Weekly Papers on Quantum Foundations (29)

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.

The Effects of Minimal Length, Maximal Momentum and Minimal Momentum in Entropic Force. (arXiv:1607.04114v1 [hep-th])

 hep-th updates on arXiv.org

on 2016-7-16 5:23pm GMT

Authors: Zhong-Wen FengShu-Zheng YangHui-Ling LiXiao-Tao Zu

In this paper, the modified entropic force law is studied by using a new kind of generalized uncertainty principle which contains a minimal length, a minimal momentum and a maximal momentum. Firstly, the quantum corrections to the thermodynamics of a black hole is investigated. Then, according to Verlinde’s theory, the generalized uncertainty principle (GUP) corrected entropic force is obtained. The result shows that the GUP corrected entropic force is related not only to the properties of the black holes, but also to the Planck length and the dimensionless constants \alpha_0\ and \beta_0\. Moreover, based on the GUP corrected entropic force, we also derive the modified Einstein’s field equation (EFE) and the modified Friedmann equation.

Authors: Magdalena ZychIgor PikovskiFabio CostaČaslav Brukner

Quantum mechanics and general relativity have been each successfully tested in numerous experiments. However, the regime where both theories are jointly required to explain physical phenomena remains untested by laboratory experiments, and is also not fully understood by theory. This contribution reviews recent ideas for a new type of experiments: quantum interference of “clocks”, which aim to test novel quantum effects that arise from time dilation. “Clock” interference experiments could be realised with atoms or photons in near future laboratory experiments.

Authors: R. E. Kastner

Time-symmetric interpretations of quantum theory are often presented as featuring “retrocausal” effects in addition to the usual forward notion of causation. This paper examines the ontological implications of certain timesymmetric theories, and finds that no dynamical notion of causation applies to them, either forward or backward. It is concluded that such theories actually describe a static picture, in which the notion of causation is relegated to a descriptor of static relationships among events. In addition, these theories lead to an epistemic rather than ontologically referring, realist view of quantum states.


In this study, we solve analytically the Schrödinger equation for a macroscopic quantum oscillator as a central system coupled to two environmental micro-oscillating particles. Then, the double-slit interference patterns are investigated in two limiting cases, considering the limits of uncertainty in the position probability distribution. Moreover, we analyze the interference patterns based on a recent proposal called stochastic electrodynamics with spin. Our results show that when the quantum character of the macro-system is decreased, the diffraction pattern becomes more similar to a classical one. We also show that, depending on the size of the slits, the predictions of quantum approach could be apparently different with those of the aforementioned stochastic description.

Author(s): Daniel Goldwater, Mauro Paternostro, and P. F. Barker

We propose a mechanism for testing the theory of collapse models such as continuous spontaneous localization (CSL) by examining the parametric heating rate of a trapped nanosphere. The random localizations of the center of mass for a given particle predicted by the CSL model can be understood as a s…
[Phys. Rev. A 94, 010104(R)] Published Thu Jul 14, 2016

Quantum effects have been used in devices that measure various quantities, but not to measure electric fields. The sensitivity of an electrometer has now been boosted using the phenomenon of quantum superposition. See Letter p.262

Nature 535 238 doi: 10.1038/535238a

Author(s): Sebastiano Belli, Riccarda Bonsignori, Giuseppe D’Auria, Lorenzo Fant, Mirco Martini, Simone Peirone, Sandro Donadi, and Angelo Bassi

A recent experiment [K. C. Lee et al.Science 334, 1253 (2011)] succeeded in detecting entanglement between two macroscopic specks of diamonds, separated by a macroscopic distance, at room temperature. This impressive result is a further confirmation of the validity of quantum theory in (at least …
[Phys. Rev. A 94, 012108] Published Tue Jul 12, 2016

Authors: Suprit Singh

Inflation has by-far set itself as one of the prime ideas in the current cosmological models that seemingly has an answer for every observed phenomenon in cosmology. More importantly, it serves as a bridge between the early quantum fluctuations and the present-day classical structures. Although the transition from quantum to classical is still not completely understood till date, there are two assumptions made in the inflationary paradigm in this regard:

(i) the modes (metric perturbations or fluctuations) behave classically once they are well outside the Hubble radius and,

(ii) once they become classical they stay classical and hence can be described by standard perturbation theory after they re-enter the Hubble radius.

We critically examine these assumptions for the tensor modes of (linear) metric perturbations in a toy three stage universe with (i) inflation, (ii) radiation-dominated and (iii) late-time accelerated phases. The quantum-to-classical transition for these modes is evident from the evolution of Wigner function in phase space and its peaking on the classical trajectory. However, a better approach to quantify the degree of classicality and study its evolution was given by Mahajan and Padmanabhan [1] using a classicality parameter constructed from the parameters of the Wigner function. We study the evolution of the classicality parameter across the three phases and it turns out that the first assumption holds true, there is emergence of classicality on Hubble exit, however the latter assumption of “once classical, always classical” seems to lie on a shaky ground.

