Weekly Papers on Quantum Foundations (30)

Sanders, Ko (2015) What can (mathematical) categories tell us about space-time? In: UNSPECIFIED.

Authors: Tim Maudlin

In their recent paper “Is a Time Symmetric Interpretation of Quantum Theory Possible Without Retrocausality?”, Matthew Leifer and Matthew Pusey argue that the answer to their title question is “no”. Unfortunately, the central proof offered in the paper contains a fatal error, and the conclusion cannot be established. Interpretations of quantum theory without retrocausalty can be time symmetric not only in the traditional sense but also in Leifer and Pusey’s supposedly stricter sense. There appear to be no prospects for proving any analogous theorem.

Authors: Karl Svozil

This (hopefully iconoclastic) review compares classical with quantum probabilities and correlations. It has been written with friends and colleagues in computer science, logic and mathematics in mind, and should be understood as a piece in an ongoing effort to demystify quantum mechanics; and strip the formalism from its metaphysical hocus pocus.

Authors: Martin Immanuel Kober

The quantum theory of Ur-alternatives of Carl Friedrich von Weizsaecker tries to constitute general quantum theory based on the concept of logical alternatives in time. Based on this interpretation of quantum theory the existence of free objects in space, their symmetry properties and their interactions shall be inferred. The alternatives are represented by binary alternatives, which are called Ur-alternatives because of their logically fundamental character. Through Ur-alternatives as elementary quantum theoretical units of information the Copernican revolution with respect to the question of space is realized in a consequent way. This means that not the objects of nature are in a given space, but the existence of space arises as a kind of indirect representation of relations between abstract quantum theoretical objects. The Ur-alternatives do not exist in a given physical reality, but the existence of space is constituted by Ur-alternatives at all. Such a concept of reality is implicitly contained within the uncertainty relation and can be seen especially in the EPR-paradoxon. It is shown in this thesis in a mathematical consistent way that a state in the tensor space of many Ur-alternatives can directly be mapped into a real three dimensional space which means that together with the dynamics a representation in a (3+1)-dimensional space-time becomes possible. By considering the $G_2$ an approach for the incorporation of the internal symmetries can be suggested. Furthermore the Ur-alternatives enable the constitution of a concept of interaction, which is based on quantum theoretical entanglement. By using this concept it is tried to obtain a purely quantum theoretical description of electromagnetism and gravity. This corresponds to a much more principle and in a radical sense background independent way of quantization.

Authors: Ana María CettoLuis de la PeñaAndrea Valdés-Hernández

We present a possible physical explanation for the origin of both the electron spin and the related antisymmetry of the wave function, in the framework of (nonrelativistic) quantum mechanics as provided by linear stochastic electrodynamics. A separate consideration of the coupling of the electron with circularly polarized modes of the electromagnetic vac- uum, taken as a real fluctuating field, allows to disclose the spin angular momentum and the associated magnetic moment with a g-factor 2, and to establish the connection with the usual operator formalism. Further, in a bipartite system the electrons are shown to couple in antiphase to the same vacuum field modes. This finding, encoded in the antisymmetry of the wave function, provides a physical rationale for the Pauli principle. The extension of our results to a multipartite system is briefly discussed.

Authors: Geoff Beck

This work outlines the novel application of the empirical analysis of causation, presented by Kutach, to the study of information theory and its role in physics. The central thesis of this paper is that causation and information are identical functional tools for distinguishing controllable correlations, and that this leads to a consistent view, not only of information theory, but also of statistical physics and quantum information. This approach comes without the metaphysical baggage of declaring information a fundamental ingredient in physical reality and exorcises many of the otherwise puzzling problems that arise from this view-point, particularly obviating the problem of non-local causal influences in quantum entanglement. Additionally, this duality of causation and information allows for a reconciliation of related problems in physics, like that of the `excess baggage’ in quantum mechanics. Finally, it is demonstrated that black hole holography can be understood as a property of the causal structure of black hole spacetimes and is thus not necessarily a fundamental result in any sense of the word. This forms the basis of a suggestion whereby black holes destroy information but do not result in a unitarity violation.

