On information-theoretic characterizations of physical theories

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Clifton et al. (Found. Phys. 33 (2003) 1561) have recently argued that quantum theory is characterized by its satisfaction of three information-theoretic axioms. However, it is not difficult to construct apparent counterexamples to the CBH characterization theorem. In this paper, we discuss the limits of the characterization theorem, and we provide some technical tools for checking whether a theory (specified in terms of the convex structure of its state space) falls within these limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-293
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


  • Convex set
  • Jordan-Banach algebra
  • Quantum information


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