Weekly Papers on Quantum Foundations (23)

This is a list of this week’s papers on quantum foundations published in various journals or uploaded to preprint servers such as arxiv.org and PhilSci Archive.

Theoretical fertility McMullin-style

Latest Results for European Journal for Philosophy of Science

on 2016-6-03 12:00am GMT


A theory’s fertility is one of the standard theoretical virtues. But how is it to be construed? In current philosophical discourse, particularly in the realism debate, theoretical fertility is usually understood in terms of novel success: a theory is fertile if it manages to make successful novel predictions. Another, more permissible, notion of fertility can be found in the work of Ernan McMullin. This kind of fertility, McMullin claims, gives us just as strong (or even stronger) grounds for realism. My paper critically assesses McMullin’s notion of fertility and its realist rationale. It concludes that McMullin’s preferred example, namely the fertile development of the Bohr-Sommerfeld model of the atom, does not support McMullin’s argument for realism. Although the implications for the realism debate are as of yet unclear, the case study offers some important methodological lessons.

Reply to “Comment on ‘Direct counterfactual transmission of a quantum state’”

PRA: Quantum information

on 2016-6-02 2:00pm GMT

Author(s): Zheng-Hong Li, M. Al-Amri, and M. Suhail Zubairy

We address criticisms made in the preceding Comment by Vaidman regarding our claims of counterfactuality of transmission of a quantum state in our recent work.


[Phys. Rev. A 93, 066302] Published Thu Jun 02, 2016

Comment on “Direct counterfactual transmission of a quantum state”

PRA: Quantum information

on 2016-6-02 2:00pm GMT

Author(s): L. Vaidman

The protocol for counterfactual transmission of a qubit [Z.-H. Li et al.Phys. Rev. A 92, 052315 (2015)] relies on the counterfactuality of transmissions of bit 1 and of bit 0. Since counterfactuality of transmission of bit 0 is not established, the claim of counterfactuality of transmission of a …


[Phys. Rev. A 93, 066301] Published Thu Jun 02, 2016

Crucial tests of macrorealist and semiclassical gravity models with freely falling mesoscopic nanospheres

PRA: Fundamental concepts

on 2016-6-02 2:00pm GMT

Author(s): Samuel Colin, Thomas Durt, and Ralph Willox

Recently, several proposals have been made to test the quantum superposition principle in the mesoscopic regime. Most of these tests consist of a careful measurement of the loss of interference due to decoherence. Here we consider, instead, the spread in position of a freely falling nanosphere. We s…


[Phys. Rev. A 93, 062102] Published Thu Jun 02, 2016

Generalized Uncertainty Relation in the Non-commutative Quantum Mechanics

Latest Results for International Journal of Theoretical Physics

on 2016-6-01 12:00am GMT


In this paper the non-commutative quantum mechanics (NCQM) with the generalized uncertainty relations \({\Delta } x_{1} {\Delta } x_{2} \ge \frac {\theta }{2}, {\Delta } p_{1} {\Delta } p_{2} \ge \frac {\bar {\theta }}{2}, {\Delta } x_{i} {\Delta } p_{i} \ge \frac {\hbar _{eff}}{2}\) is discussed. Four each uncertainty relation, wave functions saturating each uncertainty relation are explicitly constructed. The unitary operators relating the non-commutative position and momentum operators to the commutative position and momentum operators are also investigated. We also discuss the uncertainty relation related to the harmonic oscillator.

Weak Interactions: Asymmetry of Time or Asymmetry in Time?

Latest Results for Journal for General Philosophy of Science

on 2016-6-01 12:00am GMT


The paper analyzes the philosophical consequences of the recent discovery of direct violations of the time–reversal symmetry of weak interactions. It shows that although we have here an important case of the time asymmetry of one of the fundamental physical forces which could have had a great impact on the form of our world with an excess of matter over antimatter, this asymmetry cannot be treated as the asymmetry of time itself but rather as an asymmetry of some specific physical process in time. The paper also analyzes the consequences of the new discovery for the general problem of the possible connections between direction (arrow) of time and time-asymmetric laws of nature. These problems are analyzed in the context of Horwich’s Asymmetries in time: problems in the philosophy of science (1987) argumentation, trying to show that existence of a time–asymmetric law of nature is a sufficient condition for time to be anisotropic. Instead of Horwich’s sufficient condition for anisotropy of time, it is stressed that for a theory of asymmetry of time to be acceptable it should explain all fundamental time asymmetries: the asymmetry of traces, the asymmetry of causation (which holds although the electrodynamic, strong and gravitational interactions are invariant under time reversal), and the asymmetry between the fixed past and open future. It is so because the problem of the direction of time has originated from our attempts to understand these asymmetries and every plausible theory of the direction of time should explain them.

Primitive Ontology or Primitive Relations?

Philsci-Archive: No conditions. Results ordered -Date Deposited.

on 2016-5-31 4:06pm GMT

Ruyant, Quentin (2016) Primitive Ontology or Primitive Relations? [Preprint]


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