Weekly Papers on Quantum Foundations (23)

Authors: J. Acacio de BarrosGary Oas

In this paper we examine some proposals to disprove the hypothesis that the interaction between mind and matter causes the collapse of the wave function, showing that such proposals are fundamentally flawed. We then describe a general experimental setup retaining the key features of the ones examined, and show that even a more general case is inadequate to disprove the mind-matter collapse hypothesis. Finally, we use our setup provided to argue that, under some reasonable assumptions about consciousness, such hypothesis is unfalsifiable.

Authors: Sisi ZhouMengzhen ZhangJohn PreskillLiang Jiang

We study the fundamental limits on precision for parameter estimation using a quantum probe subject to Markovian noise. The best possible scaling of precision $\delta$ with the total probing time $t$ is the Heisenberg limit (HL) $\delta \propto 1/t$, which can be achieved by a noiseless probe, but noise can reduce the precision to the standard quantum limit (SQL) $\delta \propto 1 /\sqrt{t}$. We find a condition on the probe’s Markovian noise such that SQL scaling cannot be surpassed if the condition is violated, but if the condition is satisfied then HL scaling can be achieved by using quantum error correction to protect the probe from damage, assuming that noiseless ancilla qubits are available, and fast, accurate quantum processing can be performed. When the HL is achievable, the optimal quantum code can be found by solving a semidefinite program. If the condition is violated but the noise channel acting on the probe is close to one that satisfies the condition, then approximate HL scaling can be realized for an extended period before eventually crossing over to SQL scaling.

Authors: Roderick Sutherland

It has become increasingly apparent that a number of perplexing issues associated with the interpretation of quantum mechanics are more easily resolved once the notion of retrocausality is introduced. The aim here is to list and discuss various examples where a clear explanation has become available via this approach. In so doing, the intention is to highlight that this direction of research deserves more attention than it presently receives.

Publication date: 5 August 2017
Source:Physics Letters A, Volume 381, Issue 29
Author(s): Alexandra Bakman, Hagar Veksler, Shmuel Fishman
The effect of quantum collapse and revival is a fascinating interference phenomenon. In this paper the phenomenon is studied analytically and numerically for a simple system, a slightly anharmonic oscillator. The initial wave-function corresponds to a displaced ground state of a harmonic oscillator. Possible experimental realizations for cold atoms are discussed in detail.

Franklin, Alexander (2017) On the Renormalisation Group Explanation of Universality. [Preprint]


In a recent paper, Cumpa (Am Philos Q 51(4): 319–324, 2014) argues that a scientific turn in metaphysics requires the acceptance of a materialist criterion of fundamentality, according to which the most fundamental metaphysical category is the one that provides us with a reconciliation of the ordinary world and the physical universe. He concludes that the dominant category of substance cannot be the most fundamental category, for it does not satisfy this criterion of fundamentality. The most fundamental category is instead the category of fact. Although convincing, the defense of factualism over substantialism offered by Cumpa takes into account the case of classical physics without considering the physical universe of quantum mechanics. My aim in this paper is to offer a completion to Cumpa’s factualist approach. To achieve my aim, I show that substances cannot provide a satisfactory account of the relationship between the ordinary world and the physical universe even in the case of quantum mechanics, whereas a factualist approach does.

Authors: Valentina BaccettiRobert B. MannDaniel R. Terno

Event horizons are the defining feature of classical black holes. They are the key ingredient of the information loss paradox which, as paradoxes in quantum foundations, is built on a combination of predictions of quantum theory and counterfactual classical features: neither horizon formation nor its crossing by a test body is observable. Furthermore, horizons are unnecessary for the production of Hawking-like radiation. We demonstrate that when this radiation is taken into account it prevents horizon crossing/formation in a large class of models. We conjecture that horizon avoidance is a general feature of collapse. The non-existence of event horizons dispels the paradox, but opens up important questions about thermodynamic properties of the resulting objects and correlations between different degrees of freedom.

Authors: Jesús MateosCarlos Sabín

In this work we propose a recipe for the quantum simulation of traversable wormhole spacetimes in a Bose-Einstein condensate, both in $1+1D$ and $3+1D$. While in the former case it is enough to modulate the speed of sound along the condensate, in the latter case we need to choose particular coordinates, namely generalized Gullstrand-Painlev\’e coordinates. For weakly interacting condensates, in both cases we present the spatial dependence of the external magnetic field which is needed for the simulation, and we analyze under which conditions the simulation is possible with the experimental state-of-art.


In this paper we study a classical and theoretical system which consists of an elastic medium carrying transverse waves and one point-like high elastic medium density, called concretion. We compute the equation of motion for the concretion as well as the wave equation of this system. Afterwards we always consider the case where the concretion is not the wave source any longer. Then the concretion obeys a general and covariant guidance formula, which leads in low-velocity approximation to an equivalent de Broglie-Bohm guidance formula. The concretion moves then as if exists an equivalent quantum potential. A strictly equivalent free Schrödinger equation is retrieved, as well as the quantum stationary states in a linear or spherical cavity. We compute the energy (and momentum) of the concretion, naturally defined from the energy (and momentum) density of the vibrating elastic medium. Provided one condition about the amplitude of oscillation is fulfilled, it strikingly appears that the energy and momentum of the concretion not only are written in the same form as in quantum mechanics, but also encapsulate equivalent relativistic formulas.

Shrapnel, Sally (2017) Discovering Quantum Causal Models (final). [Preprint]

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