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Is a system's wave function in one-to-one correspondence with its elements of reality?

Originality
+ 1 - 0
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-5.38
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Referee this paper: arXiv:1111.6597 by Roger Colbeck, Renato Renner

Please use comments to point to previous work in this direction, and reviews to referee the accuracy of the paper. Feel free to edit this submission to summarise the paper (just click on edit, your summary will then appear under the horizontal line)

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Abstract: Although quantum mechanics is one of our most successful physical theories, there has been a long-standing debate about the interpretation of the wave function---the central object of the theory. Two prominent views are that (i) it corresponds to an element of reality, i.e. an objective attribute that exists before measurement, and (ii) it is a subjective state of knowledge about some underlying reality. A recent result [Pusey et al. arXiv:1111.3328] has placed the subjective interpretation into doubt, showing that it would contradict certain physically plausible assumptions, in particular that multiple systems can be prepared such that their elements of reality are uncorrelated. Here we show, based only on the assumption that measurement settings can be chosen freely, that a system's wave function is in one-to-one correspondence with its elements of reality. This also eliminates the possibility that it can be interpreted subjectively.

requested Jan 26 by Dilaton (4285 points)
summarized by Arnold Neumaier
paper authored Nov 28, 2011 to quant-ph by  (no author on PO assigned yet) 
  • [ revision history ]
    edited Jan 28 by Arnold Neumaier

    By treating the wave function as a random variable (which has for each particle a definite value), the authors effectively assume already their conclusion, that the wave function is an element of reality (i.e., its components serve as hidden variables). 

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