The Problem of Measurement

  title={The Problem of Measurement},
  author={Eugene Paul Wigner},
  journal={American Journal of Physics},
  • E. Wigner
  • Published 1963
  • Physics
  • American Journal of Physics
The standard theory of measurements in quantum mechanics is reviewed with special emphasis on the conceptual and epistemological implications. It is concluded that the standard theory remains the only one which is compatible with present quantum mechanics. Hence, if one wants to avoid the conclusion that quantum mechanics only gives probability connections between subsequent observations, the quantum-mechanical equations would have to be modified. Particular attention is paid to the case that… 

Measurement in quantum mechanics, and the EPR paradox

The problem of measurement in quantum mechanics was recognized very early to be qualitatively different from the corresponding problem in classical physics, Thus, yon Neumann (yon Neumann, 1932)

On the interpretation of measurement in quantum theory

It is demonstrated that neither the arguments leading to inconsistencies in the description of quantum-mechanical measurement nor those “explaining” the process of measurement by means of

Concerning measurements in quantum theory: A critique of a recent proposal

ConclusionJauch's theory of measurement, if satisfactory, would have provided an elegant and very simple solution to all of the standard difficulties found in other versions of the measurement

Five Formulations of the Quantum Measurement Problem in the Frame of the Standard Interpretation

The aim of this paper is to give a systematic account of the so-called “measurement problem” in the frame of the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics. It is argued that there is not one but

‘Counterfactual’ interpretation of the quantum measurement process

The question of the determination of the state of the system during a measurement experiment is discussed within quantum theory, as a part of the more general measurement’s problem. I propose a

Mind, matter, and physicists

Some aspects of the problem of measurement in quantum theory are treated. We stress that the problem is both physical and conceptual, that the physical problem has been solved and the conceptual one

Quantum Theory and the Limits of Objectivity

  • R. Healey
  • Philosophy
    Foundations of Physics
  • 2018
Three recent arguments seek to show that the universal applicability of unitary quantum theory is inconsistent with the assumption that a well-conducted measurement always has a definite physical

An approach to measurement

We present a new approach to measurement theory. Our definition of measurement is motivated by direct laboratory procedures as they are carried out in practice. The theory is developed within the


The theory of measurement is interpreted without an abrupt and noncausal change of a state, namely, without reduction of a wave packet,'' in the framework of quantum mechanics. Though a process of

Measurement in Quantum Mechanics

In quantum mechanics it is well known that, if any two states are superposed, they interfere with each other. It is true, we should not deny such interference in principle, but we may assert what

Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?

Consideration of the problem of making predictions concerning a system on the basis of measurements made on another system that had previously interacted with it leads to the result that one is led to conclude that the description of reality as given by a wave function is not complete.

Comments on the Paper of David Sharp

Mr. Sharp's resolution of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox is, in my opinion, the right one. However, the resolution does not in my opinion show that "God's in his heaven; all's right with the

The Wave Mechanics of $\alpha $-Ray Tracks

The present note is suggested by a recent paper by Prof. Darwin,* and is intended to show how one of the most typically particle-like properties of matter can be derived from the wave mechanics. In

Die Messung quantenmechanischer Operatoren

ZusammenfassungDie übliche Annahme der statistischen Deutung der Quantenmechanik, daß alle hermiteschen Operatoren meßbare Größen darstellen, wird wohl allgemein als eine bequeme mathematische