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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The topic of probability in quantum mechanics is rather vast. In this chapter it is discussed from the perspective of whether and in what sense quantum mechanics requires a generalization of the usual (Kolmogorovian) concept of probability. The focus is on the case of finite-dimensional quantum mechanics (which is analogous to that of discrete probability spaces), partly for simplicity and partly for ease of generalization. While the main emphasis is on formal aspects of quantum probability (in particular the non-existence of joint distributions for incompatible observables), the discussion relates also to notorious issues in the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Indeed, whether quantum probability can or cannot be ultimately reduced to classical probability connects rather nicely to the question of 'hidden variables' in quantum mechanics.

Keywords: quantum mechanics, generalized probability, effect algebra, orthoalgebra, joint distribution, hidden variable

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