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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Momentum and spin in entropic quantum dynamics
by Nawaz, Shahid, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2014, 139; 3672106
Abstract (Summary)

We study quantum theory as an example of entropic inference. Our goal is to remove conceptual difficulties that arise in quantum mechanics. Since probability is a common feature of quantum theory and of any inference problem, we briefly introduce probability theory and the entropic methods to update probabilities when new information becomes available. Nelson's stochastic mechanics and Caticha's derivation of quantum theory are discussed in the subsequent chapters.

Our first goal is to understand momentum and angular momentum within an entropic dynamics framework and to derive the corresponding uncertainty relations. In this framework momentum is an epistemic concept – it is not an attribute of the particle but of the probability distributions. We also show that the Heisenberg's uncertainty relation is an osmotic effect. Next we explore the entropic analog of angular momentum. Just like linear momentum, angular momentum is also expressed in purely informational terms.

We then extend entropic dynamics to curved spaces. An important new feature is that the displacement of a particle does not transform like a vector. It involves second order terms that account for the effects of curvature . This leads to a modified Schrödinger equation for curved spaces that also take into account the curvature effects. We also derive Schrodinger equation for a charged particle interacting with external electromagnetic field on general Riemannian manifolds.

Finally we develop the entropic dynamics of a particle of spin 1/2. The particle is modeled as a rigid point rotator interacting with an external EM field. The configuration space of such a rotator is R 3 × S3 (S 3 is the 3-sphere). The model describes the regular representation of SU(2) which includes all the irreducible representations (spin 0, 1/2, 1, 3/2,...) including spin 1/2.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Caticha, Ariel
Commitee: Caffaro, Carlo, Goyal, Philip, Inomata, Akira, Knuth, Kevin H.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Physics
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 76/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Quantum physics, Theoretical physics
Keywords: Curved spaces, Entropic dynamics, Maximum entropy, Momentum, Quantum theory, Spin
Publication Number: 3672106
ISBN: 978-1-321-49427-3
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