Valia Allori

Valia Allori
Northern Illinois University · Department of Philosophy

PhD Physics; PhD Philosophy

About

50
Publications
16,861
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934
Citations
Introduction
Valia Allori has studied physics and philosophy first in Italy, her home country, and then in the United States. She has worked in the foundations of quantum mechanics. Her main concern has always been to understand what the world is really like, and how we can use our best physical theory to answer such general metaphysical questions.
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
Northern Illinois University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2007 - August 2013
Northern Illinois University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2005 - May 2007
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
August 2002 - October 2007
November 1999 - December 2001
October 1991 - March 1997
University of Milan
Field of study
  • Physics

Publications

Publications (50)
Chapter
Full-text available
For a long time, it was believed that it was impossible to be realist about quantum mechanics. It took quite a while for the researchers in the foundations of physics, beginning with John Stuart Bell (1987), to convince others that such an alleged impossibility had no foundation. These days there are several quantum theories that can be interpreted...
Article
Full-text available
A major disagreement between different views about the foundations of quantum mechanics concerns whether for a theory to be intelligible as a fundamental physical theory it must involve a "primitive ontology" (PO), i.e., variables describing the distribution of matter in 4-dimensional space-time. In this paper, we illustrate the value of having a P...
Article
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Bohmian mechanics and the Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber theory provide opposite resolutions of the quantum measurement problem: the former postulates additional variables (the particle positions) besides the wave function, whereas the latter implements spontaneous collapses of the wave function by a nonlinear and stochastic modification of Schrödinger's eq...
Article
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The violation of Bell’s inequality has shown that quantum theory and relativity are in tension: reality is nonlocal. Nonetheless, many have argued that GRW-type theories are to be preferred to pilot-wave theories as they are more compatible with relativity: while relativistic pilot-wave theories require a preferred slicing of space-time, foliation-...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims to investigate the so-called paradox of deterministic probabilities: in a deterministic world, all probabilities should be subjective; however, they also seem to play important explanatory and predictive roles which suggest they are objective. The problem is then to understand what these deterministic probabilities are. Recent propo...
Article
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In this paper I present a new perspective for interpreting the wavefunction as a non-material, non-epistemic, non-representational entity. I endorse a functional view according to which the wavefunction is defined by its roles in the theory. I argue that this approach shares some similarities with the nomological account of the wave function as wel...
Chapter
Quantum mechanics is a groundbreaking theory: it not only is extraordinarily empirically adequate but also is claimed to having shattered the classical paradigm of understanding the observer-observed distinction as well as the part-whole relation. This, together with other quantum features, has been taken to suggest that quantum theory can help one...
Article
When discussing quantum ontology, the debate has recently focused on comparing and contrasting wavefunction realism and its rivals. Among them one finds the primitive ontology approach, which is often conflated with the local beables program. In this paper I wish to clarify what I take to be the distinction between the notion of primitive ontology...
Book
This book is a tribute to the scientific legacy of GianCarlo Ghirardi, who was one of the most influential scientists in the field of modern foundations of quantum theory. In this appraisal, contributions from friends, collaborators and colleagues reflect the influence of his world of thoughts on theory, experiments and philosophy, while also offer...
Chapter
Full-text available
Spontaneous localization theory is a quantum theory proposed by GianCarlo Ghirardi, together with Alberto Rimini and Tullio Weber in 1986. However, soon it became clear to Ghirardi that his work was more than just one theory: he actually developed a framework, a family of theories in which the wavefunction jumps, but where the ontology of the theor...
Chapter
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The information-theoretic approach to quantum mechanics, proposed by Bub and Pitowsky, is a realist approach to quantum theory which rejects the “two dogmas” of quantum mechanics: in this theory measurement results are not analysed in terms of something more fundamental, and the quantum state does not represent physical entities. Bub and Pitowsky’s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Scientific realism assumes that our best scientific theories can be regarded as (approximately) true. Quantum mechanics has long been regarded as at odds with scientific realism. It is now known that this is not true. However, scientific realists usually assume that the wave function represents physical entities. Chapter 11 discusses a particular a...
