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  1. Experimental Bounds on Classical Random Field Theories.Joffrey K. Peters, Jingyun Fan, Alan L. Migdall & Sergey V. Polyakov - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (7):726-734.
    Alternative theories to quantum mechanics motivate important fundamental tests of our understanding and descriptions of the smallest physical systems. Here, using spontaneous parametric downconversion as a heralded single-photon source, we place experimental limits on a class of alternative theories, consisting of classical field theories which result in power-dependent normalized correlation functions. In addition, we compare our results with standard quantum mechanical interpretations of our spontaneous parametric downconversion source over an order of magnitude in intensity. Our data match the quantum mechanical (...)
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  • Is an Electron a Charge Cloud? A Reexamination of Schrödinger’s Charge Density Hypothesis.Shan Gao - 2018 - Foundations of Science 23 (1):145-157.
    This article re-examines Schrödinger’s charge density hypothesis, according to which the charge of an electron is distributed in the whole space, and the charge density in each position is proportional to the modulus squared of the wave function of the electron there. It is shown that the charge distribution of a quantum system can be measured by protective measurements as expectation values of certain observables, and the results as predicted by quantum mechanics confirm Schrödinger’s original hypothesis. Moreover, the physical origin (...)
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  • The meaning of the wave function: in search of the ontology of quantum mechanics.Shan Gao - 2017 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    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 function is indeed ontic, then exactly what physical (...)
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  • On the reality and meaning of the wave function.Shan Gao - unknown
    In this article, we give a clearer argument for the reality of the wave function in terms of protective measurements, which does not depend on nontrivial assumptions and also overcomes existing objections. Moreover, based on an analysis of the mass and charge properties of a quantum system, we propose a new ontological interpretation of the wave function. According to this interpretation, the wave function of an N-body system represents the state of motion of N particles. Moreover, the motion of particles (...)
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  • 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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  • Interpreting Quantum Mechanics in Terms of Random Discontinuous Motion of Particles.Shan Gao - unknown
    This thesis is an attempt to reconstruct the conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics. 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 to the requirements of spacetime translation (...)
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  • A quantum physical argument for panpsychism.Shan Gao - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (1-2):59-70.
    It has been widely thought that consciousness has no causal efficacy in the physical world. However, this may be not the case. In this paper, we show that a conscious being can distinguish definite perceptions and their quantum superpositions, while a physical measuring system without consciousness cannot distinguish such nonorthogonal quantum states. The possible existence of this distinct quantum physical effect of consciousness may have interesting implications for the science of consciousness. In particular, it suggests that consciousness is not emergent (...)
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  • On Uffink's alternative interpretation of protective measurements.Shan Gao - unknown
    Protective measurement is a new measuring method introduced by Aharonov, Anandan and Vaidman. By a protective measurement, one can measure the expectation value of an observable on a single quantum system, even if the system is initially not in an eigenstate of the measured observable. This remarkable feature of protective measurements was challenged by Uffink. He argued that only observables that commute with the system's Hamiltonian can be protectively measured, and a protective measurement of an observable that does not commute (...)
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