Bohrification

Chris Heunen, Nicolaas P. Landsman, Bas Spitters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

New foundations for quantum logic and quantum spaces are constructed by merging algebraic quantum theory and topos theory. Interpreting Bohr's "doctrine of classical concepts" mathematically, given a quantum theory described by a noncommutative C*-algebra A, we construct a topos T(A), which contains the "Bohrification" B of A as an internal commutative C*-algebra. Then B has a spectrum, a locale internal to T(A), the external description S(A) of which we interpret as the "Bohrified" phase space of the physical system. As in classical physics, the open subsets of S(A) correspond to (atomic) propositions, so that the "Bohrified" quantum logic of A is given by the Heyting algebra structure of S(A). The key difference between this logic and its classical counterpart is that the former does not satisfy the law of the excluded middle, and hence is intuitionistic. When A contains sufficiently many projections (e.g. when A is a von Neumann algebra, or, more generally, a Rickart C*-algebra), the intuitionistic quantum logic S(A) of A may also be compared with the traditional quantum logic, i.e. the orthomodular lattice of projections in A. This time, the main difference is that the former is distributive (even when A is noncommutative), while the latter is not.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeep Beauty
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding the Quantum World through Mathematical Innovation
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages44
ISBN (Print)9781107005709
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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