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Interpreting Quantum Theories$
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Laura Ruetsche

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199535408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199535408.001.0001

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Interpreting Extraordinary QM

Interpreting Extraordinary QM

(p.169) 8 Interpreting Extraordinary QM
Interpreting Quantum Theories

Laura Ruetsche

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that, due to the circumstances described in Chapter 7, techniques developed for interpreting ordinary QM lack straightforward extension to the interpretation of QM. These techniques are variations on the maximal beable approach inspired by John Bell, which reduces the task of interpreting a quantum theory to the task of isolating from its family of physical magnitudes a largest set of observables which can be attributed values simultaneously. The chapter links the satisfactory execution of this task—an execution which grounds explanations of quantum state preparation–to the presence of atoms in the von Neumann algebras typical of ordinary QM. What stymies the maximal beable approach to QM is the ubiquity of non-atomic von Neumann algebras.

Keywords:   interpretation, quantum theory, beable, state preparation, Bohmian mechanics, modal interpretation, lattice theory, quantum field theory, thermodynamic limit, John Bell

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