Symmetry 2010, 2(1), 272-283; doi:10.3390/sym2010272

Time-Symmetric Boundary Conditions and Quantum Foundations

Received: 1 January 2010; Accepted: 4 March 2010 / Published: 8 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers: Symmetry Concepts and Applications)
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.
Abstract: Despite the widely-held premise that initial boundary conditions (BCs) corresponding to measurements/interactions can fully specify a physical subsystem, a literal reading of Hamilton’s principle would imply that both initial and final BCs are required (or more generally, a BC on a closed hypersurface in spacetime). Such a time-symmetric perspective of BCs, as applied to classical fields, leads to interesting parallels with quantum theory. This paper will map out some of the consequences of this counter-intuitive premise, as applied to covariant classical fields. The most notable result is the contextuality of fields constrained in this manner, naturally bypassing the usual arguments against so-called “realistic” interpretations of quantum phenomena.
Keywords: time symmetry; Hamilton’s principle; classical field theory; quantum foundations
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wharton, K. Time-Symmetric Boundary Conditions and Quantum Foundations. Symmetry 2010, 2, 272-283.

AMA Style

Wharton K. Time-Symmetric Boundary Conditions and Quantum Foundations. Symmetry. 2010; 2(1):272-283.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wharton, Ken. 2010. "Time-Symmetric Boundary Conditions and Quantum Foundations." Symmetry 2, no. 1: 272-283.

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