At what time does a quantum experiment have a result?

Publication Year:
2016
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12031
Author(s):
Pashby, Thomas
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preprint description
This paper provides a general method for defining a generalized quantum observable (or POVM) that supplies properly normalized conditional probabilities for the time of occurrence (i.e., of detection). This method treats the time of occurrence as a probabilistic variable whose value is to be determined by experiment and predicted by the Born rule. This avoids the problematic assumption that a question about the time at which an event occurs must be answered through instantaneous measurements of a projector by an observer, common to both Rovelli (1998) and Oppenheim et al. (2000). I also address the interpretation of experiments purporting to demonstrate the quantum Zeno effect, used by Oppenheim et al. (2000) to justify an inherent uncertainty for measurements of times.