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Information 2014, 5(1), 190-208;

Quantum States as Ordinary Information

Department of Physics and Astronomy, San José State University, San José, CA 95192-0106, USA
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 5 March 2014 / Accepted: 6 March 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physics of Information)
PDF [241 KB, uploaded 10 March 2014]


Despite various parallels between quantum states and ordinary information, quantum no-go-theorems have convinced many that there is no realistic framework that might underly quantum theory, no reality that quantum states can represent knowledge about. This paper develops the case that there is a plausible underlying reality: one actual spacetime-based history, although with behavior that appears strange when analyzed dynamically (one time-slice at a time). By using a simple model with no dynamical laws, it becomes evident that this behavior is actually quite natural when analyzed “all-at-once” (as in classical action principles). From this perspective, traditional quantum states would represent incomplete information about possible spacetime histories, conditional on the future measurement geometry. Without dynamical laws imposing additional restrictions, those histories can have a classical probability distribution, where exactly one history can be said to represent an underlying reality. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum reality; epistemic; information; Bayesian; retrocausal; Lagrangian quantum reality; epistemic; information; Bayesian; retrocausal; Lagrangian

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Wharton, K. Quantum States as Ordinary Information. Information 2014, 5, 190-208.

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