Belot, Gordon (2015) Curve-Fitting for Bayesians? [Preprint]

Authors: Ram BrusteinA.J.M. MedvedYoav Zigdon

We show that the state of the Hawking radiation emitted from a large Schwarzschild black hole (BH) deviates significantly from a classical state, in spite of its apparent thermality. For this state, the occupation numbers of single modes of massless asymptotic fields, such as photons, gravitons and possibly neutrinos, are small and, as a result, their relative fluctuations are large. The occupation numbers of massive fields are much smaller and suppressed beyond even the expected Boltzmann suppression. It follows that this type of thermal state cannot be viewed as classical or even semiclassical. We substantiate this claim by showing that, in a state with low occupation numbers, physical observables have large quantum fluctuations and, as such, cannot be faithfully described by a mean-field or by a WKB-like semiclassical state. Since the evolution of the BH is unitary, our results imply that the state of the BH interior must also be non-classical when described in terms of the asymptotic fields. We show that such a non-classical interior cannot be described in terms of a semiclassical geometry, even though the average curvature is sub-Planckian.

Publication date: Available online 26 July 2017
Source:Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Author(s): Daniela Monaldi
Fritz London’s seminal idea of “quantum mechanisms of macroscopic scale”, first articulated in 1946, was the unanticipated result of two decades of research, during which London pursued quantum-mechanical explanations of various kinds of systems of particles at different scales. He started at the microphysical scale with the hydrogen molecule, generalized his approach to chemical bonds and intermolecular forces, then turned to macrophysical systems like superconductors and superfluid helium. Along this path, he formulated a set of concepts—the quantum mechanism of exchange, the rigidity of the wave function, the role of quantum statistics in multi-particle systems, the possibility of order in momentum space—that eventually coalesced into a new conception of systems of equal particles. In particular, it was London’s clarification of Bose-Einstein condensation that enabled him to formulate the notion of superfluids, and led him to the recognition that quantum mechanics was not, as it was commonly assumed, relevant exclusively as a micromechanics.

Authors: Valeriy I. Sbitnev

The ubiquitous ether coming from the ancient times up to middle of the twenty century is replaced by a superfluid quantum space. It represents by itself a Bose-Einstein condensate consisting of enormous amount of virtual particle-antiparticle pairs emerging and disappearing in an infinitely ongoing dance. Flowing of this medium in the non-relativistic limit is described by the modified Navier-Stokes equation along with the continuity equation. The first equation admits the splitting on to two coupled equations. They are the quantum Hamilton-Jacobi equation and the equation for vorticity. The quantum Hamilton-Jacoby equation paired with the continuity equation can be reduced to the \Schrodinger equation. These two equations representing the kernel of the Bohmian mechanics give finding bundle of the Bohmian trajectories. Whereas the vorticity equation gives solutions for vortices moving along such trajectories. As the result we come to the de Broglie’s interpretation of quantum mechanics according to which there is a pilot-wave guiding the particle (in our case it is a vortex clot) from a source up to its detection along an optimal path that is the Bohmian trajectory.

Authors: Maicol A. OchoaWolfgang BelzigAbraham Nitzan

In contrast to a projective quantum measurement in which the system is projected onto an eigenstate of the measured operator, in a weak measurement the system is only weakly perturbed while only partial information on the measured observable is obtained. A full description of such measurement should describe the measurement protocol and provide an explicit form of the measurement operator that transform the quantum state to its post measurement form. A simultaneous measurement of non-commuting observables cannot be projective, however the strongest possible such measurement can be defined as providing their values at the smallest uncertainty limit. Starting with the Arthurs and Kelly (AK) protocol for such measurement of position and momentum, we derive a systematic extension to a corresponding weak measurement along three steps: First, a plausible form of the weak measurement operator analogous to the Gaussian Kraus operator often used to model a weak measurement of a single observable is obtained by projecting a na\”ive extension (valid for commuting observable) onto the corresponding Gabor space. Second, we show that the so obtained set of measurement operators satisfies the normalization condition for the probability to obtain given values of the position and momentum in the weak measurement operation, namely that this set constitutes a positive operator valued measure (POVM) in the position-momentum space. Finally, we show that the so-obtained measurement operator corresponds to a generalization of the AK measurement protocol in which the initial detector wavefunctions is suitable broadened.

