The many-worlds interpretation and quantum computation

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1018
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2007


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