Owen Maroney (Oxford): How epistemic can a quantum state be?

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 19/05/2014
5:15 pm - 6:45 pm

Location
Lakatos (LAK) 2.06

Categories


Speaker: Owen Maroney (Oxford)

Time: 5:15pm – 6:45pm

Title: How epistemic can a quantum state be?

Abstract:
The “psi-epistemic” view is that the quantum state does not represent a state of the world, but a state of knowledge about the world. It draws its motivation, in part, from the observation of qualitative similarities between characteristic properties of non-orthogonal quantum wave functions and between overlapping classical probability distributions.
It might be suggested that this gives a natural explanation for these properties, which seem puzzling for the alternative “psi-ontic” view. However, looking at the two such similarities, quantum state overlap and quantum state discrimination, it will be shown that the psi-epistemic view cannot account for these values shown by quantum theory, and must instead rely on the same kind of explanations as the “psi-ontic” view.

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