CARLO ROVELLI’S PERSPECTIVE ON QUANTUM MECHANICS

In this paper Carlo Rovelli proposes a very interesting perspective on the foundations of contemporary physics. In Shannon’s terms information is the decreasing of possible composite states of two interacting systems. According to Rovelli the texture of the world is information in this non-subjectivistic terms. But it is important to emphasize that information is not the interaction between the two systems, but passage from the situation in which they do not interact to the actual interaction. For instance let us consider a system O that could have the two states o1 an o2. And another system S, which could have a1 and a2. Let us assume that a1 and a2 as well as o1 and o2 are equiprobable. The interaction brings with that if O is in o1 then S must be in a1 and if O is in o2 then S must be in a2. This connection is 1 bit of information. In general in normal communication situations we have good electromagnetic laws, which explain this connection, so that information is only an epiphenomenon with respect to a physical process. On the contrary in quantum mechanics we have not a good explanation of the meausrement process (pace decoherence), so that information becomes the central pillar of the explanation. I am not sure that information used in this way is a good physical concept. In fact the introduction of information in these terms reduces to the use of an essentially modal concept in physics, a sort of potentiality in Heisenberg’s sense. It is not forbidden to introduce modalities in our naturalistic frameworks, but they must be terms of a clear lawlike representation. For instance the electrical field E is a disposition, but it is a term of Maxwell’s equation as well. On the contrary the so introduced concept of information seems an ontological ad hoc hypothesis. In spite of my criticism Rovelli’s work in the foundation of physics is one of the mostinteresting in the international debate.

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