Unreal Observables

Citation data:

Philosophy of Science

Publication Year:
2017
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12965
Author(s):
Roberts, Bryan W.
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article description
This note argues that quantum observables can include not just self-adjoint operators, but any member of the class of normal operators, including those with non-real eigenvalues. Concrete experiments, statistics, and symmetries are all expressed in this more general context. However, this more general class of observables also introduces a new restriction on which sets of operators can be interpreted as observables at once. These sets are referred to here as 'sharp sets.'