Volume 117, Number 4, February 2017
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||04 April 2017|
Relativity of quantum states and observables
1 Descartes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science and the Humanities and Department of Mathematics, Utrecht University - 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
2 Department of Mathematics, University of York - Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
3 Department of Nuclear Engineering, Kyoto University - Kyoto daigaku-katsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto, 615-8540 Japan
Received: 15 December 2016
Accepted: 21 March 2017
Under the principle that quantum-mechanical observables are invariant under relevant symmetry transformations, we explore how the usual, non-invariant quantities may capture measurement statistics. Using a relativisation mapping, viewed as the incorporation of a quantum reference frame, we show that the usual quantum description approximates the relative one precisely when the reference system admits an appropriate localisable quantity and a localised state. From this follows a new perspective on the nature and reality of quantum superpositions and optical coherence.
PACS: 03.65.Ta – Foundations of quantum mechanics; measurement theory
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