Quantum contextuality and indeterminacy
MetadataShow full item record
Citation (published version)Gregg Jaeger. 2020. "Quantum Contextuality and Indeterminacy." Entropy, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp. 867 - 867. https://doi.org/10.3390/e22080867
The circumstances of measurement have more direct significance in quantum than in classical physics, where they can be neglected for well-performed measurements. In quantum mechanics, the dispositions of the measuring apparatus-plus-environment of the system measured for a property are a non-trivial part of its formalization as the quantum observable. A straightforward formalization of context, via equivalence classes of measurements corresponding to sets of sharp target observables, was recently given for sharp quantum observables. Here, we show that quantum contextuality, the dependence of measurement outcomes on circumstances external to the measured quantum system, can be manifested not only as the strict exclusivity of different measurements of sharp observables or valuations but via quantitative differences in the property statistics across simultaneous measurements of generalized quantum observables, by formalizing quantum context via coexistent generalized observables rather than only its subset of compatible sharp observables. Here, the question of whether such quantum contextuality follows from basic quantum principles is then addressed, and it is shown that the Principle of Indeterminacy is sufficient for at least one form of non-trivial contextuality. Contextuality is thus seen to be a natural feature of quantum mechanics rather than something arising only from the consideration of impossible measurements, abstract philosophical issues, hidden-variables theories, or other alternative, classical models of quantum behavior.
RightsCopyright 2020 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.