Theoretical Physics

11 December 2013
Time: 15:00 to 16:00
Location: EC Stoner SR 8.62

Roger Colbeck (York)

Is a system's wavefunction determined by its elements of reality?

Although quantum mechanics is one of our most successful 
physical theories, there has been a long-standing debate about the 
interpretation of the wave function---the central object of the theory. 
Two prominent views are that (i) it corresponds to an element of 
reality, i.e. an objective attribute that exists before measurement, and 
(ii) it is a subjective state of knowledge about some underlying 
reality.  A celebrated result by Pusey, Barrett and Rudolph (PBR) rules 
out the latter view.  In this talk, I will give an alternative argument 
that rules out this view, and briefly discuss it in relation to the 
argument of PBR.



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