “Tychistic Bohmian Mechanics”. The distribution of its spontaneous localisations in configuration space is given by the Born Rule probability measure for the universal wavefunction. Contra Bell, the theory is argued to satisfy the minimal desiderata for (...)
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  20. Privileged-Perspective Realism in the Quantum Multiverse.Nora Berenstain - 2020 - In David Glick, George Darby & Anna Marmodoro (eds.), The Foundation of Reality: Fundamentality, Space, and Time. Oxford University Press.
    Privileged-perspective realism (PPR) is a version of metaphysical realism that takes certain irreducibly perspectival facts to be partly constitutive of reality. PPR asserts that there is a single metaphysically privileged standpoint from which these perspectival facts obtain. This chapter discusses several views that fall under the category of privileged-perspective realism. These include presentism, which is PPR about tensed facts, and non-multiverse interpretations of quantum mechanics, which the chapter argues, constitute PPR about world-indexed facts. Using the framework of the bird perspective (...)
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  21. La réalité face à la théorie quantique.Louis Marchildon - 2020 - Mεtascience: Discours Général Scientifique 1:271-292.
    Tous les chercheurs intéressés aux fondements de la théorie quantique s’entendent sur le fait que celle-ci a profondément modifié notre conception de la réalité. Là s’arrête, toutefois, le consensus. Le formalisme de la théorie, non problématique, donne lieu à plusieurs interprétations très différentes, qui ont chacune des conséquences sur la notion de réalité. Cet article analyse comment l’interprétation de Copenhague, l’effondrement du vecteur d’état de von Neumann, l’onde pilote de Bohm et de Broglie et les mondes multiples d’Everett modifient, chacun (...)
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  22. How the Many Worlds Interpretation brings Common Sense to Paradoxical Quantum Experiments.Kelvin J. McQueen & Lev Vaidman - 2020 - In Rik Peels, Jeroen de Ridder & René van Woudenberg (eds.), Scientific Challenges to Common Sense Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. 40-60.
    The many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (MWI) states that the world we live in is just one among many parallel worlds. It is widely believed that because of this commitment to parallel worlds, the MWI violates common sense. Some go so far as to reject the MWI on this basis. This is despite its myriad of advantages to physics (e.g. consistency with relativity theory, mathematical simplicity, realism, determinism, etc.). Here, we make the case that common sense in fact favors (...)
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  23. 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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  24. Self-locating Uncertainty and the Origin of Probability in Everettian Quantum Mechanics.Charles T. Sebens & Sean M. Carroll - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axw004.
    A longstanding issue in attempts to understand the Everett (Many-Worlds) approach to quantum mechanics is the origin of the Born rule: why is the probability given by the square of the amplitude? Following Vaidman, we note that observers are in a position of self-locating uncertainty during the period between the branches of the wave function splitting via decoherence and the observer registering the outcome of the measurement. In this period it is tempting to regard each branch as equiprobable, but we (...)
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  25. 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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  26. Quantum mechanics as a deterministic theory of a continuum of worlds.Kim Joris Boström - 2015 - Quantum Studies: Mathematics and Foundations 2 (3):315-347.
    A non-relativistic quantum mechanical theory is proposed that describes the universe as a continuum of worlds whose mutual interference gives rise to quantum phenomena. A logical framework is introduced to properly deal with propositions about objects in a multiplicity of worlds. In this logical framework, the continuum of worlds is treated in analogy to the continuum of time points; both “time” and “world” are considered as mutually independent modes of existence. The theory combines elements of Bohmian mechanics and of Everett’s (...)
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  27. Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty: Reply to Wilson.Darren Bradley - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):683-693.
    In Bradley, I offered an analysis of Sleeping Beauty and the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics. I argued that one can avoid a kind of easy confirmation of EQM by paying attention to observation selection effects, that halfers are right about Sleeping Beauty, and that thirders cannot avoid easy confirmation for the truth of EQM. Wilson agrees with my analysis of observation selection effects in EQM, but goes on to, first, defend Elga’s thirder argument on Sleeping Beauty and, second, argue (...)
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  28. Causal Decision Theory and EPR correlations.Arif Ahmed & Adam Caulton - 2014 - Synthese 191 (18):4315-4352.
    The paper argues that on three out of eight possible hypotheses about the EPR experiment we can construct novel and realistic decision problems on which (a) Causal Decision Theory and Evidential Decision Theory conflict (b) Causal Decision Theory and the EPR statistics conflict. We infer that anyone who fully accepts any of these three hypotheses has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. Finally, we extend the original construction to show that anyone who gives any of the three hypotheses any (...)
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  29. Many Worlds, the Born Rule, and Self-Locating Uncertainty.Sean M. Carroll & Charles T. Sebens - 2013 - In Daniele C. Struppa & Jeffrey M. Tollaksen (eds.), Quantum Theory: A Two-Time Success Story: Yakir Aharonov Festschrift. Milano: Springer. pp. 157-169.
    We provide a derivation of the Born Rule in the context of the Everett (Many-Worlds) approach to quantum mechanics. Our argument is based on the idea of self-locating uncertainty: in the period between the wave function branching via decoherence and an observer registering the outcome of the measurement, that observer can know the state of the universe precisely without knowing which branch they are on. We show that there is a uniquely rational way to apportion credence in such cases, which (...)
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  30. Four Problems about Self-Locating Belief.Darren Bradley - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (2):149-177.
    This article defends the Doomsday Argument, the Halfer Position in Sleeping Beauty, the Fine-Tuning Argument, and the applicability of Bayesian confirmation theory to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. It will argue that all four problems have the same structure, and it gives a unified treatment that uses simple models of the cases and no controversial assumptions about confirmation or self-locating evidence. The article will argue that the troublesome feature of all these cases is not self-location but selection effects.
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  31. Confirmation in a Branching World: The Everett Interpretation and Sleeping Beauty.Darren Bradley - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):323-342.
    Sometimes we learn what the world is like, and sometimes we learn where in the world we are. Are there any interesting differences between the two kinds of cases? The main aim of this article is to argue that learning where we are in the world brings into view the same kind of observation selection effects that operate when sampling from a population. I will first explain what observation selection effects are ( Section 1 ) and how they are relevant (...)
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  32. 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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  33. How in the World are There Many Worlds?Logan Carter - manuscript
    This paper explores personal identity and persistence through time in the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics (QM). First, I will motivate the MWI’s relevance in the domain of metaphysics. Second, I will define endurantism. Third, I will explain the foundational physics underlying the MWI which entails branching worlds. Finally, I will argue that the privileged branch view best captures endurantist judgments about personal identity and persistence through time in the many-worlds framework. (Note that this work is in its (...)
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  34. Multisolipsism.Andrew Soltau - manuscript
    A perspective on Everett's relative state formulation is proposed, leading to a simple relational quantum mechanics. There are inevitably a large number of different versions of the world in which a specific observer could exist, and in the universe of the unitary wave function they are all existing and coincident. If these different versions of the world are superposed, the effective physical environment in the functional frame of reference of this observer would be highly indeterminate, since every possible variation of (...)
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