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Journal Article

Special States Demand a Force for the Observer


Schulman,  Lawrence S.
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Schulman, L. S. (2016). Special States Demand a Force for the Observer. Foundations of Physics, 46(11), 1471-1494. doi:10.1007/s10701-016-0025-8.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-BC2F-9
The "special state" understanding of the measurement process is presented, namely there is no "measurement process," only unitary time evolution. However, in contrast to the many worlds interpretation, there is only one world. How this can be accomplished and how statistical mechanics is changed as a result are also discussed. The focus though is on experimental tests of this theory and the in-principle realization that this can give rise to feasible experimental tests. Those tests rely on the particular feature of having only one world, so that any change in the wave function must have a proximate cause, and it is the detection of that cause that constitutes the test. In a companion article there is further exploration concerning the details of the test. In addition, in the present article, the special state theory is extended theoretically through evidence of the uniqueness of the Cauchy distribution as well as explicit recognition of the role of entanglement.