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The Many‐Worlds Interpretation and Quantum Computation

Armond Duwell
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 74, No. 5, Proceedings of the 2006 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science AssociationPart I: Contributed PapersEdited by Cristina Bicchieri and Jason Alexander (December 2007), pp. 1007-1018
DOI: 10.1086/525640
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/525640
Page Count: 12
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The Many‐Worlds Interpretation and Quantum Computation
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Abstract

David Deutsch and others have suggested that the Many‐Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics is the only interpretation capable of explaining the special efficiency quantum computers seem to enjoy over classical ones. I argue that this view is not tenable. Using a toy algorithm I show that the Many‐Worlds Interpretation must crucially use the ontological status of the universal state vector to explain quantum computational efficiency, as opposed to the particular ontology of the MWI, that is, the computational histories of worlds. As such, any other interpretation that treats the state vector as representing real ontological features of a system can explain quantum speedup too.

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