Pieter Vermaas Research and Publications
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Research for my PhD concerned a cluster of interpretations of quantum mechanics as initially advanced by Bas van Fraassen, Simon Kochen, Richard Healey, Dennis Dieks and Jeffrey Bub, and referred to as modal interpretations. Modal interpretations are generally speaking proposals to construe quantum mechanics as a theory in which some but not all physical observables have definite values probabilistically. Research on modal interpretations include the issues whether they solve the measurement problem by yielding that measurement outcomes correspond to the observables with definite values, and whether their assignment of definite values to observables leads to consistent descriptions of the quantum-mechanical systems.

In addition to specific contributions, research led to the 1998 Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science edited volume bringing together work on modal interpretations, and to the 1999 Cambridge University Press monograph based on my PhD thesis, describing and evaluating modal interpretations systematically.

My current interests concern what impact the development of quantum technology in quantum computing and nanotechnology has on the interpretation of quantum mechanics. This technological development introduces different models and descriptions of quantum-mechanical systems by which these systems have definite physical properties. It may be envisaged that some of these models and descriptions will enable technologists to successfully develop quantum technology, meaning that interpretations of quantum mechanics that can accommodate these models and descriptions have a technological advantage over those that cannot.



Vermaas, P.E. (1999) A Philosopher's Understanding of Quantum Mechanics: Possibilities and Impossibilities of a Modal Interpretation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).[link]

Dieks, D., and P.E. Vermaas (eds.) (1998) The Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, vol. 60 of The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers).[link]



Vermaas, P.E. (2006) Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, in D.M. Borchert (ed.) Encyclopedia of Philosophy, second edition, vol. 6 (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA), pp. 277-280.[pdf]

Vermaas, P.E. (2005) Technology and the Conditions on Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56, 635-661.[link]

Vermaas, P.E. (2004) Nanoscale Technology: A Two-Sided Challenge for Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, in D. Baird, A. Nordmann and J. Schummer (eds.) Discovering the Nanoscale (Amsterdam: IOS Press), pp. 77-91.[pdf]

Vermaas, P.E. (2003) Modal Interpretations: A General Framework to Interpret Quantum Mechanics, in A. Rojszczak, J. Cachro and G. Kurczewski (eds.) Philosophical Dimensions of Logic and Science: Selected Contributed Papers from the 11th International Congress of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, Kraków, 1999 (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers), pp. 195-211.[pdf]

Vermaas, P.E. (2001) Modale Interpretaties van Quantummechanica: Filosofie tussen Fysica en Metafysica, Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 93, 93-104.[pdf]

Vermaas, P.E. (1999) Two No-Go Theorems for Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 30, 403-431.[link]

Vermaas, P.E. (1999) Modale Interpretaties van Quantummechanica: Fysica en Metafysica van Beschrijvingen van de Werkelijkheid, in J. Baars and R. Starmans (eds.) Het Eigene en het Andere: Filosofie en Globalisering. Acta van de 21e Nederlands-Vlaamse Filosofiedag (Delft: Eburon), pp. 347-361.[pdf]

Bacciagaluppi, G., and P.E. Vermaas (1999) Virtual Reality: Consequences of No-Go Theorems for the Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, in M.L. Dalla Chiara, R. Giuntini and F. Laudisa (eds.) Language, Quantum, Music: Selected Contributed Papers of the Tenth International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Florence, August 1995, vol. 281 of the Synthese Library (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers), pp. 117-128.[link]

Vermaas, P.E. (1998) Expanding the Property Ascriptions in the Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, in R.A. Healey and G. Hellman (eds.) Quantum Measurement: Beyond Paradox (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press), pp. 115-143.[pdf]

Vermaas, P.E. (1998) The Pros and Cons of the Kochen-Dieks and the Atomic Modal Interpretation, in D. Dieks and P.E. Vermaas (eds.) The Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, vol. 60 of The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers), pp. 103-148.[link]

Vermaas, P.E. (1997) A No-Go Theorem for Joint Property Ascriptions in Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, Physical Review Letters 78, 2033-2037.[link]

Vermaas, P.E. (1996) Unique Transition Probabilities in the Modal Interpretation, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 27, 133-159.[link]

Vermaas, P.E., and D. Dieks (1995) The Modal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and Its Generalization to Density Operators, Foundations of Physics 25, 145-158.[link]

Bacciagaluppi, G., M.J. Donald and P.E. Vermaas (1995) Continuity and Discontinuity of Definite Properties in the Modal Interpretation, Helvetica Physica Acta 68, 679-704.[pdf]