Quantum Theory Without Hilbert Spaces

Foundations of Physics 31 (11):1545-1580 (2001)
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Quantum theory does not only predict probabilities, but also relative phases for any experiment, that involves measurements of an ensemble of systems at different moments of time. We argue, that any operational formulation of quantum theory needs an algebra of observables and an object that incorporates the information about relative phases and probabilities. The latter is the (de)coherence functional, introduced by the consistent histories approach to quantum theory. The acceptance of relative phases as a primitive ingredient of any quantum theory, liberates us from the need to use a Hilbert space and non-commutative observables. It is shown, that quantum phenomena are adequately described by a theory of relative phases and non-additive probabilities on the classical phase space. The only difference lies on the type of observables that correspond to sharp measurements. This class of theories does not suffer from the consequences of Bell's theorem (it is not a theory of Kolmogorov probabilities) and Kochen–Specker's theorem (it has distributive “logic”). We discuss its predictability properties, the meaning of the classical limit and attempt to see if it can be experimentally distinguished from standard quantum theory. Our construction is operational and statistical, in the spirit of Copenhagen, but makes plausible the existence of a realist, geometric theory for individual quantum systems



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Charis Anastopoulos
University of Patras

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References found in this work

The Problem of Hidden Variables in Quantum Mechanics.Simon Kochen & E. P. Specker - 1967 - Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics 17:59--87.
”Relative state’ formulation of quantum mechanics.Hugh Everett - 1957 - Reviews of Modern Physics 29 (3):454--462.
'Relative State' Formulation of Quantum Mechanics.Hugh Everett - 1957 - Reviews of Modern Physics 29 (3):454-462.

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