Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 23, number 69, diciembre 1991
El azar en la mecánica cuántica: de Bohr a Bell
Sergio Martínez Muñoz
Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Abstract: Usual interpretations of the quantum theory, beginning with Bohr's interpretation, consider that randomness in quanlum mechanics arises from (objeclive) restrictions to our capacity of making precise measurements of the corresponding state variables. I show that this assumption is problematic and leaves open important questions concerning the role and nature of quantum randomness. On the basis of a concept of state introduced elsewhere and on the basis of a distinction between the principles of separability and locality in quantum mechanics, I suggest in this paper a different sense in which quantum randomness is objective. In order to carry out the proposed task a distinction is made between two different types of objective randomness. Objective epistemic randomness arises from the limitations that the physical structure of the world imposes upon our possibilities of coming to know (measure) this structure. Objective non-epistemic randomness or systemic randomness is to be expressed in terms of a state description in a fundamental theory of physics. It is shown that the non-Boolean structure of properties of quantum theory, as this structure has been constructed and interpreted in Martínez 1991a, can be inlerpreled as an expression of the non-separability of the theory, Thus, the irreducibility of the transition probabilities that generate the non-Boolean structure of properties can be interpreted in this way as systemic randomness. In the case of quantum mechanics systemic randomness and non-separability are two sides of the same coin.

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