A longstanding issue in attempts to understand the Everett (Many-Worlds) approach to quantummechanics 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 argue that the temptation should be resisted. Applying lessons from this analysis, we demonstrate (using methods similar to those of Zurek's envariance-based derivation) that the Born rule is the uniquely rational way of apportioning credence in Everettianquantummechanics. In doing so, we rely on a single key principle: changes purely to the environment do not affect the probabilities one ought to assign to measurement outcomes in a local subsystem. We arrive at a method for assigning probabilities in cases that involve both classical and quantum self-locating uncertainty. This method provides unique answers to quantum Sleeping Beauty problems, as well as a well-defined procedure for calculating probabilities in quantum cosmological multiverses with multiple similar observers. (shrink)
Although Fuzzy logic and Fuzzy Mathematics is a widespread subject and there is a vast literature about it, yet the use of Fuzzy issues like Fuzzy sets and Fuzzy numbers was relatively rare in time concept. This could be seen in the Fuzzy time series. In addition, some attempts are done in fuzzing Turing Machines but seemingly there is no need to fuzzy time. Throughout this article, we try to change this picture and show why it is helpful to consider (...) the instants of time as Fuzzy numbers. In physics, though there are revolutionary ideas on the time concept like B theories in contrast to A theory also about central concepts like space, momentum… it is a long time that these concepts are changed, but time is considered classically in all well-known and established physics theories. Seemingly, we stick to the classical time concept in all fields of science and we have a vast inertia to change it. Our goal in this article is to provide some bases why it is rational and reasonable to change and modify this picture. Here, the central point is the modified version of “Unexpected Hanging” paradox as it is described in "Is classical Mathematics appropriate for theory of Computation".This modified version leads us to a contradiction and based on that it is presented there why some problems in Theory of Computation are not solved yet. To resolve the difficulties arising there, we have two choices. Either “choosing” a new type of Logic like “Para-consistent Logic” to tolerate contradiction or changing and improving the time concept and consequently to modify the “Turing Computational Model”. Throughout this paper, we select the second way for benefiting from saving some aspects of Classical Logic. In chapter 2, by applying quantumMechanics and Schrodinger equation we compute the associated fuzzy number to time. (shrink)
We present an alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation of the formalism of nonrelativistic quantummechanics. The basic difference is that the new inter- pretation is formulated in the language of epistemological realism. It involves a change in some basic physical concepts. Elementary particles are considered as extended objects and nonlocal effects are included. The role of the new concepts in the problems of measurement and of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen correlations is described. Experiments to distinguish the proposed interpretation (...) from the Copenhagen one are pointed out. (shrink)
A potentially new interpretation of quantummechanics posits the state of the universe as a consistent set of facts that are instantiated in the correlations among entangled objects. A fact (or event) occurs exactly when the number or density of future possibilities decreases, and a quantum superposition exists if and only if the facts of the universe are consistent with the superposition. The interpretation sheds light on both in-principle and real-world predictability of the universe.
The Born’s rule to interpret the square of wave function as the probability to get a specific value in measurement has been accepted as a postulate in foundations of quantummechanics. Although there have been so many attempts at deriving this rule theoretically using different approaches such as frequency operator approach, many-world theory, Bayesian probability and envariance, literature shows that arguments in each of these methods are circular. In view of absence of a convincing theoretical proof, recently some (...) researchers have carried out experiments to validate the rule up-to maximum possible accuracy using multi-order interference (Sinha et al, Science, 329, 418 [2010]). But, a convincing analytical proof of Born’s rule will make us understand the basic process responsible for exact square dependency of probability on wave function. In this paper, by generalizing the method of calculating probability in common experience into quantummechanics, we prove the Born’s rule for statistical interpretation of wave function. (shrink)
In this note I examine some implications of stochastic interpretations of quantummechanics for the concept of "charge without charge" presented by Wheeler and Misner. I argue that if a stochastic interpretation of quantummechanics were correct, then certain shortcomings of the "charge without charge" concept could be overcome.
