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Knowledge of past and future in quantum mechanics

Einstein, Albert and Tolman, Richard C. and Podolsky, Boris (1931) Knowledge of past and future in quantum mechanics. Physical Review, 37 (6). pp. 780-781. ISSN 0031-899X. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.37.780.

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It is well known that the principles of quantum mechanics limit the possibilities of exact prediction as to the future path of a particle. It has sometimes been supposed, nevertheless, that the quantum mechanics would permit an exact description of the past path of a particle. The purpose of the present note is to discuss a simple ideal experiment which shows that the possibility of describing the past pathof one particlewould lead to the predictions as to the future behaviour of a second particle of a kind not allowed in the quantum mechanics. It will hence be concluded that the principles of quantum mechanics actually involve an uncertainty in the description of past events which is analogous to the the uncertainty in the prediction of future events. And it will be shown for the case in hand, that this uncertainty in the description of the past arises from a limitation of the knowledge that can be obtained by measurement of momentum.

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Additional Information:©1931 The American Physical Society Received 26 February 1931
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:EINpr31
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2129
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:10 Mar 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:45

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