Authors: Alessandro D.A.M. SpallicciMaurice H.P.M. van Putten

(Short abstract). In Galilean physics, the universality of free fall implies an inertial frame, which in turns implies that the mass m of the falling body is omitted. Otherwise, an additional acceleration proportional to m/M would rise either for an observer at the centre of mass of the system, or for an observer at a fixed distance from the centre of mass of M. These elementary, but overlooked, considerations fully respect the equivalence principle and the identity of an inertial or a gravitational pull for an observer in the Einstein cabin. They value as fore-runners of the self-force and gauge dependency in general relativity. The approximate nature of Galilei’s law of free fall is explored herein. When stepping into general relativity, we report how the geodesic free fall into a black hole was the subject of an intense debate again centred on coordinate choice. Later, we describe how the infalling mass and the emitted gravitational radiation affect the free fall motion of a body. The general relativistic self-force might be dealt with to perfectly fit into a geodesic conception of motion. Then, embracing quantum mechanics, real black holes are not classical static objects any longer. Free fall has to handle the Hawking radiation, and leads us to new perspectives on the varying mass of the evaporating black hole and on the varying energy of the falling mass. Along the paper, we also estimate our findings for ordinary masses being dropped from a Galilean or Einsteinian Pisa-like tower with respect to the current state of the art drawn from precise measurements in ground and space laboratories, and to the constraints posed by quantum measurements. The appendix describes how education physics and high impact factor journals discuss the free fall. Finally, case studies conducted on undergraduate students and teachers are reviewed.

Authors: F.A.B.CoutinhoW. F. Wreszinski

A theorem of Hegerfeldt (Instantaneous spreading and Einstein causality in quantum theory, Ann. Phys. Leipzig vol. 7, 716-725 (1998)) establishes, for a class of quantum systems, a dichotomy between those which are permanently localized in a bounded region of space, and those exhibiting instantaneous spreading. We analyse in some detail the physical inconsistencies which follow from both of these options, and formulate which, in our view, are the basic open problems.

Authors: Roumen TsekovEyal Heifetz

We consider for clarity the simple case of the one dimensional non-relativistic Schr\”{o}dinger equation and regard it as an ensemble mean representation of the stochastic motion of a single particle in a vacuum, subject to an undefined stochastic quantum force. By analyzing the Bohm potential it is found that the imaginary part of the quantum momentum is the root mean square fluctuation of the particle around its mean velocity, where the latter is the real part of the quantum momentum. The local mean of the quantum force is found to be proportional to the third spatial derivative of the probability density function, and its associated pressure to the second spatial derivative. The latter is decomposed from the single particle diluted gas pressure, and this pressure partition allows the interpretation of the quantum Bohm potential as the energy required to put a particle in a bath of fluctuating vacuum at constant entropy and volume.

The stochastic force expectation value is zero and is uncorrelated with the particle location, thus does not perform work on average. Nonetheless it is anti-correlated with volume and this anti-correlation leads to a new type of an Heisenberg like relation. We imply the dynamic Gaussian solution to the Schr\”{o}dinger equation as a simple example for exploring the mean properties of this quantum force. Still an interesting remained open task is the identification of the stochastic law that leads to these obtained mean properties.

Quantum Ontology


on 2016-7-12 12:00am GMT

Author: Peter J. Lewis
ISBN: 9780190469818
Binding: Paperback
Publication Date: 12 July 2016
Price: $35.00

Authors: Douglas SingletonSteve Wilburn

The equivalence principle is the conceptual basis for general relativity. In contrast Mach’s principle, although said to have been influential on Einstein in his formulation of general relativity, has not been shown to be central to the structure of general relativity. In this essay we suggest that the quantum effects of Hawking and Unruh radiation are a manifestation of a {\it thermal} Mach’s principle, where the local thermodynamic properties of the system are determined by the non-local structure of the quantum fields which determine the vacuum of a given spacetime. By comparing Hawking and Unruh temperatures for the same local acceleration we find a violation of the Einstein elevator version of the equivalence principle, which vanishes in the limit that the horizon is approached.

Authors: Alberto S. CattaneoMichele Schiavina

This note describes the classical and quantum aspects of parametrization invariant one-dimensional models, like the Jacobi action or the classically equivalent gravity coupled to matter, and the restauration of time. It also serves as an introduction by examples to the classical and quantum BV-BFV formalism as well as to the AKSZ method.


In an old paper of our group in Milano a formalism was introduced for the continuous monitoring of a system during a certain interval of time in the framework of a somewhat generalized approach to quantum mechanics (QM). The outcome was a distribution of probability on the space of all the possible continuous histories of a set of quantities to be considered as a kind of coarse grained approximation to some ordinary quantum observables commuting or not. In fact the main aim was the introduction of a classical level in the context of QM, treating formally a set of basic quantities, to be considered as beables in the sense of Bell, as continuously taken under observation. However the effect of such assumption was a permanent modification of the Liouville-von Neumann equation for the statistical operator by the introduction of a dissipative term which is in conflict with basic conservation rules in all reasonable models we had considered. Difficulties were even encountered for a relativistic extension of the formalism. In this paper I propose a modified version of the original formalism which seems to overcome both difficulties. First I study the simple models of an harmonic oscillator and a free scalar field in which a coarse grain position and a coarse grained field respectively are treated as beables. Then I consider the more realistic case of spinor electrodynamics in which only certain coarse grained electric and magnetic fields are introduced as classical variables and no matter related quantities.

What do entangled states superpose? (arXiv:1607.01298 [quant-ph])

An entangled state of two systems, such as results from an ideal measurement, is neither a superposition of states of either of its subsystems nor a superposition of compound states of the composite system, but rather a nonlocal superposition of correlations between pairs of states of the two subsystems.

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