Download A Philosopher's Understanding of Quantum Mechanics: by Pieter E. Vermaas PDF

By Pieter E. Vermaas

ISBN-10: 0521675677

ISBN-13: 9780521675673

Modal interpretations offer a basic framework during which quantum mechanics will be regarded as a thought that describes fact by way of actual structures owning sure homes. Modal interpretations are really new makes an attempt to provide quantum mechanics as a thought which, like different actual theories, describes an observer-independent fact. during this booklet, Pieter Vermaas information the result of this paintings. He offers either an obtainable survey and a scientific reference paintings approximately the best way to comprehend quantum mechanics utilizing a modal interpretation. The publication might be of serious worth to undergraduates, graduate scholars and researchers in philosophy of technological know-how and physics departments with an curiosity in studying approximately modal interpretations of quantum mechanics.

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Extra resources for A Philosopher's Understanding of Quantum Mechanics: Possibilities and Impossibilities of a Modal Interpretation

Sample text

Then the standard formulation predicts that the measurement yields with probability Tr^iW^Rj) the outcome corresponding to the eigenvalue aj of A*. This prediction implies that the measurement device possesses the property JR? with probability Tr^W^Rj). So, if an interpretation of quantum mechanics should reproduce this prediction, it should ascribe with probability TT^W^RJ) the pointer reading Itf to the measurement device. The orthodox interpretation achieves this but still grants measurements their exceptional status.

20 T h e decomposition W*1 = Y2j \cj\2 l R p ( R j I *s n o t t n e o n ^ y possible decomposition of W1* in terms of pure states, so W^ m a y equally describe a n o t h e r ensemble. However, let us, for the sake of argument, put this worry a b o u t uniqueness aside. The ignorance interpretation does not solve the m e a s u r e m e n t problem because the assumption that W^ describes a n i n h o m o g e n e o u s ensemble, leads to inconsistencies. 9). ). ), where ^M. = 1 and Wa = X ^ ! I^X^I- The state of the composite a/i is equal to |^ a^) = J^- c/ |a") (8) |Ry) and there are now two routes to apply the ignorance interpretation to this composite state.

As I said in the previous section, these two types of state dynamics are fundamentally different. From a methodological point of view this exceptional status of measurements is, however, quite strange. In physical theories a measurement is considered as a special instance of an interaction between systems. It seems therefore that a measurement interaction should affect the dynamics of states in the same way as any other interaction affects this dynamics. Hence, from a methodological point of view it seems preferable if one could remove the exceptional status of measurements in quantum mechanics.

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