(2009): in

(Cambridge University Press, Cambridge) 361-388 (PDF)

ABSTRACT: It is well known that the "quantum logic" apporach to the foundations of quantum mechanics is based on the subspace ordering of projectors on a Hilbert space. In this paper, we show that this is a special case of an ordering on partial isometries, introduced by Halmos and McLaughlin. Partial isometries have a natural physical interpretaton, however, they are notoriously not closed under composition. In order to take a categorical approach, we demonstrate that the Halmos-McLaughlin partial ordering, together with tools from both categorical logic and inverse categories, allows us to form a category of partial isometries.

This category can reasonably be considered a "categorification" of quantum logic - we therefore compare this category with Abramsky and Coecke's "compact closed categories" approach to foundations and with the "monoidal closed categories" view of categorical logic. This comparison illustrates a fundamental incompatibility between these two distinct approaches to the foundations of quantum mechanics.