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Why the global phase is not real

Gao, Shan (2024) Why the global phase is not real. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper, I present a new analysis of the meaning of the phase in quantum mechanics. First, I give a simple but rigorous proof that the global phase is not real in $\psi$-ontic quantum theories. Next, I argue that a similar strategy cannot be used to prove the reality of the global phase due to the existence of the tails of the wave function. Finally, I argue that the relative phase is not a nonlocal property of two regions together, and adding a relative phase to one local branch of a superposition only changes the local properties at the boundary of the region of the branch.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Gao, Shansgao7319@uni.sydney.edu.au
Keywords: quantum mechanics; global phase; psi-ontic theorems; tails of the wave function; relative phase
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Prof. Shan Gao
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2024 11:10
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2024 11:10
Item ID: 23027
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 26 January 2024
URI: https://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/23027

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