Authors: John Hemp
Abstract In the 1950s and 1960s it was causing interest among physicists that in the formalism of quantum mechanics (complex-valued) ‘probability amplitudes’ obeyed laws similar to the laws obeyed by probabilities in the ordinary probability calculus. But this did not then lead decisively to the claim that probabilities should be represented by complex numbers. It became fashionable instead to regard probability amplitudes as an abstract concept from which actual probabilities could be derived by taking the squared moduli of the amplitudes. In this monograph, however, we make another attempt to show how probability amplitudes might after all be identified with actual probabilities. To do this, probability itself is interpreted in a rational Bayesian manner (i.e. as an extension of logic) and a new (complex-valued) probability theory is formulated that incorporates the uncertainty principle (i.e. that takes account of the fact that acquisition of knowledge of a quantum mechanical process generally interferes with it). Taking this probability theory as the new logic of science, and assuming certain physical laws and properties of matter, an interpretation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics is built up. It is consistent with the usual quantum mechanical formalism but allows a clear distinction to be made between the physical world and our knowledge of it.
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[v1] 2018-02-03 06:18:34
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