Article

A Representation of Quantum Measurement in Order-Unit Spaces

Foundations of Physics (Impact Factor: 1.17). 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://www.springerlink.com

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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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