Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Quantum Measurements and Their Place in Nature

Version 1 : Received: 17 January 2023 / Approved: 19 January 2023 / Online: 19 January 2023 (11:43:30 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 1 February 2023 / Approved: 2 February 2023 / Online: 2 February 2023 (11:56:41 CET)

How to cite: Broka, C. Quantum Measurements and Their Place in Nature. Preprints 2023, 2023010356. Broka, C. Quantum Measurements and Their Place in Nature. Preprints 2023, 2023010356.


A variant of the von Neumann-Wigner Interpretation is proposed. Problems arising from the quantum Zeno effect are addressed as we have described previously. We do, however, offer some new, and perhaps unexpected observations. We are accustomed to thinking of wave function collapse as occurring consequent to laboratory measurements. We speculate that, whatever physical correlate of consciousness exists within the brain, it is quantum mechanical in the sense that a brain, left to itself, would eventually decohere into a state no longer compatible with its conscious functioning. Wave function collapse returns it to a state compatible with consciousness. Indeed, this may be its important reason for occurring. A universe without it simply could not play host to conscious brains. The fact that it also prevents us from encountering "absurd" situations in the laboratory is merely a fortunate dividend. Whenever a quantum measurement is made the universe's future history splits into a number of possibilities. This number may be very large or infinite. And we believe consciousness plays a vital role in this happening. A "conscious" universe where quantum measurements are being made allows for an enormous number of equally acceptable world-histories. An "unconscious" one, always evolving in a unitary fashion, allows for only one. If we assume that the decision as to which worldhistory is the real one (i.e. this one) is made at random we see that the universe is overwhelmingly more likely to be "conscious" than not.


Consciousness; Quantum Measurement; von Neumann-Wigner Interpretation; Quantum Zeno Effect


Physical Sciences, Quantum Science and Technology

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 2 February 2023
Commenter: Chris Broka
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: The only two changes concern the Dirac Interaction "picture." For one thing, picture should be Picture. For another, we do not normal order the interaction Hamiltonian in the Dirac Interaction Picture. This is done through Wick's Theorem.
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