The noncommutative values of quantum observables

Otto C.W. Kong, Wei Yin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We discuss the notion of representing the values of physical quantities by the real numbers, and its limits to describe the nature to be understood in the relation to our appreciation that the quantum theory is a better theory of natural phenomena than its classical analog. Getting from the algebra of physical observables to their values for a fixed state is, at least for classical physics, really a homomorphic map from the algebra into the real number algebra. The limitation of the latter to represent the values of quantum observables with noncommutative algebraic relation is obvious. We introduce and discuss the idea of the noncommutative values of quantum observables and its feasibility, arguing that at least in terms of the representation of such a value as an infinite set of complex numbers, the idea makes reasonable sense theoretically as well as practically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalChinese Journal of Physics
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Noncommutative value of observable
  • Quantum mechanics


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