Quantum frames of reference and the noncommutative values of observables

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Based on a recent relational formulation of quantum reference frame transformations, especially with a case of quantum spatial translations in particular, we analyzed how the ‘value’ of an observable for a fixed state change. That is the exact analog of the classical description, for example, of the value of the x-coordinate for a particle decrease by 2 units when we perform a translation of the reference frame putting the new origin at x=2. The essence of the quantum reference frame transformations is to have the quantum fluctuations, and even entanglement, of the physical object which serves as the (new) reference frame, taken into account. We illustrate how the recently introduced notion of the noncommutative values of quantum observables gives such a definite description successfully. Formulations, and an analysis of a case example in qubit systems, of analog transformations for observables with a discrete or finite spectrum is also presented. Issues about the evolving picture of the symmetry system of all quantum reference frame transformations discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105033
JournalResults in Physics
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Noncommutative values of observables
  • Quantum frames of reference


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