The Philosophical Foundations of Dualities in Physics

A conference on The Philosophical Foundations of Dualities in Physics (co-organised by Elena Castellani and Dean Rickles) will take place at DILEF (Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia), via Bolognese 52, Florence, on the 15 and 16 of September, 2014. The workshop is part of a Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics special issue project on the foundations of... Read more →

A simplified basis for Bell–Kochen–Specker theorems

James D. Malley and Arthur Fine We show that a reduced form of the structural requirements for deterministic hidden variables used in Bell–Kochen–Specker theorems is already sufficient for the no-go results. Those requirements are captured by the following principle: an observable takes a spectral value x if and only if the spectral projector associated with x takes the value 1.... Read more →

The Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics

The 2nd International Topoi Conference The Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics will be held at the Corpus Christi College, Oxford on 2-3 October 2014. Here are list of speakers and links to the abstracts of their talks: Keynote Speakers: Valia Allori (Northern Illinois University) - 'Quantum Mechanics and Paradigm Shift' Angelo Cei (University of Rome) - 'Reflections on Atomism, Quantum Mechanics and Mereology' Mauro Dorato (University of Rome)... Read more →

(Nearly) 90 Years of Heisenberg's Error-Disturbance Relation: Challenges and Vindications

Paul Busch (University of York) Submitted to "90 Years of Quantum Mechanics" In 1927 quantum pioneer Werner Heisenberg formulated his famous uncertainty principle, one aspect of which concerned a trade-off between the accuracy in the measurement of one observable and the resultant necessary disturbance of another observable incompatible with the first. Here we investigate why it has taken nearly 90... Read more →

John Bell's Varying Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics

H. Dieter Zeh Submitted to “Quantum Nonlocality and Reality – 50 Years of Bell’s theorem”. For the first time I met John Bell at the Varenna conference of 1970 (d’Espagnat, 1971). I had been invited on suggestion by Eugene P. Wigner, who had already helped me to publish my first paper on the concept of what was later called decoherence... Read more →

John Bell – The Irish Connection

Andrew Whitaker (Queen’s University Belfast) Submitted to "Quantum Nonlocality and Reality – 50 Years of Bell’s theorem". John Bell lived in Ireland for only 21 years, but throughout his life he remembered his Irish upbringing with fond memories, pride and gratitude. Ireland has a very respectable tradition in physics, and particularly mathematical physics (McCartney and Whitaker 2003). As early as... Read more →

Gravitation and the noise needed in objective reduction models

Stephen L. Adler Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA. Submitted to “Quantum Nonlocality and Reality – 50 Years of Bell’s theorem”. I briefly recall intersections of my research interests with those of John Bell. I then argue that the noise needed in theories of objective state vector reduction most likely comes from a fluctuating complex part in the... Read more →

Measurement and Metaphysics

It is a prima facie reasonable assumption that if a physical quantity is measurable, then it corresponds to a genuine physical property of the measured system. You can measure a person’s mass because human beings have such a property. You can measure the average mass of a group of people because groups of people have such a collective property. And so on. Now it... Read more →

Protective measurement of the wave function of a single system

In the first graduate course of quantum mechanics I remember asking the question: “Can we consider the wave function as a description of a single quantum system?” I got no answer. Twelve years later, in South Carolina, after I completed my Ph.D. studies at Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Yakir Aharonov in which we developed the theory of weak measurements [1], I... Read more →

Protective Measurement, Postseletion and the Heisenberg Representation by Yakir Aharonov and Eliahu Cohen

This is the third chapter of the anthology Protective Measurement And Quantum Reality (CUP, 2014). Here is its abstract: Classical ergodicity retains its meaning in the quantum realm when the employed measurement is protective. This unique measuring technique is re-examined in the case of post-selection, giving rise to novel insights studied in the Heisenberg representation. Quantum statistical mechanics is then briefly described in terms... Read more →

Protective Measurement And Quantum Reality

The anthology Protective Measurement And Quantum Reality (CUP, 2014) is scheduled for release in November 2014. Here is part of the preface of the book. In 1993, Yakir Aharonov, Lev Vaidman and Jeeva Anandan discovered an important new method of measurement in quantum mechanics, the so-called protective measurement. Distinct from conventional measurements, protective measurement is a method for measuring the... Read more →