The consistent histories reformulation of quantummechanics was developed by Robert Griffiths, given a formal logical systematization by Roland Omn\`{e}s, and under the label `decoherent histories', was independently developed by Murray Gell-Mann and James Hartle and extended to quantum cosmology. Criticisms of CH involve issues of meaning, truth, objectivity, and coherence, a mixture of philosophy and physics. We will briefly consider the original formulation of CH and some basic objections. The reply to these objections, like the objections (...) themselves, involves a mixture of physics and philosophy. These replies support an evaluation of the CH formulation as a replacement for the measurement, or orthodox, interpretation. (shrink)
Recently we proposed “quantum language" (or,“the linguistic Copenhagen interpretation of quantummechanics"), which was not only characterized as the metaphysical and linguistic turn of quantummechanics but also the linguistic turn of Descartes=Kant epistemology. Namely, quantum language is the scientific final goal of dualistic idealism. It has a great power to describe classical systems as well as quantum systems. Thus, we believe that quantum language is the language in which science is (...) written. The purpose of this preprint is to examine and assert our belief (i.e.,“proposition in quantum language" ⇔“scientific proposition). We believe that it's one of main themes of scientific philosophy to make such language. (shrink)
Physical systems can store information and their informational properties are governed by the laws of information. In particular, the amount of information that a physical system can convey is limited by the number of its degrees of freedom and their distinguishable states. Here we explore the properties of the physical systems with absolutely one degree of freedom. The central point in these systems is the tight limitation on their information capacity. Discussing the implications of this limitation we demonstrate that such (...) systems exhibit a number of features, such as randomness, no-cloning, and non-commutativity, which are peculiarities attributed to quantummechanics (QM). After demonstrating many astonishing parallels to quantum behavior, we postulate an interpretation of quantum physics as the physics of systems with a single degree of freedom. We then show how a number of other quantum conundrum can be understood by considering the informational properties of the systems and also resolve the EPR paradox. In the present work, we assume that the formalism of the QM is correct and well-supported by experimental verification and concentrate on the interpretational aspects of the theory. (shrink)
The major point in [1] chapter 2 is the following claim: “Any formalized system for the Theory of Computation based on Classical Logic and Turing Model of Computation leads us to a contradiction.” So, in the case we wish to save Classical Logic we should change our Computational Model. As we see in chapter two, the mentioned contradiction is about and around the concept of time, as it is in the contradiction of modified version of paradox. It is natural to (...) try fabricating the paradox not by time but in some other linear ordering or the concept of space. Interestingly, the attempts to have similar contradiction by the other concepts like space and linear ordering, is failed. It is remarkable that, the paradox is considered either Epistemological or Logical traditionally, but by new considerations the new version of paradox should be considered as either Logical or Physical paradox. Hence, in order to change our Computational Model, it is natural to change the concept of time, but how? We start from some models that are different from the classical one but they are intuitively plausible. The idea of model is somewhat introduced by Brouwer and Husserl [3]. This model doesn’t refute the paradox, since the paradox and the associated contradiction would be repeated in this new model. The model is introduced in [2]. Here we give some more explanations. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate, within the framework of realistic interpretations of the wave function in nonrelativistic quantummechanics, 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 quantummechanics 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 is preserved. In addition, I discuss how the wave function behaves more similarly to a gauge potential than to a field. Finally I show how this favors a nomological rather than an ontological view of the wave function. (shrink)
Non-locality is one of the great mysteries of quantummechanics (qm). There is a new realist interpretation of qm on the table whose notion of time incorporates both of McTaggart's A-series and B-series. In this philosophically motivated interpretation there is no fact of the matter as to whether the 'now' of one system is the 'now' of another system, until measurement. But this reproduces the idea that the spins of a Bell pair of electrons do not (...) become definite 'until' measurement. And this almost trivially allows for non-locality. (shrink)
This paper investigates the possibiity of developing a fully micro realistic version of elementary quantummechanics. I argue that it is highly desirable to develop such a version of quantummechanics, and that the failure of all current versions and interpretations of quantummechanics to constitute micro realistic theories is at the root of many of the interpretative problems associated with quantummechanics, in particular the problem of measurement. I put forward a (...) propensity micro realistic version of quantummechanics, and suggest how it might be possible to discriminate, on expermental grounds, between this theory and other versions of quantummechanics. (shrink)
We present an axiomatization of non-relativistic QuantumMechanics for a system with an arbitrary number of components. The interpretation of our system of axioms is realistic and objective. The EPR paradox and its relation with realism is discussed in this framework. It is shown that there is no contradiction between realism and recent experimental results.
