Foundations of Physics

, Volume 31, Issue 10, pp 1431–1464

A Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Based on a Principle of Entropy Minimization

  • R. W. Spekkens
  • J. E. Sipe

DOI: 10.1023/A:1012630429527

Cite this article as:
Spekkens, R.W. & Sipe, J.E. Foundations of Physics (2001) 31: 1431. doi:10.1023/A:1012630429527


Within many approaches to the interpretation of quantum mechanics, especially modal interpretations, one singles out a particular decomposition of the state vector in order to fix the properties that are well-defined for the system. We present a novel proposal for this preferred decomposition. Given a distinguished factorization of the Hilbert space, it is the decomposition that minimizes the Ingarden–Urbanik entropy from among all product decompositions with respect to the distinguished factorization. We incorporate this choice of preferred decomposition into a framework for modal interpretations and investigate in detail the extent to which it provides a solution to the measurement problem and the extent to which it ensures that measurements whose outcomes are predictable with probability 1 reveal pre-existing properties of the system under investigation.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Spekkens
    • 1
  • J. E. Sipe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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