(QuantaMagazine) A new thought experiment is confronting the assumptions of quantum physics and shaking the foundations of the field. The experiment requires making measurements that can erase any memory of an event that was just observed. While this isn’t possible with humans, quantum computers could be used to carry out this weird experiment and potentially discriminate between the different interpretations of quantum physics.
The experiment, designed by Daniela Frauchiger and Renato Renner, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, leads to contradictions. The choice of which assumption to give up has implications for our understanding of the quantum world and points to the possibility that quantum mechanics is not a universal theory, and so cannot be applied to complex systems such as humans.
The Frauchiger-Renner contradiction forces physicists to abandon one of three common assumptions:
–Quantum theory is universal;
–Quantum theory is consistent;
–Opposite facts cannot both be true>