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Standard quantum theory represents a composite system at a given time by a joint state, but it does not prescribe a joint state for a composite of systems at different times. If a more even-handed treatment of space and time is possible, then such a joint state should be definable, and one might expect it to satisfy the following five conditions: that it is a Hermitian operator on the tensor product of the single-time Hilbert spaces; that it represents probabilistic mixing appropriately; that it has the appropriate classical limit; that it has the appropriate single-time marginals; that composing over multiple time-steps is associative. We show that no construction satisfies all these requirements. If an even-handed treatment of space and time is possible, therefore, one or more axioms must be dropped. In particular, if Hermiticity is dropped, then we show that the construction is fixed uniquely up to an ordering convention.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Sep 2017|