Voices of silence, novelties of noise: Oblivion and hesitation as origins of quantum mysteries

E. Cohen, A. C. Elitzur

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Among the (in)famous differences between classical and quantum mechanics, quantum counterfactuals seem to be the most intriguing. At the same time, they seem to underlie many quantum oddities. In this article, we propose a simple explanation for counterfactuals, on two levels. Quantum Oblivion (QO) is a fundamental type of quantum interaction that we prove to be the origin of quantum counterfactuals. It also turns out to underlie several well-known quantum effects. This phenomenon is discussed in the first part of the article, yielding some novel predictions. In the second part, a hypothesis is offered regarding the unique spacetime evolution underlying QO, termed Quantum Hesitation (QH). The hypothesis invokes advanced actions and interfering weak values, as derived first by the Two-State-Vector Formalism (TSVF). Here too, weak values are argued to underlie the familiar "strong" quantum values. With these, an event that appears to have never occurred can exert causal effects and then succumb to QO by another time-evolution involving negative weak values that eliminate them. We conclude with briefly discussing the implications of these ideas on the nature of time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012013
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Workshop on Decoherence, Information, Complexity and Entropy: Spacetime Matter Quantum Mechanics ... News on Missing Links, DICE 2014 - Castiglioncello, Tuscany, Italy
Duration: 15 Sep 201419 Sep 2014

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© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.


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