15,880 research outputs found

    Quantum Theory: a Pragmatist Approach

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    While its applications have made quantum theory arguably the most successful theory in physics, its interpretation continues to be the subject of lively debate within the community of physicists and philosophers concerned with conceptual foundations. This situation poses a problem for a pragmatist for whom meaning derives from use. While disputes about how to use quantum theory have arisen from time to time, they have typically been quickly resolved, and consensus reached, within the relevant scientific sub-community. Yet rival accounts of the meaning of quantum theory continue to proliferate . In this article I offer a diagnosis of this situation and outline a pragmatist solution to the problem it poses, leaving further details for subsequent articles

    Domain Tasting Is Taking Over the Internet as a Result of ICANN’s “Add Grace Period”

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    When a domain name is registered, the registrant is given five days to cancel for a full refund. While the purpose of this grace period is to protect those who innocently err in the registration process, speculators have taken advantage of the grace period through a process called domain tasting. These domain tasters register hundreds of thousands of domain names and cancel the vast majority of them within the five-day grace period, keeping only those that may be valuable as placeholder advertising websites or to holders of trademark rights. This iBrief will outline the domain tasting process, analyze why it is a problem, and discuss solutions to the problem. Ultimately, it concludes that the five-day grace period is unnecessary because it serves little, if any, legitimate purpose

    Observation and Quantum Objectivity

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    The paradox of Wigner's friend challenges the objectivity of description in quantum theory. A pragmatist interpretation can meet this challenge by judicious appeal to decoherence. On this interpretation, quantum theory provides situated agents with resources for predicting and explaining what happens in the physical world---not conscious observations of it. Even in Wigner's friend scenarios, differently situated agents agree on the objective content of statements about the values of physical magnitudes. In more realistic circumstances quantum Darwinism also permits differently situated agents equal observational access to evaluate their truth. In this view, quantum theory has nothing to say about consciousness or conscious experiences of observers. But it does prompt us to reexamine the significance even of everyday claims about the physical world

    Quantum decoherence in a pragmatist view: Resolving the measurement problem

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    This paper aims to show how adoption of a pragmatist interpretation permits a satisfactory resolution of the quantum measurement problem. The classic measurement problem dissolves once one recognizes that it is not the function of the quantum state to describe or represent the behavior of a quantum system. The residual problem of when, and to what, to apply the Born Rule may then be resolved by judicious appeal to decoherence. This can give sense to talk of measurements of photons and other particles even though quantum field theory does not describe particles

    When is an international branch campus?

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    For a Nottingham alumnus, driving onto the University of Nottingham’s branch campus in Malaysia is a surreal experience. Surrounded by tropical rainforest, a familiar white silhouette emerges—a clock tower atop the signature Trent Building, overlooking a large lake. Despite the heat and humidity, the campus at Semenyih looks and feels like an extension of the University of Nottingham, reinforcing its "one university, three campuses" (United Kingdom, Malaysia and China) branding