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Viktoria Kabel, Anne-Catherine de la Hamette, Luca Apadula, Carlo Cepollaro, Henrique Gomes, Jeremy Butterfield, Časlav Brukner (Feb 19 2024).

Abstract: The study of quantum reference frames (QRFs) is motivated by the idea of taking into account the quantum properties of the reference frames that we use, explicitly or implicitly, in our description of physical systems. Like a classical reference frame, a QRF can be used to define physical quantities such as time, position, momentum, and spin relationally. Unlike its classical analogue, it relativises the notions of superposition and entanglement. Here, we provide a novel explanation for the frame-dependence of superposition and entanglement by tracing it back to the question of how configurations or locations are identified across different branches in superposition. We show that, in the presence of symmetries, whether a system is in ‘the same’ or ‘different’ configurations across the branches depends on the choice of QRF. Thus, sameness and difference-and, as a result, superposition and entanglement-lose their absolute meaning. We apply these ideas to semi-classical spacetimes in superposition and use coincidences of four scalar fields to construct a comparison map between the spacetime points in the different branches. This allows us to determine whether a given event is located at ‘the same’ or ‘different’ points in the superposed spacetimes. Since this feature depends on the choice of QRF, we argue that the localisation of an event should not be seen as an inherent property. This alleviates previously voiced concerns that QRF changes could have empirical consequences for interference experiments, such as the BMV proposal. Moreover, it implies that the number of events is equal in both the flat and the curved spacetime implementations of indefinite causal order. We conclude with the ‘quantum hole argument’ as a generalisation of Einstein’s hole argument, arguing that not just spacetime points but also their identification across a superposition lose their absolute physical meaning.

Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/2402.10267

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