We study the unique role played in quantum mechanics by non-events or ‘counterfactuals’. Our earlier analysis of ‘quantum oblivion’ has revealed some subtle stages in the measurement process, which may end up in self-cancellation. To these findings, we now add two insights derived by two time-symmetric interpretations of quantum mechanics. (i) Like all quantum interactions, the non-event is formed by the conjunction of forward-plus-backward-evolving wave functions. (ii) Then, it is another feature of such dual evolutions, namely the involvement of negative masses and energies, that enables Nature to make some events ‘unhappen’ while leaving causal traces.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|Early online date||18 Apr 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 28 May 2016|
- quantum oblivion
- time symmetry
Elitzur, A., & Cohen, E. (2016). 1−1=Counterfactual: on the potency and significance of quantum non-events. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 374(2068), . https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2015.0242