Authors: H. De RaedtK. MichielsenK. Hess

Recent Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Bohm experiments [M. Giustina et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 250401 (2015); L. K. Shalm et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 250402 (2015)] that claim to be loophole free are scrutinized and are shown to suffer a photon identification loophole. The combination of a digital computer and discrete-event simulation is used to construct a minimal but faithful model of the most perfected realization of these laboratory experiments. In contrast to prior simulations, all photon selections are strictly made, as they are in the actual experiments, at the local station and no other “post-selection” is involved. The simulation results demonstrate that a manifestly non-quantum model that identifies photons in the same local manner as in these experiments can produce correlations that are in excellent agreement with those of the quantum theoretical description of the corresponding thought experiment, in conflict with Bell’s theorem. The failure of Bell’s theorem is possible because of our recognition of the photon identification loophole. Such identification measurement-procedures are necessarily included in all actual experiments but are not included in the theory of Bell and his followers.

Ross, Lauren N. (2017) Finding causal structure. [Preprint]

Author(s): Boris Sokolov, Iiro Vilja, and Sabrina Maniscalco

We study the loss of quantumness caused by time dilation [I. Pikovski, M. Zych, F. Costa, and Č. Brukner, Nat. Phys. 11, 668 (2015)] for a Schrödinger cat state. We give a holistic view of the quantum to classical transition by comparing the dynamics of several nonclassicality indicators, such as th…
[Phys. Rev. A 96, 012126] Published Wed Jul 26, 2017

Authors: H. Nikolic

Most physicists do not have patience for reading long and obscure interpretation arguments and disputes. Hence, to attract attention of a wider physics community, in this paper various old and new aspects of quantum interpretations are explained in a concise and simple (almost trivial) form. About the “Copenhagen” interpretation, we note that there are several different versions of it and explain how to make sense of “local non-reality” interpretation. About the many-world interpretation, we explain that it is neither local nor non-local, that it cannot explain the Born rule, that it suffers from the preferred basis problem, and that quantum suicide cannot be used to test it. About the Bohmian interpretation, we explain that it is analogous to dark matter, use it to explain that there is no big difference between non-local correlation and non-local causation, and use some condensed-matter ideas to outline how non-relativistic Bohmian theory could be a theory of everything. We also explain how different interpretations can be used to demystify the delayed choice experiment, to resolve the problem of time in quantum gravity, and to provide alternatives to quantum non-locality. Finally, we explain why is life compatible with the 2nd law.

Authors: Michael J. W. HallMarcel Reginatto

Two very similar proposals have been made recently for witnessing nonclassical features of gravity, by Marletto and Vedral (arxiv.org/abs/1707.06036) and by Bose et al. (arXiv:1707.06050). However, while these proposals are asserted to be very general, they are in fact based on a very strong claim: that quantum systems cannot become entangled via a classical intermediary. We point out that the support provided for this claim is only applicable to a very limited class of quantum-classical interaction models, such as the Koopman model. We show that the claim is also valid for mean-field models, but that it is contradicted by explicit counterexamples based on the configuration-ensemble model. Thus, neither proposal provides a definitive test of nonclassical gravity.

