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The linearity of quantum mechanics at stake: the description of separated quantum entities

By Diederik Aerts and Frank Valckenborgh


We consider the situation of a physical entity that is the compound entity consisting of two ‘separated ’ quantum entities. In earlier work it has been proved by one of the authors that such a physical entity cannot be described by standard quantum mechanics. More precisely, it was shown that two of the axioms of traditional quantum axiomatics are at the origin of the impossibility for standard quantum mechanics to describe this type of compound entity. One of these axioms is equivalent with the superposition principle, which means that separated quantum entities put the linearity of quantum mechanics at stake. We analyze the conceptual steps that are involved in this proof, and expose the necessary material of quantum axiomatics to be able to understand the argument.

Year: 2002
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