The measurement problem in quantum mechanics

Alessio Giuseppe Ferraioli, Canio Noce


In this paper, we discuss the importance of measurement in quantum mechanics and the so-called measurement problem. Any quantum system can be described as a linear combination of eigenstates of an operator representing a physical quantity; this means that the system can be in a superposition of states that corresponds to different eigenvalues, i.e., different physical outcomes, each one incompatible with the others. The measurement process converts a state of superposition (not macroscopically defined) in a well-defined state. We show that, if we describe the measurement by the standard laws of quantum mechanics, the system would preserve its state of superposition even on a macroscopic scale. Since this is not the case, we assume that a measurement does not obey to standard quantum mechanics, but to a new set of laws that form a “quantum measurement theory”.


measurement theory; quantum mechanics; reduction postulate, quantum superposition

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Science & Philosophy - Journal of Epistemology, Science and Philosophy. ISSN 2282-7757; eISSN  2282-7765.