We expound an alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation of the formalism of nonrelativistic quantummechanics. The basic difference is that the new interpretation is formulated in the language of epistemological realism. It involves a change in some basic physical concepts. The ψ function is no longer interpreted as a probability amplitude of the observed behaviour of elementary particles but as an objective physical field representing the particles themselves. The particles are thus extended objects whose extension varies (...) in time according to the variation of ψ. They are considered as fundamental regions of space with some kind of nonlocality. Special consideration is given to the Heisenberg relations, the Einstein-Podolsky- Rosen correlations, the reduction process, the problem of measurement, and the quantum-statistical distributions. (shrink)
Recent years saw the rise of an interest in the roles and significance of thought experiments in different areas of human thinking. Heisenberg's gamma ray microscope is no doubt one of the most famous examples of a thought experiment in physics. Nevertheless, this particular thought experiment has not received much detailed attention in the philosophical literature on thought experiments up to date, maybe because of its often claimed inadequacies. In this paper, I try to do two things: to provide an (...) interesting interpretation of the roles played by Heisenberg's gamma ray microscope in interpreting quantummechanics – partly based on Thomas Kuhn’s views on the function of thought experiments – and to contribute to the ongoing discussions on the roles and significance of thought experiments in physics. (shrink)
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 many-worlds interpretation; it has a clear ontology and a set of precisely defined postulates from where the predictions of standard quantummechanics can be derived. Probability as given by the Born rule emerges as a consequence of insufficient knowledge of observers about which world it is that they live in. The theory describes a continuum of worlds rather than a single world or a discrete set of worlds, so it is similar in spirit to many-worlds interpretations based on Everett’s approach, without being actually reducible to these. In particular, there is no splitting of worlds, which is a typical feature of Everett-type theories. Altogether, the theory explains (1) the subjective occurrence of probabilities, (2) their quantitative value as given by the Born rule, and (3) the apparently random “collapse of the wavefunction” caused by the measurement, while still being an objectively deterministic theory. (shrink)
Based on de Broglie’s wave hypothesis and the covariant ether, the Three Wave Hypothesis (TWH) has been proposed and developed in the last century. In 2007, the author found that the TWH may be attributed to a kinematical classical system of two perpendicular rolling circles. In 2012, the author showed that the position vector of a point in a model of two rolling circles in plane can be transformed to a complex vector under a proposed effect of partial observation. In (...) the present project, this concept of transformation is developed to be a lab observation concept. Under this transformation of the lab observer, it is found that velocity equation of the motion of the point is transformed to an equation analogising the relativistic quantummechanics equation (Dirac equation). Many other analogies has been found, and are listed in a comparison table. The analogy tries to explain the entanglement within the scope of the transformation. These analogies may suggest that both quantummechanics and special relativity are emergent, both of them are unified, and of the same origin. The similarities suggest analogies and propose questions of interpretation for the standard quantum theory, without any possible causal claims. (shrink)
This paper argues for the following disjunction: either we do not live in a world with a branching temporal structure, or backwards time travel is nomologically impossible, given the initial state of the universe, or backwards time travel to our space-time location is impossible given large-scale facts about space and time. A fortiori, if backwards time travel to our location is possible, we do not live in a branching universe.
