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Explaining the Unobserved: Why Quantum Mechanics Is Not only About Information

Hagar, Amit and Hemmo, Meir (2005) Explaining the Unobserved: Why Quantum Mechanics Is Not only About Information. [Preprint]

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A remarkable theorem by Clifton, Bub and Halverson (2003) (CBH) characterizes quantum theory in terms of information--theoretic principles. According to Bub (2004, 2005) the philosophical significance of the theorem is that quantum theory should be regarded as a ``principle'' theory about (quantum) information rather than a ``constructive'' theory about the dynamics of quantum systems. Here we propose an alternative view according to which the philosophical significance of the CBH theorem lies in the predictions of quantum theory which remain hitherto unobserved, and in the empirical inequivalence between the constructive and the principle explanations thereof. We further challenge the principle information--theoretic view with a thought experiment that stems from this empirical inequivalence.

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Item Type: Preprint
Hagar, Amit
Hemmo, Meir
Keywords: Quantum information; Collapse theories; Crucial experiments; Principle vs. Constructive theories
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information > Quantum
General Issues > Theory Change
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Amit Hagar
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:13
Item ID: 2535

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