Most philosophical work on quantum physics has concerned simple systems. And for good reason. Even one or two particle systems can exhibit the striking features we have come to associate with quantum physics—features such as entanglement, interference, and nonlocality. But as far as physics goes, such systems barely scrape the surface. In particular, they have only a finite number of degrees of freedom, which means their states are characterized by a finite number of independent parameters. The systems studied in fields such as high-energy particle physics and many-body physics, meanwhile, have uncountably many degrees of freedom. They are far more complicated than the usual philosophical fare.

This is not troubling as long as the conceptual heart of quantum physics can be effectively condensed down. But what if philosophers' toy systems are fundamentally different from realistic ones? That would be a problem. And indeed,...

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