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Entanglement, Complexity, and Causal Asymmetry in Quantum Theories

Williams, Porter (2022) Entanglement, Complexity, and Causal Asymmetry in Quantum Theories. Foundations of Physics.

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Abstract

It is often claimed that one cannot locate a notion of causation in fundamental physical theories. The reason most commonly given is that the dynamics of those theories do not support any distinction between the past and the future, and this vitiates any attempt to locate a notion of causal asymmetry --- and thus of causation -- in fundamental physical theories. I argue that this is incorrect: the ubiquitous generation of entanglement between quantum systems grounds a relevant asymmetry in the dynamical evolution of quantum systems. I show that by exploiting a connection between the amount of entanglement in a quantum state and the algorithmic complexity of that state, one can use recently developed tools for causal inference to identify a causal asymmetry -- and a notion of causation -- in the dynamical evolution of quantum systems.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Williams, Porterporterwi@usc.edu0000-0003-0242-4045
Keywords: Causation, Entanglement, Quantum Theory
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Porter Williams
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2022 04:17
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2022 04:17
Item ID: 20464
Journal or Publication Title: Foundations of Physics
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10701-022-00562-0
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: April 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20464

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