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Unreal Observables

Roberts, Bryan W. (2017) Unreal Observables. Philosophy of Science.

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Abstract

This note argues that quantum observables can include not just self-adjoint operators, but any member of the class of normal operators, including those with non-real eigenvalues. Concrete experiments, statistics, and symmetries are all expressed in this more general context. However, this more general class of observables also introduces a new restriction on which sets of operators can be interpreted as observables at once. These sets are referred to here as 'sharp sets.'


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Roberts, Bryan W.b.w.roberts@lse.ac.uk0000-0003-0548-1280
Keywords: observables, quantum mechanics, normal operators, non-self-adjoint, sharp set, philosophy of physics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Bryan Roberts
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2017 14:21
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2017 14:21
Item ID: 12965
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Science
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12965

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