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Foundations of Physics


Using a result of H. Hanche-Olsen, we show that (subject to fairly natural constraints on what constitutes a system, and on what constitutes a composite system), orthodox finite-dimensional complex quantum mechanics with superselection rules is the only non-signaling probabilistic theory in which (i) individual systems are Jordan algebras (equivalently, their cones of unnormalized states are homogeneous and self-dual), (ii) composites are locally tomographic (meaning that states are determined by the joint probabilities they assign to measurement outcomes on the component systems) and (iii) at least one system has the structure of a qubit. Using this result, we also characterize finite dimensional quantum theory among probabilistic theories having the structure of a dagger-monoidal category.