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  • Author: Dietmar Dorninger x
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In 1958 L. Fejes Tóth and J. Molnar proposed a conjecture about a lower bound for the thinnest covering of the plane by circles with arbitrary radii from a given interval of the reals. If only two kinds of radii can occur this conjecture was in essence proven by A. Florian in 1962, leaving the general case unanswered till now. The goal of this paper is to analytically describe the general case in such a way that the conjecture can easily be numerically verified and upper and lower limits for the asserted bound can be gained.


Let S be a set of states of a physical system and let p(s) be the probability of an occurrence of an event when the system is in the state sS. The function p from S to [0, 1] is called a numerical event, multidimensional probability or, alternatively, S-probability. Given a set of numerical events which has been obtained by measurements and not supposing any knowledge of the logical structure of the events that appear in the physical system, the question arises which kind of logic is inherent to the system under consideration. In particular, does one deal with a classical situation or a quantum one?

In this survey several answers are presented. Starting by associating sets of numerical events to quantum logics we study structures that arise when S-probabilities are partially ordered by the order of functions and characterize those structures which indicate that one deals with a classical system. In particular, sequences of numerical events are considered that give rise to Bell-like inequalities. At the center of all studies there are so called algebras of S-probabilities, subsets of these and their generalizations. A crucial feature of these structures is that order theoretic properties can be expressed by the addition and subtraction of real functions entailing simplified algorithmic procedures.

The study of numerical events and algebras of S-probabilities goes back to a cooperation of E. G. Beltrametti and M. J. Mączyński in 1991 and has since then resulted in a series of subsequent papers of physical interest the main results of which will be commented on and put in an appropriate context.


Let S be a set of states of a physical system. The probabilities p(s) of the occurrence of an event when the system is in different states sS define a function from S to [0, 1] called a numerical event or, more precisely, an S-probability. A set of S-probabilities comprising the constant functions 0 and 1 which is structured by means of the addition and order of real functions in such a way that an orthomodular partially ordered set arises is called an algebra of S-probabilities, a structure significant as a quantum-logic with a full set of states. The main goal of this paper is to describe algebraic properties of algebras of S-probabilities through operations with real functions. In particular, we describe lattice characteristics and characterize Boolean features. Moreover, representations by sets are considered and pertinent examples provided.