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Information is physical: cross-perspective links in relational quantum mechanics

Adlam, Emily and Rovelli, Carlo (2023) Information is physical: cross-perspective links in relational quantum mechanics. Philosophy of Physics, 1 (1). ISSN 2753-5908

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Identification Number: 10.31389/pop.8


Relational quantum mechanics (RQM) is an interpretation of quantum mechanics based on the idea that quantum states do not describe an absolute property of a system but rather a relationship between systems. There have recently been some criticisms of RQM pertaining to issues around intersubjectivity. In this article, we show how RQM can address these criticisms by adding a new postulate which requires that all of the information possessed by a certain observer is stored in physical variables of that observer and thus is accessible by measurement to other observers. This makes it possible for observers to reach intersubjective agreement about quantum events that have occurred in the past. We suggest a possible ontology for a version of RQM employing this postulate; this ontology upholds the principle that quantum states are always relational, but it also postulates a set of quantum events that are not strictly relational. We show that the new postulate helps address the preferred basis problem in RQM.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QC Physics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2023 14:51
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:19

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