Authors: J.D. Franson

An atom moving in a focused laser beam will experience a velocity-dependent dipole force due to the Doppler effect, which allows the operation of a Maxwell’s demon. Photon scattering and other forms of dissipation can be negligibly small, which appears to contradict quantum information proofs that a Maxwell’s demon must dissipate a minimum amount of energy. We resolve this ‘paradox’ by showing that Schrodinger’s equation does not predict a velocity-dependent dipole force. Forces of that kind have been observed experimentally, however, and we show that Heisenberg’s equation does predict a velocity-dependent dipole force in agreement with experiment, provided that the total time derivative of an operator is evaluated along the trajectory of an atom.

Authors: Johannes Fankhauser

In this paper I discuss the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment by giving a straightforward account in standard quantum mechanics. At first glance, the experiment suggests that measurements on one part of an entangled photon pair (the idler) can be employed to control whether the measurement outcome of the other part of the photon pair (the signal) produces interference fringes at a screen after being sent through a double slit. Significantly, the choice whether there is interference or not can be made long after the signal photon encounters the screen. The results of the experiment have been alleged to invoke some sort of ‘backwards in time influences’. I argue that in the standard collapse interpretation the issue can be eliminated by taking into account the collapse of the overall entangled state due to the signal photon. Likewise, in the de Broglie-Bohm picture the particle’s trajectories can be given a well-defined description at any instant of time during the experiment. Thus, there is no need to resort to any kind of ‘backwards in time influence’. As a matter of fact, the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment turns out to resemble a Bell-type measurement, and so there really is no mystery.

Publication date: Available online 21 July 2017
Source:Physics Reports
Author(s): Michael Kolodrubetz, Dries Sels, Pankaj Mehta, Anatoli Polkovnikov
In these lecture notes, partly based on a course taught at the Karpacz Winter School in March 2014, we discuss the close connections between non-adiabatic response of a system with respect to macroscopic parameters and the geometry of quantum and classical states. We center our discussion around adiabatic gauge potentials, which are the generators of unitary basis transformations in quantum systems and generators of special canonical transformations in classical systems. In quantum systems, expectation values of these potentials in the eigenstates are the Berry connections and the covariance matrix of these gauge potentials is the geometric tensor, whose antisymmetric part defines the Berry curvature and whose symmetric part is the Fubini-Study metric tensor. In classical systems one simply replaces the eigenstate expectation value by an average over the micro-canonical shell. We express the non-adiabatic response of the physical observables of the system through these gauge potentials. We also demonstrate the close connection of the geometric tensor to the notions of Lorentz force and renormalized mass. We show how one can use this formalism to derive equations of motion for slow macroscopic parameters coupled to fast microscopic degrees of freedom to reproduce and even go beyond macroscopic Hamiltonian dynamics. Finally, we illustrate these ideas with a number of simple examples and highlight a few more complicated ones drawn from recent literature.

Publication date: Available online 22 July 2017
Source:Physics Reports
Author(s): Geol Moon, Myoung-Sun Heo, Yonghee Kim, Heung-Ryoul Noh, Wonho Jhe
The physics of critical phenomena in a many-body system far from thermal equilibrium is an interesting and important issue to be addressed both experimentally and theoretically. The trapped cold atoms have been actively used as a clean and versatile simulator for classical and quantum-mechanical systems, deepening understanding of the many-body physics behind. Here we review the nonlinear and collective dynamics in a periodically modulated magneto-optically trapped cold atoms. By temporally modulating the intensity of the trapping lasers with the controlled phases, one can realize two kinds of nonlinear oscillators, the parametrically driven oscillator and the resonantly driven Duffing oscillator, which exhibit the dynamical bistable states. Cold atoms behave not only as the single-particle nonlinear oscillators, but also as the coupled oscillators by the light-induced inter-atomic interaction, which leads to the phase transitions far from equilibrium in a way similar to the phase transition in equilibrium. The parametrically driven cold atoms show the ideal mean-field symmetry-breaking transition, and the symmetry is broken with respect to time translation by the modulation period. Such a phase transition results from the cooperation and competition between the inter-particle interaction and the fluctuations, which lead to the nonlinear switching of atoms between the vibrational states, and the experimentally measured critical characteristics prove it as the ideal mean-field transition class. On the other hand, the resonantly driven cold atoms that possess the coexisting periodic attractors exhibit the kinetic phase transition analogous to the discontinuous gas-liquid phase transition in equilibrium, and interestingly the global interaction between atoms causes the shift of the phase-transition boundary. We demonstrate that the temporally driven cold atom system serves as a unique and controllable platform suitable for investigating the nonlinear dynamics of many-body cold atoms far from equilibrium and for relating the relevant dynamics to other domains of physics. The results presented in this article may be useful for better understanding of the fundamentals of critical phenomena occurring in a many-body system far from thermal equilibrium, which still demands further studies both experimental and theoretical.

