Questions tagged [foundations]

Devoted to the conceptual bases of the fundamental theories of physics, to their philosophical and logical premises.

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0answers
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Ontic state space from operational structures

Operationalism eschews a notion of system state in favour of the empirical behaviours of preparation and measurement. Abramsky has formalized operational structures as Chu spaces. It would be nice ...
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Is the classical world an illusion?

In the paper Zeh, H. D. The Wave Function: It or Bit? In Science and Ultimate Reality, eds. J.D. Barrow, P.C.W. Davies, and C.L. Harper Jr. (Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 103-120. arXiv:...
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Banach Space representations of physical systems

I think most physicists mostly model physical systems as some kind of Hilbert space. Hilbert spaces are a strict subset of Banach spaces. Questions: Can physical systems really have non-compact ...
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Why quantum mechanics?

Imagine you're teaching a first course on quantum mechanics in which your students are well-versed in classical mechanics, but have never seen any quantum before. How would you motivate the subject ...
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How to go from Quantum World to Classical World? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it possible to recover Classical Mechanics from Schrödinger’s equation? Classical Limit of the Feynman Path Integral In the quantum world we don't have specific ...
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General relativity and the microscopic/macroscopic distinction

Here is Wikipedia's diagram of the stress-energy tensor in general relativity: I notice that all of its elements are what would be termed "macroscopic" quantities in thermodynamics. That is, in ...
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6answers
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Is the density operator a mathematical convenience or a 'fundamental' aspect of quantum mechanics?

In quantum mechanics, one makes the distinction between mixed states and pure states. A classic example of a mixed state is a beam of photons in which 50% have spin in the positive $z$-direction and ...
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Reason for the discreteness arising in quantum mechanics?

What is the most essential reason that actually leads to the quantization. I am reading the book on quantum mechanics by Griffiths. The quanta in the infinite potential well for e.g. arise due to the ...
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0answers
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Can quantum field theory be seen as an epistemic restriction on (quantum) causal structure

Suppose we take Vicary's quantum harmonic oscilator as a kind of "toy quantum field theory". Next, take the category of internal comonoids to not represent the background causal structure. We ...
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Does it make sense to speak of amplitudes of finite closed boundaries in QFT?

A example of amplitude in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics or specifically in QFT is the amplitude of a field configuration on a space-like hyper-surface of space-time to "lead" to another field ...
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POVMs that do not require enlargement of the Hilbert space

The usual justification for regarding POVMs as fundamental measurements is via Neumark's theorem, i.e., by showing that they can always be realized by a projective measurement in a larger Hilbert ...
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4answers
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What fundamental principles or theories are required by modern physics? [closed]

We have been taught that speed of light is insurmountable but as we know an experiment recently tried to show otherwise. If the experiment did turn out to be correct and confirmed by others, would ...
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Experimental test of the non-statisticality theorem?

Context: The paper On the reality of the quantum state (Nature Physics 8, 475–478 (2012) or arXiv:1111.3328) shows under suitable assumptions that the quantum state cannot be interpreted as a ...
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What are the justifying foundations of statistical mechanics without appealing to the ergodic hypothesis?

This question was listed as one of the questions in the proposal (see here), and I didn't know the answer. I don't know the ethics on blatantly stealing such a question, so if it should be deleted or ...
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3answers
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Learn QM algebraic formulations and interpretations

I have a good undergrad knowledge of quantum mechanics, and I'm interesting in reading up more about interpretation and in particular things related to how QM emerges algebraically from some ...