Chapter
Full-text available
The scientific realist wants to read the metaphysical picture of reality through our best fundamental physical theories. The traditional way of doing so is in terms of objects, properties, and laws of nature. For instance, there are families of fundamental particles individuated by their properties of mass and charge, which determine how they move...
Chapter
Full-text available
Quantum mechanics is a groundbreaking theory: not only it is extraordinarily empirically adequate but also it is claimed to having shattered the classical paradigm of understanding the observer-observed distinction as well as the part-whole relation. This, together with other quantum features, has been taken to suggest that quantum theory can help...
Chapter
Full-text available
In questo articolo discuto come la spiegazione di regoltarità che regolano fenomeni macroscopici, come le leggi della termodinamica, fornita dalla meccanica statistica si riconduce ad essere molto simile, con le debite precisazioni, alla spiegazione data dal modello a legge di copertura secondo cui una spiegazione è un argomento che ha come premess...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is a collection of six papers that Schrödinger published at the rate of almost one a month in 1926. Three more papers written in 1927 were added to the second German edition of the book published in 1928, before being translated into English. This book contains the foundation of wave mechanics as a theory of matter, in which the now-famous Sch...
Preprint
Full-text available
Book review of "Beyond the Dynamical Universe: Unifying Block Universe Physics, and Time as Experienced" by Michael Silberstein, W.M. Stuckey and Timothy McDewitt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 448 pp., ISBN: 9780198807087. £55 $75 (hbk).
Article
Full-text available
Against what is commonly accepted in many contexts, it has been recently suggested that both deterministic and indeterministic quantum theories are not time-reversal invariant, and thus time is handed in a quantum world. In this paper, I analyze these arguments and evaluate possible reactions to them. In the context of deterministic theories, first...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper, I argue that Conway and Kochen’s Free Will Theorem (1,2) to the conclusion that quantum mechanics and relativity entail freedom for the particles, does not change the situation in favor of a libertarian position as they would like. In fact, the theorem more or less implicitly assumes that people are free, and thus it begs the questio...
Chapter
Full-text available
Scientific realism is the view that our best scientific theories can be regarded as (approximately) true. This is connected with the view that science, physics in particular, and metaphysics could (and should) inform one another: on the one hand, science tells us what the world is like, and on the other hand, metaphysical principles allow us to sel...
Article
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International Journal of Quantum Foundations 5 1–10 (2019).
Article
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In this paper I wish to connect the recent debate in the philosophy of quantum mechanics concerning the nature of the wave function to the historical debate in the philosophy of science regarding the tenability of scientific realism. Being realist about quantum mechanics is particularly challenging when focusing on the wave function. According to t...
Article
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Book review of "Quantum Ontology" by Peter Lewis
Article
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In this paper I investigate, within the framework of realistic interpretations of the wave function in nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, the mathematical and physical nature of the wave function. I argue against the view that mathematically the wave function is a two-component scalar field on configuration space. First, I review how this view make...
Chapter
Full-text available
Quantum mechanics has always been regarded as, at best, puzzling, if not contradictory. The aim of the paper is to explore a particular approach to fundamental physical theories, the one based on the notion of primitive ontology. This approach, when applied to quantum mechanics, makes it a paradox-free theory.
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper is a brief (and hopelessly incomplete) non-standard introduction to the philosophy of space and time. It is an introduction because I plan to give an overview of what I consider some of the main questions about space and time: Is space a substance over and above matter? How many dimensions does it have? Is space-time fundamental or emerg...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper I present the common structure of quantum theories with a primitive ontology, and discuss in what sense the classical world emerges from quantum theories as understood in this framework. In addition, I argue that the primitive ontology approach is better at answering this question than the rival wave function ontology approach or any...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is to summarize a particular approach of doing metaphysics through physics-the primitive ontology approach. The idea is that any fundamental physical theory has a well-defined architecture, to the foundation of which there is the primitive ontology, which represents matter. According to the framework provided by this approach...
