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Abstract: Starting from first principles inspired by quantum tomography rather than Born's rule, this paper gives a new, elementary, and self-contained deductive approach to quantum mechanics. A suggestive notion for what constitutes a quantum detector and for the behavior of its responses leads to a logically impeccable definition of measurement. Applications to measurement schemes for optical states, position measurements and particle tracks demonstrate that this definition is applicable without any idealization to complex realistic experiments.

The various forms of quantum tomography for quantum states, quantum detectors, quantum processes, and quantum instruments are discussed. The traditional dynamical and spectral properties of quantum mechanics are derived from a continuum limit of quantum processes. In particular, the Schrödinger equation for the state vector of a pure, nonmixing quantum system and the Lindblad equation for the density operator of a mixing quantum system are shown to be consequences of the new approach. A slight idealization of the measurement process leads to the notion of quantum fields, whose smeared quantum expectations emerge as reproducible properties of regions of space accessible to measurements.