• Register
PhysicsOverflow is a next-generation academic platform for physicists and astronomers, including a community peer review system and a postgraduate-level discussion forum analogous to MathOverflow.

Welcome to PhysicsOverflow! PhysicsOverflow is an open platform for community peer review and graduate-level Physics discussion.

Please help promote PhysicsOverflow ads elsewhere if you like it.


PO is now at the Physics Department of Bielefeld University!

New printer friendly PO pages!

Migration to Bielefeld University was successful!

Please vote for this year's PhysicsOverflow ads!

Please do help out in categorising submissions. Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!

... see more

Tools for paper authors

Submit paper
Claim Paper Authorship

Tools for SE users

Search User
Reclaim SE Account
Request Account Merger
Nativise imported posts
Claim post (deleted users)
Import SE post

Users whose questions have been imported from Physics Stack Exchange, Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or any other Stack Exchange site are kindly requested to reclaim their account and not to register as a new user.

Public \(\beta\) tools

Report a bug with a feature
Request a new functionality
404 page design
Send feedback


(propose a free ad)

Site Statistics

205 submissions , 163 unreviewed
5,064 questions , 2,215 unanswered
5,347 answers , 22,734 comments
1,470 users with positive rep
818 active unimported users
More ...

  Foundations of quantum physics V. Coherent foundations

+ 3 - 0
+ 3 - 0
Referee this paper: arXiv:1905.00920 by Arnold Neumaier

Please use comments to point to previous work in this direction, and reviews to referee the accuracy of the paper. Feel free to edit this submission to summarise the paper (just click on edit, your summary will then appear under the horizontal line)

(Is this your paper?)

Abstract: This paper is a programmatic article presenting an outline of a new view of the foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. In short, the proposed foundations are given by the following statements:

Coherent quantum physics is physics in terms of a coherent space consisting of a line bundle over a classical phase space and an appropriate coherent product. 

The kinematical structure of quantum physics and the meaning of the fundamental quantum observables are given by the symmetries of this coherent space, their infinitesimal generators, and associated operators on the quantum space of the coherent space. 

The connection of quantum physics to experiment is given through the thermal interpretation. The dynamics of quantum physics is given (for isolated systems) by the Ehrenfest equations for q-expectations.

requested May 7, 2019 by Arnold Neumaier (15787 points)
summarized by Arnold Neumaier
paper authored May 1, 2019 to quant-ph by Arnold Neumaier
  • [ revision history ]
    edited May 7, 2019 by Arnold Neumaier

    1 Review

    + 3 like - 0 dislike

    This fifth paper of the foundational series presents new foundations for quantum mechanics and quantum field theory in terms of coherent spaces and clarifies some aspects of the thermal interpretation from an abstract mathematical point of view.

    In a nutshell, coherent spaces (more technical details are here and here)  are a novel mathematical concept that can be characterize as a nonlinear version of Hilbert spaces. To get the axioms of a coherent space from those of a Hilbert space, the vector space axioms are dropped while the notion of inner product and its properties is kept and called a coherent product. In a quantum mechanical context, the coherent space is the classical phase space of the system, whose points label the coherent states of its quantum space. For example the spinning electron and higher spin particles can be described in this context, including the half-integrality condition for the spin which is a result of the coherence condition. Another example are Klauder spaces that have the Fock space as their quantum space. Starting with a specific coherent space, a new one can be created for example by taking derivatives or linear combinations of the original coherent states.
    Symmetries of a coherent space are its invertible coherent maps. Coherent maps can be quantized by applying a quantization map which produces a coherent operator on the quantum space of the coherent space. The quantization map promotes symmetries to q-observables and infinitesimal symmetries to quantum symmetries. By this relation, complicated computations in quantum mechanics can be reduced to more tractable computations on the coherent space itself. For exactly solvable systems, by means of coherent states techniques can be reduced to solving the dynamics of the classical system. If a problem has a dynamical symmetry group such that the (discrete or continuous) spectrum of all elements of its Lie algebra L is exactly computable, then the spectrum of the system can be found exactly. Such systems are called integrable. The coherent quantization of Kähler manifolds is equivalent to traditional geometric quantization of Kähler manifolds. But in the coherent setting, quantization is not restricted to finite dimensional manifolds, which is important for quantum field theory.
    Quantities of a classical or quantum mechanical system can be modeled as Lie *algebras, the corresponding uncertain values are defined via the general uncertainty principle. In this context, the Ehrenfest equations for quantities are nicely derived. The Dirac-Frenkel approach applied to the quantum space of a coherent space gives classical dynamics on the coherent space. Well known methods in numerical quantum mechanics, such as Hartree-Fock calculations for example, can be seen as instances of the coherent Dirac-Frenkel approach. The semi-quantal equations obtained from the coherent Dirac-Frenkel variation  are chaotic. In the thermal interpretation, this chaoticity is used to explain the probabilistic behavior in quantum mechanics.
    In field theory, the quantities (or smeared fields) are obtained by integrating the fields which are distributions with a test function.  To do quantum field theory in the coherent setting, infinite-dimensional coherent spaces are needed such that issues like taking limits and defining appropriate measures is more involved than in the finite dimensional case. Quantum field theory in spacetime can be obtained by using causal coherent manifolds.

    This for now last paper of the foundational series is my personal favorite. The unification of classical and quantum mechanics in the single mathematical framework of coherent spaces looks really intriguing and some kind of beautiful to me. As it is partly a summary of the mathematical underpinnings of this new framework, it nicely motivates one to look up the details in the related papers where they are given. Putting down the abstract mathematica underpinnings of the thermal interpretation does probably not make me agree with its rather drastic change of notions concerning microscopic physics. Nevertheless I some kind of like the mathematical derivations and discussions given here as for example the derivation of the Ehrenfest equations in the context of Lie algebras. The coherent variation principle is nicely explained and seems to have many  interesting applications, even though I am not sure if I agree with the notion that the intrinsic quantum uncertainty is explainable by the chaoticity of the semi-quantal equations. The discussion of putting quantum field theory in the coherent context is an intriguing outlook of what is still to come.


    reviewed May 12, 2019 by Dilaton (6,240 points) [ revision history ]
    edited Jun 22, 2019 by Dilaton

    Your Review:

    Please use reviews only to (at least partly) review submissions. To comment, discuss, or ask for clarification, leave a comment instead.
    To mask links under text, please type your text, highlight it, and click the "link" button. You can then enter your link URL.
    Please consult the FAQ for as to how to format your post.
    This is the review box; if you want to write a comment instead, please use the 'add comment' button.
    Live preview (may slow down editor)   Preview
    Your name to display (optional):
    Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
    Anti-spam verification:
    If you are a human please identify the position of the character covered by the symbol $\varnothing$ in the following word:
    Then drag the red bullet below over the corresponding character of our banner. When you drop it there, the bullet changes to green (on slow internet connections after a few seconds).
    Please complete the anti-spam verification

    user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

    Your rights