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Quantum Measurement

Beyond Paradox

1998

Richard A. Healey and Geoffrey Hellman, editors

Quantum Measurement

A new approach to the quantum measurement dilemma.

With relativity theory, quantum mechanics stands as the conceptual foundation of modern physics. Editors Richard A. Healey and Geoffrey Hellman marshal the resources of leading physicists and philosophers of science, skillfully joining their insights and ingenuity to yield some of the most innovative and altogether promising thought to date on this enigmatic issue.

Contributors: Guido Bacciagaluppi, Jeffrey Bub, Rob Clifton, Michael Dickson, Dennis Dieks, Andrew Elby, Meir Hemmo, Anthony J. Leggett, Bradley Monton, Abner Shimony, William G. Unruh, and Pieter E. Vermaas.

With relativity theory, quantum mechanics stands as the conceptual foundation of modern physics. It forms the basis by which we understand the minute workings of the subatomic world. But at its core lies a paradox: standard conceptions of quantum mechanics imply that the results of many of the actual measurements supporting and verifying quantum mechanical theory can have no definite outcomes. Some quantity such as position or momentum is always indefinite on a quantum system; and if an indefinite quantity is measured, the macroscopic state of the measuring apparatus that is supposed to record the outcome instead becomes indefinite itself. In Quantum Measurement, editors Richard A. Healey and Geoffrey Hellman marshal the resources of leading physicists and philosophers of science, skillfully joining their insights and ingenuity to yield some of the most innovative and altogether promising thought to date on this enigmatic issue.

Throughout this authoritative volume, these authors explore the subtle and varied ways in which quantum mechanics informs the conditions, indeed the very process, of quantum measurement. The latest work on decoherence phenomena is combined with sophisticated modal interpretations, suggesting that definite values might be systematically attributed to a limited class of quantum observables while gauging the correspondent impact of environmental interactions on quantum interference terms. What emerges from this careful synthesis is a theoretically powerful and energetic new approach to the measurement dilemma, one that furthers our conceptual understanding of the fundamental interconnections between micro- and macroscopic systems, and that strives, ultimately, to describe and define within a unified quantum mechanical framework the breadth of our physical reality.

Contributors: Guido Bacciagaluppi, Balliol College, Oxford; Jeffrey Bub, U of Maryland; Rob Clifton, U of Pittsburgh; Michael Dickson, Indiana U; Dennis Dieks, Utrecht U, Netherlands; Andrew Elby; Meir Hemmo; Anthony J. Leggett, U of Illinois; Bradley Monton; Abner Shimony, Boston U; William G. Unruh, U of British Columbia; Pieter E. Vermaas.

ISBN 0-8166-3065-8 Cloth/jacket $39.95x
232 pages 5 figures 5 7/8 x 9 June
Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science Series, Volume 17
Translation inquiries: University of Minnesota Press


Quantum Measurement

Richard A. Healey is professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona.

Geoffrey Hellman is professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota.

Quantum Measurement

Contents

Preface

Macroscopic Realism: What Is It, and What Do We Know about It from Experiment? Anthony J. Leggett
Comments on Leggett's "Macroscopic Realism" Abner Shimony
The Bare Theory Has No Clothes Jeffrey Bub, Rob Clifton, and Bradley Monton
"Modal" Interpretations, Decoherence, and the Quantum Measurement Problem Richard A. Healey
Interpreting the Existential Interpretation Andrew Elby
State Preparation in the Modal Interpretation Guido Bacciagaluppi and Meir Hemmo
Expanding the Property Ascriptions in the Modal Interpretation of Quantum Theory Pieter E. Vermaas
Preferred Factorizations and Consistent Property Attribution Dennis Dieks
On the Plurality of Dynamics: Transition Probabilities and Modal Interpretations Michael Dickson
Varieties of Quantum Measurement William G. Unruh

Contributors
Index