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By Claudio Garola, Arcangelo Rossi, Sandro Sozzo

This quantity presents a distinct evaluation of modern Italian experiences at the foundations of quantum mechanics and similar ancient, philosophical and epistemological themes. a meeting of students from various cultural backgrounds, the convention supplied a discussion board for a desirable trade of rules and views on quite a number open questions in quantum mechanics. the various nature of the papers during this quantity attests to the fulfillment of that goal with many contributions supplying unique suggestions to proven difficulties via making an allowance for options from varied disciplines.

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Extra resources for The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, Historical Analysis and Open Questions - Cesena 2004: Cesena, Italy, 4-9 Ocober 2004

Example text

The thought is that it’s because the fundamental physical laws contain a past hypothesis but no analogous future one that facts about the present can be so mind-bogglingly more informative about what’s already happened than they ever are about what’s to come. The thought is that there can be measurements of the past but not of the future precisely because there is something in the past, but nothing in the future, to put an end to the regress. Jedediah: Are you asking me to believe that the way I make inferences about the past by (say) looking at a photograph somehow involves my explicitly knowing, and correctly applying, the past hypothesis and the statistical postulate and the microscopic equations of motion?

The technical reason has to do with the fact that the sort of information we can actually have about physical systems—the sort that we can get (that is) by measuring—is invariably compatible with a continuous infinity of the system’s microstates. And so the only way of assigning equal probability to all of those states at the time in question will be by assigning each and every one of them the probability zero. And that will of course tell us nothing whatsoever about how to make our predictions.

Presumably by measurement. Presumably (that is) because I have a record of it. But how is it that I know that the purported record in question is actually reliable? How is it (that is) that I know that the measuring device which presently bears the purported record of billiard ball number 5’s having been in motion ten seconds ago was in fact in its ready condition, at the appropriate time, prior to ten seconds ago? Presumably by means of another measurement. ) must eventually lead back, the mother (as it were) of all ready conditions.

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