The weak reality that makes quantum phenomena more natural: Novel insights and experiments

Yakir Aharonov, Eliahu Cohen, Mordecai Waegell, Avshalom C. Elitzur

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

While quantum reality can be probed through measurements, the Two-State Vector Formalism (TSVF) reveals a subtler reality prevailing between measurements. Under special preand post-selections, odd physical values emerge. This unusual picture calls for a deeper study. Instead of the common, wave-based picture of quantum mechanics, we suggest a new, particle-based perspective: Each particle possesses a definite location throughout its evolution, while some of its physical variables (characterized by deterministic operators, some of which obey nonlocal equations of motion) are carried by "mirage particles" accounting for its unique behavior. Within the time interval between pre- and post-selection, the particle gives rise to a horde of such mirage particles, of which some can be negative. What appears to be "no-particle", known to give rise to interaction-free measurement, is in fact a self-canceling pair of positive and negative mirage particles, which can be momentarily split and cancel out again. Feasible experiments can give empirical evidence for these fleeting phenomena. In this respect, the Heisenberg ontology is shown to be conceptually advantageous compared to the Schrödinger picture. We review several recent advances, discuss their foundational significance and point out possible directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number854
JournalEntropy
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Delayed measurements
  • Foundations of quantum mechanics
  • Interaction-free measurements
  • Time (a)symmetry
  • Two-State Vector Formalism
  • Weak measurements

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