In the wake of the quantum measurement problem there is a constellation of competing theories of quantum mechanics. Any adequate solution to the measurement problem must make predictions that agree with the observed quantum statistics. In particular, the theory must explain why small particles exhibit counter-intuitive behaviour and why this seems to go away at… Continue reading Paper Review: Unified dynamics for microscopic and macroscopic systems

# Tag: philosophy of physics

## Paper Review: Subject and Object

One way to think about the quantum measurement is to think about the conflict between subjective and objective probability. We looked at some of Everett's earlier thoughts along these lines last week. As I mentioned in that post, later on in one version of his thesis he provided a much cleaner account of the measurement… Continue reading Paper Review: Subject and Object

## Paper Review: Objective versus Subjective Probability

Hugh Everett III proposed his many worlds (or as he preferred to call it, relative state) formulation of quantum mechanics back in the mid 50s in order to solve the quantum measurement problem. Although it took a while for the theory to gain traction, it (or some form of it) is one of the more… Continue reading Paper Review: Objective versus Subjective Probability

## Paper Review: The measurement theory of Everett and de Broglie’s pilot wave

I've written before on this blog about quantum mechanics. We've looked at a questionable interpretation of a recent experiment, the way in which quantum mechanics is radically nonlocal, and certain theoretical constructs needed for the thought experiments used in physics. One of the main reasons why quantum physics fascinates people is because the phenomenon themselves… Continue reading Paper Review: The measurement theory of Everett and de Broglie’s pilot wave

## Paper Review: The Regression of the Unstructural

What is the nature of meaning? This is one of the core questions on which the Vienna Circle, a group of early 20th century philosophers, took a stance. The kind of bumper sticker version of their answer is that a sentence only has meaning if it can be empirically verified (or tested, or confirmed, or… Continue reading Paper Review: The Regression of the Unstructural

## Paper Review: Contribution to discussion on Probability

Probability can seem like a slippery notion. Indeed, though we have an intuitive notion of various aspects of probability, it took a long time for humanity to develop a rigorous formal theory. And even with the mathematics of probability on surer footing, the interpretation of probability -- what does it mean -- is still plagued… Continue reading Paper Review: Contribution to discussion on Probability

## Paper Review: Bell’s Theorem: The Price of Locality

Quantum phenomena--and the theories built to account for them--can be strange. One of the most fundamental and (to some), spooky, things about quantum mechanics is action at a distance. What exactly is action at a distance in quantum mechanics, and what are its implications? This is one of the central questions of Tim Maudlin's book… Continue reading Paper Review: Bell’s Theorem: The Price of Locality

## Paper Review: Experimental Rejection of Observer-independence in the Quantum World

The MIT Technology Review recently published an article entitled "A quantum experiment suggests there’s no such thing as objective reality". This sounds rather spicy: if this were true, and there were no objective reality, what would that mean? Would the postmodernists be right? Would it all be purely subjective? How about claims like "there is… Continue reading Paper Review: Experimental Rejection of Observer-independence in the Quantum World

## Paper Review: Free Variables and Local Causality

When can we treat certain experimental parameters as free variables? Consider trying to figure out whether or not a certain drug is efficacious. We design an experiment that proceeds as follow: Break a collection of experimental subjects up into two groups randomly.To one of the groups give the drug, and to the other give a… Continue reading Paper Review: Free Variables and Local Causality