Algebraic Quantum Mechanics and Pregeometry
Authors: Bohm, D., Davies and Hiley, B.
Editors: Adenier, G., Krennikov, A. and Nieuwenhuizen, T.M.
Journal: Quantum Theory: Reconsiderations of Foundations
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
We discuss the relation between the q-number approach to quantum mechanics suggested by Dirac and the notion of "pregeometry" introduced by Wheeler. By associating the q-numbers with the elements of an algebra and regarding the primitive idempotents as "generalized points" we suggest an approach that may make it possible to dispense with an a priori given space manifold. In this approach the algebra itself would carry the symmetries of translation, rotation, etc. Our suggestion is illustrated in a preliminary way by using a particular generalized Clifford algebra proposed originally by Weyl, which approaches the ordinary Heisenberg algebra a suitable limit. We thus obtain a certain insight into how quantum mechanics may be regarded as a purely algebraic theory, provided that we further introduce a new set of "neighbourhood operators", which remove an important kind of arbitrariness that has thus far been present in the attempt to treat quantum mechanics solely in terms of a Heisenberg algebra.