Author(s): L. García-Álvarez, I. L. Egusquiza, L. Lamata, A. del Campo, J. Sonner, and E. Solano

We propose the digital quantum simulation of a minimal AdS/CFT model in controllable quantum platforms. We consider the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model describing interacting Majorana fermions with randomly distributed all-to-all couplings, encoding nonlocal fermionic operators onto qubits to efficiently im…
[Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 040501] Published Tue Jul 25, 2017

Author(s): C. L. Degen, F. Reinhard, and P. Cappellaro

Quantum technologies are increasingly driving the field of precision metrology. While current techniques for sensing and recording time rely on classical devices, quantum sensors exploit quantum systems to reach unprecedented levels of precision. The working part of the sensor contains one or a few qubits, and resources like quantum entanglement are chosen and tailored to maximize sensitivity. This review introduces quantum sensing from the perspective of working experimentalists, with specific sensor implementations, concepts and methods, and recent developments.

[Rev. Mod. Phys. 89, 035002] Published Tue Jul 25, 2017

Author(s): J. J. Halliwell

In the consistent histories approach to quantum theory probabilities are assigned to histories subject to a consistency condition of negligible interference. The approach has the feature that a given physical situation admits multiple sets of consistent histories that cannot in general be united int…
[Phys. Rev. A 96, 012123] Published Tue Jul 25, 2017

Authors: Bing-Qian WangZheng-Wen LongChao-Yun LongShu-Rui Wu

A series of aspects of the quantum gravity predict a modification in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to the generalized uncertainty principle (GUP). In the present work, using the momentum space representation, we study the behavior of the Kemmer oscillator in the context of the GUP. The wave function, the probability densities, and the energy spectrum are obtained analytically. Furthermore, the thermodynamic properties of the system are investigated via numerical method and the influence of GUP on thermodynamic functions is also discussed.

Authors: Gregg Jaeger

John S. Bell is well known for the result now referred to simply as “Bell’s theorem,” which removed from serious consideration by physics of local hidden-variable theories. Under these circumstances, if quantum theory is to serve as a truly {\em fundamental} theory, conceptual precision in its interpretation is not only even more desirable but paramount. John Bell was accordingly concerned about what he viewed as conceptual imprecision, from the physical point of view, in the standard approaches to the theory. He saw this as most acute in the case of their treatment of {\em measurement at the level of principle}. Bell pointed out that conceptual imprecision is reflected in the terminology of the theory, a great deal of which he deemed worthy of banishment from discussions of principle. For him, it corresponded to a set of what he saw as vague and, in some instances, outright destructive concepts. Here, I consider this critique of standard quantum measurement theory and some alternative treatments wherein he saw greater conceptual precision, and make further suggestions as to how to proceed along the lines he advocated.

Authors: Juergen EichbergerHans Juergen Pirner

In this paper, we propose an interpretation of the Hilbert space method used in quantum theory in the context of decision making under uncertainty. For a clear comparison we will stay as close as possible to the framework of SEU suggested by Savage. We will use the Ellsberg-paradox to illustrate the potential of our approach to deal with well-known paradoxa of decision theory.

Authors: Satish RamakrishnaOnuttom Narayan

This experiment was conceived of as a method of transmitting information from inside a black hole to the outside. As it turns out, it doesn’t work in the form described (and possibly not in any form), but the way in which Nature prevents quantum-mechanical effects from transmitting usable information using quantum correlations is illuminating. In the process, one can learn some quantum theory, as well as quantum optics.

