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The Open Systems View and the Everett Interpretation

Cuffaro, Michael E. and Hartmann, Stephan (2023) The Open Systems View and the Everett Interpretation. Quantum Rep. 2023, 5(2), 418-425, 5 (2). pp. 418-425.


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It is argued that those who defend the Everett, or `Many Worlds', interpretation of quantum mechanics should embrace what we call the general quantum theory of open systems (GT) as the proper framework in which to conduct foundational and philosophical investigation in quantum physics. GT is a wider dynamical framework than its alternative, standard quantum theory (ST). This is true even though GT makes no modifications to the quantum formalism. GT rather takes a different view, what we call the open systems view, of the formalism; i.e., in GT the dynamics of systems, whose physical states are fundamentally represented by density operators, are represented as fundamentally open as specified by an in general non-unitary dynamical map. This includes, in principle, the dynamics of the universe as a whole. We argue that the more general dynamics describable in GT can be physically motivated, that there is as much prima facie empirical support for GT as there is for ST, and that GT could be fully in the spirit of the Everett interpretation---that there might, in short, be little reason for an Everettian not to embrace the more general theoretical landscape that GT allows one to explore.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Cuffaro, Michael E.mike@michaelcuffaro.com0000-0003-4477-5601
Hartmann, Stephans.hartmann@lmu.de0000-0001-8676-2177
Additional Information: 7 pages, no figures. Identical to the published version except for changes made to conform to the journal style
Keywords: open systems view; Everett interpretation; general quantum theory of open systems; many worlds
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr. Michael Cuffaro
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2023 13:10
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2023 13:10
Item ID: 22026
Journal or Publication Title: Quantum Rep. 2023, 5(2), 418-425
Publisher: MDPI
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/quantum5020027
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 28 April 2023
Page Range: pp. 418-425
Volume: 5
Number: 2

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