Quantum retrodiction: foundations and controversies

Stephen M. Barnett, John Jeffers, David T. Pegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Prediction is the making of statements, usually probabilistic, about future events based on current information. Retrodiction is the making of statements about past events based on current information. We present the foundations of quantum retrodiction and highlight its intimate connection with the Bayesian interpretation of probability. The close link with Bayesian methods enables us to explore controversies and misunderstandings about retrodiction that have appeared in the literature. To be clear, quantum retrodiction is universally applicable and draws its validity directly from conventional predictive quantum theory coupled with Bayes’ theorem.
Original languageEnglish
Article number586
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021


  • quantum foundations
  • Bayesian Inference
  • time reversal
  • quantum theory


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