Journal Article

The Grammar of Teleportation

Christopher G. Timpson

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 57, issue 3, pages 587-621
Published in print September 2006 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online August 2006 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI:
The Grammar of Teleportation

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Whilst a straightforward consequence of the formalism of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, the phenomenon of quantum teleportation has given rise to considerable puzzlement. In this paper, the teleportation protocol is reviewed and these puzzles dispelled. It is suggested that they arise from two primary sources: (1) the familiar error of hypostatizing an abstract noun (in this case, ‘information’) and (2) failure to differentiate interpretation dependent from interpretation independent features of quantum mechanics. A subsidiary source of error, the simulation fallacy, is also identified. The resolution presented of the puzzles of teleportation illustrates the benefits of paying due attention to the logical status of ‘information’ as an abstract noun.


The quantum teleportation protocol

2.1 Some information-theoretic aspects of teleportation

2.1.1 Preamble

2.1.2Application to teleportation

The puzzles of teleportation

Resolving (dissolving) the problem

4.1 The simulation fallacy

The teleportation process under different interpretations

5.1 Collapse interpretations:Dirac/von Neumann, GRW

5.2 No collapse and no extra values: Everett

5.3 No collapse, but extra values: Bohm

5.3.1 A note on active information

5.4 Ensemble and statistical viewpoints

Concluding remarks

Journal Article.  15095 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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