Distinct quantum states can be compatible with a single state of reality.

Phys Rev Lett 2012 Oct 9;109(15):150404. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Controlled Quantum Dynamics Theory Group, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Perhaps the quantum state represents information about reality, and not reality directly. Wave function collapse is then possibly no more mysterious than a Bayesian update of a probability distribution given new data. We consider models for quantum systems with measurement outcomes determined by an underlying physical state of the system but where several quantum states are consistent with a single underlying state-i.e., probability distributions for distinct quantum states overlap. Significantly, we demonstrate by example that additional assumptions are always necessary to rule out such a model.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.150404DOI Listing
October 2012
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R. E. Peierls et al.
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E. T. Jaynes et al.
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