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You have written “Is measurement essential to any formulation of quantum mechanics, or can measurements be described using fundamental quantum principles that make no reference to measurements?”. I comment that if measurement should be the part of the quantum theory, than you will need something as the concept of the observation. observation means that some “observable” systems can be observed and its individual state can be “observed”. This is clear for classical systems. Without the observation the measurement problem cannot be solved. The possibility to observe the individual state of some systems is necessary for any solution of the measurement problem. I have tried to solve this in https://ijqf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/201503.pdf . I think that the measurement problem can be solved only in the theory like the modified quantum mechanics. In the standard quantum mechanics there is no progress in the solution of this problem.
Your Jiri Soucek