A Quantum Theory with Non-collapsing Measurements

Vincenzo Fiorentino, Stefan Weigert

Research output: Working paperPreprint


A collapse-free version of quantum theory is introduced to study the role of the projection postulate. We assume "passive" measurements that do not update quantum states while measurement outcomes still occur probabilistically, in accordance with Born's rule. All other defining features of quantum theory, such as the Hilbert space setting, are retained. The resulting quantum-like theory has only one type of dynamics, namely unitary evolution. Passive quantum theory shares many features with standard quantum theory. These include preparational uncertainty relations, the impossibility to dynamically clone unknown quantum states and the absence of signalling. However, striking differences emerge when protocols involve post-measurement states. For example, in the collapse-free setting, no ensemble is needed to reconstruct the state of a system by passively measuring a tomographically complete set of observables - a single system will do. Effectively, the state becomes an observable quantity, with implications for both the ontology of the theory and its computational power. At the same time, the theory is not locally tomographic and passive measurements do not create Bell-type correlations in composite systems.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

4 pages


  • quant-ph

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