The proposed scheme uses a double-slit experiment, in the manner of the Delayed Choice set up \cite{Scully1} \cite{Scully2}, where the region where the interference takes place (between “signal” photons) is spatially separated from the region where the Delayed Choice (with “idler” photons) is made. Indeed, this Double-Delayed Choice, which is this thought experiment, has one of the idler photons slip inside the event horizon and serves as the method to attempt to communicate from the inside to the outside.

Authors: Massimo CerdonioCarlo Rovelli

The Paper actually concerns a toy model, not physical Casimir cavities made of conducting plates, but the results are taken implicitly to apply in general. We question on general physical grounds one basic assumption and the results of a renormalization procedure. Then, for physical systems, i) considering condensed matter theory/experiments, we find strong evidence against the conclusive claims concerning a putative and dominating surface energy present individually on the plates, and ii) we propose two experiments with physical Casimir cavities to show in detail that the results of the renormalization in this case look somewhat paradoxical. In any case the proposed experiments appear to be feasible and thus it could be tested if the putative self-energies of the plates are indeed there in a physical Casimir cavity, or if the toy model of the Paper has by contrast no connection with physical reality. However at the moment the authors are not legitimate to issue as conclusive claims statements like- refute the claim sometimes attributed to Feynman that virtual photons do not gravitate –

Steeger, Jeremy (2017) Betting on Quantum Objects. [Preprint]
Duerr, Patrick (2017) It ain’t necessarily so: Gravitational Waves and Energy Transport. [Preprint]

Authors: Sebastian De HaroJeremy Butterfield

In this paper we present a schema for describing dualities between physical theories (Sections 2 and 3), and illustrate it in detail with the example of bosonization: a boson-fermion duality in two-dimensional quantum field theory (Sections 4 and 5).

The schema develops proposals in De Haro (2016, 2016a): these proposals include construals of notions related to duality, like representation, model, symmetry and interpretation. The aim of the schema is to give a more precise criterion for duality than has so far been considered.

The bosonization example, or boson-fermion duality, has the feature of being simple yet rich enough to illustrate the most relevant aspects of our schema, which also apply to more sophisticated dualities. The richness of the example consists, mainly, in its concern with two non-trivial quantum field theories: including massive Thirring-sine-Gordon duality, and non-abelian bosonization.

This prompts two comparisons with the recent literature on dualities:—

(a) Unlike the standard cases of duality in quantum field theory and string theory, where only specific simplifying limits of the theories are explicitly known, the boson-fermion duality is known to hold exactly. This exactness can be exhibited explicitly.

(b) The bosonization example illustrates both the cases of isomorphic and non-isomorphic models: which we believe the literature on dualities has not so far discussed.

Authors: Juan Ortigoso

It is universally accepted that the quantum no-cloning theorem was not officially discovered until 1982. I show here that an article published in 1970 [J. L. Park, Foundations of Physics, 1, 23-33 (1970)] contained an explicit proof of the theorem. Park’s demonstration has been overlooked until now and the paper remains virtually unknown. Reasons and implications of this fact are analyzed in the light of existing explanations concerning the genesis of the theorem.

Mixed Quantum States with Variable Planck Constant

Recent cosmological measurements tend to confirm that the fine structure constant {\alpha} is not immutable and has undergone a tiny variation since the Big Bang. Choosing adequate units, this could also reflect a variation of Planck’s constant h. The aim of this Letter is to explore some consequences of such a possible change of h for the pure and mixed states of quantum mechanics. Surprisingly enough it is found that not only is the purity of a state extremely sensitive to such changes, but that quantum states can evolve into classical states, and vice versa. A complete classification of such transitions is however not possible for the moment being because of yet unsolved mathematical difficulties related to the study of positivity properties of trace class operators.

Comments: To appear in Phys. Lett. A

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