In this text the ancient philosophical question of determinism (“Does every event have a cause ?”) will be re-examined. In the philosophy of science and physics communities the orthodox position states that the physical world is indeterministic: quantum events would have no causes but happen by irreducible chance. Arguably the clearest theorem that leads to this conclusion is Bell’s theorem. The commonly accepted ‘solution’ to the theorem is ‘indeterminism’, in agreement with the Copenhagen interpretation. Here it is recalled (...) that indeterminism is not really a physical but rather a philosophical hypothesis, and that it has counterintuitive and far-reaching implications. At the same time another solution to Bell’s theorem exists, often termed ‘superdeterminism’ or ‘total determinism’. Superdeterminism appears to be a philosophical position that is centuries and probably millennia old: it is for instance Spinoza’s determinism. If Bell’s theorem has both indeterministic and deterministic solutions, choosing between determinism and indeterminism is a philosophical question, not a matter of physical experimentation, as is widely believed. If it is impossible to use physics for deciding between both positions, it is legitimate to ask which philosophical theories are of help. Here it is argued that probability theory – more precisely the interpretation of probability – is instrumental for advancing the debate. It appears that the hypothesis of determinism allows to answer a series of precise questions from probability theory, while indeterminism remains silent for these questions. From this point of view determinism appears to be the more reasonable assumption, after all. (shrink)
The underlying physical reality is a central notion in the interpretations of quantummechanics. The a priori physical reality notion affects the corresponding interpretation. This paper explore the possibility to establish a relationship between philosophical concept of physical reality in Nagarjuna's epistemology (emptiness) and the picture of underlying physical reality in Einstein, Rovelli and Zeilinger positions. This analysis brings us to conclude that the notion of property of a quantum object is untenable. We can only speak (...) about relational property of the object. On this basis, we are stimulated to build a new ontology of underlying physical reality: a relational ontology. Finally, we argue that Nagarjuna's view is comparable with Rovelli's interpretation of quantummechanics. These views eliminate the privileged role of the observer. (shrink)
Ignited by Einstein and Bohr a century ago, the philosophical struggle about Reality is yet unfinished, with no signs of a swift resolution. Despite vast technological progress fueled by the iconic EPR paper (EPR), the intricate link between ontic and epistemic aspects of Quantum Theory (QT) has greatly hindered our grip on Reality and further progress in physical theory. Fallacies concealed by tortuous logical negations made EPR comprehension much harder than it could have been had Einstein written it himself (...) in German. It is plagued with preconceptions about what a physical property is, the 'Uncertainty Principle', and the Principle of Locality. Numerous interpretations of QT vis à vis Reality exist and are keenly disputed. This is the first of a series of articles arguing for a physical interpretation called ‘The Ontic Probability Interpretation’ (TOPI). A gradual explanation of TOPI is given intertwined with a meticulous logico-philosophical scrutiny of EPR. Part I focuses on the meaning of Einstein’s ‘Incompleteness’ claim. A conceptual confusion, a preconception about Reality, and a flawed dichotomy are shown to be severe obstacles for the EPR argument to succeed. Part II analyzes Einstein’s ‘Incompleteness/Nonlocality Dilemma’. Future articles will further explain TOPI, demonstrating its soundness and potential for nurturing theoretical progress. (shrink)
According to orthodox quantummechanics, state vectors change in two incompatible ways: "deterministically" in accordance with Schroedinger's time-dependent equation, and probabilistically if and only if a measurement is made. It is argued here that the problem of measurement arises because the precise mutually exclusive conditions for these two types of transitions to occur are not specified within orthodox quantummechanics. Fundamentally, this is due to an inevitable ambiguity in the notion of "meawurement" itself. Hence, if the (...) problem of measurement is to be resolved, a new, fully objective version of quantjm mechanics needs to be developed which does not incorporate the notion of measurement in its basic postuolates at all. (shrink)
We show that determinism is false assuming a realistic interpretation of quantummechanics and considering the sensitive dynamics of macroscopical physical systems.
