A Representation of Quantum Measurement in Order-Unit Spaces

Foundations of Physics (Impact Factor: 1.14). 01/2010; DOI: 10.1007/s10701-008-9236-y
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT A certain generalization of the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics beyond operator algebras is considered. The approach is based on the concept of conditional probability and the interpretation of the Lueders - von Neumann quantum measurement as a probability conditionalization rule. A major result shows that the operator algebras must be replaced by order-unit spaces with some specific properties in the generalized approach, and it is analyzed under which conditions these order-unit spaces become Jordan algebras. An application of this result provides a characterization of the projection lattices in operator algebras. Comment: 12 pages, the original publication is available at htt://

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    ABSTRACT: Starting from an abstract setting for the Lueders - von Neumann quantum measurement process and its interpretation as a probability conditionalization rule in a non-Boolean event structure, the author derived a certain generalization of operator algebras in a preceding paper. This is an order-unit space with some specific properties. It becomes a Jordan operator algebra under a certain set of additional conditions, but does not own a multiplication operation in the most general case. A major objective of the present paper is the search for such examples of the structure mentioned above that do not stem from Jordan operator algebras; first natural candidates are matrix algebras over the octonions and other nonassociative rings. Therefore, the case when a nonassociative commutative multiplication exists is studied without assuming that it satisfies the Jordan condition. The characteristics of the resulting algebra are analyzed. This includes the uniqueness of the spectral resolution as well as a criterion for its existence, subalgebras that are Jordan algebras, associative subalgebras, and more different levels of compatibility than occurring in standard quantum mechanics. However, the paper cannot provide the desired example, but contribute to the search by the identification of some typical differences between the potential examples and the Jordan operator algebras and by negative results concerning some first natural candidates. The possibility that no such example exists cannot be ruled out. However, this would result in an unexpected new characterization of Jordan operator algebras, which would have a significant impact on quantum axiomatics since some customary axioms (e.g., powerassociativity or the sum postulate for observables) might turn out to be redundant then. Comment: 14 pages, the original publication is available at
    Foundations of Physics 02/2010; · 1.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Considering not only the well-known two-slit experiment, but also experiments with three slits, Sorkin introduced the third-order interference term I3 and discovered that the absence of third-order interference (I3=0) is typical of quantum mechanics where only second-order interference occurs. In the present paper, the interference term I3 is ported to the quantum logics with unique conditional probabilities. In this framework, the identity I3=0 does not hold in general and its consequences are analysed. A first result reveals a close link between this identity and the existence of a product in the order-unit space generated by the quantum logic. In the general case, this product is neither commutative nor associative. By a second result, the order-unit space becomes a Jordan algebra, if each element behaves like one would expect from an observable (i.e., its square is positive and there is a polynomial functional calculus). Almost all such Jordan algebras can be represented as operator algebras on a Hilbert space, and a reconstruction of quantum mechanics up to this point is thus achieved from the absence of third-order interference and a few other principles. Besides the identity I3=0, two further interesting properties of quantum mechanics distinguishing it from more general theories are studied. These are a novel bound for quantum interference and a symmetry condition for the conditional probabilities.
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    ABSTRACT: An interesting link between two very different physical aspects of quantum mechanics is revealed; these are the absence of third-order interference and Tsirelson's bound for the nonlocal correlations. Considering multiple-slit experiments - not only the traditional configuration with two slits, but also configurations with three and more slits - Sorkin detected that third-order (and higher-order) interference is not possible in quantum mechanics. The EPR experiments show that quantum mechanics involves nonlocal correlations which are demonstrated in a violation of the Bell or CHSH inequality, but are still limited by a bound discovered by Tsirelson. It now turns out that Tsirelson's bound holds in a broad class of probabilistic theories provided that they rule out third-order interference. A major characteristic of this class is the existence of a reasonable calculus of conditional probability or, phrased more physically, of a reasonable model for the quantum measurement process.
    Foundations of Physics 04/2011; 43(6). · 1.14 Impact Factor


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