Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS April Meeting 2020
Volume 65, Number 2
Saturday–Tuesday, April 18–21, 2020; Washington D.C.
Session R07: The Author in Dialogue: Jeffery Bub, Bananaworld: Quantum Mechanics for PrimatesCancelled Invited Undergrad Friendly

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Sponsoring Units: FHP Chair: Paul CaddenZimansky, Bard College Room: Roosevelt 2 
Monday, April 20, 2020 1:30PM  1:57PM 
R07.00001: Pragmatism: A Natural Home for InformationTheoretic Interpretations of Quantum Theory? Invited Speaker: Leah Henderson Interpretations of quantum theory are often divided into realist and instrumentalist camps. Dominant realist interpretations include the Everett (many worlds) interpretation, the de BroglieBohm interpretation and the GRW theory. The tradition of classical American pragmatism, with origins in the work of Peirce, Dewey and James, provides the philosophical basis for a `third way' which is neither instrumentalist nor realist in the traditional sense. Some recent interpretations of quantum theory may be seen as attempts to occupy the kind of philosophical position that the pragmatists opened up. These include the information theoretic interpretation presented by Jeff Bub in \textit{Bananaworld} and the QBist interpretation due to Chris Fuchs, R\"{u}diger Schack and others. In the case of QBism, there are clear lines of historical influence from the pragmatist philosophers. Both interpretations are also closely connected to ongoing developments in physics. They draw on the resources of the burgeoning field of quantum information theory and on ongoing efforts in the foundations of quantum theory to reaxiomatise the theory in operationalist or informationtheoretic terms. [Preview Abstract] 
Monday, April 20, 2020 1:57PM  2:24PM 
R07.00002: Elliptopes and Polyhedra: Quantum Correlations and Their Classical Simulations Invited Speaker: Michael Janas I use correlation arrays, the workhorse of Bub's Bananaworld, to analyze the correlations found in an experimental setup due to Mermin for measurements on the singlet state of a pair of spin1/2 particles. Adopting an approach pioneered by Pitowsky and promoted in Bananaworld, I show that the class of correlations allowed by quantum mechanics in this setup can be represented geometrically as an elliptope in a nonsignaling cube. I then introduce special raffles to determine which of these quantum correlations are allowed by local hiddenvariable theories. The subclass of the quantum correlations that can be simulated in this way can be represented geometrically by a tetrahedron inscribed within the elliptope. I extend this analysis to the singlet state of two particles with higher spin. The class of correlations allowed by quantum mechanics in this case is still represented by the elliptope; the subclass of those whose main features I can simulate with my raffles can be represented by polyhedra that, with increasing spin, take up more and more of the volume of the elliptope. The elliptope is thus a general constraint on correlations of the kind studied in this Mermin setup, a result which predates quantum mechanics and was already recognized by the statistician Yule in 1896. [Preview Abstract] 
Monday, April 20, 2020 2:24PM  2:51PM 
R07.00003: The Measurement Problem, "Big" and "Small" Invited Speaker: Michel Janssen Bub's Bananaworld can be seen as the sequel to Bub and Pitowsky's "Two dogmas about quantum mechanics." Bub and Pitowsky introduced the notion of a "truthmaker" to characterize the difference between phase space in classical mechanics and Hilbert space in quantum mechanics. Points in phase space are truthmakers in the sense that they fix the values of all observables, represented by functions on phase space. State vectors in Hilbert space fail to do so in two ways. First, the state vector does not tell us which observables, represented by operators in Hilbert space, will be assigned definite values. Second, even when these observables are specified, the state vector only gives us probabilities for finding particular values. This then raises two questions. First, how is one (set of) observable(s) rather than another selected to be assigned definite values? Second, why does an observable, once selected, take on one value rather than another? These two questions correspond to what Bub and Pitowsky, with irony, call the "small" and the "big" measurement problem, respectively. They claim that abandoning the two dogmas they identify in their paper solves both. I will argue that they are right about the "big" but wrong about the "small" measurement problem. [Preview Abstract] 
Monday, April 20, 2020 2:51PM  3:18PM 
R07.00004: If relativity is about space and time, what is quantum mechanics about? Invited Speaker: Jeffrey Bub h $abstract$\backslash $pardThe theory of relativity is about the structure of space and time: we were wrong in thinking that events occur in a flat Euclidean 3$+$1dimensional manifold. Similarly, quantum mechanics is fundamentally about probability: we were wrong in thinking that probability is just a measure of ignorance. The transition from classical to quantum mechanics involves going from a commutative to a noncommutative algebra of observables, equivalently from a Boolean to a nonBoolean algebra of 2valued observables, which represent properties or propositions. The nonBoolean algebra of quantum mechanics is not embeddable into a Boolean algebra, which is to say there are no `hidden variables' whose values would `complete' the quantum state description to a consistent assignment of truth or falsity to all propositions (technically, a 2valued homomorphism on the algebra). NonBooleanity allows new sorts of nonlocal probabilistic correlations with no causal explanation, associated with `entangled' quantum states, that are not possible in a Boolean or classical theory. I will expand on these ideas with reference to the BohrEinstein debate about the completeness of quantum mechanics and recent arguments applying quantum mechanics to complex systems that include agents who are themselves using quantum theory.$\backslash $pard/abstract$\backslash $\tex [Preview Abstract] 
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