Insolubility Theorems and EPR Argument

Guido Bacciagaluppi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

I present a very general and simple argument — based on the no-signalling theorem — showing that within the framework of the unitary Schroedinger equation it is impossible to reproduce the phenomenological description of quantum mechanical measurements (in particular the collapse of the state of the measured system) by assuming a suitable mixed initial state of the apparatus. The thrust of the argument is thus similar to that of the ‘insolubility theorems’ for the measurement problem of quantum mechanics (which, however, focus on the impossibility of reproducing the macroscopic measurement results). Although I believe this form of the argument is new, I argue it is essentially a variant of Einstein’s reasoning in the context of the EPR paradox — which is thereby illuminated from a new angle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-100
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Science
Volume3
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jun 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Fingerprint

Impossibility
Equations
Measurement Problem
Quantum Mechanics
Paradox
Erwin Schrödinger

Keywords

  • quantum mechanics
  • measurment problem
  • insolubility theorems
  • EPR argument

Cite this

Insolubility Theorems and EPR Argument. / Bacciagaluppi, Guido.

In: European Journal for Philosophy of Science, Vol. 3, No. 1, 01.2013, p. 87-100.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bacciagaluppi, Guido. / Insolubility Theorems and EPR Argument. In: European Journal for Philosophy of Science. 2013 ; Vol. 3, No. 1. pp. 87-100.
@article{664148b74e00460db8c32112d1eeb4e1,
title = "Insolubility Theorems and EPR Argument",
abstract = "I present a very general and simple argument — based on the no-signalling theorem — showing that within the framework of the unitary Schroedinger equation it is impossible to reproduce the phenomenological description of quantum mechanical measurements (in particular the collapse of the state of the measured system) by assuming a suitable mixed initial state of the apparatus. The thrust of the argument is thus similar to that of the ‘insolubility theorems’ for the measurement problem of quantum mechanics (which, however, focus on the impossibility of reproducing the macroscopic measurement results). Although I believe this form of the argument is new, I argue it is essentially a variant of Einstein’s reasoning in the context of the EPR paradox — which is thereby illuminated from a new angle.",
keywords = "quantum mechanics, measurment problem, insolubility theorems, EPR argument",
author = "Guido Bacciagaluppi",
note = "I wish to thank in particular Arthur Fine for very perceptive comments on a previous draft of this paper. Many thanks also to Theo Nieuwenhuizen for inspiration, to Max Schlosshauer for correspondence, to two anonymous referees for shrewd observations, and to audiences at Aberdeen, Cagliari and Oxford (in particular to Harvey Brown, Elise Crull, Simon Saunders, Chris Timpson and David Wallace) for stimulating questions. This paper was written during my tenure of a Leverhulme Grant on ‘The Einstein Paradox’: The Debate on Nonlocality and Incompleteness in 1935 (Project Grant nr. F/00 152/AN), and it was revised for publication during my tenure of a Visiting Professorship in the Doctoral School of Philosophy and Epistemology, University of Cagliari (Contract nr. 268/21647).",
year = "2013",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s13194-012-0057-7",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
pages = "87--100",
journal = "European Journal for Philosophy of Science",
issn = "1879-4912",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Insolubility Theorems and EPR Argument

AU - Bacciagaluppi, Guido

N1 - I wish to thank in particular Arthur Fine for very perceptive comments on a previous draft of this paper. Many thanks also to Theo Nieuwenhuizen for inspiration, to Max Schlosshauer for correspondence, to two anonymous referees for shrewd observations, and to audiences at Aberdeen, Cagliari and Oxford (in particular to Harvey Brown, Elise Crull, Simon Saunders, Chris Timpson and David Wallace) for stimulating questions. This paper was written during my tenure of a Leverhulme Grant on ‘The Einstein Paradox’: The Debate on Nonlocality and Incompleteness in 1935 (Project Grant nr. F/00 152/AN), and it was revised for publication during my tenure of a Visiting Professorship in the Doctoral School of Philosophy and Epistemology, University of Cagliari (Contract nr. 268/21647).

PY - 2013/1

Y1 - 2013/1

N2 - I present a very general and simple argument — based on the no-signalling theorem — showing that within the framework of the unitary Schroedinger equation it is impossible to reproduce the phenomenological description of quantum mechanical measurements (in particular the collapse of the state of the measured system) by assuming a suitable mixed initial state of the apparatus. The thrust of the argument is thus similar to that of the ‘insolubility theorems’ for the measurement problem of quantum mechanics (which, however, focus on the impossibility of reproducing the macroscopic measurement results). Although I believe this form of the argument is new, I argue it is essentially a variant of Einstein’s reasoning in the context of the EPR paradox — which is thereby illuminated from a new angle.

AB - I present a very general and simple argument — based on the no-signalling theorem — showing that within the framework of the unitary Schroedinger equation it is impossible to reproduce the phenomenological description of quantum mechanical measurements (in particular the collapse of the state of the measured system) by assuming a suitable mixed initial state of the apparatus. The thrust of the argument is thus similar to that of the ‘insolubility theorems’ for the measurement problem of quantum mechanics (which, however, focus on the impossibility of reproducing the macroscopic measurement results). Although I believe this form of the argument is new, I argue it is essentially a variant of Einstein’s reasoning in the context of the EPR paradox — which is thereby illuminated from a new angle.

KW - quantum mechanics

KW - measurment problem

KW - insolubility theorems

KW - EPR argument

U2 - 10.1007/s13194-012-0057-7

DO - 10.1007/s13194-012-0057-7

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 87

EP - 100

JO - European Journal for Philosophy of Science

JF - European Journal for Philosophy of Science

SN - 1879-4912

IS - 1

ER -