TY - JOUR

T1 - Quantum mechanics as classical statistical mechanics with an ontic extension and an epistemic restriction

AU - Budiyono, Agung

AU - Rohrlich, Daniel

N1 - Funding Information:
We thank the John Templeton Foundation (Project ID 43297) and the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 1190/13) for support. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation. The authors like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their thorough reading of the manuscript and their constructive and insightful comments and suggestions.
Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).

PY - 2017/12/1

Y1 - 2017/12/1

N2 - Where does quantum mechanics part ways with classical mechanics? How does quantum randomness differ fundamentally from classical randomness? We cannot fully explain how the theories differ until we can derive them within a single axiomatic framework, allowing an unambiguous account of how one theory is the limit of the other. Here we derive non-relativistic quantum mechanics and classical statistical mechanics within a common framework. The common axioms include conservation of average energy and conservation of probability current. But two axioms distinguish quantum mechanics from classical statistical mechanics: an "ontic extension" defines a nonseparable (global) random variable that generates physical correlations, and an "epistemic restriction" constrains allowed phase space distributions. The ontic extension and epistemic restriction, with strength on the order of Planck's constant, imply quantum entanglement and uncertainty relations. This framework suggests that the wave function is epistemic, yet it does not provide an ontic dynamics for individual systems.

AB - Where does quantum mechanics part ways with classical mechanics? How does quantum randomness differ fundamentally from classical randomness? We cannot fully explain how the theories differ until we can derive them within a single axiomatic framework, allowing an unambiguous account of how one theory is the limit of the other. Here we derive non-relativistic quantum mechanics and classical statistical mechanics within a common framework. The common axioms include conservation of average energy and conservation of probability current. But two axioms distinguish quantum mechanics from classical statistical mechanics: an "ontic extension" defines a nonseparable (global) random variable that generates physical correlations, and an "epistemic restriction" constrains allowed phase space distributions. The ontic extension and epistemic restriction, with strength on the order of Planck's constant, imply quantum entanglement and uncertainty relations. This framework suggests that the wave function is epistemic, yet it does not provide an ontic dynamics for individual systems.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85032788514&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/s41467-017-01375-w

DO - 10.1038/s41467-017-01375-w

M3 - Article

C2 - 29101341

AN - SCOPUS:85032788514

SN - 2041-1723

VL - 8

JO - Nature Communications

JF - Nature Communications

IS - 1

M1 - 1306

ER -