Article
Full-text available
It has been argued that the transition from classical to quantum mechanics is an example of a Kuhnian scientific revolution, in which there is a shift from the simple, intuitive, straightforward classical paradigm, to the quantum, convoluted, counterintuitive, amazing new quantum paradigm. In this paper, after having clarified what these quantum pa...
Article
Full-text available
n this paper, I argue that the recent discussion on the time-reversal invariance of classical electrodynamics (see (Albert 2000: ch.1), (Arntzenius 2004), (Earman 2002), (Malament 2004),(Horwich 1987: ch.3)) can be best understood assuming that the disagreement among the various authors is actually a disagreement about the metaphysics of classical...
Article
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Schrodinger’s first proposal for the interpretation of quantum mechanics was based on a postulate relating the wave function on configuration space to charge density in physical space. Schrodinger apparently later thought that his proposal was empirically wrong. We argue here that this is not the case, at least for a very similar proposal with char...
Article
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The book originates from an international conference held in November 2000 at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT. The main conviction of the authors is that not only the development of modern mathematics, foundations of mathematics, and mathematical logic, but also the development of modern scientific thought can...
Thesis
Full-text available
In my dissertation I analyze the structure of fundamental physical theories. I start with an analysis of what an adequate primitive ontology is, discussing the measurement problem in quantum mechanics and theirs solutions. It is commonly said that these theories have little in common. I argue instead that the moral of the measurement problem is tha...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper (in Italian) we discuss how quantum theories can be thought of as having the same structure. If so, even the theories that appear to be about the wave function are incomplete, even if in a way which is very different from the one Einstein proposed.
Thesis
Full-text available
According to the general wisdom there should not be any problem with the classical limit of quantum mechanics. After all, in any textbook of quantum mechanics one can easily find a section where the solution to this problem is explained. Usually, Ehrenfest theorem, WKB approximation or simply the observation that the canonical commutation relations...
Article
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Bohmian mechanics is a quantum theory with a clear ontology. To make clear what we mean by this, we shall proceed by recalling first what are the problems of quantum mechanics. We shall then briefly sketch the basics of Bohmian mechanics and indicate how Bohmian mechanics solves these problems and clarifies the status and the role of of the quantum...
Article
Full-text available
Contrary to the widespread belief, the problem of the emergence of classical mechanics from quantum mechanics is still open. In spite of many results on the ¯h → 0 asymptotics, it is not yet clear how to explain within standard quantum mechanics the classical motion of macroscopic bodies. In this paper we shall analyze special cases of classical be...
Article
Full-text available
Classical physics is about real objects, like apples falling from trees, whose motion is governed by Newtonian laws. In standard quantum mechanics only the wave function or the results of measurements exist, and to answer the question of how the classical world can be part of the quantum world is a rather formidable task. However, this is not the c...
Article
We have measured the angular distributions and the forward recoil range distributions of residues produced in the interaction of, respectively, 151, 228 and 402 MeV 12C ions with 103Rh and the forward recoil range distributions of residues produced in the interaction of 303 MeV 16O ions with 103Rh. These data have been successfully reproduced by a...
Article
Full-text available
A comprehensive theory of the interaction of 12C and 16O with nuclei, considering both mean-field and two-body nucleon-nucleon interactions is discussed. The excitation functions of a large number of reactions extending over several hundred MeV incident energies induced in the bombardment of 103Rh with 12C and 16O and residue recoil range distribut...
Article
Fifty-three excitation functions for the production of radioactive residues in the interaction of 12C with 103Rh have been measured from the Coulomb barrier up to 400 MeV by means of the activation technique. These excitation functions have been analyzed considering complete fusion, incomplete fusion of 8Be and α-particle fragments and, above about...

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