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To the best of our current understanding, quantum mechanics is part of the most fundamental picture of the universe. It is natural to ask how pure and minimal this fundamental quantum description can be. The simplest quantum ontology is that of the Everett or Many-Worlds interpretation, based on a vector in Hilbert space and a Hamiltonian. Typically one also relies on some classical structure, such as space and local configuration variables within it, which then gets promoted to an algebra of preferred observables. We argue that even such an algebra is unnecessary, and the most basic description of the world is given by the spectrum of the Hamiltonian (a list of energy eigenvalues) and the components of some particular vector in Hilbert space. Everything else - including space and fields propagating on it - is emergent from these minimal elements.

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Category: Science