We describe here a series of experimental analogies between fluid mechanics and quantummechanics recently discovered by a team of physicists. These analogies arise in droplet systems guided by a surface (or pilot) wave. We argue that these experimental facts put ancient theoretical work by Madelung on the analogy between fluid and quantummechanics into new light. After re-deriving Madelung’s result starting from two basic fluid-mechanical equations (the Navier-Stokes equation and the continuity equation), we discuss (...) the relation with the de Broglie-Bohm theory. This allows to make a direct link with the droplet experiments. It is argued that the fluid-mechanical interpretation of quantummechanics, if it can be extended to the general N-particle case, would have an advantage over the Bohm interpretation: it could rid Bohm’s theory of its strongly non-local character. (shrink)
The persistent interpretation problem for quantummechanics may indicate an unwillingness to consider unpalatable assumptions that could open the way toward progress. With this in mind, I focus on the work of David Bohm, whose earlier work has been more influential than that of his later. As I’ll discuss, I believe two assumptions play a strong role in explaining the disparity: 1) that theories in physics must be grounded in mathematical structure and 2) that consciousness must supervene (...) on material processes. I’ll argue that the first assumption appears to lead us toward Everett’s many worlds interpretation, which suggests a red flag. I’ll also argue that the second assumption is suspect due to the persistent explanatory gap for consciousness. Later, I explore ways that Bohm’s later work holds some promise in providing a better fit with our world, both phenomenologically and empirically. Also, I’ll address the possible problem of realism. (shrink)
Sense perception and Reality examines the remarkable similarities between philosophical idealism and the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics. The book looks at perceptual relativity involving animal senses, neurology and cognitive psychology. It concludes the universe is observer dependent and varies with the sensory apparatus used to observe it. The Copenhagen Interpretation is examined and perceptual relativity would appear to apply in the quantum world. The Copenhagen Interpretation suggests the universe is observer dependent, the same conclusion (...) as is found in philosophical idealism in the macro world. The book concludes by examining the consequences of an observer dependent universe and by showing such a universe is quite consistent with a modern objective science. (shrink)
In this article I defend that an underlying framework exists among those interpretations of quantummechanics which crucially consider the measurement problem as a central obstacle. I characterise that framework as the Received View on the realist interpretation of quantummechanics. In particular, I analyse the extent to which two of the most relevant attempts at quantummechanics, namely, many worlds interpretations and Bohmian mechanics, belong within the Received View. However, I claim (...) that scientific realism in itself does not entail commitment to such a view, and I propose to consider a form of realism that dissolves the measurement problem. It is simply a stripped down version of realism. I derive the methodological questions in this form of realism, speculating that within it a novel realist interpretation of quantummechanics could be conceived. (shrink)
The text is a continuation of the article of the same name published in the previous issue of Philosophical Alternatives. The philosophical interpretations of the Kochen- Specker theorem (1967) are considered. Einstein's principle regarding the,consubstantiality of inertia and gravity" (1918) allows of a parallel between descriptions of a physical micro-entity in relation to the macro-apparatus on the one hand, and of physical macro-entities in relation to the astronomical mega-entities on the other. The Bohmian interpretation ( 1952) of quantum (...)mechanics proposes that all quantum systems be interpreted as dissipative ones and that the theorem be thus derstood. The conclusion is that the continual representation, by force or (gravitational) field between parts interacting by means of it, of a system is equivalent to their mutual entanglement if representation is discrete. Gravity (force field) and entanglement are two different, correspondingly continual and discrete, images of a single common essence. General relativity can be interpreted as a superluminal generalization of special relativity. The