http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/quant-ph/pdf/0506/0506100.pdf Title: A New Ontological View of the Quantum Measurement Problem Authors: Xiaolei Zhang Comments: 37 pages. US Naval Research Lab memorandum report NRL/MR/7218--05-8883, paper to be presented at the Albert Einstein Century conference, Paris, France, July 2005 A new ontological view of the quantum measurement processes is given, which has bearings on many broader issues in the foundations of quantum mechanics as well. In this scenario a quantum measurement is a non-equilibrium phase transition in a ``resonant cavity'' formed by the entire physical universe including all of its material and energy content. A quantum measurement involves the energy and matter exchange among not only the system being measured and the measuring apparatus but also the global environment of the universe resonant cavity, which together constrain the nature of the phase transition. Strict realism, including strict energy and angular momentum conservation, is recovered in this view of the quantum measurement process beyond the limit set by the uncertainty relations, which are themselves derived from the exact commutation relations for quantum conjugate variables. Both the amplitude and the phase of the quantum mechanical wavefunction acquire substantial meanings in the new ontology, and the probabilistic element is removed from the foundations of quantum mechanics, its apparent presence in the quantum measurement being solely a result of the sensitive dependence on initial/boundary conditions of the phase transitions of a many degree-of-freedom system which is effectively the whole universe. Vacuum fluctuations are viewed as the ``left over'' fluctuations after forming the whole numbers of nonequilibrium resonant modes in the universe cavity. This new view on the quantum processes helps to clarify many puzzles in the foundations of quantum mechanics.