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Quantum measurements and supertasks

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Abstract:

This article addresses the question whether supertasks are possible within the context of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. The supertask under consideration consists of performing an infinite number of quantum mechanical measurements in a finite amount of time. Recent arguments in the physics literature claim to show that continuous measurements, understood as N discrete measurements in the limit where N goes to infinity, are impossible. I show that there are certain kinds of measurements in quantum mechanics for which these arguments break down. This suggests that there is a new context in which quantum mechanics, in principle, permits the performance of a supertask.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0269859031000160595

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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