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The Global Phase Is Real

Schroeren, David (2022) The Global Phase Is Real. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Normalized vectors in the Hilbert space of the world can differ merely by a complex scalar multiple of unit modulus, also known as the global phase. According to orthodoxy, the global phase is a paradigm case of a redundancy in our mathematical description of the world, mere representational fluff of no physical significance. In this paper, I argue that this view is inconsistent with the fact that a physically substantive proposition turns on how rotations are represented within the linear formalism of quantum theory. I also explore strategies for resisting this conclusion and highlight an intimate connection between the reality of the global phase and the metaphysics of spacetime.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Schroeren, Daviddavid.schroeren@unige.ch0000-0002-2608-4682
Additional Information: forthcoming in Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Quantum mechanics Gauge Phase factor Hilbert Space Ontology Symmetry Superselection Substantivalism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Dr. David Schroeren
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2022 04:12
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2022 04:12
Item ID: 20419
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: March 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20419

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