Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Deeper Quantum Theory?

Is Quantum Theory Exact? by Stephen L. Adler and Angelo Bassi.
According to the standard theory, the state of a quantum system evolves deterministically according to Schrödinger's equation until the state is measured, when there's an apparently instantaneous nondeterministic transition to a new state.
How can we reconcile this probabilistic distribution of outcomes with the deterministic form of Schrödinger's equation? What precisely constitutes a "measurement?" At what point do superpositions break down, and definite outcomes appear? Is there a quantitative criterion, such as size of the measuring apparatus, governing the transition from coherent superpositions to definite outcomes? These puzzles have inspired a large literature in physics and philosophy.

The article asks whether there might be a deeper-level theory which explains quantum weirdness.
See also their preprint Collapse models with non-white noises.

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