Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 17–27 | Cite as

Quantum theory and the bayesian inference problems

  • Stanislav Sýkora


Many physicists take it for granted that their theories can be either refuted or verified by comparison with experimental data. In order to evaluate such data, however, one must employ statistical estimation and inference methods which, unfortunately, always involve an ad hoc proposition. The nature of the latter depends upon the statistical method adopted; in the Bayesian approach, for example, one must usesome Lebesgue measure in the “set of all possible distributions.” The ad hoc proposition has usually nothing in common with the physical theory in question, thus subjecting its verification (or refutation) to further doubt. This paper points out one notable exception to this rule. It turns out that in the case of the quantum mechanical systems associated with finite-dimensional Hilbert spaces the proposition is completely determined by the premises of the quantum theory itself.

Key words

Quantum theory statistical inference Bayesian inference 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanislav Sýkora
    • 1
  1. 1.Physikalisches Institut der Universitaet BaselBaselSwitzerland

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