The interpretation of quantum theory is one of the longest-standing 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.
- Quantum physics