In the tradition of toy models of quantum mechanics in vector spaces over finite fields (e.g., Schumacher and Westmoreland’s “modal quantum theory”), one finite field stands out, ℤ₂, since vectors over ℤ₂ have an interpretation as natural mathematical objects, i.e., sets. This engages a sets-to-vector-spaces bridge that is part of the mathematical folklore to translate both ways between set concepts and vector space concepts. Using that bridge, the mathematical framework of (finite-dimensional) quantum mechanics can be transported down to sets resulting in quantum mechanics over sets or QM/sets. This approach leads to a different treatment of Dirac’s brackets than in “modal quantum theory” (MQT), and that gives a full probability calculus (unlike MQT that only has zero-one modalities of impossible and possible). That, in turn, leads to a rather fulsome theory of QM over sets that includes “logical” models of the double-slit experiment, Bell’s Theorem, quantum information theory, quantum computing, and much else. Indeed, QM/sets is proposed as the “logic” of QM in the old-fashioned sense of “logic” as giving the simplified essentials of a theory. QM/sets is also a key part of a broader research program to provide an interpretation of QM based on the notion of “objective indefiniteness,” a program that grew out the recent development of the logic of partitions mathematically dual to the usual Boolean logic of subsets.

# Quantum mechanics over sets

October 24, 2013 by