Why error-prone quantum measurements have outcomes

Richard Healey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


To solve the quantum measurement problem it is necessary to construct quantum mechanical models of measurement interactions to show why properly conducted measurements always yield definite outcomes. The main barrier to a solution has been the interpretive principle that a quantum system has a definite value for an observable only if it may be described by a quantum eigenstate of the corresponding operator. I have recently proposed a solution to the measurement problem based on alternative interpretive principles. The present paper defends this proposal against recent criticisms which seek to show that it fails to solve the problem unless quantum measurements meet highly idealized conditions which no actual measurement could hope to meet. Several models of error-prone measurements are shown to lead to definite outcomes, and a general defense of the appropriateness of these models is sketched.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-54
Number of pages18
JournalFoundations of Physics Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • errorprone measurement
  • measurement problem
  • quantum measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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