Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 128-141
Ruth E. Kastner earned her M.S. in Physics and Ph.D. in Philosophy (History and Philosophy of Science) and the University of Maryland, College Park (1999). She has taught a variety of philosophy and physics courses throughout the Baltimore-Washington corridor, and currently is a member of the Foundations of Physics group at UMCP. She is also an Affiliate of the physics department at the SUNY Albany campus. She specializes in time-symmetry and the Transactional Interpretation (TI) of quantum mechanics, and in particular has extended the original TI of John Cramer to the relativistic domain. Her interests and publications include topics in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, quantum ontology, counterfactuals, spacetime emergence, and free will. She is the author of two books: The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: The Reality of Possibility (Cambridge, 2012) and Understanding Our Unseen Reality: Solving Quantum Riddles (Imperial College Press, 2015). She is also an Editor of the collected volume Quantum Structural Studies (World Scientific, 2016).
In view of a resurgence of concern about the measurement problem, it is pointed out that the Relativistic Transactional Interpretation (RTI) remedies issues previously considered as drawbacks or refutations of the original Transactional Interpretation (TI). Specifically, once one takes into account relativistic processes that are not representable at the non-relativistic level (such as particle creation and annihilation, and virtual propagation), absorption is quantitatively defined in unambiguous physical terms. In addition, specifics of the relativistic transactional model demonstrate that the Maudlin ‘contingent absorber’ challenge to the original TI cannot even be mounted: basic features of established relativistic field theories (in particular, the asymmetry between field sources and the bosonic fields, and the fact that slow-moving bound states, such as atoms, are not offer waves) dictate that the ‘slow-moving offer wave’ required for the challenge scenario cannot exist. It is concluded that issues previously considered obstacles for the Transactional Interpretation are no longer legitimately viewed as such, and that reconsideration of the model is warranted in connection with solving the measurement problem.
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