quantum algorithms:
While the inherently probabilistic nature of quantum physics means, roughly, that as soon as there is more than one possibility, no quantum measurement outcome can be known with certainty; conversely this also means that all outcomes are possible with some probability. This converse statement had been stated by Gell-Mann 1956 for the case of quantum hadrodynamics (p. 859) in this form:
“Principle of Compulsory Strong Interactions”. Among baryons, antibaryons, and mesons, any process which is not forbidden by a conservation law actually does take place with appreciable probability.
The statement is recalled by Bunge 1976, p. 31 in the form:
Anything that is not forbidden is compulsory.
A more careful wording of the above principle is this: All possible repetitive chance events (in particular all those consistent with the conservation laws) are likely to occur in the long run.
and by Israel 1996 in the form:
What is not forbidden is compulsory.
For better or worse, Gell-Mann 1956 on that same page 859 found it helpful to add (about the contrapositive statement) that:
this is related to the state of affairs that is said to prevail in a perfect totalitarian state. Anything that is not compulsory is forbidden.
and some historians of science swallowed this red herring and ever since refer to Gell-Mann’s “principle of quantum compulsion” instead as the “totalitarian principle” (eg. Jaeger 2017, Wikipedia, cf. Kragh 2019a). See also the “principle of plenitude” (cf. Kragh 2019b).
Notice that Gell-Mann’s principle goes against the grain of the classical implication (see modal logic), which is the implication in the opposite direction:
That in quantum physics this implication may in fact be reversed can be understood as ambidexterity
of finite-dimensional dependent linear types $\mathscr{H}_\bullet$, see at quantum circuits via dependent linear types.
The original article:
Further discussion:
Mario Bunge, p. 31 in: Possibility and Probability, in: Foundations of Probability Theory, Statistical Interference, and Statistical Theories of Science Reidel (1976) 17-34 [doi:10.1007/978-94-010-1438-0_2]
Werner Israel, p. 607 of: Imploding stars, shifting continents, and the inconstancy of matter, Foundations of Physics 26 (1996) 595–616 [doi:10.1007/BF02058234]
Gregg Jaeger, p. 5 of: Quantum randomness and unpredictability, Fortschr. Phys. 65 6-8 (2017) [doi:10.1002/prop.201600053]
Helge Kragh, Physics and the Totalitarian Principle [arXiv:1907.04623]
Helge Kragh, Plenitude Philosophy and Chemical Elements, International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry 25 1 (2019) [pdf]
Last revised on July 31, 2023 at 13:11:27. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.