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Quantum Reality, Perspectivalism and Covariance

Dieks, Dennis (2019) Quantum Reality, Perspectivalism and Covariance. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Paul Busch has emphasized on various occasions the importance for physics of going beyond a merely instrumentalist view of quantum mechanics. Even if we cannot be sure that any particular realist interpretation describes the world as it actually is, the investigation of possible realist interpretations helps us to develop new physical ideas and better intuitions about the nature of physical objects at the micro level. In this spirit, Paul Busch himself pioneered the concept of ``unsharp quantum reality'', according to which there is an objective non-classical indeterminacy---a lack of sharpness---in the properties of individual quantum systems.

We concur with Busch's motivation for investigating realist interpretations of quantum mechanics and with his willingness to move away from classical intuitions. In this article we try to take some further steps on this road. In particular, we pay attention to a number of prima facie implausible and counter-intuitive aspects of realist interpretations of unitary quantum mechanics. We shall argue that from a realist viewpoint, quantum contextuality naturally leads to ``perspectivalism'' with respect to properties of spatially extended quantum systems, and that this perspectivalism is important for making relativistic covariance possible.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dieks, Dennisd.dieks@uu.nl0000-0003-4755-3430
Additional Information: To appear in Foundations of Physics, issue dedicated to the memory of Paul Busch
Keywords: quantum perspectivalism, relativistic covariance
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Dennis Dieks
Date Deposited: 13 May 2019 17:16
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 17:16
Item ID: 16011
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: May 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16011

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