On the Wavefunction Collapse

Ovidiu Cristinel Stoica


Wavefunction collapse is usually seen as a discontinuous violation of the unitary evolution of a quantum system, caused by the observation. Moreover, the collapse appears to be nonlocal in a sense which seems at odds with general relativity. In this article the possibility that the wavefunction evolves continuously and hopefully unitarily during the measurement process is analyzed. It is argued that such a solution has to be formulated using a time symmetric replacement of the initial value problem in quantum mechanics. Major difficulties in apparent conflict with unitary evolution are identified, but eventually its possibility is not completely ruled out. This interpretation is in a weakened sense both local and realistic, without contradicting Bell's theorem. Moreover, if it is true, it makes general relativity consistent with quantum mechanics in the semiclassical framework.

Quanta 2016; 5: 19–33.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12743/quanta.v5i1.40

ISSN: 1314-7374