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Division between QM and Interpretations

  1. Oct 11, 2013 #1


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    Trying to relate a bit better to where QM stops, and Interpretations begin. Especially with respect to Decoherence.

    Is Decoherence seen as a measurable phenomena, or, just as a "possible" explanation for measurable phenomena? Obviously when I mark a path in a 2 slit experiment I cause decoherence (or, I lose coherence). Are there multiple connotations for Decoherence?

    Does it get fuzzy when one tries to take Decoherence too far?

    I'm hoping to avoid a right/wrong private theory or Interpretation, but rather get a cleaner understand of the division.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2013 #2


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    Decoherence is a measurable phenomenon, theoretically derived from the Schrodinger equation without any controversial interpretational assumptions. In fact, the Nobel prize for physics in 2012 is awarded for experiments on decoherence.

    The controversial and interpretation-dependent part is whether decoherence alone is sufficient to resolve the measurement problem. Most experts agree that it is not, because it cannot resolve the definite-outcome problem, unless one assumes something more.

    For more details see also
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0312059 [Rev.Mod.Phys.76:1267-1305,2004]
  4. Oct 11, 2013 #3


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    That jives with what I thought, that the basic phenomenon is uncontroversial, but not the end of the story. I'm embarrassed I don't even know about the Nobel :(

    Hmmm... there are two papers with that name, http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/5439/
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