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Why the Quantum?
, 2004
"... This paper is a commentary on the foundational significance of the CliftonBubHalvorson theorem characterizing quantum theory in terms of three informationtheoretic constraints. I argue that: (1) a quantum theory is best understood as a theory about the possibilities and impossibilities of informa ..."
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Cited by 25 (1 self)
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This paper is a commentary on the foundational significance of the CliftonBubHalvorson theorem characterizing quantum theory in terms of three informationtheoretic constraints. I argue that: (1) a quantum theory is best understood as a theory about the possibilities and impossibilities of information transfer, as opposed to a theory about the mechanics of nonclassical waves or particles, (2) given the informationtheoretic constraints, any mechanical theory of quantum phenomena that includes an account of the measuring instruments that reveal these phenomena must be empirically equivalent to a quantum theory, and (3) assuming the informationtheoretic constraints are in fact satisfied in our world, no mechanical theory of quantum phenomena that includes an account of measurement interactions can be acceptable, and the appropriate aim of physics at the fundamental level then becomes the representation and manipulation of information.
Ordered linear spaces and categories as frameworks for informationprocessing characterizations of quantum and classical theory
, 2009
"... The advent of quantum computation and quantum information science has been accompanied by a revival of the project of characterizing quantum and classical theory within a setting significantly more general than both. Part of the motivation is to obtain a clear conceptual understanding of the sources ..."
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Cited by 6 (4 self)
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The advent of quantum computation and quantum information science has been accompanied by a revival of the project of characterizing quantum and classical theory within a setting significantly more general than both. Part of the motivation is to obtain a clear conceptual understanding of the sources of quantum theory’s greaterthanclassical power in areas like cryptography and computation, as well as of the limits it appears to share with classical theory. This line of work suggests supplementing traditional approaches to the axiomatic characterization of quantum mechanics within broader classes of theories, with an approach in which some or all of the axioms concern the informationprocessing power of the theory. In this paper, we review some of our recent results (with collaborators) on information processing in an ordered linear spaces framework for probabilistic theories. These include demonstrations that many “inherently quantum” phenomena are in reality quite general characteristics of nonclassical theories, quantum or otherwise. As an example, a set of states in such a theory is broadcastable if, and only if, it is contained in a simplex whose vertices are cloneable, and therefore distinguishable by a single measurement. As another example, information that can be obtained about a system in this framework without causing disturbance to the system state, must be inherently classical. We also review results on teleportation protocols in the framework, and the fact that any nonclassical theory without entanglement allows exponentially secure bit commitment in this framework. Finally, we sketch some ways of formulating our framework in terms of categories, and in this light consider the relation of our work to that of Abramsky, Coecke, Selinger, Baez and others on information processing and other aspects of theories formulated categorically.
Reconstruction of Quantum Theory
"... What belongs to quantum theory is no more than what is needed for its derivation. Keeping to this maxim, we record a paradigmatic shift in the foundations of quantum mechanics, where the focus has recently moved from interpreting to reconstructing quantum theory. Several historic and contemporary re ..."
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Cited by 6 (1 self)
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What belongs to quantum theory is no more than what is needed for its derivation. Keeping to this maxim, we record a paradigmatic shift in the foundations of quantum mechanics, where the focus has recently moved from interpreting to reconstructing quantum theory. Several historic and contemporary reconstructions are analyzed, including the work of Hardy, Rovelli, and Clifton, Bub and Halvorson. We conclude by discussing the importance of a novel concept of intentionally incomplete reconstruction.
A note on information theoretic characterizations of physical theories
, 2003
"... Clifton, Bub, and Halvorson (CBH) have recently argued that quantum theory is characterized by its satisfaction of three fundamental informationtheoretic constraints. However, it is not difficult to construct apparent counterexamples to the CBH characterization theorem. In this paper, we discuss th ..."
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Cited by 2 (0 self)
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Clifton, Bub, and Halvorson (CBH) have recently argued that quantum theory is characterized by its satisfaction of three fundamental informationtheoretic constraints. However, it is not difficult to construct apparent counterexamples to the CBH characterization theorem. In this paper, we discuss the limits of the characterization theorem, and we provide some technical tools for checking whether a theory (specified in terms of the convex structure of its state space) falls within these limits. 1
Philosophical Aspects of Quantum Information
"... 2.1 Bits and qubits................................. 3 2.2 The nocloning theorem............................ 5 ..."
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2.1 Bits and qubits................................. 3 2.2 The nocloning theorem............................ 5
Trinity Term 2004 Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
"... This thesis is a contribution to the debate on the implications of quantum information theory for the foundational problems of quantum mechanics. In Part I an attempt is made to shed some light on the nature of information and quantum information theory. It is emphasized that the everyday notion of ..."
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This thesis is a contribution to the debate on the implications of quantum information theory for the foundational problems of quantum mechanics. In Part I an attempt is made to shed some light on the nature of information and quantum information theory. It is emphasized that the everyday notion of information is to be firmly distinguished from the technical notions arising in information theory; noun, hence does not refer to a particular or substance. The popular claim ‘Information is Physical ’ is assessed and it is argued that this proposition faces a destructive dilemma. Accordingly, the slogan may not be understood as an ontological claim, but at best, as a methodological one. A novel argument is provided against Dretske’s (1981) attempt to base a semantic notion of information on ideas from information theory. The function of various measures of information content for quantum systems is explored and the applicability of the Shannon information in the quantum context maintained against the challenge of Brukner and Zeilinger (2001). The phenomenon of quantum teleportation is then explored as a case study serving to emphasize the value of
Quantum Information Theory and . . . Quantum Mechanics
, 2004
"... This thesis is a contribution to the debate on the implications of quantum information theory for the foundational problems of quantum mechanics. In Part I an attempt is made to shed some light on the nature of information and quantum information theory. It is emphasized that the everyday notion of ..."
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This thesis is a contribution to the debate on the implications of quantum information theory for the foundational problems of quantum mechanics. In Part I an attempt is made to shed some light on the nature of information and quantum information theory. It is emphasized that the everyday notion of information is to be firmly distinguished from the technical notions arising in information theory; noun, hence does not refer to a particular or substance. The popular claim ‘Information is Physical ’ is assessed and it is argued that this proposition faces a destructive dilemma. Accordingly, the slogan may not be understood as an ontological claim, but at best, as a methodological one. A novel argument is provided against Dretske’s (1981) attempt to base a semantic notion of information on ideas from information theory. The function of various measures of information content for quantum systems is explored and the applicability of the Shannon information in the quantum context maintained against the challenge of Brukner and Zeilinger (2001). The phenomenon of quantum teleportation is then explored as a case study serving to emphasize the value of