Abstract
The interpretation of quantum theory is one of the longeststanding debates in physics. Type I interpretations see quantum probabilities as determined by intrinsic properties of the observed system. Type II see them as relational experiences between an observer and the system. It is usually believed that a decision between these two options cannot be made simply on purely physical grounds but requires an act of metaphysical judgment. Here we show that, under some assumptions, the problem is decidable using thermodynamics. We prove that type I interpretations are incompatible with the following assumptions: (i) The choice of which measurement is performed can be made randomly and independently of the system under observation, (ii) the system has limited memory, and (iii) Landauer's erasure principle holds.
Original language  English 

Article number  052127 
Number of pages  5 
Journal  Physical Review A 
Volume  94 
Issue number  5 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  23 Nov 2016 
Keywords
 Quantum physics
 Complexity
 THERMODYNAMICS
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Profiles

Dr Karoline Wiesner
 School of Mathematics  Reader in Complexity Sciences
 The Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information
 Applied Mathematics
 Mathematical Physics
Person: Academic , Member