A Philosopher's Understanding of Quantum Mechanics: by Pieter E. Vermaas

By Pieter E. Vermaas

Modal interpretations offer a basic framework in which quantum mechanics could be regarded as a thought that describes fact when it comes to actual platforms owning convinced houses. Modal interpretations are particularly new makes an attempt to give quantum mechanics as a concept which, like different actual theories, describes an observer-independent truth. during this booklet, Pieter Vermaas information the result of this paintings. He offers either an available survey and a scientific reference paintings approximately tips on how to comprehend quantum mechanics utilizing a modal interpretation. The ebook should be of significant price to undergraduates, graduate scholars and researchers in philosophy of technology and physics departments with an curiosity in studying approximately modal interpretations of quantum mechanics.

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4 The different versions In this chapter I introduce the different versions of the modal interpretation, including the three on which I focus in this book. The property ascription of these versions is characterised by the map W* i—• {(j>j9 CJ)}j which I call the core property ascription. 1 The best modal interpretation The best imaginable modal interpretation is, I guess, an interpretation which (A) ascribes at all times all the properties to a system which pertain to that system, and (B) ascribes these properties such that the classical logical relations between the negation, conjunction and disjunction of properties are satisfied.

This state is pure and thus describes a homogeneous ensemble of N" systems which all have the state |4 /a ^)(4 /a// |. These two routes thus lead to descriptions of ensembles which are different from one another. Hence, taking the state W^ as describing an inhomogeneous ensemble leads to an inconsistency. • More generally, d'Espagnat (1971, Sect. 6) (see also d'Espagnat (1966)) has proved that not every non-pure state can be taken as a mixed state describing an inhomogeneous ensemble. One therefore has to distinguish so-called proper mixtures and improper mixtures.

Historically this programme started with the bi modal interpretation. The spectral modal interpretation followed in order to answer questions left open by the bi modal interpretation. And then the atomic modal interpretation was formulated to by-pass problems encountered in the spectral modal interpretation. There is also a methodological connection between these three interpretations: namely, they all aim at defining the properties possessed by a system from only the state of that system. That is, the map which gives the sets 26 27 Papers which motivate specific m o d a l interpretations are Clifton (1995a,b), Dickson (1995a,b) a n d Dieks (1995).

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