There is a fundamental subsets–partitions duality that runs through the exact sciences. In more concrete terms, it is the duality between elements of a subset and the distinctions of a partition. In more abstract terms, it is the reverse-the-arrows of category theory that provides a major architectonic of mathematics. The paper first develops the duality between the Boolean logic of subsets and the logic of partitions. Then, probability theory and information theory (as based on logical entropy) are shown to start with the quantitative versions of subsets and partitions. Some basic mapping properties in the category ofÂ Sets are developed that explain the abstract duality of category theory. But by far the main application is to the clarification and interpretation of quantum mechanics. Since classical mechanics illustrates the Boolean worldview of full distinctness, it is natural that quantum mechanics would be based on the indefiniteness of its characteristic superposition states, which is modeled at the set level by partitions (or equivalence relations). This approach to interpreting quantum mechanics is not another jury-rigged or ad-hoc attempt at the interpretation of quantum mechanics but is a natural application of the fundamental duality running throughout the exact sciences.

# A Basic Duality in the Exact Sciences: Application to QM

May 12, 2024 by