2017 International Workshop: Collapse of the Wave Function

Paradoxes and Primitive Ontology in Collapse Theories of Quantum Mechanics

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    Collapse theories are versions of quantum mechanics according to which the collapse of the wave function is a real physical process. They propose precise mathematical laws to govern this process and to replace the vague conventional prescription that a collapse occurs whenever an observer” makes a measurement.” The primitive ontology” of a theory (more or less what Bell called the local beables”) are the variables in the theory that represent matter in space-time. There is no consensus about whether collapse theories need to introduce a primitive ontology as part of their definition. I make some remarks on this question and point out that certain paradoxes about collapse theories are absent if a primitive ontology is introduced.

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