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ABSTRACT

A misunderstanding of entangled states has spawned decades of concern about quantum measurements and a plethora of quantum interpretations. The "measurement state" or "Schrodinger's cat state" of a superposed quantum system and its detector is nonlocally entangled, suggesting that we turn to nonlocality experiments for insight into measurements. By studying the full range of superposition phases, these experiments show precisely what the measurement state does and does not superpose. These experiments reveal that the measurement state is not, as had been supposed, a paradoxical superposition of detector states. It is instead a nonparadoxical superposition of two correlations between detector states and system states. In this way, the experimental results resolve the problem of definite outcomes ("Schrodinger's cat"), leading to a resolution of the measurement problem. However, this argument does not yet resolve the measurement problem because it is based on the results of experiments, while measurement is a theoretical problem: How can standard quantum theory explain the definite outcomes seen experimentally? Thus, we summarize the nonlocality experiments' supporting theory, which rigorously predicts the experimental results directly from optical paths. Several previous theoretical analyses of the measurement problem have relied on the reduced density operators derived from the measurement state, but these solutions have been rejected due to criticism of reduced density operators. Because it avoids reduced density operators, the optical-path analysis is immune to such criticism.

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Category: Science