Schwinger's picture of quantum mechanics III: The statistical interpretation Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2019


  • 11(1950165)


  • 16

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0219-8878

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1793-6977


  • Schwinger's algebra of selective measurements has a natural interpretation in the formalism of groupoids. Its kinematical foundations, as well as the structure of the algebra of observables of the theory, were presented in [F. M. Ciaglia, A. Ibort and G. Marmo, Schwinger's picture of quantum mechanics I: Groupoids, Int. J. Geom. Meth. Mod. Phys. (2019), arXiv: 1905.12274 [math-ph]. F. M. Ciaglia, A. Ibort and G. Marmo, Schwinger's picture of quantum mechanics II: Algebras and observables, Int. J. Geom. Meth. Mod. Phys. (2019).]. In this paper, a closer look to the statistical interpretation of the theory is taken and it is found that an interpretation in terms of Sorkin's quantum measure emerges naturally. It is proven that a suitable class of states of the algebra of virtual transitions of the theory allows to define quantum measures by means of the corresponding decoherence functionals. Quantum measures satisfying a reproducing property are described and a class of states, called factorizable states, possessing the Dirac&-Feynman "exponential of the action" form are characterized. Finally, Schwinger's transformation functions are interpreted similarly as transition amplitudes defined by suitable states. The simple examples of the qubit and the double slit experiment are described in detail, illustrating the main aspects of the theory.


  • schwinger algebra; groupoids; groupoid algebra; c*-algebra; quantum measures; states; factorizable states