What are the (philosophical) implications  (if any ) of this experimental result, in relation to the Bohr - Einstein debates and hidden variable theories of quantum mechanics? A related question can be found here

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    $\begingroup$ It's currently unclear what exactly this question is asking without clicking on the link you provided. To make questions more accessible and guard against link rot, please include all relevant information, such as the explanation of notation or specific terminology used, in your question. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind
    Jun 4, 2019 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for pointing to these scientists. „Microwave radiation stirs the artificial atom as it is simultaneously being observed, resulting in quantum jumps. The tiny quantum signal of these jumps can be amplified. This enabled the researchers to see a sudden absence of detection photons; this tiny absence is the advance warning of a quantum jump....While quantum jumps appear discrete and random in the long run, ... the jump always occurs in the same, predictable manner from its random starting point.” $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2019 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ I am delighted from the bottom of my heart that an indeterminability becomes a measurable quantity. The hidden parameter is no longer one. Until now, the right measuring instrument was simply missing. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2019 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ The Nature paper referenced in the linked page is To catch and reverse a quantum jump mid-flight; it is not open access. The related preprint on arXiv seems to be arxiv.org/abs/1803.00545. There is also a dissertation, Catching and Reversing a Quantum Jump Mid-Flight. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2019 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


There seems to be a confusion in this experiment, mixing frameworks and models.

In the publication in the beginning of the description of the experiment they state:

"First, we developed a superconducting artificial atom with the necessary V-shape level structure " .

Super conductivity is a meta level , emergent from the underlying quantum mechanics, and modeled with quantum mechanics. That it can be modeled quantum mechanically does not subtract from the fact that it is emergent from zillions of particles. My opinion is supported by the statement in this tutorial on quantum trajectories , that everything is within the scope of standard quantum mechanics and its postulates.

"In these systems, the stochastic equations arise as effective evolution equations, and are in no sense anything other than standard quantum mechanics(except, perhaps, in the trivial sense of approaching the limit of continuous measurement)

One cannot argue for the basic postulates of quantum mechanics on emergent data from underlying quantum mechanics, imo. In a sense it is like taking the mechanics in a video game to deduce the mechanics in real three dimensional space.

Let me give an example from classical physics:

Thermodynamics emerges from classical statistical mechanics, can one deduce from thermodynamic states the underlying particle interactions and assert their continuity and change classical mechanics postulates?

It so happens that the emergent behavior of electron pairs in metals can be modeled quantum mechanically , that means that the theory fits the data with postulates appropriate to the data. If for this superconducting construct, "atom", there is a discrepancy with the basic quantum mechanical postulates, too bad, it means that the model's postulates have to change for superconductors, with whatever this implies.

In my opinion to really question the underlying quantum mechanical framework of elementary particles one needs experiments with elementary particles, not with collective phenomena emergent from zillions of such particles. Hidden variable theories for the basic quantum mechanics framework cannot be based on emergent states.


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