Journal Article

The Preferred-Basis Problem and the Quantum Mechanics of Everything

Jeffrey A. Barrett

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 56, issue 2, pages 199-220
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axi114
The Preferred-Basis Problem and the Quantum Mechanics of Everything

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Jereon Vink ([1993]) argued that there are two options for what he called a realistic solution to the quantum measurement problem: (1) select a preferred set of observables for which definite values are assumed to exist, or (2) attempt to assign definite values to all observables simultaneously (1810–1). While conventional wisdom has it that the second option is ruled out by the Kochen-Specker theorem, Vink nevertheless advocated it. Making every physical quantity determinate in quantum mechanics carries with it significant conceptual costs, but it also provides a way of addressing the preferred basis problem that arises if one chooses to pursue the first option. The potential costs and benefits of a formulation of quantum mechanics where every physical quantity is determinate are herein examined.

The preferred-basis problem

How to solve the preferred-basis problem

Relativistic constraints

Conclusion

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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