Interpreting spontaneous collapse theories

Peter J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Spontaneous collapse theories of quantum mechanics require an interpretation if their claim to solve the measurement problem is to be vindicated. The most straightforward interpretation rule, the fuzzy link, generates a violation of common sense known as the counting anomaly. Recently, a consensus has developed that the mass density link provides an appropriate interpretation of spontaneous collapse theories that avoids the counting anomaly. In this paper, I argue that the mass density link violates common sense in just as striking a way as the fuzzy link, and hence should not be regarded as a problem-free alternative to the fuzzy link. Hence advocates of spontaneous collapse theories must accept some violation of common sense, although this is not necessarily fatal to their project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005


  • Counting anomaly
  • Dynamical reduction
  • Fuzzy link
  • GRW theory
  • Mass density link
  • Spontaneous collapse
  • Spontaneous localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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