# The Measurement Problem from the Perspective of an Information-Theoretic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

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## Abstract

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## 1. Introduction

The fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another point. Frequently the messages have meaning; that is they refer to or are correlated according to some system with certain physical or conceptual entities. These semantic aspects of communication are irrelevant to the engineering problem. The significant aspect is that the actual message is one selected from a set of possible messages. The system must be designed to operate for each possible selection, not just the one which will actually be chosen since this is unknown at the time of design.—Claude E. Shannon ([5], p. 379)

## 2. Some Clarifications

Even more significantly for our purposes, at the end of their paper CBH suggested an analogy between their characterization of quantum mechanics and Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity (henceforth SR). The “foundational significance” of the CBH derivation is, according to these authors, that quantum mechanics should be interpreted as a principle theory, in the sense of the term that Einstein used to describe his 1905 formulation of SR. CBH saw their constraints as analogous to the principles—the relativity principle and the light postulate—used by Einstein to derive the nature of relativistic kinematics. …Einstein’s principle theory route was based on a policy of despair, and represented a strategic retreat from the more desirable but, in his view, temporarily unavailable constructive approach.—Harvey Brown and Chris Timpson ([7], p. 3)

Like the above-mentioned ether theorists [Lorentz, Larmor, and Poincaré], Einstein realized that the covariance of Maxwell’s equations—the form invariance of the equations—is achieved when the relevant coordinate transformations take a very special form, but Einstein was unique in his understanding that these transformations, properly understood, encode new predictions as to the behaviour of rigid bodies and clocks in motion. That is why, in Einstein’s mind, a new understanding of space and time themselves was in the offing.—Harvey Brown and Chris Timpson ([7], p. 6)

All of my meagre efforts go toward killing off and suitably replacing the concept of the orbital paths that one cannot observe.—David C. Cassidy ([13], p. 197)

## 3. Consequences for the Measurement Problem

Indeed, what would it mean for scattering to be over after some finite time? Which time? As we shall see …the theory of decoherence requires the limit $t\to \infty $ as well, and largely for the same mathematical reasons. There as well as in Hepp’s approach, the limiting behavior actually tends to be approached very quickly (on the pertinent time scale), and one needs to let $t\to \infty $ merely to make terms $\sim {exp}^{-\gamma t}$ (with $\gamma >0$) zero rather than just very small.—Nicolaas P. Landsman ([21], p. 514)

## 4. Alternatives

## 5. Conclusion

If one wants to consider the quantum theory as final (in principle), then one must believe that a more complete description would be useless because there would be no laws for it. If that were so then physics could only claim the interest of shopkeepers and engineers; the whole thing would be a wretched bungle.—Albert Einstein ([38], p. 39)

It is decisive to recognize that, however far the phenomena transcend the scope of classical physical explanation, the account of all evidence must be expressed in classical terms. The argument is simply that by the word “experiment” we refer to a situation where we can tell others what we have done and what we have learned and that, therefore, the account of the experimental arrangement and the results of the observations must be expressed in unambiguous language with suitable application of the terminology of classical physics.—Niels Bohr ([39], p. 209)

## Acknowledgments

## Conflicts of Interest

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Bub, J.
The Measurement Problem from the Perspective of an Information-Theoretic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. *Entropy* **2015**, *17*, 7374-7386.
https://doi.org/10.3390/e17117374

**AMA Style**

Bub J.
The Measurement Problem from the Perspective of an Information-Theoretic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. *Entropy*. 2015; 17(11):7374-7386.
https://doi.org/10.3390/e17117374

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Bub, Jeffrey.
2015. "The Measurement Problem from the Perspective of an Information-Theoretic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" *Entropy* 17, no. 11: 7374-7386.
https://doi.org/10.3390/e17117374