Weak Values and Quantum Properties

Foundations of Physics 49 (3):298-316 (2019)
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Abstract

We investigate in this work the meaning of weak values through the prism of property ascription in quantum systems. Indeed, the weak measurements framework contains only ingredients of the standard quantum formalism, and as such weak measurements are from a technical point of view uncontroversial. However attempting to describe properties of quantum systems through weak values—the output of weak measurements—goes beyond the usual interpretation of quantum mechanics, that relies on eigenvalues. We first recall the usual form of property ascription, based on the eigenstate-eigenvalue link and the existence of “elements of reality”. We then describe against this backdrop the different meanings that have been given to weak values. We finally argue that weak values can be related to a specific form of property ascription, weaker than the eigenvalues case but still relevant to a partial description of a quantum system.

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References found in this work

Incompleteness, non locality and realism. A prolegomenon to the philosophy of quantum mechanics.Michael Redhead - 1987 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 180 (4):712-713.
Does time-symmetry imply retrocausality? How the quantum world says “Maybe”?Huw Price - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (2):75-83.
The Principles of Quantum Mechanics.P. A. M. Dirac - 1936 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 43 (2):5-5.
Demystifying Weak Measurements.R. E. Kastner - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (5):697-707.
Demystifying Weak Measurements.Ruth Kastner - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (5):697-707.

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