Is Information the Key?
The difference between classical and quantum information arises because of the different distinguishability properties of classical and quantum pure states: only orthogonal quantum states are reliably distinguishable with zero probability of error. Classical information is that sort of information represented in a set of distinguishable states and so can be regarded as a subcategory of quantum information. The transition from classical to relativistic physics rests on the recognition that space-time structurally different than we thought. In the transition from classical to quantum physics, what we have discovered is that information in the physical sense is structurally different than we thought. The claim about information and quantum mechanics is that the puzzling and seemingly paradoxical features of the theory, including the measurement problem, are to be understood as arising from this structural difference.
KeywordsQuantum Correlation Credence Function Deterministic State Hide Variable Theory Stochastic Source
This paper was written during the tenure of a University of Maryland RASA semester research award.
- Bell, John Stuart. 1964. On the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox. Physics 1: 195–200. Reprinted in Bell, John Stuart. 1989. Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Bell, John Stuart. 1990. Against measurement. Physics World, 8: 33–40. Reprinted in Sixty-two years of uncertainty: historical, philosophical and physical inquiries into the foundations of quantum mechanics, ed. Arthur Miller, 17–31. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
- Born, Max. 1971. The Born-Einstein Letters. London: Walker and Co.Google Scholar
- Brassard, Gilles. 2000. Quantum foundations in the light of quantum cryptography. Workshop on Quantum foundations in the light of quantum information and cryptography. Université de Montréal, 17–19 May, 2000.Google Scholar
- Frigg, Roman, and Carl Hoefer. 2010. Determinism and chance from a Humean perspective. In The present situation in the philosophy of science, eds. Friedrich Stadler, Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao J. González, Stephan Hartmann, Thomas Uebel, and Marcel Weber, 351–372. Berlin and New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ghirardi, Gian-Carlo. 2008. Collapse theories. The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), ed. Edward N. Zalta. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/qm-collapse/ . Accessed 12 June 2011.
- Saunders, Simon, Jonathan Barrett, Adrian Kent, and David Wallace. 2010. Many worlds? Everett, quantum theory, and reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- von Neumann, John. 1955. Mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar