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Reality and the Probability Wave

Shanahan, Daniel (2019) Reality and the Probability Wave. International Journal of Quantum Foundations, 5. pp. 51-68.

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Abstract

Effects associated in quantum mechanics with a divisible probability wave are explained as physically real consequences of the equal but opposite reaction of the apparatus as a particle is measured. Taking as illustration a Mach-Zehnder interferometer operating by refraction, it is shown that this reaction must comprise a fluctuation in the reradiation field of complementary effect to the changes occurring in the photon as it is projected into one or other path. The evolution of this fluctuation through the experiment will explain the alternative states of the particle discerned in self interference, while the maintenance of equilibrium in the face of such fluctuations becomes the source of the Born probabilities. In this scheme, the probability wave is a mathematical artifact, epistemic rather than ontic, and akin in this respect to the simplifying constructions of geometrical optics.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Shanahan, Danieldanjune@bigpond.net.au0000-0003-1896-4740
Keywords: probability wave, measurement problem, self interference, Schrödinger's cat, Mach-Zehnder interferometer, local realism
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Mr Daniel Shanahan
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2019 04:18
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 04:18
Item ID: 15881
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Quantum Foundations
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 22 January 2019
Page Range: pp. 51-68
Volume: 5
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15881

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