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Spontaneous Localization Theories with a Particle Ontology

Allori, Valia (2020) Spontaneous Localization Theories with a Particle Ontology. [Preprint]


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Spontaneous localization theory is a quantum theory proposed by GianCarlo Ghirardi, together with Alberto Rimini and Tullio Weber in 1986. However, soon it became clear to Ghirardi that his work was more than just one theory: he actually developed a framework, a family of theories in which the wavefunction jumps, but where the ontology of the theory is underdetermined. After acknowledging that the wavefunction did not provide a satisfactory ontology, he assumed that matter was described by a continuous matter density field in three-dimensional space, whose evolution is governed by a stochastic wavefunction evolution. Alternatively, Bell assumed that the wavefunction would govern a spatiotemporal event ontology, dubbed ‘flashes.’ However, not much work has been done with the perhaps most obvious possibility, namely that physical objects are made of particles. This paper has two aims. First to explain the reason why people require spontaneous localization theory to be more than just a theory about the wavefunction. This is done by showing how the problem everyone in the foundation of quantum mechanics take to be the fundamental problem of quantum mechanics, namely the measurement problem, is a red herring. Then, the paper explores the possibility of spontaneous localization theories of particles. I argue that this discussion is not a mere exercise, as spontaneous localization theories of particles may be amenable to a relativistic extension which does not require a foliation, and because in general the peculiar type of indeterminism of spontaneous localization theories may help shedding new light on the nature of the tension between quantum theory and relativity.

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Item Type: Preprint
Allori, Valiavaliaallori@fastmail.com0000-0002-8144-8549
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr Valia Allori
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2022 14:53
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2022 14:53
Item ID: 21435
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 2020

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