Experimental approaches to the quantum measurement paradox

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I examine the question of how far experiments that look for the effects of superposition of macroscopically distinct states are relevant to the classic measurement paradox of quantum mechanics. Existing experiments on superconducting devices confirm the predictions of the quantum formalism extrapolated to the macroscopic level, and to that extent provide strong circumstantial evidence for its validity at this level, but do not directly test the principle of superposition of macrostates. A more ambitious experiment, not obviously infeasible with current technology, could provide a direct test between quantum mechanics and a whole class of theories embodying the postulate of realism at the macroscopic level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-952
Number of pages14
JournalFoundations of Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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