A no-go theorem for observer-independent facts


Brukner, Č. (2018). A no-go theorem for observer-independent facts. Perimeter Institute. https://pirsa.org/18040103


Brukner, Časlav. A no-go theorem for observer-independent facts. Perimeter Institute, Apr. 10, 2018, https://pirsa.org/18040103


          @misc{ pirsa_PIRSA:18040103,
            doi = {10.48660/18040103},
            url = {https://pirsa.org/18040103},
            author = {Brukner, {\v{C}}aslav},
            keywords = {Quantum Foundations},
            language = {en},
            title = {A no-go theorem for observer-independent facts},
            publisher = {Perimeter Institute},
            year = {2018},
            month = {apr},
            note = {PIRSA:18040103 see, \url{https://pirsa.org}}

Časlav Brukner Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) - Vienna


In his famous thought experiment, Wigner assigns an entangled state to the composite quantum system made up of Wigner's friend and her observed system. While the two of them have different accounts of the process, each Wigner and his friend can in principle verify his/her respective state assignments by performing an appropriate measurement. As manifested through a click in a detector or a specific position of the pointer, the outcomes of these measurements can be regarded as reflecting directly observable "facts". Reviewing arXiv:1507.05255, I will derive a no-go theorem for observer-independent facts, which would be common both for Wigner and the friend. I will then analyze this result in the context of a newly derived theorem in arXiv:1604.07422, where Frauchiger and Renner prove that "single-world interpretations of quantum theory cannot be self-consistent". It is argued that "self-consistency" has the same implications as the assumption that observational statements of different observers can be compared in a single (and hence an observer-independent) theoretical framework. The latter, however, may not be possible, if the statements are to be understood as relational in the sense that their determinacy is relative to an observer.