Noncommutative calculi of probabilty

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Michał Heller


The paper can be regarded as a short and informal introduction to noncommutative calculi of probability. The standard theory of probability is reformulated in the algebraic language. In this form it is readily generalized to that its version which is virtually present in quantum mechanics, and then generalized to the so-called free theory of probability. Noncommutative theory of probability is a pair (M, φ) where M is a von Neumann algebra, and φ a normal state on M which plays the role of a noncommutative probability measure. In the standard (commutative) theory of probability, there is, in principle, one mathematically interesting probability measure, namely the Lebesgue measure, whereas in the noncommutative theories there are many nonequivalent probability measures. Philosophical implications of this fact are briefly discussed.

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