# Valia AlloriUniversity of Bergamo | UNIBG · Department of Letters and Philosophy

Valia Allori

PhD Physics; PhD Philosophy

## About

57

Publications

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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

August 2007 - August 2013

August 2005 - May 2007

Education

August 2002 - October 2007

November 1999 - December 2001

October 1991 - March 1997

## Publications

Publications (57)

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...

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...

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...

In this paper, I argue that the many-worlds theory, even if it is arguably the mathematically most straightforward realist reading of quantum formalism, even if it is arguably local and deterministic, is not universally regarded as the best realist quantum theory because it provides a type of explanation that is not universally accepted. Since peop...

Many agree that the pilot-wave theory is to be understood as a first-order theory, in which the law constrains the velocity of the particles. However, while Dürr, Goldstein and Zanghì maintain that the pilot-wave theory is Galilei invariant, Valentini argues that such a symmetry is mathematical but it has no physical significance. Moreover, some wa...

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-...

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...

Quantum mechanics approaches its centenary with an impressive record. It became the backbone of most research in physics, led to applications such as the transistor and laser, and prompted an upheaval in the philosophy of science. Its scope and its precision have been constantly growing, and it is now promising more powerful computers and safer cry...

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...

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...

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...

Spontaneous localization theories are a class of quantum theories which solve the so-called measurement problem by non-linearly and stochastically modifying the Schrödinger dynamics. In this paper I briefly explain where these theories are coming from, what their driving ideas and main features are, and how they were historically developed. Also, I...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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).

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...

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...

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...

International Journal of Quantum Foundations 5 1–10 (2019).

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...

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...

Book review of "Quantum Ontology" by Peter Lewis

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...