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Title: Gleason-type theorems and general probabilistic theories
Author: Wright, Victoria J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9349 1610
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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The postulates of quantum theory are rather abstract in comparison with those of other physical theories such as special relativity. This thesis considers two tools for investigating this discrepancy and makes a connection between them. The first of these tools, Gleason-type theorems, illustrates the interplay between postulates concerning observables, states and probabilities of measurement outcomes, demonstrating that they need not be entirely independent. Gleason’s original and remarkable result applied to observables described by projection-valued measures; however, the theorem does not hold in dimension two. Busch generalised the idea to observables described by positive operator measures, proving a result which holds for all separable Hilbert spaces. We show that Busch’s assumptions may be weakened without affecting the result. The manner in which we weaken the assumptions brings them closer to Gleason’s original treatment of projection-valued measures. We will then demonstrate the connection between Gleason-type theorems and Cauchy’s functional equation, a connection which yields an alternative proof of Busch’s result. The second tool we consider is the family of general probabilistic theories which offers a means of comparing quantum theory with reasonable alternatives. We identify a general probabilistic theory which reproduces the set of non-local correlations achievable in quantum theory, a property often thought to be particular to quantum theory. Finally, we connect these two tools by determining the class of general probabilistic theories which admit a Gleason-type theorem.
Supervisor: Weigert, Stefan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available