A Royal Road to Quantum Theory (or Thereabouts)

Research paper by Alexander Wilce

Indexed on: 29 Jun '16Published on: 29 Jun '16Published in: Quantum Physics


This paper fails to derive quantum mechanics from a few simple postulates. But it gets very close --- and it does so without much exertion. More exactly, I obtain a representation of finite-dimensional probabilistic systems in terms of euclidean Jordan algebras, in a strikingly easy way, from simple assumptions. This provides a framework within which real, complex and quaternionic QM can play happily together, and allows some --- but not too much --- room for more exotic alternatives. (This is a leisurely summary, based on recent lectures, of material from the papers arXiv:1206:2897 and arXiv:1507.06278, the latter joint work with Howard Barnum and Matthew Graydon. Some further ideas are also explored.)