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Quantum measurement problem

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-Q086-1
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Q086-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved September 21, 2019, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/quantum-measurement-problem/v-1

Article Summary

In classical mechanics a measurement process can be represented, in principle, as an interaction between two systems, a measuring instrument M and a measured system S, during which the classical states of M and S evolve dynamically, according to the equations of motion of the theory, in such a way that the ‘pointer’ or indicator quantity of M becomes correlated with the measured quantity of S. If a similar representation is attempted in quantum mechanics, it can be shown that, for certain initial quantum states of M and S, the interaction will result in a quantum state for the combined system in which neither the pointer quantity of M nor the measured quantity of S has a determinate value. On the orthodox interpretation of the theory, propositions assigning ranges of values to these quantities are neither true nor false. Since we require that the pointer readings of M are determinate after a measurement, and presumably also the values of the correlated S-quantities measured by M, it appears that the orthodox interpretation cannot accommodate the dynamical representation of measurement processes. The problem of how to do so is the quantum measurement problem.

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Citing this article:
Bub, Jeffrey. Quantum measurement problem, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Q086-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/quantum-measurement-problem/v-1.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Routledge.

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