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Epistemic vs Ontic Classification of quantum entangled states?

Research paper by Michele Caponigro, Enrico Giannetto

Indexed on: 30 Jul '12Published on: 30 Jul '12Published in: Quantum Physics



Abstract

In this brief paper, starting from recent works, we analyze from conceptual point of view this basic question: can the nature of quantum entangled states be interpreted ontologically or epistemologically? According to some works, the degrees of freedom (and the tool of quantum partitions) of quantum systems permit us to establish a possible classification between factorizable and entangled states. We suggest, that the "choice" of degree of freedom (or quantum partitions), even if mathematically justified introduces an epistemic element, not only in the systems but also in their classification. We retain, instead, that there are not two classes of quantum states, entangled and factorizable, but only a single class of states: the entangled states. In fact, the factorizable states become entangled for a different choice of their degrees of freedom (i.e. they are entangled with respect to other observables). In the same way, there are no partitions of quantum systems which have an ontologically superior status with respect to any other. For all these reasons, both mathematical tools utilize(i.e quantum partitions or degrees of freedom) are responsible for creating an improper classification of quantum systems. Finally, we argue that we cannot speak about a classification of quantum systems: all quantum states exhibit a uniquely objective nature, they are all entangled states.