postulate exists of an alleged obligatory difference between a model and reality in science and philosophy. It can also be deduced by interpreting a corollary of the heorem. On the other hand, quantummechanics, on the basis of this theorem and of V on Neumann's (1932), introduces the option that a model be entirely identified as the modeled reality and, therefore, that absolutely reality be recognized: this is a non-standard hypothesis in the epistemology of science. Thus, the true reality begins to be understood mathematically, i.e. in a Pythagorean manner, for its identification with its mathematical model. A few linked problems are highlighted: the role of the axiom of choice forcorrectly interpreting the theorem; whether the theorem can be considered an axiom; whether the theorem can be considered equivalent to the negation of the axiom. (shrink)
Mereological nihilism is the philosophical position that there are no items that have parts. If there are no items with parts then the only items that exist are partless fundamental particles, such as the true atoms (also called philosophical atoms) theorized to exist by some ancient philosophers, some contemporary physicists, and some contemporary philosophers. With several novel arguments I show that mereological nihilism is the correct theory of reality. I will also discuss strong similarities that mereological nihilism has with empirical (...) results in quantum physics. And I will discuss how mereological nihilism vindicates a few other theories, such as a very specific theory of philosophical atomism, which I will call quantum abstract atomism. I will show that mereological nihilism also is an interpretation of quantummechanics that avoids the problems of other interpretations, such as the widely known, metaphysically generated, quantum paradoxes of quantum physics, which ironically are typically accepted as facts about reality. I will also show why it is very surprising that mereological nihilism is not a widely held theory, and not the premier theory in philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper, possible objections to the propensity microrealistic version of quantummechanics proposed in Part I are answered. This version of quantummechanics is compared with the statistical, particle microrealistic viewpoint, and a crucial experiment is proposed designed to distinguish between these to microrealistic versions of quantummechanics.
Quantum physicists have made many attempts to solve the quantum measurement problem, but no solution seems to have received widespread acceptance. The time has come for a new approach. In Sense Perception and Reality: A Theory of Perceptual Relativity, QuantumMechanics and the Observer Dependent Universe I suggest the quantum measurement problem is caused by a failure to understand that each species has its own sensory world and that when we say the wave function collapses (...) and brings a particle into existence we mean the particle is brought into existence in the human sensory world by the combined operation of the human sensory apparatus, particle detectors and the experimental set up. This is similar to the Copenhagen Interpretation suggested by Niels Bohr and others, but the understanding that the collapse of the wave function brings a particle into existence in the human sensory world removes the need for a dividing line between the quantum world and the macro world. The same rules can apply to both worlds and the ideas stated in this paper considerably strengthen the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantummechanics. (shrink)
Mereotopology faces problems when its methods are extended to deal with time and change. We offer a new solution to these problems, based on a theory of partitions of reality which allows us to simulate (and also to generalize) aspects of set theory within a mereotopological framework. This theory is extended to a theory of coarse- and ﬁne-grained histories (or ﬁnite sequences of partitions evolving over time), drawing on machinery developed within the framework of the so-called ‘consistent histories’ interpretation (...) of quantummechanics. (shrink)
Quantummechanics makes some very significant observations about nature. Unfortunately, these observations remain a mystery because they do not fit into and/or cannot be explained through classical mechanics. However, we can still explore the philosophical and practical implications of these observations. This article aims to explain philosophical and practical implications of one of the most important observations of quantummechanics – uncertainty or the arbitrariness in the behavior of particles.
