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Observables, Disassembled

Roberts, Bryan W. (2018) Observables, Disassembled. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. ISSN 1355-2198

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Abstract

How should we characterise the observable aspects of quantum the- ory? This paper argues that philosophers and physicists should jettison a standard dogma: that observables must be represented by self-adjoint or Hermitian operators. Four classes of non-standard observables are identified: normal operators, symmetric operators, real-spectrum operators, and none of these. The philosophical and physical implications of each are explored.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Roberts, Bryan W.b.w.roberts@lse.ac.uk0000-0003-0548-1280
Keywords: quantum theory, observables, non-Hermitian, non-self-adjoint, philosophy of physics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Dr. Bryan W. Roberts
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 00:21
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2018 00:21
Item ID: 14449
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2018.02.002
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2018.02.002
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 2018
ISSN: 1355-2198
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14449

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