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Entropy 2015, 17(11), 7310-7330; doi:10.3390/e17117310

Measurement, Interpretation and Information

1
National Scientific and Technical Research Council, University of Buenos Aires, Larralde 3440, 1430, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
2
National Scientific and Technical Research Council, University of Buenos Aires, Olazábal 3650, 1430, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
3
National Scientific and Technical Research Council, University of Buenos Aires, Directorio 1327, 1406, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin H. Knuth
Received: 24 August 2015 / Revised: 16 October 2015 / Accepted: 20 October 2015 / Published: 28 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information: Meanings and Interpretations)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [754 KB, uploaded 28 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

During many years since the birth of quantum mechanics, instrumentalist interpretations prevailed: the meaning of the theory was expressed in terms of measurements results. However, in the last decades, several attempts to interpret it from a realist viewpoint have been proposed. Among them, modal interpretations supply a realist non-collapse account, according to which the system always has definite properties and the quantum state represents possibilities, not actualities. But the traditional modal interpretations faced some conceptual problems when addressing imperfect measurements. The modal-Hamiltonian interpretation, on the contrary, proved to be able to supply an adequate account of the measurement problem, both in its ideal and its non-ideal versions. Moreover, in the non-ideal case, it gives a precise criterion to distinguish between reliable and non-reliable measurements. Nevertheless, that criterion depends on the particular state of the measured system, and this might be considered as a shortcoming of the proposal. In fact, one could ask for a criterion of reliability that does not depend on the features of what is measured but only on the properties of the measurement device. The aim of this article is precisely to supply such a criterion: we will adopt an informational perspective for this purpose.During many years since the birth of quantum mechanics, instrumentalistinterpretations prevailed: the meaning of the theory was expressed in terms of measurementsresults. However, in the last decades, several attempts to interpret it from a realist viewpointhave been proposed. Among them, modal interpretations supply a realist non-collapseaccount, according to which the system always has definite properties and the quantum staterepresents possibilities, not actualities. But the traditional modal interpretations faced someconceptual problems when addressing imperfect measurements. The modal-Hamiltonianinterpretation, on the contrary, proved to be able to supply an adequate account of themeasurement problem, both in its ideal and its non-ideal versions. Moreover, in the non-idealcase, it gives a precise criterion to distinguish between reliable and non-reliable measurements.Nevertheless, that criterion depends on the particular state of the measured system, and thismight be considered as a shortcoming of the proposal. In fact, one could ask for a criterionof reliability that does not depend on the features of what is measured but only on theproperties of the measurement device. The aim of this article is precisely to supply such acriterion: we will adopt an informational perspective for this purpose. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum mechanics; modal-Hamiltonian interpretation; non-idealmeasurements; information quantum mechanics; modal-Hamiltonian interpretation; non-idealmeasurements; information
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lombardi, O.; Fortin, S.; López, C. Measurement, Interpretation and Information. Entropy 2015, 17, 7310-7330.

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