Many researchers determine the question “Why anything rather than nothing?” as the most ancient and fundamental philosophical problem. Furthermore, it is very close to the idea of Creation shared by religion, science, and philosophy, e.g. as the “Big Bang”, the doctrine of “first cause” or “causa sui”, the Creation in six days in the Bible, etc. Thus, the solution of quantummechanics, being scientific in fact, can be interpreted also philosophically, and even religiously. However, only the philosophical (...) class='Hi'>interpretation is the topic of the text. The essence of the answer of quantummechanics is: 1. The creation is necessary in a rigorous mathematical sense. Thus, it does not need any choice, free will, subject, God, etc. to appear. The world exists in virtue of mathematical necessity, e.g. as any mathematical truth such as 2+2=4. 2. The being is less than nothing rather than more than nothing. So, the creation is not an increase of nothing, but the decrease of nothing: it is a deficiency in relation of nothing. Time and its “arrow” are the way of that diminishing or incompleteness to nothing. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that we can solve the interpretation problem of quantummechanics and the question of ontology of Quantum Field Theory on the basis of simple metaphysical position: The connection of the phase space with the ancient Theory of Logi of Beings, which is, by giving ontological meaning to the entities which "live" at the phase space, the Hamiltonian or Lagrangian formalism. There is a physical subject of such functions and it is the (...) logos of a being. Therefore we can refer to the logical space as the total sum of logi of being. The result of this position is that we can attribute to the wave function a physical meaning, a special case of logos of a being and also give an ontological meaning at a quantum field. The developed metaphysical scheme can interpret the quantum paradoxes, by using the commonly accepted mathematical formalism. It can also interpret certain issues of Quantum Field Theory, although further study of this topic is necessary. (shrink)
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.
I examine the epistemological debate on scientific realism in the context of quantum physics, focusing on the empirical underdetermin- ation of different formulations and interpretations of QM. I will argue that much of the interpretational, metaphysical work on QM tran- scends the kinds of realist commitments that are well-motivated in the light of the history of science. I sketch a way of demarcating empirically well-confirmed aspects of QM from speculative quantum metaphysics in a way that coheres with anti-realist (...) evidence from the history of science. The minimal realist attitude sketched withholds realist com- mitment to what quantum state |Ψ⟩ represents. I argue that such commitment is not required for fulfilling the ultimate realist motiva- tion: accounting for the empirical success of quantummechanics in a way that is in tune with a broader understanding of how theoretical science progresses and latches onto reality. (shrink)
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 quantummechanics, which the chapter argues, constitute PPR about world-indexed facts. Using the framework of the (...) bird perspective and the frog perspective, it argues that PPR views methodologically treat the frog perspective as metaphysically primary. This chapter considers case studies of metaphysical interpretations of special relativity and quantummechanics in order to demonstrate that such motivations for PPR are non-naturalistic. Further, it considers psychological factors that motivate the appeal of PPR views and offers naturalistic explanations of why we should not expect them to produce an adequate metaphysics of science. (shrink)
This paper offers a critical assessment of the current state of the debate about the identity and individuality of material objects. Its main aim, in particular, is to show that, in a sense to be carefully specified, the opposition between the Leibnizian ‘reductionist’ tradition, based on discernibility, and the sort of ‘primitivism’ that denies that facts of identity and individuality must be analysable has become outdated. In particular, it is argued that—contrary to a widespread consensus—‘naturalised’ metaphysics supports both the acceptability (...) of non-qualitatively grounded (both ‘contextual’ and intrinsic) identity and a pluralistic approach to individuality and individuation. A case study is offered that focuses on non-relativistic quantummechanics, in the context of which primitivism about identity and individuality, rather than being regarded as unscientific, is on the contrary suggested to be preferable to the complicated forms of reductionism that have recently been proposed. More generally, by assuming a plausible form of anti-reductionism about scientific theories and domains, it is claimed that science can be regarded as compatible with, or even as suggesting, the existence of a series of equally plausible grades of individuality. The kind of individuality that prevails in a certain context and at a given level can be ascertained only on the basis of the specific scientific theory at hand. (shrink)
THE PRINCIPLE OF SUPERPOSITION. The need for a quantum theory Classical mechanics has been developed continuously from the time of Newton and applied to an ...
