It has been argued in Dawid (String theory and the scientific method, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, [4]) that physicists at times generate substantial trust in an empirically unconfirmed theory based on observations that lie beyond the theory’s intended domain. A crucial role in the reconstruction of this argument of “non-empirical confirmation” is played by limitations to ...

A Gedanken experiment is presented where an excited and a ground-state atom are positioned such that, within the former’s half-life time, they exchange a photon with 50% probability. A measurement of their energy state will therefore indicate in 50% of the cases that no photon was exchanged. Yet other measurements would reveal that, by the mere possibility of exchange, the two ...

A promising strategy for better understanding space and time at the Planck scale, is outlined and further pursued. It is explained in detail, how black hole unitarity demands the existence of transformations that can remove firewalls. This must then be combined with a continuity condition on the horizon, with antipodal identification as an inevitable consequence. The antipodal ...

I examine the relationship between \((d+1)\)-dimensional Poincaré metrics and d-dimensional conformal manifolds, from both mathematical and physical perspectives. The results have a bearing on several conceptual issues relating to asymptotic symmetries in general relativity and in gauge–gravity duality, as follows: (1: Ambient Construction) I draw from the remarkable work by ...

Sound propagation within certain non-relativistic condensed matter models obeys a relativistic wave equation despite such systems admitting entirely non-relativistic descriptions. A natural question that arises upon consideration of this is, “do devices exist that will experience the relativity in these systems?” We describe a thought experiment in which ‘acoustic observers’ ...

We show that the physical principle, “the adjoint associates to each state a ‘test’ for that state”, fully characterises the Hermitian adjoint for pure quantum theory, therefore providing the adjoint with operational meaning beyond its standard mathematical definition. Moreover, we demonstrate that for general process theories, which all admit a diagrammatic representation, this ...

Despite their important applications in metrology and in spite of numerous experimental demonstrations, weak measurements are still confusing for part of the community. This sometimes leads to unjustified criticism. Recent papers have experimentally clarified the meaning and practical significance of weak measurements, yet in Kastner (Found Phys 47:697–707, 2017), Kastner seems to ...

We discuss the problems of quantum theory (QT) complicating its merging with general relativity (GR). QT is treated as a general theory of micro-phenomena—a bunch of models. Quantum mechanics (QM) and quantum field theory (QFT) are the most widely known (but, e.g., Bohmian mechanics is also a part of QT). The basic problems of QM and QFT are considered in interrelation. For QM, we ...

Frauchiger and Renner have recently claimed to prove that “Single-world interpretations of quantum theory cannot be self-consistent”. This is contradicted by a construction due to Bell, inspired by Bohmian mechanics, which shows that any quantum system can be modelled in such a way that there is only one “world” at any time, but the predictions of quantum theory are reproduced. ...

Dynamical collapse models embody the idea of a physical collapse of the wave function in a mathematically well-defined way. They involve modifications to the standard rules of quantum theory in order to describe collapse as a physical process. This appears to introduce a time reversal asymmetry into the dynamics since the state at any given time depends on collapses in the past but ...

The simple concept of a SIC poses a very deep problem in algebraic number theory, as soon as the dimension of Hilbert space exceeds three. A detailed description of the simplest possible example is given.

Quantum mechanical weak values of projection operators have been used to answer which-way questions, e.g. to trace which arms in a multiple Mach–Zehnder setup a particle may have traversed from a given initial to a prescribed final state. I show that this procedure might lead to logical inconsistencies in the sense that different methods used to answer composite questions, like ...

In an attempt to demonstrate that local hidden variables are mathematically possible, Pitowsky constructed “spin- functions” and later “Kolmogorovian models”, which employs a nonstandard notion of probability. We describe Pitowsky’s analysis and argue (with the benefit of hindsight) that his notion of hidden variables is in fact just super-determinism (and accordingly physically ...

Quantum interference, manifest in the two slit experiment, lies at the heart of several quantum computational speed-ups and provides a striking example of a quantum phenomenon with no classical counterpart. An intriguing feature of quantum interference arises in a variant of the standard two slit experiment, in which there are three, rather than two, slits. The interference pattern ...

The rigorous equivalence of the Schrödinger and Heisenberg pictures requires that one uses Born–Jordan quantization in place of Weyl quantization. We confirm this by showing that the much discussed “ angular momentum dilemma” disappears if one uses Born–Jordan quantization. We argue that the latter is the only physically correct quantization procedure. We also briefly discuss a ...

The “special state” understanding of the measurement process is presented, namely there is no “measurement process,” only unitary time evolution. However, in contrast to the many worlds interpretation, there is only one world. How this can be accomplished and how statistical mechanics is changed as a result are also discussed. The focus though is on experimental tests of this ...

In most theories of the quantum measurement process changes in an observer’s perception of a state can take place without forces, as for example if a state is prepared in an eigenstate of \(J_x\) (x component of angular momentum) but \(J_z\) is measured. In the “special state” theory (explained in the previous article) any change in wave function requires forces. This allows ...

We give an introductory review of gauge/gravity duality, and associated ideas of holography, emphasising the conceptual aspects. The opening sections gather the ingredients, viz. anti-de Sitter spacetime, conformal field theory and string theory, that we need for presenting, in Sect. 5, the central and original example: Maldacena’s AdS/CFT correspondence. Sections 6 and 7 develop ...

The idea of obtaining a pilot-wave quantum theory on a lattice with discrete time is presented. The motion of quantum particles is described by a \(|\Psi |^2\)-distributed Markov chain. Stochastic matrices of the process are found by the discrete version of the least-action principle. Probability currents are the consequence of Hamilton’s principle and the stochasticity of the ...

In this paper I discuss some metaphysical consequences of an unorthodox approach to the problem of the identity and individuality of “indistinguishable” quantum particles. This approach is based on the assumption that the only admissible way of individuating separate components of a given system is with the help of the permutation-invariant qualitative properties of the total ...

Hawking particles emitted by a black hole are usually found to have thermal spectra, if not exactly, then by a very good approximation. Here, we argue differently. It was discovered that spherical partial waves of in-going and out-going matter can be described by unitary evolution operators independently, which allows for studies of space-time properties that were not possible ...

It is a frequent assumption that—via superluminal information transfers—superluminal signals capable of enabling communication are necessarily exchanged in any quantum theory that posits hidden superluminal influences. However, does the presence of hidden superluminal influences automatically imply superluminal signalling and communication? The non-signalling theorem mediates the ...

We examine a notion of an elementary particle in classical physics and suggest that its existence requires non-trivial homotopy of space-time. We show that non-trivial homotopy may naturally arise for space-times in which metric relations are generated by a canonical distance form factorized by a Weyl field. Some consequences of the presence of a Weyl field are discussed.