Killer Collapse: Empirically Probing the Philosophically Unsatisfactory Region of GRW

Publication Year:
2014
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11350
Author(s):
Sebens, Charles
conference paper description
GRW theory offers precise laws for the collapse of the wave function. These collapses are characterized by two new constants, λ and σ. Recent work has put experimental upper bounds on the collapse rate, λ. Lower bounds on λ have been more controversial since GRW begins to take on a many-worlds character for small values of λ. Here I examine GRW in this odd region of parameter space where collapse events act as natural disasters that destroy branches of the wave function along with their occupants. Our continued survival provides evidence that we don't live in a universe like that. I offer a quantitative analysis of how such evidence can be used to assess versions of GRW with small collapse rates in an effort to move towards more principled and experimentally-informed lower bounds for λ.