Recent developments in pure mathematics and in mathematical logic have uncovered a fundamental duality between "existence" and "information." In logic, the duality is between the Boolean logic of subsets and the logic of quotient sets, equivalence relations, or partitions. The analogue to an element of a subset is the notion of a distinction of a partition, and that leads to a whole stream of dualities or analogies--including the development of new logical foundations for information theory parallel to Boole's development of (...) logical finite probability theory. After outlining these dual concepts in mathematical terms, we turn to a more metaphysical speculation about two dual notions of reality, a fully definite notion using Boolean logic and appropriate for classical physics, and the other objectively indefinite notion using partition logic which turns out to be appropriate for quantummechanics. The existence-information duality is used to intuitively illustrate these two dual notions of reality. The elucidation of the objectively indefinite notion of reality leads to the "killer application" of the existence-information duality, namely the interpretation of quantummechanics. (shrink)
In this paper, I introduce an intrinsic account of the quantum state. This account contains three desirable features that the standard platonistic account lacks: (1) it does not refer to any abstract mathematical objects such as complex numbers, (2) it is independent of the usual arbitrary conventions in the wave function representation, and (3) it explains why the quantum state has its amplitude and phase degrees of freedom. -/- Consequently, this account extends Hartry Field’s program outlined in Science (...) Without Numbers (1980), responds to David Malament’s long-standing impossibility conjecture (1982), and establishes an important first step towards a genuinely intrinsic and nominalistic account of quantummechanics. I will also compare the present account to Mark Balaguer’s (1996) nominalization of quantummechanics and discuss how it might bear on the debate about “wave function realism.” In closing, I will suggest some possible ways to extend this account to accommodate spinorial degrees of freedom and a variable number of particles (e.g. for particle creation and annihilation). -/- Along the way, I axiomatize the quantum phase structure as what I shall call a “periodic difference structure” and prove a representation theorem as well as a uniqueness theorem. These formal results could prove fruitful for further investigation into the metaphysics of phase and theoretical structure. (shrink)
In this paper I propose an interpretation of classical statistical mechanics that centers on taking seriously the idea that probability measures represent complete states of statistical mechanical systems. I show how this leads naturally to the idea that the stochasticity of statistical mechanics is associated directly with the observables of the theory rather than with the microstates (as traditional accounts would have it). The usual assumption that microstates are representationally significant in the theory is therefore dispensable, a (...) consequence which suggests interesting possibilities for developing non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and investigating inter-theoretic answers to the foundational questions of statistical mechanics. (shrink)
Stapp and others have proposed that reality involves a fundamental life process, or creative process. It is shown how this process description may be unified with the description that derives from quantum physics. The methods of the quantum physicist and of the biological sciences are seen to be two alternative approaches to the understanding of nature, involving two distinct modes of description which can usefully supplement each other, and neither on its own contains the full story. The unified (...) view explains the major features of quantummechanics and suggests that biological systems may function more effectively than would be expected on the basis of quantummechanics alone. (shrink)
We review a recent approach to the foundations of quantummechanics inspired by quantum information theory. The approach is based on a general framework, which allows one to address a large class of physical theories which share basic information-theoretic features. We first illustrate two very primitive features, expressed by the axioms of causality and purity-preservation, which are satisfied by both classical and quantum theory. We then discuss the axiom of purification, which expresses a strong version of (...) the Conservation of Information and captures the core of a vast number of protocols in quantum information. Purification is a highly non-classical feature and leads directly to the emergence of entanglement at the purely conceptual level, without any reference to the superposition principle. Supplemented by a few additional requirements, satisfied by classical and quantum theory, it provides a complete axiomatic characterization of quantum theory for finite dimensional systems. (shrink)
In this article we have tried basically to lay out an outline of possible overlap between the metaphysical standpoints of the Madhyamik Buddhism with the so called Copenhagen interpretation of quantummechanics. We argued here that , both Madhyamik Buddhism as well as Copenhagen develop some common grounds of skepticism or cautionary notes against the classical intuitive Realist ideology committed to ontological priority of individual . So , though the presiding contexts of Madhyamik Buddhism and quantum (...)mechanics are admittedly very different , we can still judge the ontological merit/ implications of ‘the cautions’ on comparative grounds .. And we have argued on this basis here about the possibility to sculpt out some norms of justification for starting a meaningful Dialog between Buddhism and modern Physical science. (shrink)
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